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Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, SRTIST; NALGONDA 1



An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored

chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by
Alessandro Volta, batteries have become a common power source for many household
and industrial applications.

Batteries are represented symbolically as

Fig. 1a Symbolic view Fig. 1b conventional battery

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Electrons flow from the negative terminal towards the positive terminal.

Based on the rechargeable nature batteries are classified as

Non rechargeable or primary cells

Rechargeable or secondary cells Based on the size they are classified as

4 Miniature batteries

5 Industrial batteries

Based on nature of electrolyte

1) Dry cell

2) Wet cell

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1.1 Terminologies

1.1.1 Accumulator - A rechargeable battery or cell

1.1.2 Ampere-Hour Capacity - The number of ampere-hours which can be delivered by

a battery on a single discharge.

1.1.3 Anode - During discharge, the negative electrode of the cell is the anode. During
charge, that reverses and the positive electrode of the cell is the anode. The anode gives up
electrons to the load circuit and dissolves into the electrolyte.

1.1.4 Battery Capacity - The electric output of a cell or battery on a service test delivered
before the cell reaches a specified final electrical condition and may be expressed in ampere-
hours, watt- hours, or similar units. The capacity in watt-hours is equal to the capacity in
ampere-hours multiplied by the battery voltage.

1.1.5 Cutoff Voltage final - The prescribed lower-limit voltage at which battery discharge
is considered complete. The cutoff or final voltage is usually chosen so that the maximum
useful capacity of the battery is realized.

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1.1.6 C - Used to signify a charge or discharge rate equal to the capacity of a battery divided
by 1 hour. Thus C for a 1600 mAh battery would be 1.6 A, C/5 for the same battery would be
320 mA and C/10 would be 160 mA.

1.1.7 Capacity - The capacity of a battery is a measure of the amount of energy that it can
deliver in a single discharge. Battery capacity is normally listed as amp-hours (or milli amp-
hours) or as watt-hours.

1.1.8 Cathode - Is an electrode that, in effect, oxidizes the anode or absorbs the electrons.
During discharge, the positive electrode of a voltaic cell is the cathode. When charging, that
reverses and the negative electrode of the cell is the cathode.

1.1.9 Cycle - One sequence of charge and discharge.

1.1.10 Cycle Life - For rechargeable batteries, the total number of charge/discharge cycles
the cell can sustain before its capacity is significantly reduced. End of life is usually
considered to be reached when the cell or battery delivers only 80% of rated ampere- hour

1.1.11 Electrochemical Couple - The system of active materials within a cell that
provides electrical energy storage through an electrochemical reaction.

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1.1.12 Electrode - An electrical conductor through which an electric current enters or

leaves a conducting medium

1.1.13 Electrolyte - A chemical compound which, when fused or dissolved in certain

solvents, usually water, will conduct an electric current.

1.1.14 Internal Resistance - The resistance to the flow of an electric current within the
cell or battery.

1.1.15 Open-Circuit Voltage - The difference in potential between the terminals of a cell
when the circuit is open (i.e., a no-load condition).

1.1.16 Voltage, cutoff - Voltage at the end of useful discharge. (See Voltage, end-point.)

1.1.17 Voltage, end-point - Cell voltage below which the connected equipment will not
operate or below which operation is not recommended.

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1.2 Principal of Operation of cell

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy directly to electrical energy. It

consists of a number of voltaic cells. Each voltaic cell consists of two half cells connected in
series by a conductive electrolyte containing anions and cations. One half-cell includes
electrolyte and the electrode to which anions (negatively charged ions) migrate, i.e., the
anode or negative electrode. The other half-cell includes electrolyte and the electrode to
which cations (positively charged ions) migrate, i.e., the cathode or positive electrode. In the
redox reaction that powers the battery, cations are reduced (electrons are added) at the
cathode, while anions are oxidized (electrons are removed) at the anode. The electrodes do
not touch each other but are electrically connected by the electrolyte. Some cells use two
half-cells with different electrolytes. A separator between half cells allows ions to flow, but
prevents mixing of the electrolytes.

