The solar parking lot lights offered by the Greenshine are powered by the Sun, but without a way to store that precious energy, the solar power would be useless during the night. That is why batteries are such an integral part of our business, as well as many other businesses worldwide that rely on battery power. Still, we usually take them for granted. ‘Batteries not included’ said packages of our toys. No big deal, we just went out and bought some. It’d never occurred to us where they came from.
To fix our past transgressions, here is a shout out to an integral part of our product that is often forgotten or neglected – batteries.
Principle of functioning
Batteries consist of electrochemical cells which are attached to electrodes in order to provide charge to electrical devices. Electrolytes within the cell move in the form of ions when the battery is connected to the external power drain. The positively charged ions migrate towards the negative electrode, and negatively charged ions travel towards the positive electrode. This way, the chemical energy is transformed into electric energy. If the battery is rechargeable, the process is reversible.
There are many types of batteries, depending on the criteria. The most obvious division is into primary and secondary. Primary batteries are non-rechargeable. This means that the chemical reaction in the battery is not reversible. Once all the ions have been neutralized, the battery becomes useless, and can be discarded. Secondary batteries can be recharged. Since parking lot lights use these kinds of batteries, more attention will be paid to this type.
Also known as accumulators, these batteries use some kind of reversible chemical reaction to charge and discharge the battery a number of times. The technology used in these batteries varies depending on the size and the function the batteries perform. Some of the most typical chemical components of these batteries are lead-acid, Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel-Metal Hydride, the all-present Lithium-ion and the new Lithium-ion polymer. The uses of these batteries are numerous, and growing exponentially, as we transition into the cordless and wireless technology more and more.
Typical uses for lead-acid batteries are car batteries. Another use for this type of battery is off-grid power storage. Similarly, electric vehicles, such as golf caddies, electric scooters, etc. use this type of batteries.
Gel batteries are a great improvement over the common lead-acid batteries. The electrolyte is gelled, so the battery itself doesn’t need to be upright. Due to the recent development, the life expectancy of the batteries has improved dramatically. This has led to a massive boom in the demand for these batteries, from motorcycles, to robotics, and solar power (such as ones used by Greenshine for parking lot lights and other purposes).
(Ni-Cd) batteries are fairly old. The problem with these batteries is the low power output. That’s why they have largely been replaced. Still, they find their use in toys, cordless tools and flashlights.
(NiMH) batteries have largely replaced Ni-Cd batteries in almost every application. They are often interchangeable with the primary batteries. Another application they have is electric cars. Some of the most iconic electric cars use this type of battery.
(Li-ion) batteries have a much higher energy density than any previous type. That means that their energy output is higher than the same size battery of some other type. They are also fairly lightweight. Coupled with their relatively quick recharge, they are ideal for consumer electronics, from cell phones and cordless tools to more modern devices, such as drones. They are also used to power some electric vehicles. Most impressive of these is the Mars Rover.
Lithium ion Polymer
(Li-ion polymer) has a somewhat misleading name. Namely, the ‘polymer’ part of the name refers to the casing of the battery, rather than the electrolyte (as was originally intended). Still, they are becoming more and more present in the market. Basically, they are occupying the same position as the Li-ion batteries, but with better results.
Our world has forever been changed by these amazing inventions. Whatever your need be, you can find a suitable battery to do the job. The research continues and we hope to one day have even better batteries.