National Battery Day: Imagine a World without Power
You might consider the battery to be a pretty basic invention. However, take a moment to think about the number of devices that are powered by it in your everyday life.
From checking your phone first thing in the morning and driving your car or scooter to work to using your laptop or tablet, there are so many devices that can run on battery power.
When you stop to realise how many devices use batteries, you start to question exactly how we would function in the world without them.
So, to celebrate this ingenious invention, which has ultimately made our lives easier, we’re spreading the word about National Battery Day and looking at why the battery is so great!
National Battery Day: 18th February 2017
Battery Day, also referred to as National Battery Day, takes place every year on 18th February.
The idea behind it is to acknowledge this device and how it ensures that everything from the smallest household items through to large-scale equipment operate smoothly from its power source and supply.
Who Invented the Battery?
The first battery, referred to as the voltaic pile, was invented in 1800 by an Italian physicist called Alessandro Volta.
This device consisted of zinc and copper discs placed on top of one another with a piece of cloth or cardboard between them to create a current. The material in the middle had to be soaked in brine, and over time, Volta realised that zinc and silver produced better results.
After further developments and experiments, a British chemist named John Frederic Daniell invented the Daniell cell in 1836. This design was safer than previous models as it was less corrosive.
A number of scientists tried and tested different techniques to create the strongest battery, including Gaston Planté, who created the lead acid battery, the first of its kind that could be recharged.
All of these inventors had their own role to play in developing and creating early designs of the battery which helped lead us to where we are today.
Without their brain power, we wouldn’t have battery power as we know it.
How Does a Battery Work?
In layman’s terms, batteries work by converting stored energy into electrical energy.
The majority of batteries that we’re familiar with consist of an anode (the – symbol), a cathode (the + symbol) and an electrolyte (liquid or gel within the battery which contains ions and can be decomposed by the electrolysis process).
When the anode builds up electrons, this results in a chemical reaction and a distinct difference between the anode and the cathode.
A conductive path is then built up between the anode and the cathode – for example, a circuit to power a light – and the electrons move from the anode to the cathode. The result? A constant power supply to the appliance within the circuit until the circuit chain is broken.
When the chemical components alter in the anode and cathode, they will no longer provide electrons to power around the circuit, resulting in the battery dying.
What Devices Use Battery Power?
From small household objects to large-scale, heavy-duty equipment, the battery can be used to power a number of devices.
Here are just a few that you may have encountered in your daily routine:
- Emergency Lights
- Mobile phones
- TV remote controls
- Cordless telephones
- Children’s toys
Take a look around and see how many devices you’re near that use battery power to keep them running.
The chances are there are a lot more devices than you originally thought, right?
How to Celebrate National Battery Day
When this national annual day arrives, what can you do to celebrate the occasion?
Here are a handful of ideas to get you started:
- Learn more about the history and science behind the creation and development of the battery
- Check that all the devices in your home, such as your smoke alarms and home security systems, are working properly with the existing batteries in them
- Replace any old batteries from your devices or systems if the battery power has run out or is low
- Take your old batteries to a recycling centre or recycle your old lead acid batteries with BatteryClerk
- Count how many devices you can spot in one single day that require battery power.
Battery Facts: Did You Know?
As you can see, the battery is an incredibly unique, impressive and essential invention. How many of these battery facts do you know?
1) According to some historians and archaeologists, the earliest battery can be traced back 2000 years.
2) A battery uses chemistry, not mechanical movement, to generate a continuous flow of electricity.
3) The battery was invented before the electric generator.
4) You can make an electrical battery out of fruit or vegetables.
5) The most popular types of batteries used today include lead acid, alkaline, NiMH, NiCd, Li-ion and LiPo.
Professional Battery Advice
So, there you have it: the invention of the battery, one of the most fundamental pieces of technology in our evolution.
Let us know how you’ll be celebrating National Battery Day on 18th February, and don’t forget to spend a moment checking that the batteries in your home work properly.