Chapter 7

Electrochemical cells

Chemical cells and batteries

Chemical cells were the original source of DC, and have always been an important form of power supply for electronic equipment. Historically, cells and batteries have been in use for over two hundred years, and the problems that are encountered with one of the simplest and oldest types of cell are a good introduction to the reasons why so many diverse battery types exist nowadays, and to the technology that is used. Strictly speaking, a battery is an assembly of single cells, so that the action of a cell is the subject of this chapter.

Any type of chemical cell depends on a chemical action which is usually between a solid (the cathode plate) and a liquid, the electrolyte. The use ...

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