A rechargeable battery is an energy storage device that can be charged again after being discharged. Rechargeable batteries allow for multiple usages from a cell, reducing waste and generally providing a better long term investment in terms of dollars spent for usable device time. A rechargeable battery is generally a more sensible replacement to one-time use batteries, which generate current through a chemical reaction.
While rechargeable batteries offer better long term cost and reduce waste, they do have a few cons. Many types of rechargeable cells created for consumer devices, including AA and AAA, C and D batteries, produce a lower voltage of batteries. Rechargeable batteries are used in many applications such as cars and all manner of consumer electronics.
Types of Rechargeable Battery
There are two main categories of batteries: Primary Batteries and Secondary Batteries.
1. Primary Batteries
These are also called as single use batteries, because they have to be discarded after they run empty as they cannot be recharged for reuse. Primary batteries can produce current immediately on assembly. These are most commonly used in portable devices that have low current drain such as in alarm and communication circuits where other electric power is only intermittently available. Battery manufacturers recommend against attempting to recharge primary cells.
Primary Batteries include:
1.Carbon Zinc: The lowest cost primary cell is the zinc-acidic manganese dioxide battery. They provide only very low power, but have a good shelf life and are well suited for clocks and remote controls.
2.Alkaline: The most commonly used primary cell is the zinc alkaline manganese dioxide battery. They provide more power-per-use than carbon zinc and secondary batteries and have an excellent shelf life.
3.Lithium Cells: Lithium batteries offer better performance than conventional aqueous electrolyte battery systems. Their shelf-life can be above 10-years and they will work at very low temperatures. Lithium batteries are mainly used in small formats because bigger sizes of lithium batteries are a not safe in consumer applications. Bigger ones are only used in military applications.
4.Silver Oxide Cells: These batteries have a very high energy density, but are expensive due to the high cost of silver. Therefore, sliver oxide cells are mainly used in button cell format for watches and calculators.
5.Zinc Air Cells: These batteries have become the standard for hearing aid batteries. They have a very long run time, because they store only the anode material inside the cell and use the oxygen from the ambient air as cathode.
2. Secondary Batteries
These are mostly called rechargeable batteries because they can be recharged for reuse. They are usually assembled with active materials in the discharged state. Rechargeable batteries can be recharged by applying electric current, which reverses the chemical reactions that occur during its use. Devices to supply the appropriate current are called chargers.
Secondary batteries include:
1.Rechargeable Alkaline: Secondary alkaline batteries, the lowest cost rechargeable cells, have a long shelf life and are useful for moderate-power applications. Their cycle life is less than most other secondary batteries. They have no toxic ingredients and can be disposed in regular landfills.
2.Nickel-Cadmium: Secondary Ni-Cd batteries are rugged and reliable. They exhibit a high power capability, a wide operating temperature range, and a long cycle life, but have a low run time per charge.
3.Nickel-Metal Hydride: Secondary Ni-MH batteries are an extension of the old fashioned Ni-Cd batteries. Ni-MH batteries provide the same voltage as Ni-Cd batteries. They exhibit good high current capability, and have a long cycle life.
4.Lithium Ion: Secondary Li-Ion batteries exhibit good high current capability, and have a long cycle life. Overheating will damage the batteries and could cause a fire. Li-Ion cells contain no toxic cadmium.
5.Lead-Acid: Secondary lead-acid batteries are the most popular rechargeable batteries. Both the battery product and the manufacturing process are proven, economical, and reliable. However, because they are heavy, Lead-Acid batteries are not being used in portable, consumer applications.
Benefits of Rechargeable Battery
1.Eco-friendly: Rechargeable batteries are disposable, because using a battery charger and rechargeable cells can save hundreds of dead batteries from making their way into the landfills. It also saves quite a lot of money.
2.Saving Money: Battery charger and various rechargeable batteries will be more expensive than just purchasing a pack of disposables. However, in long term use, rechargeable system save us plenty of money.
3.Improved Performance: Rechargeable battery system better the performance of electronics and battery-powered devices. Rechargeable batteries consistently deliver 1.2 volts of energy the entire time they are in use. This delivers an optimal performance from both the batteries and therefore also the device being used.
4.Convenience Factor: Rechargeable batteries and chargers are available in a wide variety of convenient designs, offering users durability and reliability. Chargers are also available that have the ability to recharge batteries in a number of ways, such as USB ports, wall outlets etc.
5. Time Efficient: Rechargeable batteries can be a great time saver in many scenarios. Never again will waste time in the battery aisle trying to accommodate the needs of devices, or miss photo opportunities at a special event or occasion because the battery has died.
Drawbacks of Rechargeable Battery
1.Do not like to be completely discharged
2.High initial cost
3.Usually need two sets to cycle the batteries
4.Take time to recharge
5.Do not show how much charge is remaining
6.Require a great deal of management
7.Require electricity and a charger to recharge
8.Very little compatibility between chargers and types of battery
9.They can blow up and cause fires