Primary and Secondary Battery

Primary Batteries


Primary Batteries are those which we see every day and use them. These batteries

come in cylindrical configuration and are simple and a convenient source of

power for several portable electronic and electrical devices like cameras, watches,

toys, radios and many more.

Usually primary Batteries are inexpensive, lightweight, small and very

convenient to use with very less or no maintenance.



Up until 1970 , Zinc anode- based batteries were the predominant primary

Batteries. Later zinc- carbon based batteries were invented .

The most significant development in the battery technology took place during the

1970-1990 period .


It is during this time, the famous Zinc/Alkaline Manganese Dioxide batteries

were developed and slowly replaced with the older Zinc-Carbon types.


Okay I’ll. Make it easy for you !! these are those 9V battery which we use in so

many electronic applications.

Mostly they are constructed of six individual 1.5V cells enclosed in a wrapper,

where zinc is anode and manganese is cathode.

secondary Batteries

To keep it short and simple : These are the rechargeable batteries .

These batteries can be used in two ways:

1)They are used as energy storage devices .

where they are electrically connected to the main energy source to be charged by it

and also supplying energy when required.

Best explained examples can be

Hybrid Electrical Vehicle (HEV) , Uninterrupted

power supplies (UPS), etc.

2) Is where the battery is used and discharged as a primary Battery. Once it is

completely discharged, instead of throwing it away we recharge it with an appropriate

charger. Best Examples are our mobile phones, laptop, electric vehicles, power

tools,and many.

History about secondary batteries


The oldest and The first type of secondary Batteries were the lead acid battery

which was developed in the late 1850’s.


These were most commonly

used lead acid which dominated till date as we see

in automobile industry.


These lead acid batteries are based on lead-dioxide electrochemical couple. And

sulfuric acid as the electrolyte.

The second type of rechargeable batteries are nickel – cadmium batteries.

These batteries were developed in the early 1900’s.

Where nickel oxyhydroxide is as the positive electrode and cadmium metal

based as the negative electrode and the electrolyte is an alkaline solution of

potassium hydroxide.


Then the game changer steps in and its our very own lithium batteries,which

were proposed by British chemist M.Stanley Whittingham in the 1970’s.