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Types of Batteries: How to choose Battery types for your Use

Aug 17, 2022

Introduction to Types of Batteries

Whether or not you’re an engineering student, you must have seen various differentiated battery types in your daily lives. Batteries are frequently used in alarm clocks, wall clocks, and various other gadgets that require compact disposable batteries, as well as in automobiles, electric vehicles, and motorcycles that use rather big rechargeable batteries.

Batteries have evolved as a major form of energy. Even before, they played a significant role in our life by running various portable and smart devices, including electronic products, Cd players, pocket games, recording devices, etc.


However, with the advancement of high-tech tablets, smartphones, laptops, renewable power, and electrical vehicles, research and development on strong batteries that could last longer and give the required energy have reached their pinnacle!

Did You Know


In actuality, three scientists, M. Stanley Whittingham, John B. Goodenough, and Akira Yoshino—were presented with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 for their work on lithium-ion batteries.

What is a Battery?

A battery comprises one or more cells that undergo chemical processes to generate the flow of electrons inside a circuit. Battery technology is undergoing a great deal of research, and as a byproduct, ground-breaking technologies are increasingly being utilized and recognized worldwide. The requirement for batteries was felt after the creation of electrical energy. Even if a sizable quantity of energy was being produced, it was still crucial to store the electrical energy so that it could be used when production was low or when it was necessary to power freestanding devices that couldn’t be kept permanently connected to the mains supply. It should be emphasized that only direct current (DC) may be stored in batteries; alternating current (AC) cannot.


Typically, battery cells consist of three basic parts;

  • Anode (Negative Electrode)
  • Cathode (Positive Electrode)
  • Electrolytes

The anode is the negative electrode (reducing or fuel electrode). It releases electrons to the outside circuit and oxidizes due to the electrochemical process.


While the cathode is the positive electrode (oxidizing electrode), it absorbs electrons from the everlasting circuit and reverses the electrochemical process. Thus, the electrochemical oxidation-reduction reaction is responsible for the energy conversion in batteries.

The electrolyte is a cell’s third essential element. Between the two electrodes, a liquid called an electrolyte facilitates the exchange of charge in the form of ions. As a result, the electrolyte is occasionally called an ionic conductor. The electrolyte is not a good conductor of electricity, which is a crucial aspect to understand in this situation, although it has good ionic conductivity.


Did You Know

We can create a wide range of battery chemistries that allow us to create different sorts of battery cells by altering the configuration and material used to construct the anode, cathode, and electrolyte.


Different Types of Batteries

Broadly, all batteries and electrochemical cells can be categorized into two types:

  • Primary (non-rechargeable)
  • Secondary (rechargeable)

These two are the most common battery types, which can be further divided into several categories. Here primary batteries are non-rechargeable, meaning we cannot use them more than once. In contrast, secondary batteries are rechargeable because they can be electrically recharged and used multiple times. Here are the two different types of batteries:


Primary Battery

Primary batteries can be defined as the batteries which cannot be recharged once used. Electrochemical cells used in primary batteries have irreversible electrochemical reactions.

Primary batteries are available in various configurations, including coin cells and AA batteries. They are frequently employed in stand-alone software products where charging is nearly impossible. Battery-operated electronics and armed services gadgets are two examples of this. Rechargeable batteries will not be viable since service members will not be thinking about charging batteries. Primary batteries always seem to have a higher energy density, and the mechanisms in which they are utilized are always built to consume little power. Other gadgets that use primary batteries are pacemakers, animal sensors, smart watches, remote controllers, and kid’s toys.

Alkaline batteries are the most widely used kind of primary battery. Though fully discharged, these do not break even and have a higher energy density. They are also economical and environmentally safe. They don’t need to follow UN Transportation and other laws and can be retained for several years with a reasonable safety background. Only gadgets with modest current requirements, such as portable entertainment devices, remote controls, and torches, can use alkaline batteries due to their low load current.

Secondary Battery

Secondary batteries are electrochemical batteries that can change their chemical processes by delivering a specific voltage to them in the other direction. Secondary cells, often known as rechargeable batteries, differ from primary cells because they can recharge after the battery’s energy has been expended. 

