Before you make any new purchase for your business—whether you’re investing in new batteries, equipment, or something else—it’s vital to understand how the product you’re purchasing works. You should also know how to make the product work for you.
This article will explain how batteries work and offer some top tips for getting the most out of your purchase. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll know exactly how to get the most bang for your buck when selecting, using, and storing batteries.
What is a Battery?
Before we discuss how batteries work, let’s define what they are.
In short, batteries convert chemical energy into electrical energy and vice versa, allowing electric devices to operate without requiring another power source. Some batteries are single-use, but others can be used repeatedly, like your standard AA rechargeable batteries.
The first battery was invented in 1800 by Alessandro Volta thanks to his efforts to produce a continuous current of electricity.
There are four main battery types available on today’s market:
- Alkaline batteries, for small portable devices like clocks
- Nickel batteries, for high-drain devices like digital cameras
- Lead batteries, for industrial, rail, automotive, and aerospace applications
- Lithium batteries, for energy storage and powering mobile or autonomous devices
How do battery technologies work?
Across residential, commercial, and industrial spaces, batteries are a regular part of our daily lives. From our smartphones, laptops, cars, and machinery—these versatile tools play a significant role in how we live and work.
Essentially, a battery is a device that stores electricity in chemical form. But how does this process work?
Here’s a quick rundown.
For a battery to produce power, a chemical reaction takes place between two pieces of metal within the battery, called electrodes. This reaction releases electrons, which are then used by an external circuit to power your device. This process is reversed when you charge a battery-powered device, such as a smartphone.
How to protect your batteries from damage and extend their life
The life of a battery depends on its use. These are some best practices to extend the life of your battery.
- Make sure not to overcharge your battery. Charging beyond 100% may decrease its lifespan.
- Keep your batteries in cool, dry places, especially when storing them for prolonged periods.
- Do not leave batteries unattended near heat sources or direct sunlight—this can cause overheating, shortening their lifespan.
Tips for buying batteries
When shopping for batteries for your business, consider their unique characteristics and how they might apply to your specific industry. In particular, check for:
- Voltage and capacity
- Operating temperature
- Shape and size
- Intended or indicated use
For example, if your employees typically work in harsh weather conditions—such as extreme heat and cold—invest in batteries that can withstand these temperatures. Nickel or NiMH batteries are well-known for their ability to deal with extreme temperatures.
Now you understand how batteries work and how to get the most out of them! This knowledge will help you optimize operations within your business, ensuring your devices receive a continuous, reliable stream of energy.