Tag-Archive for » Batteries «

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 | Author:

voltaic pileElectricity is such an indespensable part of our lives, IDT Energy believes people should know a little history and information about this ever-present force in our lives.

Alessandro Volta created the first battery in the year 1800. His design was as simple as it was brilliant. Known as a “voltaic pile,” Volta built a stack using alternating layers of zinc, blotting paper soaked in salt water, and silver. Care must be taken so that the top and bottom of the piles are different metals. A voltage can be measured from the pile, as well as a current, by attaching a wire to the top and bottom of the pile. The higher the pile created will produce a larger voltage, increasing by a fixed amount with each additional layer.

From the time of the voltaic pile’s invention until the development of electrical generators in the Daniel cell1870s, a cousin of the voltaic pile, known as the Daniel cell, Crowfoot cell, Gravity cell and Wet cell, was used for operating telegraph machines and doorbells, and it was very common. The Daniel cell consists of two plates, one of them zinc and the other copper, inside a glass jar which has a solution of zinc sulfate on top and copper sulfate on the bottom.  This is a good experiment for a school project, and for stationary uses of electricity a Daniel cell is a good solution.

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 | Author:

IDT Energy is a supplier of electricity and natural gas to customers in New York. But electricity does not only effect our lives through the outlets in our homes. Today we have become more and more dependent on our ability to take electricity with us everywhere.VoltaBattery

Batteries are an amazing invention. They allow us to use electric devices while on the go, giving incredible freedom and power to the user. But have you ever thought about how batteries work? Or when they were first used? Interestingly, the first battery dates to the beginning of the 19th century, and was created by Alessandro Volta. Volta was an Italian physicist, born in 1745 in Como, and taught in public schools there. In 1774 Volta became a professor of physics at the Royal School in Como, and a professor of experimental physics at the the University of Pavia in 1779. Volta held this position for 25 years. Because of Volta’s experiments with electrical capacitance the unit of electrical potential has been named in his honor, which of course is known as the volt. Alessandro Volta is credited with creating the very first electrochemical cell, or battery. It was made from two electrodes; one made from the metal zinc, and the second from copper. Sulphuric acid was used as the electrolyte, or salt and water can also be substituted for the acid. This early, primitive battery is still used today as a way to demonstrate to students the principles of electricity. It is referred to as a Lemon Battery.

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Thursday, May 21st, 2009 | Author:

Insulating your batteries is an important step in battery protection and maintenance and for maximum performance. You may have heard the myth that tells us not to place batteries directly on cement because it will somehow suck the life out of them. This story has been framed to me as if cement has some special osmosis like ability to reach into a battery and magically neutralize the acid or otherwise drain the life out of it. This of course is not true. Actually cement holds moisture and dissipates heat rapidly so that it tends to be kept cool. Like you, batteries don’t want to be cold and miserable. The percentage of rated battery capacity has a direct relationship to temperature in that as battery temperature decreases so does its capacity. Different batteries can vary in their desired temperature but generally try to keep them around 25o Celsius or 77o Fahrenheit. Trojan usually benchmarks at a test condition temperature of 80oF or about 27oC. Also keep the cell-to-cell temperature variance to a minimum, I’ve read +/- 5oF. In other words, don’t allow some batteries to be left out in the cold while others remain warm and toasty. Taking all things into account, an ideal placement for batteries would be in a very well insulated, vented battery box on a southern wall (assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere), inside a warm power shed. If the desired operating temperature of your batteries cannot be met naturally, you’ll either have to compensate for the loss during the system sizing or you can apply space heat a number of efficient ways. Simply put, cold temperatures slow down our electrons when we want them to be warm, happy and excited so insulate your batteries and they’ll surely appreciate it.

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