Electrical Cells and types

This post covers what electrical cells are and the types of electrical cells.

The electrical cells are devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. An electric cell consists of a negative electrode, an electrolyte which conducts ions; a separator, also an ion conductor, and a positive electrode. The electrolyte may be equeous (composition of water) or monaqueous (not composed of water) in liquid, paste, or solid form. When the cell is connected to an external load or a device, the negative electrode supplies a current of electrons that flow through the load and are accepted by the positive electrode. The reaction ceases after the removal of the external load.

Electrical cells usually have electromotive force (emf) of 1V to 5V.


Electrical cells are of two types; Primary Cells and Secondary Cells

Primary Cells

This type of electrical cells are ones that convert their chemicals into electrical energy only once. Hence, primary cells are not rechargeable cells. Therefore, after fully discharge they cannot deliver electrical energy again. Examples of these cells are the Leclanche cell and Daniel cell.

Secondary Cells

Secondary cells also called storage or rechargeable cells are the types that can be used many times. Since these cells are rechargeable, they can deliver electrical energy times upon times. After discharging, passing electricity back to them through their electrodes recharges the cells. Examples  of these cells are Lead-Acid (Pb), alkaline or nickel-iron (NiFe), Lithium-iron (Li-ion), etc.

Connecting two or more electrical cells together in series, parallel, and or series-parallel, form battery. Therefore, a battery is a set of two or cells network. The below circuit symbol shows two electrical cells in series thereby results to battery of two cells.

You can also read batteries or cells maintenance tips and batteries in series and parallel calculations

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