Batteries to store energy: What they are, types and how they work

Batteries for storing energy are positioned as a valuable option in terms of sustainability, so much so that, according to the Sustainable Development Scenario of the International Energy Agency (IEA), so that the world can meet its climate challenges and of sustainable energy until 2040, must have 10,000 GWh of capacity in batteries and other storage sources.

In fact, the effective accumulation of energy is one of the main concerns of companies with powerful environmental responsibility policies. And this is not in vain!

The world calls for a more sustainable energy model, since the abusive use of polluting energy sources is generating significant changes in natural systems and, consequently, affecting ecosystems.

Beyond the moral reasons that support the adoption of storage systems, economic and productive issues also encourage their use.

In fact, the failure of the electrical supply can generate production losses, problems in telecommunications antennas and interruptions in hospital equipment, dangerous situations that put the lives of many people at risk.

Next, we present essential aspects about these teams that, without a doubt, will help you understand the importance of having them in your business.

What is a battery?

Also called accumulators, batteries are electrochemical storage that concentrate and discharge energy by starting reversible redox chemical reactions, which makes it possible to recharge the equipment through electrical sources.

Basically, the structure of the different types of batteries is very similar with cells made up of two electrodes (liquid or gel electrolytes), positive, negative, and a separator.

Indeed, the main difference between the various battery technologies covers the materials used to produce their electrodes, the electrolytic substances and the constructive aspects.

As far as its use is concerned, the projects related to the battery storage system are rapidly growing and everything indicates that this trend will continue, mainly because batteries are getting cheaper.

Know the 5 main types of batteries

Now that you know what a battery is and understand the importance of this equipment for the sustainable development of societies, the time has come to present the 5 types of batteries most used today to store energy.

  1. Lead-Acid Battery

These non-spillable rechargeable energy accumulators appeared in the middle of the 19th century and, since then, have positioned themselves as the most widely used batteries by virtue of their robustness and low cost.

Likewise, this type of battery is very versatile, since it can be used for different purposes, from starting small vehicles to electrical support for factories, homes and industries.

Indeed, the wide use of this battery is the result of its high stability, reliability and excellent performance, since it is capable of withstanding vibrations, overloads, prolonged storage, discharges and complying with high safety standards.

However, environmentally they are not the best alternative. In addition, they have a relatively short life cycle, require high maintenance and, since they contain lead, are highly polluting.

  1. Nickel-Cadmium Battery

Invented in 1899, this galvanic rechargeable battery is widely used by virtue of its reliability, powering a myriad of systems such as streetcars, electric cars, portable radio stations, and razors.

Regarding its operating principle, it is based on the irreversible reaction between cadmium, nickel hydroxide oxide and water to generate cadmium hydroxide, a product that leads to the emergence of an electromotive force.

An important characteristic of this type of battery is that it has a memory effect, which reduces its energy storage capacity with each charge/discharge.

Among its main differentials, we highlight:

  • Long useful life;
  • Ability to load quickly;
  • Withstands low temperatures and heavy loads;
  • Low cost;
  • Good resistance to overload;
  • It maintains its operation under adverse circumstances.
  1. Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery

Structured by a metal hydride alloy cathode and a nickel oxyhydroxide anode, they have entered the market with the aim of slowly replacing nickel-cadmium batteries due to their higher capacity and lower memory effect. However, these batteries to store energy do not work well under extreme temperatures and have a shorter charge and discharge cycle, therefore, they have a lower durability.

  1. Lithium-Ion Battery

This battery is made up of cobalt, lithium, oxide electrolytes and a lithium salt electrolyte. Basically, they are characterized by their excellent efficiency, reaching levels between 80 and 90%. In addition to eliminating the memory effect, these energy accumulators are low maintenance and lithium ion waste is easily recycled.

  1. Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

Produced with iron, lithium and phosphor electrodes and lithium salt electrolyte, they are the safest accumulators among lithium-ion solutions. Since these batteries do not use cobalt, it is possible to manufacture them keeping costs low, therefore, their price is usually cheaper.

In fact, this type of battery is very stable, a characteristic that makes it an interesting option for lead batteries in terms of use in vehicles and for accumulating solar energy.

In addition, this type of battery has the following advantages over conventional lead acid solutions:

  • They have 3 times more energy density per unit of weight , that is, they can store up to three times more energy;
  • It provides a greater oxidation capacity, thus counting on a greater tension;
  • Greater speed in fulfilling the charge and discharge cycle.

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