difference between a cell and a battery

The Basic Difference Between a Cell and a Battery

If you are familiar with electronic devices, you probably have come across the terms “cell” and “battery”. Although these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they have different meanings and functions. In this article, we will discuss the basic difference between a cell and a battery.

What is a cell?

A cell is a small, self-contained electrochemical device that produces electricity through a chemical reaction. A cell consists of an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte solution that allows ions to flow between the two electrodes. When a load is connected to the electrodes, the chemical reaction inside the cell produces a flow of electrons that can power a circuit or a device.

What is a battery?

A battery is a collection of two or more cells that are connected together to provide a more significant source of electrical energy. Batteries come in various sizes, shapes, and configurations, depending on the application they are designed for. A typical battery consists of one or more cells connected in series or parallel, enclosed in a casing, and equipped with terminals to make electrical connections.

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The Key Differences

The primary difference between a cell and a battery is that a cell is a single unit that generates electrical energy, whereas a battery is a combination of cells that work together to produce a more significant amount of energy.

Cells are used in small, portable devices such as remote controls or digital watches. On the other hand, batteries are used in a wide range of applications, from powering household appliances to vehicles and industrial equipment.

Another difference between cells and batteries is their voltage. A cell typically has a low voltage of around 1.5 volts or less, while batteries have higher voltages that can go up to hundreds of volts, depending on the number of cells connected in the battery.

In terms of cost, cells are generally cheaper than batteries, as they are simpler and require fewer materials to produce. In contrast, batteries can be more expensive due to their larger size and more complex structure.


In summary, cells and batteries are both essential components of the electrical devices we use every day. While a cell is a single unit that produces a small amount of energy, a battery is a collection of cells that work together to provide a more significant amount of power. Understanding the basic differences between these two terms can help you choose the right power source for your electronic devices.

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Table difference between a cell and a battery

Cell Battery
Type Basic unit of electrical energy storage Multiple cells packaged together in a single unit
Function Converts chemical energy into electrical energy Combines electrical energy from multiple cells to provide a higher voltage and longer lasting power source
Size Small and usually used in electronic devices Range from small to large and used in various applications, such as cars and homes
Examples AAA, AA, D, and button cells Lithium ion, alkaline, and lead acid batteries