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Battery Voltage in Depth

There are several types of batteries, and most have different voltages, ranging from 1.5 volt AA batteries to 12 volt car batteries. However, many people do not know the exact meaning of the term “voltage”. The voltage of the battery is a fundamental characteristic, which is determined by the chemical reactions in the battery, the concentrations of the components of the battery and the polarization of the battery. In this article, we will talk about the battery voltage and its history.


What Does the Battery Voltage Mean?

The term “battery voltage” refers to the difference in electrical potential between the positive and negative terminals of a battery. A large potential difference results in a greater voltage. Electric potential is the difference in charge between two points – in this case, the two poles of a battery. One is positively charged, the other is negatively charged. A negative charge simply means that there is an excess of negatively charged particles, or electrons, on the terminal, while a positively charged terminal is devoid of these electrons.

If you want to know more about battery efficiency and its types, you can read the article Understanding of Rechargeable Batteries

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Battery Voltage History

The unit of electrical potential, the volt, is named in honor of Alessandro Volta, a physicist to whom we owe the invention of the first electrochemical cell in 1800. His cell consisted of a zinc electrode and a copper electrode immersed in an electrolytic solution of salt and water. He also popularized the electrophone, a machine capable of producing large amounts of static charge. He did not invent it, although it is often credited to him. Volta was made a count by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1810, and one of the SI units of electricity, the volt, was named after him in 1881.

Battery Voltage History

Misconceptions About Battery Voltage

Since this is a difference in electric potential rather than a quantity of electric current, high voltage is not necessarily dangerous, while high current can be. When talking about electricity, we often use the analogy of a garden hose. In this analogy, the voltage is compared to the pressure difference of water: a highpressure difference results in a faster flow of electrons. Current, measured in amperes, describes the speed at which a given volume of electrons passes a certain point in the circuit. Most batteries available in the market can have high voltages, but the amperage available depends on the circuit in which the battery is used, not the battery itself.

Battery Voltage in Depth
Battery application in cordless drill

Battery Uses

With the advancement of battery technology, battery operated devices have become smaller and more powerful. The widespread use of lithium-ion batteries, for example, has allowed cellphones to become exponentially smaller than their predecessors, mainly due to their low power-to-weight ratio. In these batteries, a lithium ion moves in one direction between the anode and the cathode during discharge, and in the other direction during recharging.

Battery Discharge and Voltage

When a battery is completely charged, it gives a little greater voltage, and when the battery is empty, it delivers a slightly lower voltage. When we talk about a 12-volt, 36-volt, or 24-volt battery, we’re referring to the voltage of the devices to which it can provide power. When a 12-volt lead-acid battery is completely charged, the voltage is usually around 12.7V. If the lead-acid battery is only 20% charged, it will only provide 11.6V.

A completely charged lithium battery produces 13.6 volts, however at 20% charge, it produces 12.9 volts. Rebelcell created the AV series since most trolling engines and other equipment were built for use with lead-acid batteries (AV stands for Adjusted Voltage). The voltage of the AV line batteries is lower than that of conventional lithium batteries. You won’t have to worry about your engine catching fire.

Voltage Variation During Discharge

Due to the effects of polarization, the current voltage of the battery may differ considerably from the equilibrium or open circuit voltage.

💠 One of the main features of battery technology is the way the battery voltage varies under discharge conditions, both due to the effects of equilibrium concentration and polarization.

Battery in Cordless Drill
Battery in Cordless Drill

FAQ

What does the voltage of a battery depend on?
The voltage of the battery depends on the chemistry of the cell on which it is based.

How does voltage affect battery life?
The higher voltage means that the battery can maintain the minimum voltage required to run the computer for a longer period of time, which extends the life of the battery.

What increases the voltage of a battery?
Adding cells in a chain increases the voltage; the capacity remains the same.

What voltage should lead acid batteries be?
Most flooded lead acid batteries have a recommended float voltage of 2.25V to 2.27V per cell.

How many volts is a 12-volt battery fully charged?
A fully-charged 12-volt battery, allowed to “rest” for a few hours (or days) with no load being drawn from it (or charge going to it), will balance out its charge and measure about 12.6 volts between terminals.

Conclusion 📜

Battery voltage varies from a few hundredths of a volts to several hundred volts, depending on the size of the battery and the materials it is made of. They are a great way to power various forms of devices, regardless of the voltage requirements of those devices.

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Anton Abramov

I am a 29-year-old Russian boy living in Tajikistan. I studied IT at university of Moscow. I have been working with my father's tools since I was a teenager. I fix tools, repair them and I always try to find out how they work. So, I would call myself a geek in power tools. On my journey to becoming a pro, I will try to share the knowledge I've gained through years of experience with you.

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