How do Batteries Store Energy? – How do batteries work

You have found yourself in this post because you are in search of how do batteries store energy? This is, no doubt, a good question, but it has many twisted facts that are too necessary to know. So we will discuss all batteries stored energy and its working mechanism.

To achieve this purpose, we will get knowledge, first, about what are batteries?

Let us tell you one thing very clear that we will explain the definition of battery in a very simple way. Or you can say that we would try to avoid super technical style.

So in our simple way; any device that gets energy from the power source, then store this energy in a specific form, plus convert it into a usable form is called a battery. The storage form of energy is chemical energy and the usable form of energy is electrical energy.

How do batteries store energy?

It is good to zoom in the basic outline about the battery before going into the details. At first, we would like to discuss “how do batteries work?“.

Parts of a battery

All types of batteries have the same basic components. But these three components make different chemical reactions to occur. Make note that all kinds of batteries vary on the type of reaction that occurs in them.

Following are the three basic parts of a battery;

  1. Cathode
  2. Anode
  3. Electrolyte

A cathode is a positive plate, while the anode is the negative plate. The opposite reaction takes place on them. If we talk about the electrolyte; it is the main sea of chemicals in which the basic chemical reaction occurs.

In electrolyte different reactions occur depending upon the type of chemical used. These chemical reactions depend not only on the type of electrolyte but also on the kind of cathode and anode used.

Types of battery

There are various criteria about the classification of batteries like electrolyte composition, working style, size, and much more. But, still, there are two basic kinds of battery that the scientific world accepts.

  • Primary battery
  • Secondary battery

Now, you are wondering what are the primary, and secondary batteries, and what is the basic difference between the two? Don’t worry! Just continue reading this post and you will get your confusion clear.

No rechargeable Battery

Primary cells/batteries are those that cannot be charged. These are designed in such a way that their chemical reactions cannot proceed back. Once you have finished its charging, they are no longer available for use.

All the everyday devices that you use in their daily life are the primary batteries. I am sure, you would have heard about the alkaline batteries, they are, basically, the stated type of battery. They have, generally, long life and slow charging style.

These portable batteries are good to use in many devices without fear of being leakage or hazard to the environment.

Rechargeable battery

The other battery that comes in our discussion is the second type. In short, a secondary battery is the reverse of the primary battery. These batteries can be charged again and again. Its inner profile is such that their chemical reaction can be moved in the reverse direction by the push of voltage. These batteries need a special recycling method when not able to work.

As we have discussed above, these batteries can be decided based on chemical reactions so, on this basis, four kinds of batteries are present in the market.

  1. Lithium-ion battery
  2. Lead-acid battery
  3. Nickel-cadmium battery
  4. Nickel-metal hydride battery

Battery chemistry

Both electrodes (cathode + anode) and the electrolyte makes the single unit of cell that is called the electrochemical cell. Different batteries may have different numbers of such cells in them.

Electrons are produced at the negative plate, anode, and move towards the positive plate, the cathode. But, the question that arises here is how this transfer of electrons occurs?

Actually, these electrons use electrolyte to flow from one plate to another one by the power of the voltage.

Where these electrons produce at the anode?

The answer to this question is very easy. When electricity passes, the anode (a type of metal) undergoes a chemical reaction with the electrolyte and produce the free electrons in the end. These electrons move in the electrolyte and finally reach the cathode. This is the whole story behind.

Oh! We forget to tell you one point. The coverage of this point will make the whole story easy to understand.

The point is, both electrodes are present at the opposite end of the cell. These electrodes are joined, externally by the voltage supply and internally by the electrolyte. Or you can say that electrolyte separates the two electrolytes apart.

When we supply the voltage the whole reaction continues until the completion of reagents. This is the signal of recharging the battery in case of a secondary one or to buy the new battery in case of a primary one.

It shows that when a battery recharges or store the energy, the reverse reaction takes place to get it fully charged.

There are a number of reactions taking place in the battery at the same time, but this explanation would be too complicated to explain here.

Solar  battery

If we talk about the solar batteries, then we should know how solar energy can be stored in a battery.

Well, solar panels are always here to support the solar battery. Basically, these are solar panels and nothing else that capture sunlight energy. After that, the captured sunlight gets converted into the electricity that is received by the inverter to turn it into the usable form.

You see there seems no rocket science behind this, but it, actually, has the one.

Best battery for your applications

Some basic features of battery in all the batteries remain the same that are as follows;

Life span:

A battery should have a good span of life so it could be used for a long span of time before going to buy a new one.

Capacity:

The battery in question should have a good storage capacity so it may bear the load our available and serve you long after a one-time charge.

Energy density: A battery with better energy density makes your choice better to pick.

Size:

Make sure the battery is a portable one, or at least its size should be such that fits for your product.

Safety:

Try to pick the battery that has a safe inner profile. This means, its components should neither harm you nor the environment. Just stay safe and happy charging.

Recharge capacity:

The battery should always a good recharge rate. It will, definitely, save your time and make your battery run longer.

Cost:

Get a battery that fits your budget as well. In my opinion, never compromise on a good battery. If you get a good battery with a little bit higher cost, it will be good for your product and that will save you time by time buying a battery.

Warranty:

Get the battery with a long time of a warranty. In this way, you will have time to check the battery that either is it serving well or not with your car, boat, mobile, or wheelchair.

Frequently asked questions

1- What is a battery made of?

The batteries are made up of various metals and other materials such as cadmium, nickel, lithium, lead, acid, alkaline, mercury, and many more. These metals are harmful to the environment and need special care while disposing of.

Other batteries are made of potassium, zinc, and manganese. All these metals are safe to use and environment-friendly.

2- Why do batteries die?

Generally, mishandling causes a battery to die. Plus, the batteries also die due to zero discharge current left in the functioning material of the plates. Fast charging, bad alternator, temperature, corrosion, and age are the other features that make a battery stop working.

3- What can drain a car battery when the car is off?

The problem in the circuit may cause a battery to drain faster. If you are facing the same problem, kindly check your battery circuit. It may be your radio, lights, phone charger, or other applications that make your battery drain fast.

4- What chemicals are in batteries?

The batteries are made up of various metals and other materials such as cadmium, nickel, lithium, lead, acid, alkaline, mercury, and many more. These metals are harmful to the environment and need special care while disposing of.

Other batteries are made of potassium, zinc, and manganese. All these metals are safe to use and environment-friendly.

5- What type of energy is stored in a battery?

It is the chemical energy that is stored in the battery. When there is a need to deliver power from the battery to the application in question, the battery converts this chemical energy into the electric energy that your appliances use.

Final words

We have added all about, how do batteries store energy? This post might have more knowledge, but it would be too complicated to learn by a non-technical person or for a person who has zero knowledge about chemistry because a battery has a chemical reaction.

In addition to this post, you should know about the specifications of the battery you own. It will, definitely, positively support you.

Always think about what you can give your battery for its good performance and how it can be made longer run.

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