Batteries

A battery is the source of an electrical energy that is provided by one or more electrochemical cells after it is converted from the stored chemical energy. Batteries are subdivided into two categories, the primary batteries, and the secondary batteries.

Primary Battery

It is the most commonly used battery for portable devices that have a low current drain. This kind of battery is for single-use, they are sometimes called throw-away batteries. When it is empty, it cannot be recharged, thus it is discarded after use. Disposable primary cells cannot be reliably recharged since the chemicals used are not easily reversible and its active forms may not be returned to its original phase.

It is commonly used in remote controls, clocks, radios, digital cameras, and MP3 players.

What are the examples of a primary battery?

  1. Alkaline is the most commonly used primary battery, the zinc-alkaline manganese dioxide battery has the most power-per-use than any other alkaline batteries.
  2. Carbon Zinc provides low power, yet has a good shelf life. The zinc-acidic manganese dioxide battery is the lowest cost primary battery.
  3. Lithium Cells has an outstanding performance than the conventional aqueous electrolyte battery systems. Lithium batteries are used in small formats for safety purposes.
  4. Silver Oxide Cells are batteries with high energy density, it is expensive due to the high cost of silver. These are mainly used for watches and calculators, it is commonly seen as button cell.
  5. Zinc Air Cells are batteries with a long run time, since the only stored material in the cell is the anode, and it uses the oxygen from the ambient air as the cathode. This kind of battery is commonly used for hearing aid devices.

Secondary Battery

It is a rechargeable battery, it can be reused after recharging. Rechargeable or secondary cells are made of active materials in the discharged state, it can be recharged by introducing electric current that can reverse the chemical reactions. These batteries have chargers.

What are the examples of a secondary battery?

  1. Rechargeable Alkaline have the lowest cost rechargeable cells, it is a secondary alkaline battery with long shelf life and can be used for moderate-powered applications. This battery is one of the great choices for customers.
  2. Lead-Acid is the most popular rechargeable batteries. Although it uses a toxic chemical, and a carcinogenic compound, the battery product has been proven, economical, and reliable. However, when disposing of the material it should not enter the regular waste stream.
  3. Lithium Ion is the latest breakthrough of rechargeable batteries, it provides more capacity and long life cycle than the nickel-metal hydride. However, this should be handled with caution since overheating can damage the battery and can cause a fire.
  4. Nickel-Cadmium is batteries that are reliable and rugged. It exhibits a high-power capability, wide operating temperature range, a long life cycle, yet it has a low run time.

Nickel-Metal Hydride are an extension for nickel-cadmium batteries, it has the same voltage as the nickel-cadmium yet it offers a lesser capacity. However, it can still provide a high current capability and a long life cycle.

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