Uses of Battery

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What is a Battery?

A battery is a collection of chemical cells having a cathode and an anode, which creates the flow of electrons in a circuit.

Batteries are a compact source of energy. Energy storage is a major problem throughout the world. Batteries solve this problem by reducing the storage capacity very less and eliminating the need to carry fuel. Batteries are one of the most convenient ways to store power.

All batteries that are invented till date are composed of three basic components: an anode (negative terminal), a cathode (positive terminal), and an electrolyte (which is usually a chemical substance that causes a reaction between anode and cathode).

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When the negative terminal and the positive terminal of a battery are connected in a circuit, a chemical reaction occurs between the electrolytes and the negative terminal. This reaction generates electrons that flow through the circuit and get deposited in the positive terminal i.e., the cathode. When the cathode or anode material is totally consumed, the reaction stops occurring, and the battery stops generating electricity. Here the battery is called 'dead'.

What are the Uses of Battery?

Here are some major uses of battery in our day-to-day life.

  1. Around the House

Batteries are used in various things that we use in our house. Batteries are used to power things like remote controls, torch, wall clock, flashlight, hearing aids, weight scales, etc. 

Rechargeable batteries are also used in various devices like digital cameras, mobile phones, batteries of vehicles, video game devices, remote control cars, home maintenance tools, and many more.

  1. Medical Environments

Hospitals, health centers, and other emergency services depend upon batteries to a great extent. Batteries are necessary to make devices like electrocardiograms, electrocardiographs, infusion pumps, glucose meters, and other testing kits to function properly.

Nickel-cadmium batteries and lithium-ion batteries are highly used in the medical industry because they can be recharged.

  1. Firefighting and Emergency Response

Radio is the most important tool of an emergency responder. They serve as an easy way for communication in places where danger persists. These radios are powered by high-quality large batteries, which are capable of holding a huge amount of charge.

Other devices like ECG monitors, metal detectors, and flashlights are powered by batteries. These devices are very necessary to save the lives of people.

  1. Military Use

A utility tool and a set of batteries are the most important tool of armed personnel.

The military environment may not witness the need for batteries at first, but they are used in many ways. Batteries are used to power radio communications, night vision devices, radar communications, optical equipment, and various other field devices, which make the work easier and safer.

Batteries Used in Electric Vehicles

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The batteries used in electric vehicles are called the electric-vehicle battery (EVB) (or traction battery). This battery has its application in giving power to the electric motors of electric vehicles like battery electric vehicles (BEV) or hybrid electric vehicles (HEV).

The batteries of electric vehicles are usually rechargeable (secondary) batteries, and typically lithium-ion batteries are used. These batteries are specifically designed for high output ampere-hour (or kilowatt-hour) capacity.

Electric Vehicle Battery Types:

  • Lead-acid battery

  • Zebra battery

  • Nickel metal hydride battery

  • Lithium-ion battery

Lead Acid Battery Uses

Vehicles that need a constant source of uninterruptible energy, use lead-acid batteries. Almost all vehicles in the world, presently use this battery. 

For example, streetcars need lights that can function even when the engine is not running. The lights get the power from the batteries. Lead-acid batteries are also used in accessories like clocks and alarms.

The industrial and automotive applications also use lead-acid batteries. The lead-acid batteries have gained much popularity, and are also highly used because of the following reason:

  1. Proven as regards performance.

  2. Recyclable.

  3. Economical to use.

  4. Easier to use.

  5. Safer compared to alternatives.

  6. They are capable of operating over a wide range of temperatures.

  7. These batteries don't need any management service.

Battery Used in Mobile Phones

Batteries used in mobile phones are capable of holding a huge amount of energy, which makes the device keep running for hours. It is no doubt a miracle of chemical engineering. Let us try to know the working procedure of such high-performance batteries.

Mobile phones use lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion), which consists of a pair of electrodes (a cathode and an anode) and an electrolyte.

The electrodes are usually made up of materials like lithium, graphite, or even nano-wires, but they are based on the science of functioning of lithium. Lithium is a highly reactive metal, and hence it has a tendency to react with other materials.

State the Unique Difference Between a Cell and a Battery

Battery: The function of a battery and a cell is similar, but a battery contains a number of cells arranged in either series or parallel to produce a voltage of desired levels. A power bank is the best example of a battery; it is used to charge mobile phones.

Cell: A cell is a source of energy that generates only DC voltage and current of small magnitude. For example, the cells used in remote control or wristwatches can generate voltage within 1.5 - 3 V range.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Which is the Best Type of Battery?

Ans- For the users, there is not much choice to decide the battery type, it is upon the manufacturers who decide the type of battery to be used based on the design and weight of the smartphone.

Lithium-ion batteries have greater energy storage capacity as compared to Lithium Polymer batteries. For this reason, lithium-ion batteries are used in devices that have higher current requirements.

2. Do Different Cars Need Different Batteries?

Ans- No. Batteries used in electric cars have similar functionality and work. The only difference is that different vehicles need a different specification of battery regarding the year of manufacturer and model.

3.   How many Volts Does a Car Battery Require for Starting?

Ans- 12.6 volts

Fully charged vehicle batteries should have at least 12.6 volts or above that. The measurement should be within 13.7 to 14.7 volts when the engine is running. In case you don't have a multimeter to measure the voltage of the battery of your car, you can do a test of the electrical system of the car, just making it straight and turning on the headlights.

4. What is Battery Performance?

Ans- Battery life is the measure of battery longevity and performance, and this can be measured in several ways: 

The run time of battery after a full charge which is estimated by the manufacturer (in milliampere-hours) or the number of charge cycles until the end of the useful life of the batteries.