Chemical Batteries Types – Chemical batteries are devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. They consist of one or more electrochemical cells that convert the energy stored in chemical compounds into electrical energy through a process called electrolysis. The two main types of chemical batteries are primary batteries and secondary batteries.
Chemical Batteries Types
There are many types of chemical batteries, including primary batteries (non-rechargeable) and secondary batteries (rechargeable). Some examples of primary batteries include:
- Alkaline batteries, which use a zinc-manganese dioxide chemistry
- Carbon-zinc batteries, which use a zinc-carbon chemistry
- Lithium primary batteries, which use a lithium metal or lithium alloy anode
Some examples of secondary batteries include:
- Lead-acid batteries, which are commonly used in automobiles
- Nickel-cadmium batteries (NiCad)
- Nickel-metal-hydride batteries (NiMH)
- Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in portable electronics and electric vehicles.
Chemical Batteries Types
1. Lead-acid batteries
Lead-acid batteries are a type of rechargeable chemical battery that uses lead-based chemistry. They consist of one or more cells, each of which contains a lead anode, a lead oxide cathode, and an electrolyte made of dilute sulfuric acid.
Lead-acid batteries have been in use for over 150 years and are still one of the most widely used types of batteries today. They are known for their reliability, low cost, and high energy density. They are commonly used in automobiles as the starter battery, and also in backup power systems for homes and businesses, boats and other vehicles, and in many industrial applications.
Lead-acid batteries can be divided into two main types: flooded lead-acid batteries and sealed lead-acid batteries. Flooded lead-acid batteries are filled with liquid electrolytes and have removable caps, allowing the user to check the electrolyte level and add water as needed. Sealed lead-acid batteries, also known as maintenance-free or sealed maintenance-free batteries, are sealed and do not require any maintenance.
Lead-acid batteries have a relatively low energy-to-weight ratio and are not as efficient as some other types of batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries. However, they are still widely used due to their low cost, high reliability, and long service life, which are factors that are essential in many of the applications where they are utilized.
Lead-acid batteries Pros Cons
|Lead-acid batteries Pros Cons|
|Lead-acid costs less than most other battery systems. However, lithium-ion prices have dropped dramatically in recent years as demand has increased, and the pricing may soon eclipse that of lead acid.||Lead acid will need replacing several times over the lifespan of a solar system. Lead-acid solar batteries may only last 3 to 5 years, depending on the specific type of lead-acid technology and the usage case.|
|Lead acid has been used for decades, so consumers know what to expect. The technology offers reliability and consistency over the battery’s short lifespan.||The cost of frequent replacement negates the lower initial purchase price. The cost over 15 to 20 years will be significantly higher than that of lithium-ion.|
|More frequent replacements mean more hazardous waste. You can recycle lead-acid batteries by returning them to a retailer or finding a waste management program for hazardous waste. These are the best options for disposal.|
2. Nickel-Cadmium batteries
Nickel-cadmium batteries (NiCad batteries) are a type of rechargeable chemical battery that uses nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as electrodes. They were one of the first rechargeable batteries to be developed and were widely used in portable electronic devices, power tools, and other applications where a long-lasting rechargeable battery was needed.
NiCad batteries have a relatively high energy density, a long service life, and are relatively inexpensive to produce. They also have a low self-discharge rate, meaning they retain their charge well when not in use. They have a relatively good performance in low temperatures as well.
However, NiCad batteries have some drawbacks as well. They have a “memory effect” where if they are not completely discharged before recharging, they will “remember” the last discharge point, and will not be able to hold a full charge in the future. They also contain cadmium which is toxic and environmentally hazardous, which caused many countries to restrict or even ban their use.
Due to their environmental impact, NiCad batteries are being replaced by other types of batteries, such as nickel-metal-hydride batteries and lithium-ion batteries, which are considered to be more environmentally friendly.
