Imagine a world where everything that used electricity had to be plugged in. Flashlights, hearing aids, cell phones and other portable devices would be tethered to electrical outlets, rendering them awkward and cumbersome. Cars couldn’t be started with the simple turn of a key; a strenuous cranking would be required to get the pistons moving. Wires would be strung everywhere, creating a safety hazard and an unsightly mess. Thankfully, batteries such as power batteries, lithium batteries, provide us with a mobile source of power that makes many modern conveniences possible.
While there are many different types of batteries, the basic concept by which they function remains the same. When a device is connected to a battery, a reaction occurs that produces electrical energy. This is known as an electrochemical reaction. Italian physicist Count Alessandro Volta first discovered this process in 1799 when he created a simple battery from metal plates and brine-soaked cardboard or paper. Since then, scientists have greatly improved upon Volta’s original design to create batteries made from a variety of materials that come in a multitude of sizes.
As with most batteries you have an outer case made of metal. The use of metal is particularly important here because the battery is pressurized. This metal case has some kind of pressure-sensitive vent hole If the battery ever gets so hot that it risks exploding from over-pressure, this vent will release the extra pressure. The battery such as power batteries, lithium batteries, primary lithium batteries will probably be useless afterwards, so this is something to avoid. The vent is strictly there as a safety measure. So is the Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) switch, a device that is supposed to keep the battery from overheating.
This metal case holds a long spiral comprising three thin sheets pressed together. Inside the case these sheets are submerged in an organic solvent that acts as the electrolyte. Ether is one common solvent.
The separator is a very thin sheet of microperforated plastic. As the name implies, it separates the positive and negative electrodes while allowing ions to pass through.
The positive electrode is made of Lithium cobalt oxide, or LiCoO2. The negative electrode is made of carbon. When the battery charges, ions of lithium move through the electrolyte from the positive electrode to the negative electrode and attach to the carbon. During discharge, the lithium ions move back to the LiCoO2 from the carbon. li-ion batteries are more compact in small devices like cell phones.
Today, batteries are all around us. They power our wristwatches for months at a time. They keep our alarm clocks and telephones working, even if the electricity goes out. They run our smoke detectors, electric razors, power drills, mp3 players, thermostats — and the list goes on. If you’re reading this article on your laptop or smartphone, you may even be using batteries right now! However, because these portable power packs are so prevalent, it’s very easy to take them for granted. This article will give you a greater appreciation for batteries by exploring their history, as well as the basic parts, reactions and processes that make them work. So cut that cord and click through our informative guide to charge up your knowledge of batteries.
Tags: power battery, primary lithium battery, li-ion battery, portable power packs