The Battery

A battery is essentially two different materials, called plates or electrodes, which are able to conduct electricity. In the space seperating these plates is a material called an electrolyte.

One way to categorize batteries is by their types of electrolytes. Dry-cells, and wet-cells, are the most common types.

The dry-cell is the type of battery used in many flashlights, TV remote controls, wristwatches, small toys and even found on the computer motherboard. The term dry-cell comes from the type or consistancy of the electrolyte. In this case the electrolyte pasty chemical.

The wet-cell, as you may have figured out by now, uses a wet electrolyte, or liquid electrolyte. One of the most commonly used wet-cell batteries on the market today is the lead-acid battery. It is used in larger equipment including automobiles, motorcycles and forklifts. The acid in a lead-acid battery is sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is VERY dangerous and must be handled using proper safety precautions. In this book we will not be working with strong acids, including sulfuric acid, and the dangers associated with those chemicals.

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