A Complete Guide to the Different Types of Battery Available in the Market
The battery is one such machine that is a general need for every household. Almost every appliance used in your house needs a battery, no matter the type and the size of your requirement. Now, there are two different types of batteries available in the market, the single-use and the rechargeable ones. Both of these variants have their advantages and disadvantages. But more than that, your need and the type of appliance you use decides the type of battery you buy.
While most of us frequently buy AAA Alkaline battery, we are unaware of the basic understanding of a battery, what’s inside of them, and how can such a small object hold immense power. This guide will educate you about the working mechanism of a battery and the different types of batteries available for your needs.
Battery Basics: What a Battery is All About
The figure represents the inside of a battery. This is the same for all the types of battery, be it, AAA, AA, C, and D sizes. A battery has a positive and negative terminal along with two internal layers called electrodes. These electrodes consist of the cathode, a part which transports positive charge and anode, a part which carries a negative charge.
All batteries consist of the different types of electrolytes, a reservoir that conducts electricity involving the flow of electrons between its terminals.
Suppose, you put a battery into a device. Now, all the components, the electrolyte, cathode, and anode of the battery interact and initiate a chemical reaction, mostly oxidation ones. The positively charged ions and the negatively charged ions move towards the electrolyte. They exit by the negative terminal (the anode) and move towards the positive one. This is how your device is supplied with constant power, running it for an indefinite period.
Now, if you are using a single-use battery, the internal chemicals of the battery begin to degrade and the chemical reaction subsides. In the long run, they can no longer retain a charge and this is when you say that the battery is dead.
The chemicals are mixed in such a manner that they can provide with a combination of the four most important characteristics of a battery;
- A long life
- High performance
- Affordable cost
- And a harmless environmental impact
The Different Types of Battery
There are two different types of battery available in the market, one-time use and rechargeable ones. SmartCell batteries consist of both the variants.
One-Time Use Alkaline Batteries
This is the most commonly used and cheaply available batteries. It is called an alkaline battery since it consists of an alkaline electrolyte called the potassium hydroxide. These batteries are mostly used in LED lamps, toys, remote, control devices, remotes, clocks, radio, and even light bulbs using the incandescent setting.
Uses: They are mostly not used with high-drain devices since they have a high initial energy capacity and using it in such devices draws a lot of energy at the same time, reducing the life expectancy of the device.
Pros: The advantages of using this battery is its affordable cost, moderate price, and wide availability.
Cons: The cons of using this battery is their disposal issues since they mostly land up in landfills and are not biodegradable as well.
One-Time use Lithium Batteries
One reason why lithium batteries are so popular is that Li is a very light metal, and it gives the highest energy density to any of the battery cells. This means that they can store an infinite amount of energy, more than alkaline ones, or any of the other single-use batteries.
Uses: These batteries are mostly used in cameras and moderately drained devices like headlamps and toys.
Pros: The advantages of using this type of battery is their long life in a single-use, superior functionality even in extreme temperatures, good shelf life, and their lightweight.
Cons: The cons of using this type of battery is that they can be an expensive purchase as well.
Nickel Metal Hydride Rechargeable Batteries
As the name suggests, this type of battery uses nickel or nickel hydroxide as the cathode or the positive electrode, an alloy consisting of a mixture of metals acting as a negative electrode, and potassium hydroxide as the electrolyte.
There was a time when Nickel-cadmium batteries were famous but now that has been replaced by Nickel-metal hydride batteries. They offer high energy and are not as toxic as the Ni-Cd ones.
Uses: These batteries are best in devices like digital cameras and flash units or devices that are for continuous usage.
Pros: The advantages of using this battery include their high energy capacity, more power, long-term value, recyclable nature, and high performance.
Cons: The cons of using this battery is their expensive cost.
Now, that you know about the types of batteries, indulge in a smart and more experienced purchase.