Is a Battery a Resistor (Things You Should Know)

Published on: March 31, 2023
Written by Jonas Frank / Fact-checked by Nova Scarlett

What do you think? Can a battery act as a simple resistor? Partially it can when it goes on parallel. Moreover, the whole guidance is next to the shots to deal with electrons that flow through the circuit to enlight street lights or garden lights and even more casually the fan controller. Can I use a 12V charger for a 6V battery? Yes, this is possible when the smallest battery is applicable to motorbikes and mobility devices. 

is a battery a resistor

Since a battery is a partial resistor and discharges heat and makes the car or mobility devices get energy from the heat, simply other resistors are useful too if you need a good direction and enjoy proper resistor supportive jobs to your devices. We have researched a lot and found similar FAQs and answers to give a proper idea over the sense of is a battery a resistor or not.  

Why Do We Connect a Resistor to a Battery Source in a Circuit

What is the basic work of a resistor? Well, it controls all electrical current flow inside the device you want to use and connects a circuit as well. Therefore, if you cut an electric wire, you can see the basic materials that it is made of, thus a resistor has materials like copper or Carbon inside itself. However, for the materials put in themselves, electrical charges face difficulties to flow through a circuit. 

All types of resistors may come in small sizes but are often built into other materials, however, mostly crucial to electrical circuits. Therefore, we connect a resistor to a battery source in a circuit just to let the flow of the electrical current to delicate components. Also, it protects materials inside of the battery from voltage spikes. 

Batteries and Resistors in Parallel 

This is meant to be the simulation of current and voltage, in short, a power relationship that goes parallel to the resistor. Suppose, two sliders controlled by R1 and R2, in a dynamic way display the calculation of both voltage and current. 

batteries and resistors in parallel

One battery and its running current are divided into the 2 resistors, as the biggest resistance has the smallest current through it. It results in when 2 resistors connected in parallel, no difference seems between the voltages. 

People also sometimes ask what if with batteries in parallel? Basically, a parallel electricity connection is a combination of batteries that accelerates output energy. So this “alongside each other” means that the negative terminals are connected to a single wire of a small part of the battery and on the other hand, positive terminals to the rest of the circuit. It indicates that the parallel combination creates a huge level of output current capacity, yet keeps the total voltage remaining similar. 

What Are the 4 Types of Resistors

Yes, there are 4 types of electrical resistors, but before switching to that discussion, you can look at the IEC and IEEE symbols of resistors. 

symbols of resistors
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Basically electrical resistors are available in a number of sizes, colors, shapes and material. In general, 2 types of resistors are split into different resistors and those 2 basic resistors are linear and nonlinear. 

Linear Resistors

Resistors have no different changing values of voltage according to temperature, in a brief discussion, the current value has a direct line and is proportional to the expected voltage it holds. 

Linear resistor properties are included in another 2 types of resistors. 

Fixed: Value of the resistor with a fixed voltage. Comes in 4-types. 

Pros Cons 
Cheap and small Less stable 
Occupy less spaceHigh-temperature coefficient 
Reliable Creates slight noise 
Different ohmic and power settings 
Easy to connect to the circuit 

1. Carbon Composition

Heard of granulated or powdered materials like insulation filler, Carbon or Graphite, or Resin binder made resistor? Such a fixed resistor has an appropriate ratio of insulation materials, which determines the actual resistance and the binder works like a rod and metal caps over the road ends. 

  • Via soldering, it creates easy connectivity to stable the voltage. 
  • The rods are covered with a sturdy Plastic coating with different color codes, in general, it denotes the resistance value. 

The value formula is 1Ohm =   25 megOhms; power ranges between .25W and 5W.

2. Thin Film

A resistor with a mix of a resistive material and high grid Ceramic. The specialty lies in its thin layered overlaid conducting material on insulating rod and tube. Accordingly differs from material, for instance, Carbon Film and Metal Film resistors. 

  • Metal film resistors have a mixture of Nickel Chromium, Metal Oxides and glass which is known as Metal Glaze. Available in tiny shape and at a cheaper rate to rely on for any temperature operation (coefficient is very low (±2 ppm/°C)).
  • Carbon Film resistors have no metal mixture instead of using Carbon and the core portion is made of high grade ceramic which is popular as substrate. A very thin insulated resistive Carbon overlaid around the rod. Because of its special construction with Carbon, widely used and suitable for electronic circuits, in fact, sounds less compared to solid Carbon made resistors.  

3. Thick Film

Nothing different than a thin film one. Thick film is covered up with a thick layer of resistive material and available in 3 different sizes and materials in construction.

  • Fusible resistor is a wire wound resistor. From the name, you can guess the excessive power can make it fuse automatically, which means to open the circuit. Therefore, the resistor limits the current limit to through and restores performance double. 

