Difference Between Cell and Battery

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Cell vs Battery

Batteries and cells are one of the most important inventions that have made our lives and everyday tasks a lot simpler and easier. They are used practically in most of the portable electronic devices that we use in our day to day life. We can also say that we cannot imagine our lives without cells and batteries.

However, a cell and a battery are quite different from one another even though we often use both the terms interchangeably. A battery generally contains electrical energy which is already supplied from a factory or can be charged easily via an outlet. On the other hand, a cell contains chemical energy sources like diesel, propane or natural gas. It converts these sources to electrical energy to generate power. Hence, in terms of the functionalities and how it is made, there are quite a few differences between cell and battery. In this article, we will take a look at the comparison between cell vs battery.

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Cell and Battery Difference

When we take a look at what is the difference between cell and battery, the biggest difference is that a cell tends to generate energy by converting the resources available, whereas a battery generally stores energy. The difference between cell and battery in tabular form is given below.

Difference Between Cell and Battery



A cell is known to be a single unit device that tends to convert the chemical energy into electric energy.

A battery generally consists of a group of different cells.

Depending on what types of electrolytes are used, a cell can be either of reserve, wet or dry kinds. Cells can also include a molten salt type.

A battery can either be a primary or a secondary battery which means that it is either rechargeable or non-chargeable.

A cell is generally compact and light since it contains a single unit.

A battery consists of many different cells which give it a bigger size and make it bulkier.

A cell can only supply power for a shorter period.

A battery can supply power for much longer durations.

A cell is generally used for lighter tasks that do not require much energy. For example, it is used in clocks and lamps.

A battery is used generally for heavy-duty tasks. For example, it is used in automobiles and inverters.

Cells are cheaper in general.

Batteries are comparatively costlier.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is a Cell?

A cell refers to a single power generating unit that tends to store chemical energy and later converts it to electrical energy. It consists of two electrodes which are anode and cathode. The cell consists of an electrolyte, which is a chemical substance which tends to react with the electrodes to produce an electric current.

Redox reactions tend to occur between the electrodes and the electrolyte. Because of this reaction, the electric current flows via an external circuit. A cell is generally classified into four different kinds. These are the dry cell, wet cell, fuel cell and reserve cell. The wet cell makes use of a liquid electrolyte and the dry cell makes use of a powder electrolyte.

Q2. What is a Battery?

A battery is a device that contains two or more units of the electrochemical cell. The cathode is the positive terminal of the battery and the anode is known as the negative terminal of the battery. There are two different types of batteries which are the primary and the secondary battery. The primary battery cannot be reused and is irreversible, whereas, on the other hand, the secondary battery can be recharged again and again. The chemical energy in a primary cell is present inherently. In the secondary cell, electrical energy is induced with the help of an external source.

Q3. What is the Difference Between a Cell and a Battery?

 The difference between a cell and a battery is explained below.

  1. A cell is known as a single unit device that converts electrical energy to chemical energy,  while a battery is a group of different cells.

  2. A cell can be either of wet, dry, fuel or reserve type depending on the kind of electrolytes used, while a battery is either rechargeable or non-rechargeable.

  3. Since the cell has only one unit, it is compact and light,  while on the other hand,  the battery has a combination of different cells that increase the battery size and makes it bulkier.

  4. The power supply in the cell is for a short period of time, while the power supply in the battery is for a longer duration.

  5. Cells are comparatively cheaper than the batteries.

  6. Cells are generally used in lamps, clocks, etc., that do not need much energy, while batteries are used in inverters, automobiles, etc.