voltaic cell


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

voltaic cell,

a simple device with which chemical energy is converted into electrical energy. Two dissimilar metals (e.g., copper and zinc) are immersed in an electrolyte (e.g., a dissolved sulfate). If the metals are connected by an external circuit, one metal is reduced (i.e., gains electrons) while the other metal is oxidized (i.e., loses electrons). In the example above, copper is reduced and zinc is oxidized. The difference in the oxidation potentials of the two metals provides the electric power of the cell. The voltaic cell is sometimes also called the galvanic cell. The names refer to the 18th-century Italian scientists Alessandro VoltaVolta, Alessandro, Conte
, 1745–1827, Italian physicist. He was professor of physics at the Univ. of Pavia from 1779 and became famous for his work in electricity. Napoleon I made him a count and a senator of the kingdom of Lombardy.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and Luigi GalvaniGalvani, Luigi
, 1737–98, Italian physician. He was professor of anatomy from 1775 at the Univ. of Bologna and was noted as a surgeon and for research in comparative anatomy.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Voltaic Cell

 

a galvanic element that has electrodes (plates of copper—positive—and zinc—negative) and an electrolyte composed of a solution of sodium chloride or sulfuric acid; its electromotive force is 1.0 V. The voltaic cell was created during experiments carried out by A. Volta in 1792-94 to investigate electric phenomena occurring in a circuit consisting of two different metals and an electrolyte. The voltaic cell, essentially the first chemical source of current, was widely used in laboratory work at the beginning of the 19th century.

voltaic cell

[vōl′tā·ik ′sel]
(electricity)
A primary cell consisting of two dissimilar metal electrodes in a solution that acts chemically on one or both of them to produce a voltage.
References in periodicals archive ?
The new building will also feature roof-mounted photo voltaic cells to generate emission-free electricity.
These include solar power for hot water, photo voltaic cells to generate electricity for heating and light, and energy-saving, under-floor heating.
It features an innovative racking system designed by the Eugene-based Energy Design company, which allows the photo voltaic cells themselves to form the roof of the structure.
Photo voltaic cells have a long pay-back time, something like 60 years, so we are building something for the future, but they will prove a bonus in the long run.
Helping win this prestigious environmental distinction is The Allison's use of solar-heated water and photo voltaic cells that generate 7 percent of the hotel's electric needs.