Batteries are a portable source of energy and are used to power electrical devices. Batteries store chemical energy and turn this into electrical energy once activated. All batteries have a positive (anode) terminal and negative (cathode) terminal.

The applications for batteries are incredibly varied. They can power electrical devices such as watches and hearing aids, remote controls and handheld consoles, all the way to electric vehicles and beyond. RS Components provides a comprehensive range of batteries to suit your application.

What kinds of batteries are there?

Batteries come in a range of shapes and sizes but typically all into two categories; non-rechargeable (primary) batteries or rechargeable (secondary) batteries.

Non-rechargeable batteries are single use. Once the chemical reaction inside weakens, they will no longer be able to provide useful power. They typically cost less than rechargeable options but arent suited to high drain applications that require constant high power.

Rechargeable batteries can be charged and discharged numerous times. They are well suited to devices that drain power quite quickly. One of the main benefits of using this kind of battery is that once they have been recharged in full, they are ready to be used again straight away

How should I store a battery?

Batteries should always be stored in a cool, dry environment. All batteries will self-discharge, which means they lose charge even while not in use. In some cases, this can be up to 20% each year. Lower temperatures will help to reduce the rate at which batteries self-discharge.

Are batteries hazardous?

Batteries are a very safe source of power, but there are some minimal risks due to the chemical reactions that take place within them.

  • Leakage - Corrosion or a puncture can cause batteries to leak the chemicals within.
  • Explosion - Trying to recharge a non-rechargeable battery can result in an explosion
  • Toxic materials - Some batteries contain mercury or lead, so you must dispose of these properly.
  • Swallowing - Swallowing batteries is incredibly dangerous (button batteries in particular). Batteries should be kept out of the reach of children, and a doctor consulted immediately if batteries are swallowed.
  • Air Transportation - There are some restrictions and bans on the air transportation of lithium based batteries. Please bear this in mind when purchasing or transporting lithium batteries.

Guides & Articles


In this complete guide we look at what battery holders are, their uses, as well as the different types that are available.


Our guide covers what AA batteries are, how they work, what they’re used for and the different types available to select the ones you need.