Batteries play a huge role by being an immediate source of electric power. Mostly in automobile operations and in-home appliances such as bulb lights and accessories. Luckily enough, they are rechargeable which means they can be used over and over again.
First off, what is a battery? Simply, it is a device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. To achieve this it is made of more than one cell. Each cell is made of the anode (positive terminal) and the cathode (negative terminal) whereby the medium of the cells is the electrolyte (for secondary cells).
Most batteries are made of 6 cells, each cell produce a voltage of 2 volts (total voltage output=12 V)
There are two major types of secondary cells used; alkaline battery and lead-acid battery.
1. Alkaline battery:
As the name suggests this is a battery that uses an electrolyte of an alkaline solution, mainly of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.
The most common type is nickel-iron accumulator.
- Commonly known as lead-acid accumulators.
- The electrolyte used is dilute sulphuric (IV) acid.
- Lead metal is the major component in that, lead and lead oxide make up the negative and positive terminals respectively.
Online Reviewers say that the advantages of alkaline over lead-acid are more valuable than the disadvantages. these are the advantages:
- A large amount of power can be drawn from them, this is opposite to lead-acid.
- Take a longer time to discharge.
- They are light, thus can be moved to and fro easily.
- Have a high resistance to temperature. They are not vulnerable to damage caused by a high amount of heat.
- Require little care to maintain - the level of the electrolyte does not need to be corrected.
- They last for a longer time.
- Offers high safety. Chemicals present in an alkaline battery are not harmful, they only cause mild effects like irritation. This is opposite to a lead-acid battery which has very poisonous lead metal and a corrosive acid. This means if an alkaline battery explodes it will cause minimal damage, while a lead acid will cause massive damage.
Before you make your verdict on which type to buy, as well consider the disadvantages.
Limitations of Alkaline Battery
- They are very expensive.
- The total voltage produced per cell is relatively low. For this reason, a large amount of power can be drawn for a very short time.
- The internal resistance is very high. A situation whereby the power produced within a cell its flow is highly opposed.
- Has the potential of leaking. Leakage can possibly lead to loss of the electrolyte that in turn can corrode the terminals. As a result, the battery performance may be lower due to the loss of the electrolyte.
Are Alkaline Batteries Maintenance Free?
Maintenance-free doesn’t mean zero attention. Free maintenance simply means you will not be required to refill the level of the electrolyte at all. Maintenance-free alkaline batteries come with a permanent seal. The seal ensures electrolyte is contained within the cells for a very long time.
For this reason, alkaline batteries are termed maintenance-free (MF). Except refilling the level of electrolyte, maintenance alkaline battery still require some care.
Care and Maintenance of Alkaline Batteries
- You should not place it directly on the ground. When it’s placed on the ground, charges flow to the ground. As a result, power is lost and therefore the battery becomes discharged. An insulator like a piece of wood should be used.
- Cleaning the terminals. The aim is to remove corrosion that has accumulated. The presence of corrosion increases resistance against power flow.
- Keep it in a ventilated place. As the battery gets charged, heat is generated. If the heat accumulates for long, the cells may be damaged. As well the resistance against power flow may increase.
- Avoid shorting. Shorting is contacting the positive and the negative terminals. Whenever the terminals are contacted, a high amount of power flows instantly. Because the power has no path of flow it builds up and generates heat. The process may make overheat the cells or make the battery explode.
It is really worth it to have such an exceptional device with non-limited benefits. As we have seen, the advantages of alkaline batteries outweigh their disadvantages. Ability to supply a high amount of power, low cost of maintenance, only a few of its pros to name. We can’t forget it is rechargeable, meaning you can use it over and over again. I am certain you need one for power backup options. Get one now and enjoy all the benefits.