[[TitleIndustry]]

History of battery development: the past and present of the battery

Date:Apr 08, 2019

Batteries are so ubiquitous in our lives today that they are almost ignored. However, they are a remarkable invention in the long and legendary history, and they have the same wonderful future.

A battery is actually a device that converts stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Basically, the battery is a small chemical reactor that, as the chemical reaction produces high-energy electrons, is always ready to flow to external equipment.

The battery has been with us for quite a long time. In 1938, the director of the Baghdad Museum discovered a battery in the basement of the museum, now known as the "Baghdad battery." According to analysis, its origin and time can be traced back to Mesopotamia in 250 BC.

There is a lot of controversy about this earliest battery academic community, and its specific uses include electroplating, pain relief or a religious punishment.

American scientist and inventor Benjamin Franklin first used the term "battery" when conducting a power experiment with a series of capacitors in 1749.

The first true battery was invented by the Italian physicist Alessandro Volt in 1800. Volt stacks round copper and zinc sheets, each pair of copper and zinc sheets separated by a salt water-soaked burlap piece.

At this time, as long as two metal wires are used to contact any two metals, a continuous and stable current is generated. Each unit (a set of copper, zinc and brine) produced 0.76 volts. Stacking up a group of cells will get twice the amount of electricity.

One of the oldest batteries was the lead-acid battery invented in 1859, which is still used today for most internal combustion engines. It is the oldest example of a rechargeable battery.

Today's batteries range in size from large megawatts that are used to power energy in solar power plants or substations to ensure that the entire village or island is powered, to small batteries used in electronic watches.

Batteries are based on different chemicals that produce battery voltages typically in the 1-3.6V range. The series battery increases the voltage and the parallel increases the current. This principle is used to achieve the required current and voltage up to megawatt size.

How does the battery work?

When the battery is discharged, internal substances react chemically to generate electric energy. An example of a chemical reaction that produces electrons is that iron oxide produces rust. Iron reacts with oxygen, and electrons and oxygen are transferred to form iron oxide.

The standard manufacturing of batteries is to use two metals or compounds with different electrode potentials and separate them with a porous insulator. The electrode potential is the energy stored in atoms and compounds that is transferred when there is an external device connection available.

Conductive fluids such as brine and aqueous solutions for transporting soluble ions flow from one metal to another in a chemical reaction, known as an electrolyte.

A metal or compound that loses electrons during discharge is called a cathode, and a metal or compound that receives electrons is called an anode. The flow of electrons from the anode to the cathode through external connections is what we use to run our electronics.

Batteries are based on different chemicals that produce battery voltages typically in the 1-3.6V range. The series battery increases the voltage and the parallel increases the current. This principle is used to achieve the required current and voltage up to megawatt size.

How does the battery work?

When the battery is discharged, internal substances react chemically to generate electric energy. An example of a chemical reaction that produces electrons is that iron oxide produces rust. Iron reacts with oxygen, and electrons and oxygen are transferred to form iron oxide.

The standard manufacturing of batteries is to use two metals or compounds with different electrode potentials and separate them with a porous insulator. The electrode potential is the energy stored in atoms and compounds that is transferred when there is an external device connection available.

Conductive fluids such as brine and aqueous solutions for transporting soluble ions flow from one metal to another in a chemical reaction, known as an electrolyte.

A metal or compound that loses electrons during discharge is called a cathode, and a metal or compound that receives electrons is called an anode. The flow of electrons from the anode to the cathode through external connections is what we use to run our electronics.

History of battery development: Let us know you again. The past and present of the battery

Primary battery and rechargeable battery

The chemical reaction process that produces electron flow is irreversible and is called a primary battery. The battery capacity was exhausted after one discharge of the reactants.

The most common primary battery is a carbon zinc battery. When the electrolyte is alkali, the battery lasts longer. We buy alkaline batteries from the supermarket.

The biggest challenge in dealing with these primary batteries is to find ways to reuse them. When the number of batteries used is increasing and it is often uneconomical to replace them, it becomes more important to deal with them.

The earliest rechargeable battery, nickel-cadmium battery (NiCd), also uses alkali as the electrolyte. In 1989, in addition to nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH), it lasted longer than nickel-cadmium batteries.

These types of batteries are very sensitive to overcharging and overheating during charging, so the charging rate is controlled below the maximum charging rate.

Complex controllers speed up the charging process and do not take hours to charge.

For most simple chargers, the charging process takes a night.

Portable applications, such as cell phones and laptops, have been searching for charging devices that are large and small. Although this increases the risk of severe discharge, it can be controlled by a current limiter in the cell phone battery.

First leap: lithium battery

New technologies often require more compact, high-capacity, and more secure rechargeable batteries.

In 1980, American physicist John Goodenough invented a new type of lithium battery. Lithium (Li) can migrate from one electrode to another through a battery to form a Li+ ion form.

Lithium is one of the lightest chemical elements in the periodic table and has the largest electrochemical potential, so this combination produces the largest voltage in the most compact and lightest volume.

This is the basis of a lithium-ion battery. In this new battery, a transition metal such as cobalt, nickel, manganese, iron and oxygen is combined to form a cathode. When a voltage is generated by charging, positively charged lithium ions migrate from the cathode to the graphite anode to become metallic lithium.

History of battery development: Let us know you again. The past and present of the battery

Since lithium has a strong electrochemical driving force for oxidation, if conditions permit, it will return to the cathode to become a lithium ion form again and release electrons back to the cobalt ion state. The electron motion in this circuit can be used as a current.

The second leap: nanotechnology

Due to the presence of transition metals in lithium-ion batteries, the battery has a higher capacitance and is therefore more reactive and prone to thermal runaway.

In the example of lithium-cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) batteries manufactured by Sony in the 1990s, many fires occurred. Making the battery cathode with nanomaterials makes the battery more active and may cause an accident.

But in the 1990s, Goodenough once again triggered a leap in battery technology by introducing lithium iron phosphate for the production of stable lithium-ion cathodes.

The cathode is thermally stable. This also means that lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) or lithium iron phosphate (LFP) materials can now be safely used in large battery applications and can be quickly charged and discharged.

These new batteries have many new applications, from power tools to hybrid electric vehicles. Perhaps the most important application will be the electricity storage of domestic households.

  electric car

The leader in the manufacture of this new battery format for the car is Tesla Electric Motors, which plans to build a "Giga-plants" for battery production.

The lithium battery pack of the Tesla Model S has a capacity of up to 85 kWh.

This is enough for a domestic household to use electricity, which is why there are so many speculations about the products that Tesla founder Elon Musk recently announced.

The modular battery design may create interchangeability in battery mode for both automotive and home applications without the need to redesign and manufacture.

Perhaps we can witness the next generation of technological changes in energy production and storage by the humble battery.


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