Due to the actual collapse of the Venezuelan grid, I have put together this article, entirely from the survivalist/prepper point of view. I will discuss different types of batteries you can use if the grid goes down, including my favorite, iron-nickel batteries.
Here's how batteries work
To understand how batteries work, I will start from the beginning. All kind of materials are constituted of atoms: an atom is formed by a nucleus with electrons orbiting around, at light speeds, and that makes a sort of a cloud, so fast that the atoms seem to be "solid". Different materials have a different number of particles in their nucleus, and the shape, size, and orientation of their electronic "clouds" are different. The number of electrons forming this cloud is variable for each material as well. But the electrons can travel freely through the metallic materials, much better than in other materials, and their movement generates what we called electricity.
And we use this energy to light bulbs and lots of other useful activities.
In all kinds of batteries, the electrolyte is the media for the current to flow between the materials, internally. The specifications are very important for us: density, level, composition, all of this must be in the proper range so our battery works flawlessly.
There are metallic materials where this movement of the electrons is more efficient, indeed. Therefore, a variety of materials are used: nickel and iron, or lithium, phosphorus and lots of other different combinations. The objective is to provide the most efficient combination.
Here is where the merchandising comes into stage. Manufacturers love to use exotic materials for batteries. Obviously, they have done extensive research on materials, in order to produce to an industrial level, an optimized combination of power, durability, and reliability. Of course, many of us are not just willing to use sulfuric acid or some other similar chemical in our cellphones batteries.