We keep coming across with different types of batteries in our daily life but we seldom ponder upon what is the reason behind a general name which a specific battery carries. Dry Cell batteries are used more commonly in our daily lives and it is almost an integral part of every other home.
This article elaborates everything you need to know about the dry cell battery starting from the diagnosis of its name to the technical features, types, benefits and the uses of dry cell batteries along with a fair comparison of them with their wet cell counterparts.
What is a Dry Cell Battery
Dry cell batteries can be of different sizes and shapes but what is common in all dry cell batteries is its composition – The inside stuff. The electrolytes of the dry cell batteries which are primarily responsible for charging and discharging of the batteries are kept in a paste which is why they are called a dry cell battery as a whole.
The chemical reaction happening inside the battery causes the flow of electrons which produce current and supplies it to the electronic device with which it is connected.
Technical Composition of Dry Cell Battery
Dry Cell Batteries contain Ammonium Chloride solution inside them. At the Positive electrode or the carbon rod is the mixture of Manganese Dioxide and Carbon. This is placed inside the Zinc Can which naturally serves as the negative electrode of the battery. There is a free space between the Zinc Can and the Center of the dry cell battery.
A jelly like paste which is made up of Ammonium Chloride is placed in the space between the Zinc Can and the center of the battery. Chemicals other than Ammonium Chloride can also be used to make this paste such as Manganese Dioxide. It may vary according to the manufacturer and the battery type.
Now, to prevent the jelly from naturally drying up itself, the whole system is tightly covered with the pitch which prevents it from being in contact with the air. Now there is little more chemistry involved here. Zinc and Carbon Rod can also react with each other which may disturb the whole chemical balance of the dry cell battery.
This is avoided by placing a cardboard washer in between them which prevents them from being in chemical contact. The Zinc Can is also covered with an insulating material which further ensures the reaction to be prevented.
In this way, the whole dry cell battery is made up for the purpose of powering up an electronic device efficiently and for relatively longer time.
Working Principle of a Dry Cell Battery
As most of us probably know that there are two terminals in a battery – Positive and Negative. When the wire or the load is attached to the terminals of the battery, a chemical reaction takes place between the anode and that jelly like thick fluid (Ammonium Chloride). As a result, an average of 1.5 volts of current is generated which is fed to the attached electronic device for functioning it.
There is a collector of the charge in the middle of the battery which delivers the current flowing out of the battery to the external device which needs to be electrified. As a result this process of generating and delivering the electricity makes it possible for the electronic device to run.
If higher amount of the current is required by the device, then you can attach more batteries with each other because one anode performs as a single cell only. Attaching different cells together will generate higher amount of electricity overall. When this process takes place for a longer period, the load of the battery exhausts and the battery no more produces further current.
At this stage, it is advisable that the disposable or the primary batteries must be disposed of while the secondary or rechargeable batteries must be charged completely with the recommended adapter or the standard charger. A reverse chemical reaction happens in the battery and it starts to charge itself again to be ready to perform again.
The common emf of a dry cell battery is 1.5V.
Types of Dry Cell Batteries
There are generally two most common types of batteries namely:
Non Rechargeable Dry Cell Batteries
These non rechargeable batteries are also termed as primary batteries. They are non rechargeable and once exhausted, you need to throw them away and replace with new ones. The most popular non rechargeable batteries include:
- Alkaline batteries: They are more in demand these days as compared to others due to their differentiating factors of producing more current and the slower rate of corrosion.
- Lithium Batteries
- Silver Oxide Batteries
- Mercury Cell Batteries
Rechargeable Dry Cell Batteries
These are the secondary batteries with a superior advantage of being recharged again and again for longer use.
- Silver Batteries: They use silver for their cathode side. These batteries are rechargeable and are widely used to power up the portable devices like torches and the digital cameras etc.
- Nickel/Cadmium Batteries
- Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries
- Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) Batteries
Dry Cell Battery VS Wet Cell Battery
Dry cell batteries are different from wet cells because their electrolytes which are responsible to be ionized and produce electricity are contained in almost non liquefied paste, whereas, the wet cell batteries uses the cell that require the electrolytes to be stored in a particular liquid.
Applications of a Dry Cell Battery
As most of dry cell batteries are portable, they can be used in daily life devices like the following:
- Transistor Sets
- Home Appliances
- Other Portable Devices etc
In a nutshell, the dry cell battery is the part and parcel of the electronic world. It takes superiority over its wet cell counterpart and hence the right choice for you. Just don’t forget to abide by the proper handling and the precautions mentioned in the catalog provided by the manufacturer when you purchase them.