We use inanimate objects with batteries inside them every day and enjoy the comfort this invention provides us. Sometimes we don’t even stop to think that we are benefitting from batteries because they are hidden. Do we properly know what a battery is? How it first came about? How has it evolved so much that it has now been incorporated in practically everything around the world? What are the mechanics of it? In case you are unaware of the answers, do not fret. Let us take a look at some interesting facts about batteries and explore the answers to these questions together.
Batteries have been around for over 220 years. They were first invented in 1800 by an Italian scientist named Alessandro Volta. His experiment consisted of Copper and Zinc on two ends, while a cloth soaked in salted water was in the middle. He found out that a stable current was produced through the circuit when wires were attached to the ends.
About 59 years after this invention, the lead-acid batteries were invented, and this technology is used to date. To learn more about the history of batteries, you can check this out.
The evolution of batteries is astounding. The extent can be looked upon by seeing the invention of electric cars, which use rechargeable batteries. Batteries are so strong that they can power a big car for multiple hours, over vast distances! Electric vehicles are one of man’s most prized inventions.
Let us take a deep dive into how batteries work. How are these small contraptions able to power big things? How are they made?
Batteries consist of two metals, electrodes, and they are connected using a connecting fluid which is called an electrolyte. Soluble ions are transferred through this from one electrode to the other. The flow of electrons is what powers devices.
While there are many different types of batteries for various purposes, they can be adequately categorized under two major types. The two types of batteries are primary batteries and secondary batteries.
These batteries are generally referred to as non-rechargeable batteries. These are inexpensive and lightweight, which makes them very convenient.
They are used in certain lights, watches, toys, remotes, etc. Primary batteries are cylindrical and are mostly used in a domestic setup. That is not all, as and do come in other different sizes and shapes.
These are referred to as rechargeable batteries, as every time they are discharged, they can be electrically connected to a charger and be recharged. The first secondary battery was invented in 1859 by Gaston Plante! The world’s largest rechargeable battery weighs 1300 tons.
There are two types of secondary batteries. The first type is the one that keeps a reservoir of power inside it and simultaneously supplies energy while also is connected to a charger. These types of batteries are found in a UPS.
The second type is the one that is used as a primary battery, but once its power ends, it is recharged. The recharge process is a reversal of a chemical reaction.
We have all seen the infamous videos on social media of people charging their phones from fruit. Is it a hoax?
The fruit, mostly citric fruit, acts as the acidic juice that is needed for the circuit, while the electrodes are made up of copper and zinc. When these are connected to an electric appliance, the circuit is completed. Hence, it can be said that batteries can be made out of naturally occurring materials. However, these are not as strong, efficient, or reliable as the other ones.
Like every other thing we use, batteries, too, need care regardless of their type. The most common batteries we use are in our cars, mobiles, laptops, and the regular circular batteries installed in TV remotes and clocks. Let’s look at how they can be made to last longer and work at their best potential!
There are several ways car batteries’ longevity can be ensured. The first step in care is to do regular check-ins. One thorough look over a span of a few months is good enough. The next step is to clean up your battery with specific cleaners. The corrosion on your cables and the battery should be visible; make sure to get that off. Next, check the level of electrolyte. If it is low, fill the specified liquid in. Doing so should save you from situations where your car battery might give up on you! Click here for information on car battery chargers.
Much of our lives circle around our laptops. Some people’s entire bread and butter are at the disposal of a laptop, which is all the more reason to take care of their batteries!
Cool your batteries down. Make sure you are not overheating your laptop or using it in very warm places.
Please do not leave your charger plugged in once it is fully charged. Contrary to popular belief, this does not help the battery and instead deteriorates its lifetime.
Laptop batteries can be charged through solar panels, too. How? Learn here.
Which one of us does not want a long-lasting mobile battery? It’s fair to say everyone would wish to have a mobile phone with a never-ending battery.
Make sure to use your mobile on power-saving mode and turn off the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use. Also, turn down your brightness. These little tips do wonders for batteries.
For more information on extending battery life, please go through our guide tips for extending your phone’s battery life. If you would like to explore the option of replacing your mobile’s battery, you can learn all about it from our guide tips for replacing a battery in a smartphone
Daily use non-rechargeable batteries
These do not need to be taken care of as they run out when they do. You should know how to choose the best, most long-lasting option. Learn about the longest-lasting battery options by clicking over here.
There are precautionary measures about these batteries that are extremely important.
These batteries can be poisonous and dangerous, so they need to be kept out of reach of children. Do not expose them to heat or keep them in close contact with metals as this might cause leaks. These need to be handled with care. A non-rechargeable battery should not be recharged. Such an attempt could lead to leakage and ruptures, which further cause other things.
Disposal of batteries
As batteries contain ions and electrolytes that can be harmful and reactive, it is advised to dispose of batteries safely via your area’s regular waste management system.
People are encouraged to opt for rechargeable batteries, as they do not need to be disposed of and do not add to the harmful waste. They are recycled. It is simply the greener way to go about it.
It turns out batteries are a lot more complex and interesting than we all thought them to be. Learning about how batteries work, how they came to be, what their types are, what they are used for, how to take care of them, and how to dispose of them can come in handy in the most unusual situations. Giving this blog a thorough read or visiting our site didyouknowscience.com for several other battery-related posts will enhance your knowledge on the topic.