Secondary batteries are mainly used in high voltage applications and other situations where single-charge batteries may be too expensive or impractical. High capacity secondary batteries are used to power various electric vehicles and other high voltage systems like load balancing in electricity generation. The small capacity secondary batteries are used to power small electronic equipment like cellular phones, other appliances, and gadgets. They can also use them to provide electricity independently of inverters. Rechargeable batteries always have a far greater overall cost than primary batteries, but they are the most economical option in the long run.

According to the chemical composition, secondary batteries can  be divided into several distinct categories. These chemical compositions of batteries affect a number of their characteristics, price, energy densities, shelf life, cycle life, etc.

Some of the commonly used types of rechargeable batteries are listed below.

  • Lithium-ion (Li-ion)
  • Lead-Acid
  • Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd)
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

How to choose the appropriate battery type for your use?

Power is one of the main issues holding back technological revolutions like the Internet of Things. Battery life directly impacts the effective implementation of devices that need a lot of power. However, several power management approaches produce a battery that can last longer. Thus the user must choose the most compatible battery to get the desired result.

When choosing the best battery type for the task, the following are some things to consider.

Energy Density: It can be defined as the total amount of energy retained per unit of mass or volume. The energy density of a battery specifies how long the device operates without needing to be recharged.

Power Density: It is the maximum energy discharge rate per unit of mass or volume. Low power: iPod and laptop. High power: Machine tools and equipment.

Safety: It’s essential to consider the device’s temperature you’re progressing to operate on. Some battery parts will break down and may experience exothermic reactions at high temperatures. Most of the batteries do not operate effectively in high temperatures.

Life cycle durability: To ensure the prolonged battery life desired by most electronic appliances, a battery’s power, and energy density must remain stable with frequent charging and discharging cycles.

Cost: Any technical choices you make must take into account costs. It is crucial that the price of the battery you choose is reasonable given its performance and won’t significantly raise the operation’s overall cost.

Regular Household Battery Sizes

In addition to various battery types, there also comes several battery sizes. Users can avoid the hassle by understanding the distinction between AA, AAA, C, and D batteries before selecting a particular option.


AA batteries, often known as double-A batteries, are the most widely used battery size for a remarkable variety of gadgets and uses. A battery has a 1.5V output and is tiny and cylindrical. 


The second most frequently used battery in home appliances is sometimes called a triple-A battery. They are smaller than AA batteries but have a comparable cylindrical shape, making them a popular option for remote controls, thermometers, calculators, and toy cars.


C batteries are a larger, more powerful variety of batteries. They are often used in radio transmitters, flashlights, and other equipment that need safe, dependable power. They are bigger than AA batteries.


D batteries are bigger than C batteries but remain cylindrical and are made for gadgets that need power for a long time.


Although we may not notice it, batteries play various significant roles in our daily life. They are effective, trustworthy, and cost-effective electricity sources. Batteries frequently supply the initial power from automotive engines to medical operations to telecommunication services. They now serve as a significant energy source.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the various applications of different types of batteries?

Small sealed batteries have been increasingly popular in consumer applications during the past few decades. Many different appliances employ small form category primary or rechargeable batteries. Following are a few of them.

1. Portable electronic gadgets: Cameras, digital watches, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, video recorders, calculators, and testing equipment (Multimeters).
2. Entertainment gadgets: Radios, Music players, Audio equipment, wireless remote controllers, toys, video games, and keyboards.
Household gadgets: Electric toothbrushes, hair shavers and trimmers, diagnostic devices, assistive devices, pacemakers, torches, headlamps, UPS units, and portable power tools (screwdriver, drills).

How should I pick a battery type?

Performance and cost are the only factors that should be considered when choosing a battery for a specific operation. However, the following are some deciding elements in selecting the best battery for the operation.

1. Energy or Power
2. Primary or Secondary
3. Energy Efficiency and Recharge Rate
4. Shelf Life
5. Battery Temperature
6. Battery Life

How is a battery operated?

A battery is a grouping of one or more cells that serves as a source of electrical energy for electrical equipment. Within a circuit, electrons move due to chemical processes. The retained chemical energy is then transformed into direct current electric energy.

Types of Batteries


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