Battery Types

Below is pretty much everything you would need to know about all different types of batteries, described in terms of its chemical composition. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have a specific question about any battery. The photos are for reference only without packaging. Do not ship batteries without proper protection. See our Resources page for correct packaging information. We categorized the batteries into three different sectors: household (rechargeable and non-rechargeable), industrial and vehicle batteries.

Household Batteries

These are the most common types of batteries powering devices you use everyday. Some are rechargeable, you can plug them in to charge and get multiple uses before the battery needs to be replaced. Some are non-rechargeable or single-use, once they are fully discharged, they should be recycled.

Rechargeable

Lead Acid Gel

Description: Small to medium, dry-cell batteries, sealed, rechargeable Formats: Rectangular, custom sizes in hard plastic case Common Uses: Wheel chairs, scooters, golf carts, ride-on electric toys, boats, RVs, military aircraft, portable tools and instruments Safety: Non-spillable gelled electrolyte, lead is a toxic heavy metal, can cause fire if short-circuited

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Lithium-ion (Li-ion)

Description: Small dry-cell batteries, sealed, rechargeable Formats: Custom sizes in hard plastic case, small-cylinder, button cells Common Uses: Cell phones, laptop computers, power tools, hybrid automobiles (see Hybrid Automobile section also), video cameras, handheld electronics Safety: Non-spillable, non-toxic

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Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd)

Description: Small dry-cell batteries, sealed, rechargeable Formats: AAA, AA, C, D, small-cylinder, poly-wrapped cell packs, custom sizes in hard plastic case Common Uses: Cell phones, laptop computers, power tools, handheld electronics, toys, R/C hobby vehicles, medical equipment Safety: Non-spillable, cadmium is a toxic heavy metal, never incinerate - produces toxic cadmium vapors

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Nickel Metal Hydride

Description: Small dry-cell batteries, sealed, rechargeable Formats: AAA, AA, C, D, 9 volt, 12 volt, poly-wrapped cell packs, small-cylinder, custom sizes Common Uses: Cell phones, laptop computers, PDAs, power tools, hybrid automobiles (see Hybrid Automobile section also), cameras, handheld electronics and R/C hobby vehicles Safety: Non-spillable, non-toxic

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Non-Rechargable

Industrial Batteries

While the everyday battery user may never run into these batteries, they exist to power the heavy duty applications like machinery, railroad and backup power for data centers, utilities, or telecommunications. These are the kind of batteries you would be afraid of running into in a dark alley. Kidding, they won’t hurt you if you don’t instigate them.

Absolyte

Description: Large, lead acid & cadmium, vented (VRLA), rechargeable Formats: Rectangular in steel racks Common Uses: Telecommunications systems, railroad switchgear and signals, solar arrays, uninterruptible power supply Safety: Non-spillable, lead is a toxic heavy metal, contains acid electrolyte that is corrosive if spilled

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Large Flooded Cell

Description: Large, flooded cell batteries, typically lead acid, vented, rechargeable Formats: Hard case, rectangular Common Uses: Stationary Power, telecommunications systems, utility systems, uninterruptible power supply Safety: Spillable, lead is a toxic heavy metal, contains large quantity of acid electrolyte, electrolyte corrosive if spilled, extremely heavy

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Nickel Iron

Description: Medium to large, flooded cell batteries, vented, rechargeable, very long lasting Formats: Metal case, rectangular Common Uses: Railroad signals, mining operations, declining in use to lead acid batteries Safety: Spillable, non-toxic

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Wet Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)

Description: Small to large, flooded cell batteries, vented, rechargeable, pocket-plate and sinter-plate types Formats: Hard case, tall rectangular, multi-cell in metal or wood cases or stand alone Common Uses: Emergency power, telephone systems, solar arrays, railroad switching gear and also have marine and aviation applications Safety: Spillable, cadmium is a toxic heavy metal and known carcinogen

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Steel Case

Description: Large, flooded cell batteries, lead acid, vented, rechargeable Formats: Individual cells within a steel casing Common Uses: Forklifts, industrial machinery, motive power Safety: Spillable, lead is a toxic heavy metal, contains acid electrolyte that is corrosive if spilled

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Un-interruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Description: Medium to large, flooded cell batteries, typically lead acid, vented (VRLA), rechargeable Formats: Hard case, rectangular, multi-cell in steel racks Common Uses: Uninterruptible power supply, stationary power Safety: Non-spillable, contains some acid electrolyte

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Vehicle Batteries

While still very large and possibly intimidating, these less spillable and more user friendly batteries power our cars, motorcycles, boats and other motorized vehicles.

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