Fig. 1.2 principle operation

Each half cell has an electromotive force (or emf), determined by its ability to drive
electric current from the interior to the exterior of the cell. The voltage developed across a
cell's terminals depends on the energy release of the chemical reactions of its electrodes and
electrolyte. Alkaline and carbon-zinc cells have different chemistries but approximately the
same emf of 1.5 volts. Likewise NiCd and NiMH cells have different chemistries, but
approximately the same emf of 1.2 volts. On the other hand the high electrochemical
potential changes in the reactions of lithium compounds give lithium cells emf of 3 volts or

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1.3 Types of batteries

Batteries are classified into two broad categories. Primary batteries irreversibly (within
limits of practicality) transform chemical energy to electrical energy. When the initial supply
of reactants is exhausted, energy cannot be readily restored to the battery by electrical means.
Secondary batteries can be recharged. That is, they can have their chemical reactions
reversed by supplying electrical energy to the cell, restoring their original composition.

Primary batteries: This can produce current immediately on assembly. Disposable batteries
are intended to be used once and discarded. These are most commonly used in portable
devices that have low current drain, are only used intermittently, or are used well away from
an alternative power source, such as in alarm and communication circuits where other
electric power is only intermittently available. Disposable primary cells cannot be reliably
recharged, since the chemical reactions are not easily reversible and active materials may not
return to their original forms. Battery manufacturers recommend against attempting

recharging primary cells. Common types of disposable batteries include zinc-carbon

batteries and alkaline batteries.

Secondary batteries: These batteries must be charged before use. They are usually
assembled with active materials in the discharged state. Rechargeable batteries or secondary
cells can be recharged by applying electric current, which reverses the chemical reactions that
occur during its use. Devices to supply the appropriate current are called chargers or

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Fig. 1.3a Primary cell Fig. 1.3b Secondary cell

1.4 Recent developments

Recent developments include batteries with embedded functionality such as USBCELL,

with a built-in charger and USB connector within the AA format, enabling the battery to be
charged by plugging into a USB port without a charger USB Cell is the brand of NiMH
rechargeable battery produced by a company called Moixa Energy. The batteries include a
USB connector to allow recharging using a powered USB port. The product range currently
available is limited to a 1300 mAh.

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Fig. 1.5 Life of battery

Fig. 1.4 USB cell

1.5 Life of battery

Even if never taken out of the original package, disposable (or "primary") batteries can
lose 8 to 20 percent of their original charge every year at a temperature of about 20°–30°C.

[54] This is known as the "self-discharge" rate and is due to non-current-producing "side"

chemical reactions, which occur within the cell even if no load is applied to it . The rate of

the side reactions is reduced if the batteries are stored at low temperature , although some
batteries can be damaged by freezing. High or low temperatures may reduce battery
performance. This will affect the initial voltage of the battery. For an AA alkaline battery this
initial voltage is approximately normally distributed around 1.6 volts.
Rechargeable batteries self-discharge more rapidly than disposable alkaline batteries,
especially nickel-based batteries a freshly charged NiCd loses 10% of its charge in the first
24 hours, and thereafter discharges at a rate of about 10% a month. Most nickel- based
batteries are partially discharged when purchased, and must be charged before first use.

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1.6 Hazards related to batteries

1.6.1 Explosion

A battery explosion is caused by the misuse or malfunction of a battery, such as

attempting to recharge a primary (non-rechargeable) battery, or short circuiting a battery.

1.6.2 Corrosion

Many battery chemicals are corrosive, poisonous, or both. If leakage occurs, either
spontaneously or through accident, the chemicals released may be dangerous

1.6.3 Environmental pollution

The widespread use of batteries has created many environmental concerns, such as
toxic metal pollution. Battery manufacture consumes resources and often involves
hazardous chemicals. Used batteries also contribute to electronic waste.

Americans purchase nearly three billion batteries annually, and about 179,000 tons of
those end up in landfills across the country.

