What Type Of Energy Does a Battery Store – Introduction and Electricity

Jan 21, 2022   Pageview:182

Electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductive path. The path, like a wire, is known as a circuit. Batteries are one of the best power sources in the world for this circuit

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You will find a battery in almost everything that runs on electrical energy. Your TV remote, your phone, your laptop, your watch, and many other electronic devices use batteries.

Many people already know this. But have you ever given thought to how these batteries work? If not yet, you have come to the right place.  We will be introducing you to how batteries work and which ones are the best.

How Does An AA Battery Work?

There are many types of batteries out there. They are defined based on their sizes and use. AA is one of the most popular categories.

AA or double-A batteries are standard-size single cylindrical cells. They are called R6 in the IEC 60086 system. In Japan, these batteries are called UM-3.

AA batteries historically were called D14 or HP7 in the UK. They are batteries you will find almost everywhere in the world.

AA batteries are the most common small devices. They are composed of a single electrochemical cell that can be either primary or secondary.

Chemistry

The performance of an AA battery depends on the specific chemistry. Today, manufacturers have been using different approaches to try and improve the performance of these batteries. 

You can only understand how they work by looking at their chemistries. And for this, we shall split them into primary and secondary cells.

Primary AA Cells

Primary cells are also known as single-use or disposable batteries. AA dry cells come with about 400 to 900 milliampere-hours capacity.

Some come with Zinc-carbon in their chemistry. They are marked as general purpose. Others are zinc-chloride, carrying a capacity of about 1000 to 1500 mAh. These are often marketed as ‘heavy-duty’ or ‘super heavy-duty.’

Another common chemistry is alkaline batteries. These cells range from 1700 to 2850 mAh in capacity. They are more expensive compared to zinc chloride. This is because they hold a better charge and perform stronger.

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Modern manufacturers are also producing lithium iron disulfide batteries. These cells are designed for devices that draw more current, like digital cameras. These batteries are stronger, and hence, can run for a long time even at the highest performance.

Rechargeable Cells

AA batteries also come in rechargeable or secondary cells options. You will find them in a wide range of chemistries.

The first type is nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries. They carry a capacity of about 600 to 1000 mAh. They are the least in terms of price and performance.

From NiCd batteries, there is the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH).  These batteries feature a capacity of 600 to 2750 mAh.  They perform better than NiCd.

Most rechargeable batteries today are lithium-ion.  They feature a nominal voltage of 3.6 to 3.7 volts. They are mostly called 14500 li-ion batteries

NiMH and Li-ion batteries are the most common chemistries today. They can supply most of their capacity even at high current drains. That’s what makes them different from Alkaline and Zinc-chloride cells, which drop a small fraction of their energy at low currents.

How AA Batteries Work

AA batteries work like any other electrical energy storage device. Think of them like a machine that converts a chemical reaction to electrical energy.

There may be differences in these cells as seen above, but they all work in the same manner. Here is a breakdown:

Powering Devices

AA batteries are used in powering small portable devices. They are small, light, and yet very powerful.

Chemical reaction

When you insert the battery into your device, it initiates a chemical reaction. This also completes the circuit.

Responses From the Device

The electrolyte causes oxidation to the anode which is zinc. The cathode is made of manganese dioxide and carbon. This mixture reacts with oxidized zinc, producing electricity.

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Voltage Drop

When zinc and the electrolyte react, they cause the cells to lose voltage. It’s this voltage that powers your devices and becomes the needed electricity.

Battery Construction

You cannot understand how batteries work unless you know their construction. Here are the components of an AA battery:

·         Container. This is the steel can around the battery. It protects the battery’s internal components.

·         Cathode – The cathode is made up of finely-ground powders of manganese dioxide. It also has conductors that carry an electrical charge that occurs naturally.

·         Separator. Contact between the internal components of a battery can cause a bad reaction. A separator is used to keep the cathode and the anode apart.

·         The anode. This is the part of the battery that carries the negative charge.

·         Cathode. The cathode is the opposite of an anode. It carries a negative charge.

·         The collector. Inside the batteries, a brass pin becomes the negative current collector.

Summary

An AA battery has three main parts, the anode, the cathode, and the electrolyte. The cathode is positively charged and the anode is negatively charged. They are connected to an electrical circuit, leading to a chemical reaction. A battery produces electrical energy from this reaction.

What Type Of Energy Is Stored Inside A Battery?

Batteries store their power chemical energy. It’s stored in its electrolytes and plates.  Storage happens through a change of chemicals when an electrical current passes through.

Once fully charged, you can put your battery to use. In this case, a reverse chemical reaction takes place. Electrolytes and plates reverse to their original state as when they were uncharged.

Many people know that batteries store electrical energy. But they don’t know that it’s the chemical potential that converts into electricity when a circuit is complete.

How Do Batteries Store and Discharge Electricity?

There are two main types of batteries – primary and secondary.  Primary cells are single-use, while secondary ones are rechargeable. They are similar in how they store and discharge energy.

Batteries store energy in form of chemical potential. Then, a chemical reaction at the anode releases electrons, which are absorbed in the anode. 

An electrical circuit connects these two sides, creating a path for the electrons to flow. The cell can discharge until both sides run out of reagents. It’s time to recharge, or get another battery.

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