Despite having knowledge about electricity for a long time, it didn’t have any impact on people’s lives. It was because of no known method of storing electricity. However, the game changed overnight after the invention of battery technology.
Now, the question is, how did the battery impact society?
Modern society as we know would not exist without the invention of electricity and its storage techniques. Over the years, it developed to a level that we can’t think of a single moment without battery-powered electricity.
The History of Battery Invention
Besides some controversies, the earliest concept of battery dates back to 250BC. It is known as “Baghdad Battery” found by the director of the Baghdad Museum in 1938.
During the early days of batteries, Benjamin Franklin did some experiments with a set of linked capacitors in 1749. Also, he used the term “Battery” for the first time.
Later, Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist, invented the first fully functional battery for the first time in 1800. He stacked discs of copper and zinc separated by salty water-soaked cloth. After connecting both ends by a wire, it generated a stable current continuously.
His discovery was based on an incident that happened in 1791. Luigi Galvani noticed that the muscle of a frog would contract whenever it was touched by a metallic object. Alessandro Volta experimented with different chemicals and metals and eventually developed a fully working battery.
On the other hand, the most commonly used lead-acid battery was first invented in 1859. The interesting part is that the same technology is still used in today’s internal combustion vehicles. To give you a detailed overview of its evolution, I will get distracted from the topic. So, let’s talk about the impact of different battery technologies on our life.
How Did the Battery Impact Society?
Or, you can ask, how did the invention of the battery change society? The answer will be the same. Well, it is not possible to answer in a single line. Rather, it will be a long and descriptive one. Let’s see how the battery has impacted our lives as well as society.
To realize how important batteries are, I want you to think about a world without them.
Generating electricity has been happening long before the invention of batteries. The issue was that we didn’t know what to do with the excess energy. Without an energy storage system, all devices have to be connected to the grid all the time. It would be a world of far fewer technological advancements than the one we are living in today.
Take mobile phones as an example. Without batteries, it would have been only land phones. Using so many apps, seeing billion-dollar tech companies would not be possible without smartphones. Also, think about laptops or portable computers. Yes, we would have desktop computers but such growth or advancement in all industries could not be possible without portability.
When we think of the automotive industry, there were attempts to make an electric vehicle in the early years of battery invention. However, the lack of supporting technology didn’t make it viable back then. In recent years, it all has been changed. Electric cars are slowly becoming one of the top choices among millennials. And, electric cars without batteries are like ships without propellers.
If I keep giving examples, it will take months to talk about everything possible due to the invention of the battery and the improvement of its technology. Before I end this section, I want to talk about Lithium-Ion batteries especially. Because it has revolutionized almost every sector with its capabilities.
How Lithium-Ion Batteries Changed The World
You know how mobile phones, laptops, electric cars, and other portable electronic devices have changed our lifestyle for good. But the credit for their existence goes to the invention and development of Lithium-Ion Battery technology.
Being lightweight and high reactivity makes lithium the perfect material for compact and energy-dense storage for different devices. Without the Li-ion batteries, you would have to carry a brick-sized smartphone. Moreover, without their small size and efficiency, electric cars would never be able to compete with gasoline cars.
Scientists are working to solve this technology’s scalability so that Li-ion batteries can be used for storing renewable energy and contribute to the national grid.
What Is the Importance of Battery Storage for Sustainable Energy?
One of the main factors towards building a sustainable society is popularizing renewable energy. Here, energy storage or battery plays a significant role by making electricity available at all times.
But the technology is not that matured to support the national grid. However, improvements are being made every year and Utility-scale batteries are showing some promises. I think that soon it would help provide reliable and cheaper electricity in isolated areas of the world.
Also, islands and isolated communities would have the access to electricity and be the biggest beneficiaries of this system. If you can’t relate these energy sources to batteries, let me give you some examples.
Consider solar energy to be harvested on a massive scale. It is possible to run lights, fans, and other appliances during the daytime. What would you do at the night? This is where a large power storage system is required. For other renewable energy sources, a battery is needed to support peak hours by storing energy in the off-peak hours.
I hope that you can understand its importance. Already, the demand is so high that the expected market of energy storage is likely to be increased by 40% each year till 2025. Without batteries, there is no way we can utilize sustainable or renewable energy sources.
Fossil fuels have lots of disadvantages and it affects the balance of nature in the nastiest way. That is why the world is slowly going towards renewable energy sources, and it is not possible without batteries.
I think that you now know, how did the battery impact society. Without portable electrical energy solutions, our advancement will be slowed down by a great deal. So, what do you think about modern battery technology? Will it be the savior or do you think there is something else? Let me know in the comments