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Batteries are devices that convert stored chemical energy into useful electrical energy .Each cell contains a positive terminal, or  cathode , and a negative terminal, or  anode .  Electrolytes  allow ions to move between the electrodes and terminals, which allows current to flow out of the battery to perform work.

Primary  (single-use or "disposable") batteries are used once and discarded; the electrode materials are irreversibly changed during discharge. Common examples are the  alkaline battery  used for  flashlights  and a multitude of portable devices.  Secondary (rechargeable batteries ) can be discharged and recharged multiple times; the original composition of the electrodes can be restored by reverse current. Examples include the  lead-acid batteries  used in vehicles and lithium ion batteries used for portable electronics.

Batteries come in many shapes and sizes, from miniature cells used to power hearing aids  and wristwatches to battery banks the size of rooms that provide standby power.