Nickel-Cadmium Pros Cons
|Nickel-Cadmium Pros Cons|
|Ni-Cd is durable and long lasting, making them useful for heavy industries like commercial air travel and utilities. A Ni-Cd battery may have a lifespan of over 20 years.||The cadmium in Ni-Cd is highly toxic. The batteries are difficult and dangerous to dispose of properly. Some countries have even banned the use of cadmium in batteries because of this!|
|Nickel-cadmium can also withstand extreme temperatures and is safe to store in temperatures ranging from -85°F (-65°C) to 140°F (60°C).||A Ni-Cd battery is also susceptible to the “memory effect” — over time, this reduces its ability to hold a charge. The effect is not an issue for other types of batteries like lithium-ion.|
|These batteries have a higher power density than lead-acid, meaning they can store more energy in a lighter package.|
3. Nickel-metal-hydride batteries
Nickel-metal-hydride batteries (NiMH batteries) are a type of rechargeable chemical battery that uses a hydrogen-absorbing alloy for the negative electrode (anode) and nickel oxide for the positive electrode (cathode). They were developed as an alternative to nickel-cadmium batteries (NiCad) which have a toxic cadmium component and a memory effect.
NiMH batteries have a higher energy density than NiCad batteries, meaning they can store more energy in a smaller size. They also have a lower self-discharge rate than NiCad batteries, so they retain their charge better when not in use. They are also more environmentally friendly as they don’t have cadmium components.
NiMH batteries are widely used in portable electronic devices such as digital cameras, portable media players, and mobile phones. They are also used in electric vehicles, power tools, and other applications where a long-lasting rechargeable battery is needed.
Like other rechargeable batteries, NiMH batteries have a limited number of charge and discharge cycles and their capacity will decrease over time. However, their capacity loss is slower than NiCad batteries.
They are considered as a good alternative to lithium-ion batteries as they are cheaper and have a similar performance and capacity.
Overall, nickel-metal-hydride batteries are a good choice for applications where a long-lasting, reliable, and environmentally friendly battery is needed.
4. Lithium-ion batteries
Lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion batteries) are a type of rechargeable chemical battery that use lithium ions as the charge-carrying species. They were first developed in the early 1990s and have since become one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries.
Li-ion batteries have several advantages over other types of rechargeable batteries. They have a high energy density, meaning they can store a lot of energy in a small space. They also have a low self-discharge rate, so they retain their charge well when not in use. They also have a relatively long service life, with a typical lifespan of several years.
Li-ion batteries are widely used in portable electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. They are also used in electric vehicles, power tools, and other applications where a long-lasting, high-energy-density battery is needed.
Li-ion batteries are considered as one of the most advanced battery technology, they have a high energy density, low self-discharge rate, and long service life. However, they are also more expensive than other types of rechargeable batteries and have a risk of thermal runaway if they are damaged or overcharged.
Overall, lithium-ion batteries are a good choice for applications where a high-energy density, long-lasting, and reliable battery is needed, but they also require special handling and care to ensure safe operation.
Lithium-ion Pros Cons
|Lithium-ion Pros Cons|
|Lithium-ion has a high energy density, requiring less volume to store the same amount of energy as a lead-acid battery. Lithium-ion batteries are virtually maintenance-free and can operate for years or decades without any loss in efficiency.||Lithium-ion has a higher purchase price than lead-acid. However, given their longer lifespan, lithium-ion usually costs less over time than its lead-acid counterparts.|
|Manufacturers are so confident in the technology that they often offer a warranty of 5 -10 years or more. The guarantee makes your battery a “set it and forgets it” component — your lithium-ion battery will outlive most other parts of your solar system.||When improperly installed, lithium-ion may pose safety hazards. They may catch fire due to a phenomenon called thermal runaway. If you are not confident in your installation abilities, hire a professional to avoid any issues or go with a plug-and-play system.|
|Lithium-ion has a depth of discharge between 80 and 95% — meaning you can use more of the electricity you generate and store. This is far superior to lead acid’s 50% depth of discharge.|