A Very Brief Guide to The Most Significant Battery Types

battery type

Batteries are extremely commonplace in modern life. They power our mobile devices, laptops, and even our cars. Although they are important in most modern devices, batteries have a long history. The ‘Baghdad battery’ is the oldest supposed battery ever discovered in modern-day Iraq. It is a very basic chemical battery that produces around 1.1 volts – not bad for something created in around 250 BC. Alessandro Volta invented the first ‘modern’ battery in 1800 – the voltaic pile. It was created by stacking copper and zinc discs together with brine-soaked cardboard.

Batteries have evolved and diversified a great deal over the years. Here is a very brief guide to the most significant kinds of batteries used today and how they came to be.


Lithium-ion battery types currently dominate the consumer market. They have a high energy density and slow discharge rate and can operate in hot or cold environments. Your mobile phone undoubtedly contains a lithium-ion battery. Asia dominates the Li-Ion battery production market, although European companies like Avocet Battery Materials have started production competitively. The development of lithium-ion batteries has truly changed the world. The three scientists that were responsible for the invention of these batteries were awarded the Nobel Prize for Science in 2019. In their citation, their invention has been said to be paving the way for a future without fossil fuel use.

Nickel-Metal Hydride

Nickel-metal hydride batteries are a relatively new invention – developed from batteries used in satellites. Nickel-oxyhydroxide is used as the positive electrode, while a metal alloy is used as the negative electrode in these batteries. These batteries have a high energy density. As they are charged, the metal absorbs the hydrogen to form a metal hydride.


Nickel-cadmium batteries have been around for a long time and are one of the most common kinds of cheap consumer batteries. The chances are high that the cheap batteries you buy at the store are of the nickel-cadmium type. Typical consumer-grade Ni-Cad batteries discharge a voltage of 1.2. They have a long shelf life due to a low discharge rate and can be relatively long-lasting. Ni-Cad batteries are also known for their low-temperature output. This makes them very useful in industrial applications where heat discharge can spell danger. Industrial grade nickel-cadmium batteries can be very large indeed.

The only downside of these batteries is known as the ‘memory effect. Every time a Ni-Cad battery is charged, its performance will get worse.


Lead-acid batteries have been around for over one hundred years, and they are still very popular. They are one of the most4 efficient battery types – giving 75 to 80 per cent electrical efficiency. This makes them perfect for use in industrial and vehicular applications.

Lead-acid batteries are also often the cheapest energy storage solution available. They come in a wide range of capacities and voltages. Lead-acid batteries are falling out of favour in the consumer market thanks to the increased use of lithium-ion cells in portable devices.

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