1.6.4 Ingestion

Small button/disk batteries can be swallowed by young children. While in the

digestive tract the battery's electrical discharge can burn the tissues and can be serious
enough to lead to death.

Fig 1.6 ingestion

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Energy has always been spotlighted. In the past few years a lot of inventions have been
made in this particular field. The tiny nuclear batteries that can provide energy for 10 years,
but they use radioactive elements and are quite expensive. Few years back some researchers
from Stanford University started experiments concerning the ways in which a copier paper
could be used as a battery source. After a long way of struggle they, recently, concluded that
the idea was right. The batteries made from a plain copier paper could make for the future
energy storage that is truly thin.

The anatomy of paper battery is based on the use of Carbon Nanotubes tiny cylinders to
collect electric charge. The paper is dipped in lithium containing solution. The nanotubes will
act as electrodes allowing storage device to conduct electricity. It’s astounding to know that
all the components of a conventional battery are integrated in a single paper structure; hence
the complete mechanism for a battery is minimized to a size of paper.

One of the many reasons behind choosing the paper as a medium for battery is the well-
designed structure of millions of interconnected fibers in it. These fibers can hold on carbon
nanotubes easily. Also a paper has the capability to bent or curl.

You can fold it in different shapes and forms plus it as light as feather. Output voltage is
modest but it could be increased if we use a stack of papers. Hence the voltage issues can be
easily controlled without difficulty. Usage of paper as a battery will ultimately lead to weight
diminution of batteries many times as compared to traditional batteries.

It is said that the paper battery also has the capability of releasing the energy quickly. That
makes it best utilization for devices that needs burst of energy, mostly electric vehicles.

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Further, the medical uses are particularly attractive because they do not contain any toxic

materials. Fig.2 paper battery

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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are allotropes of carbon with a cylindrical nanostructure.

Nanotubes have been constructed with length-to-diameter ratio of up to 132,000,000:1,
significantly larger than any other material. These cylindrical carbon molecules have novel
properties, making them potentially useful in many applications in nanotechnology,
electronics, optics, and other fields of materials science, as well as potential uses in
architectural fields.

They may also have applications in the construction of body armor. They exhibit
extraordinary strength and unique electrical properties, and are efficient thermal conductors.

Their name is derived from their size, since the diameter of a nanotube is on the order of a
few nanometers (approximately 1/50,000th of the width of a human hair), while they can be
up to 18 centimeters in length (as of 2010). Nanotubes are categorized as single-walled
nanotubes (SWNTs) and multi-walled nanotubes (MWNTs).

In theory, metallic nanotubes can carry an electric current density of 4 × 109 A/cm2
which is more than 1,000 times greater than metals such as copper, where for copper
interconnects current densities are limited by electro migration.

In paper batteries the nanotubes act as electrodes, allowing the storage devices to conduct
electricity. The battery, which functions as both a lithium-ion battery and a super capacitor,
can provide a long, steady power output comparable to a conventional battery, as well as a
super capacitor’s quick burst of high energy and while a conventional battery contains a
number of separate components, the paper battery integrates all of the battery components in
a single structure, making it more energy efficient.

Carbon nanotubes have been implemented in Nano electromechnical systems, including

mechanical memory elements(NRAM being developed by Nantero Inc.)

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Fig 3. Carbon nanotubes

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The materials required for the preparation of paper battery are

1. Copier paper

2. Carbon nano ink

3. Oven

The steps involved in the preparation of the paper battery are as follows

Step 1: The copier paper is taken.

Step 2: carbon Nano ink which is black in color is taken. Carbon nano ink is a solution of
nano rods, surface adhesive agent and ionic salt solutions. Carbon nano ink is spread on
one side of the paper.

Step 3: the paper is kept inside the oven at 150C temperature. This evaporates the water
content on the paper. The paper and the nano rods get attached to each other.

Step 4: place the multi meter on the sides of the paper and we can see voltage drop is

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Fig 4. Fabrication process

After drying the paper becomes flexible, light weight in nature. The paper is scratched
and rolled to protect the nano rods on paper.

