Batteries are a vital part of modern-day technologies. Batteries recharge when in use and discharge energy when it is stored. They are built to last a lifetime, and have developed many advanced features that make them easy to work with and safer to use. Here are some of the basic batteries you may encounter, along with the basics of their construction and how to work them.
NiCad: NiCad batteries are the earliest type of battery. The NiCad battery is made with Nickel alloys. The NiCad is one of the cheapest and best-performing types of batteries. This is the type of battery most people start out with because it is easy to acquire and there is not a large price discrepancy between a high and low capacity battery.
Lead Acid: Lead acid batteries are also called the deep cycle batteries. These are the ones with the best performance and can be purchased for less than $200. The main component of this type of battery is lead sulfate, and the electrolyte is water. Because there is no chemical reaction when the battery is charged, this type of battery will never experience “memory” and will retain its charge and performance over multiple charges. It is often combined with the NiCad in a parallel circuit design.
Phosphate: Phosphate based batteries are often combined with the NiCad to prevent chemical reactions. When the chemical reactions occur, the phosphates stop the flow of electrons going to the anode. The flow of electrons going to the anode continues as long as the phosphates have not formed a hard crystal structure on the surface of the cell.
Nickel Cadmium: A popular choice for high performance batteries, nickel cadmium (NCC) batteries use the cadmium ion to prevent chemical reactions. The main difference between this type of battery and the others is that there is no accumulation of poisonous substances at the cathode. Instead, the cadmium ions form a smooth film across the surface of the cell, causing little to no damage to the battery. This is very different than the other types of batteries.
Nickel Metal Hydrogen: Also known by the name tetro-potassium, this type of battery works in a different way than other batteries. Like the NCC, there is no accumulation of dangerous substances at the cathode. Instead, the hydrogen bonding with the sulfuric anhydride creates a reaction that causes an electrical current. As long as the current is stable, the hydrogen will continually be bonded with the sulfur. The battery is then able to maintain its charge and performance over a wide range of temperatures and conditions.