01. When was the battery invented? 3

GUIDE: Batteries in a portable world. 1. When was the battery invented? 3

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Toward the end of the 1800s, giant generators and transformers were built. Transmission lines were installed and electricity was made available to humanity to produce light, heat and movement. In the early twentieth century, the use of electricity was further refined. The invention of the vacuum tube enabled generating controlled signals, amplifications and sound. Soon thereafter, radio was invented, which made wireless communication possible.

In 1899, Waldmar Jungner from Sweden invented the nickel-cadmium battery, which used nickel for the positive electrode and cadmium for the negative. Two years later, Edison produced an alternative design by replacing cadmium with iron. Due to high material costs compared to dry cells or lead acid storage batteries, the practical applications of the nickel-cadmium and nickel-iron batteries were limited.

It was not until Shlecht and Ackermann invented the sintered pole plate in 1932 that large improvements were achieved. These advancements were reflected in higher load currents and improved longevity. The sealed nickel-cadmium battery, as we know it toady, became only available when Neumann succeeded in completely sealing the cell in 1947.

From the early days on, humanity became dependent on electricity, a product without which our technological advancements would not have been possible. With the increased need for mobility, people moved to portable power storage — first for wheeled applications, then for portable and finally wearable use. As awkward and unreliable as the early batteries may have been, our descendants may one day look at today’s technology in a similar way to how we view our predecessors’ clumsy experiments of 100 years ago.

History of Battery Development

1600Gilbert (England)Establishment electrochemistry study
1791Galvani (Italy)Discovery of ‘animal electricity’
1800Volta (Italy)Invention of the voltaic cell
1802Cruickshank (England)First electric battery capable of mass production
1820Ampère (France)Electricity through magnetism
1833Faraday (England)Announcement of Faraday’s Law
1836Daniell (England)Invention of the Daniell cell
1859Planté (France)Invention of the lead acid battery
1868Leclanché (France)Invention of the Leclanché cell
1888Gassner (USA)Completion of the dry cell
1899Jungner (Sweden)Invention of the nickel-cadmium battery
1901Edison (USA)Invention of the nickel-iron battery
1932Shlecht & Ackermann (Germany)Invention of the sintered pole plate
1947Neumann (France)Successfully sealing the nickel-cadmium battery
Mid 1960Union Carbide (USA)Development of primary alkaline battery
Mid 1970 Development of valve regulated lead acid battery
1990 Commercialization nickel-metal hydride battery
1992Kordesch (Canada)Commercialization reusable alkaline battery
1999 Commercialization lithium-ion polymer
2001 Anticipated volume production of proton exchange membrane fuel cell
  

Figure 1-5: History of battery development.
The battery may be much older. It is believed that the Parthians who ruled Baghdad (ca. 250 bc) used batteries to electroplate silver. The Egyptians are said to have electroplated antimony onto copper over 4300 years ago.

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