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The battery produces electricity in the same way as the conventional lithium-ion batteries
that power so many of today's gadgets, but all the components have been incorporated into a
lightweight, flexible sheet of paper.

The devices are formed by combining cellulose with an infusion of aligned carbon
nanotubes. The carbon is what gives the batteries their black color.
These tiny filaments act like the electrodes found in a traditional battery, conducting
electricity when the paper comes into contact with an ionic liquid solution.

Ionic liquids contain no water, which means that there is nothing to freeze or evaporate in
extreme environmental conditions. As a result, paper batteries can function between -75 and

The paper is made conducting material by dipping in ink. The paper works as a
conductive layer. Two sheets of paper kept facing inward act like parallel plates (high energy
electrodes). It can store energy like a super capacitor and it can discharge bursts of energy
because of large surface area of nano tubes.

Fig.5 working of a paper battery

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Chlorine ions flow from the positive electrode to the negative one, while electrons
travel through the external circuit, providing current. The paper electrode stores charge while
recharging in tens of seconds because ions flow through the thin electrode quickly. In
contrast, lithium batteries take 20 minutes to recharge.

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 The flexible shape allows the paper battery to be used small or irregularly-shaped

One of the unique features of the paper battery is that it can be bent to any such shape
or design that the user might have in mind. The battery can easily squeeze into tight crevasses
and can be cut multiple times without ruining the battery's life. For example if a battery is cut
in half, each piece will function, however, each piece will only contain 1/2 the amount of
original power. Conversely, placing two sheets of paper battery on top of one- another will
double the power.
· The paper battery may replace conventional batteries completely:

By layering sheets of this paper, the battery's voltage and current can be increased that
many times. Since the main components of the paper battery are carbon nanotubes and
cellulose, the body structure of the battery is very thin, "paper-thin". Thus to maximize
even more power, the sheets of battery paper can be stacked on top of one another to give
off tremendous power. This can allow the battery to have a much higher amount of power
for the same size of storage as a current battery and also be environmentally friendly at
the same time.

· Supply power to an implanted pacemaker in the human body by using the

electrolytes in human blood:

An improvement in the techniques used in the health field can be aided by the paper
battery. Experiments have taken place showing that batteries can be energized by the
electrolyte emitted from one's own blood or body sweat. This can conserve the usage of
battery acid and rely on an environmental friendly mechanism of fueling battery cells
with the help from our bodies.

· The paper battery can be molded to take the shape of large objects, like a car door:

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As stated earlier, the key characteristics that make the paper battery very appealing are
that it can be transformed into any shape or size, it can be cut multiple times without
damaging it, and it can be fueled through various ways besides the typical harmful battery
acid that is used in the current day battery.

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1.Presently, the devices are only a few inches across and they have to be scaled up to sheets
of newspaper size to make it commercially viable.

2.Carbon nanotubes are very expensive, and batteries with large enough power are unlikely
to be cost effective.

3.Cutting of trees leading to destroying of the nature.

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Pace makers in heart (uses blood as electrolyte)

Used as alternate to conventional batteries in gadgets

Powered smart cards RF id tags

Smart toys, children sound books

E-cards, greetings, talking posters

Girls/boys’ apparel

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We have discussed the various terminologies, principle of operation of a battery and

recent developments related to it. The life of a battery is an important parameter which
decides the area of application of the battery. Increased use of batteries gives rise to E-waste
which poses great damage to our environment.
In the year 2007 paper battery was manufactured. The technology is capable of replacing
old bulky batteries. The paper batteries can further reduce the weight of the electronic

The adaptations to the paper battery technique in the future could allow for simply
painting the nanotube ink and active materials onto surfaces such as walls. These surfaces
can produce energy.

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 Thin, Flexible Secondary Li-Ion Paper Batteries Liangbing Hu, Hui Wu, Fabio La
Mantia, Yuan Yang, and Yi Cui
 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford,
California 94305.
 David Linden “Handbook of batteries”

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