The electric battery is a direct current generator device discovered by the count Alessandro volta, Italian physicist. Starting from a phenomenon discovered by Galvani, Volta studies the electrical tensions which are established between different metals and develops an accumulator capable of storing electrical energy. This invention played a major role in the second industrial revolution.
Invention of the electric battery
Prelude to the invention of the electric battery, the Italian doctor Luigi Galvani observed in 1786 that frogs react by simple contact between two pieces of different metals and put this observation down to the presence of electricity in the animal organism. ..
The Italian physicist Alessandro Volta is not of this opinion because he considers that these are the two dissimilar metals which act as generators of electricity when they are put in contact with a wet conductor. Thus in 1800 he invented a battery made up of a superposition of zinc and silver discs grouped in pairs and separated by a cloth impregnated with salt water. Electric current flows continuously when the two poles are connected. This invention paves the way for numerous electrochemical researches and the appearance of the so-called salt or zinc-carbon dry battery in 1868 thanks to the improvements made by the Frenchman Georges Leclanché.
Modern use of electric accumulators
New varieties of batteries have been designed for electric vehicles. Improved versions of conventional accumulator have been developed for electric cars, but they still have a number of drawbacks: low range, high price, location or environmental issues. For electric vehicles, the latest and most promising batteries contain iron and lithium sulphide, zinc and chlorine, nickel metal hydride and a sodium-sulfur mixture.
Such batteries are under development at electricity producers and are intended for use in "freight elevators", in order to compensate for momentary fluctuations in the load of the system. These battery modules could be installed near sites depending on demand. They have few harmful effects on the environment and have a small footprint.
- The fabulous history of inventions - From mastery of fire to immortality. Dunod, 2018.
- History of electricity: From amber to electron, by Gérard Borvon. Vuibert, 2009.