All but the most rudimentary aircraft require batteries to run their various electrical systems, such as lighting, avionics, communications equipment, and more. Batteries are mostly used in the preflight sequence before takeoff, to power the aircraft’s electrical system and start the engines and auxiliary power unit (APU). Once the aircraft is in flight, the APU will typically take over powering electrical circuits as well as recharge the batteries for the adapter emergency lighting for flight.
Batteries universally consist of several components:
Batteries consist of one or more voltaic cells connected in series. Each cell contains one anode and one cathode, and a conductive electrolyte solution between them. When electrodes are connected to the electrolyte, a chemical reaction called reduction-oxidation, or redox, occurs. This electromotive force within the cell produces the electrical charge used to power devices connected to the battery.
Batteries used in aviation applications are either single-use or rechargeable. Aviation batteries must have a high energy density, be lightweight and reliable, require little maintenance, and be capable of operating over a wide range of environmental conditions. Common battery types include:
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