Wonderful Engineering

What Is An Electric Battery?


An electric battery is defined as a device that makes use of either one or an assembly of electrochemical cells that convert the stored chemical energy within them into electrical energy. Each cell has a positive terminal, cathode, and a negative terminal, anode. An estimate carried out in 2005 concluded that worldwide battery industry roughly generates $48 billion in annual sales with a 6% annual growth. Benjamin Franklin used the word battery in 1748 to describe his multiple Leyden jars. Alessandro Volta described the first electrochemical battery known as voltaic pile in 1800.

How Does a Battery Work?

Batteries work by converting chemical energy into electrical energy. A battery is composed of electrochemical/voltaic cells that contain electrolyte (conducting material) and electrodes. The process of electron flow occurs when the electrons are deposited at the cathode and when electrons are removed from the anode during charging. The electrodes do not come in contact and the flow of electrons takes place via the external circuit (hence the current flows) while the cations and anions flow in electrolyte.

Types of Batteries

Primary Batteries

The process of converting chemical energy into electrical energy is irreversible and once the reactants finish, the battery is exhausted.

Secondary Batteries

These are the batteries that can be charges; that is to say that the conversion process is reversible by supplying electric current to the battery.

Applications of Batteries

Precautionary Measures