There are two basic types of batteries; namely dry cell and wet cell. Wet cell can be either primary or secondary cells. Primary cells are rechargeable whereas secondary cells are not rechargeable. In case of a wet cell battery, the electrolyte that is used should be a liquid.
Some of the primary wet cell batteries are Daniell cell, Grove cell, Bunsen cell, Chromic acid cell, Clark cell, and Weston cell, etc. Leclanche cell was originally a wet cell and it was later adapted to a dry cell.
The other names of this battery are:
- Vented Cell; named so because some gases are produced during the functioning.
- Flooded Cell is another name given, because electrodes are immersed in the electrolyte.
How to Make your Own Wet Cell Battery?
- Tap water
- Alligator clips
- 250 ml beaker
- Copper strips
- Zinc Strips
- Mild acids (orange juice or vinegar)
- Step #1: Take a 250 ml beaker and pour about 200 ml of tap water in it.
- Step #2: Take a copper strip and clip it to the rim of the beaker in such a way that, at least half portion of the copper strip is immersed below the surface of the water.
- Step #3: In the same way, clip a zinc strip in the rim of the same beaker, across the copper strip.
- Step #4: Make a connection between the copper strip and the zinc strip with the help of a wire.
- Step #5: Connect the two ends of the wire, to a multimeter. Multimeter is an electronic device which can measure voltage, current and resistance.
- Step #6: After the connection is made, you will observe 1V of electricity in the display of the multimeter.
- Step #7: Add few drops of mild acids such as orange juice or vinegar to the mixture and observe the voltage change in the multimeter.
How Does it Work?
In a battery, the copper strip acts as the 'positive terminal' and the zinc strip acts as a 'negative terminal'. The ions from the zinc strip break away and move towards the copper strip across the water. Water is the electrolyte and it acts as a medium for the movement of electrons which causes current.
The ions which get disassociated from the zinc strip are accepted by the copper strip, due to which potential difference is created inside the battery, and electric current is produced.
- The experiment should be conducted under the supervision of an adult who has basic knowledge in science.
- Don't touch the copper electrode, zinc electrode and water, after the connection is made.
- Ensure that the wire connections are tight.
- The battery should be completely charged.
- Don't try any strong acid solution as electrolyte, in order to get higher voltage.
- Often keep a check over the fluid level of the electrolyte.
- Clean your hands after making the battery.
- Most importantly, the seal should not be opened.
- Automobile industry
- Switchgear electric power systems
- Telecommunication power systems
Batteries should be maintained well. They can be cleaned with baking soda. You can use digital multimeter to measure the voltage produced in it, but to measure the specific gravity, you need to use a temperature compensating hydrometer. The value of the specific gravity and the voltage is directly proportional to the state of charge present in the battery.
High power applications of a wet cell are performed by a nickel-cadmium or a lead-acid battery. There are little chances of corrosion and hydrogen explosion in wet cell batteries. Immediately call the fire exhaustion service, if any explosion takes place or if you have accidentally opened the seal.
Even though it is a simple experiment, it should not be handled carelessly as it may lead to intense after effects. Finally, try to understand the electrochemistry involved in the making of the battery and enjoy learning it!