How Does a Battery Work?

How Does a Battery Work?

Batteries are a part of our daily lives. The majority of our day requires power and a lot of what we use every day is supported by different kinds of batteries. We have the AA and AAA batteries for smaller devices like toys and remote controls. Our gadgets including mobile phones and laptops are backed by lithium-ion batteries. Some household equipment uses button-cell batteries instead, such as clocks and digital scales. Going away on a camping trip? You have lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries to choose from.

Ever wonder how these things work? Simply put, batteries mainly serve as storage for energy. When you connect them to a circuit, these batteries produce electricity to help power your appliances and devices. Every battery is made up of two ends - one positive terminal (cathode) and one negative terminal (anode). When you connect these terminals with a wire, a circuit is formed, causing electrons to travel through the wire and produce electricity. In the case of these power sources, the reaction only takes place when there is a flow of electrons. This is why batteries can be stored for a long time and still be used because the chemical process that makes them work doesn't start until the electrons begin to flow from the negative to the positive terminals via a circuit.

Different types of batteries also have varying chemical compositions. Below are some of the most common types used in household, commercial, and recreational applications.

Alkaline batteries: This battery's negative electrode is zinc while the positive electrode is manganese oxide. Alkaline batteries are known for having a high density and longer shelf life, allowing them to remain in storage for long without losing their capacity.

Zinc or standard carbon battery: These are your standard AA and dry cell batteries. Their electrodes are comprised of zinc and carbon, while the electrolyte is made up of a paste of acidic materials.

Lead-acid battery: Ah, the original camping battery packs. They are more suited for use in automobiles, though. These batteries use lead and lead-oxide as electrodes with a strong acid as electrolytes.

Lithium-ion battery: Li-ion batteries are commonly found in electronic devices such as tablets and mobile phones. They consist of four main components: cathode, anode, electrolyte, and separator. Each of these is essential for your battery to start functioning.

LiFePO4 batteries: LiFEPO4 batteries are perhaps the most modern out of all battery types. Using lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material and a graphitic carbon electrode as the anode, these batteries are built to be incombustible, making them ideal as caravan batteries or house batteries.

 VoltX 48V 100Ah Lithium Ion Premium LiFePO4 Battery - with Built-in Power Voltage Display

How Do LiFePO4 Batteries Work?

Let's look more into LiFePO4 batteries. These function as reversible electrochemical storage systems, meaning they convert electricity into charged chemical particles in a reversible motion. What does this mean? When charging a LiFePO4 battery, the cathode releases lithium ions and transfers them to the anode through the electrolyte. In a fully charged battery, the anode holds more lithium than the cathode. When it comes to the discharging process, the opposite process occurs. When a load is applied to the battery, the lithium ions flow from the anode to the cathode, which ends up with the anode holding more lithium. LiFePO4 batteries are also made up of prismatic cells and are backed with an integrated battery management system that ensures optimal performance. This BMS is responsible for automatic protection against common battery issues as well, including overcharging, over-discharging, and short circuits.

If you're interested in purchasing LiFePO4 batteries, Outbax has some of the best ones for you. We have a variety of LiFePO4 packs to choose from including slimline lithium batteries and even deep-cycle batteries. Our high-quality battery packs are priced at an affordable range too, perfect for those who are after wallet-friendly portable power sources.

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