Powerful for high limit AMPs used electrical devices, for instance, television and amplifiers. But the limit should not exceed 10 Ohms. 

  • Metal Oxide Resistors are widely better to be used for the resistance of high temperature stability. Operating level of noise is close to zero and used at high voltages.  More than a fusible resistor construction, a thick layer of Tin Chloride on a heated glass rod is simply oxidized or substrate to make this battery resistor. 
  • Cermet Film Resistor, its internal and external areas are separately made of different insulation materials. Internal portion is full of ceramic insulation material, but the external part is wrapped up with metal alloy or Carbon fil around the resistor and then both of the parts are fixed in Cermet metal.

Available in both rectangular and square shape and overall making is to put its pins under the resistor for easy insulation. However, capable of providing service in high temperatures, as well as the values do not change at all.   

4. Wire Wound

Insulating core or rod covered with a resistive wire. But don’t worry, the wire has either Tungsten or manganin similar materials, for instance, Nickel and Nickel Chromium Alloy in construction. 

If you remember the Wheatstone bridge, you can understand better how such manganin resistors are super powered. They range between 2.5Watt to maximum 100 Watt rating. 

Ohm value, 1 Ohm = 200k Ohm, 350°C approximately. 

Compared to a Carbon Composition resistor, it made lower noise. Well to do performance during overload conditions. Since the resistors are very flexible with Audio frequency range and DC, not suitable for high frequency equipment. 

Variable: As per the name, it indicates the voltage value can be changed through dialing numbers, knob, or a screw system. With a sliding alarm connected to a metallic shaft, the user can change the voltage by rotating the arm. Some high-end variable resistors have radio receivers which are basically used for volume control.  

Pros Cons 
Values are changeable with temperature Not easy to change the values for shaft or sliding arm in its construction 
Applicable to radio receiver 
Volumes are controllable 
Tone control resistance 

1. Rheostats : If you have seen a wire wound resistor, you can better find similarity with rheostats. Basically, this is a 2 or 3 terminal device and applicable to current limiting purposes manually. To discharge currents from the core, the wire has Nichrome resistance covered by a Ceramic core. Both internal and external parts are assembled in a protective shell. A metal band is also noticeable wrapped around the resistor element. 

Ranges between 1 ohm up to 150 Ohms. Available power rating resistor is 3-200Watts, as well as the power rating ranges between 5-50 Watts. 

2. Potentiometers : This is absolutely a 3 terminal device, 2 is for resistance, and the last one is a wiper, like a moving contact. If the user rotates the wiper, the value of voltage will automatically change. Also, popular as voltage divider  as well as variable composition resistors too with 10 mega Ohm availability. 

3. Trimmers : often works like a screw in assistance with potentiometer or similar variable resistors. The operating screw generally helps in altering the voltage and changes its position by a small screwdriver.  

Production materials: Carbon Film, Cermet, Carbon composition, Wire materials and more. 

Range availability: 50 Ohms up to 5 mega ohms 

Power rating: 1/3 to ¾ Watts. 

Non Linear Resistors

1. Varisters (VDR)

Type: 2-terminal voltage dependent resistors.  

Production materials: Carbon Film, Cermet, Carbon composition, Wire materials.

Temperature tolerance: Reduce high voltage transient to protect circuit from damaging voltage spikes, the system is known as versistors. 

If the voltage increases (due to line faults), alters the voltage level. 

2. Thermistors 

Type: 2-terminal device 

Production materials : Metal oxides of Manganese, cobalt, Nickel and Strontium. 

Temperature tolerance: Very sensitive to temperature, inversely proportional to the temperature. Competes with a negative temperature coefficient (NTC), however, a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) which has pid Barium Titanate materials in construction acts vice versa with temperature.

3. Photo Resistor or LDR

Type: LDR or Light Dependent Resistors terminal works in terms of light intensity. 

Production materials: photo conductors, e.g. cadmium sulfide, lead sulfide etc.

Temperature Tolerance : An increase in the free carrieres causes electron hole pairs, and it happens with light energy. Gradually it decreases the resistance of semiconductor production material and creates a high range of temperature tolerance.  

Is a Switch a Resistor

What is the basic difference between a switch and a resistor? They are different due to their tasks type and terms. 

Switch: This device creates an open circuit. Circuit always works in terms of lighting it on from the positive terminal of the input, output and source to its negative terminal and at this point, a switch becomes a interruptor to this continuity. Early dimmer switches also had a solution – a variable resistor. Therefore, an ordinary resistor could not work properly with it. 

Resistor: It works vise versa with the switch component. Switch creates a resistance to the current flow but resistor allows it, however, slows down sometimes in a certain way. Resistors narrow down the path of the electrons. As a result, total current is reduced in closed circuits. 

There are many components that are widely used in electricity production and continuity, for instance, conductors, semiconductors, insulants, wire resistors and so on. 

Is a Light Bulb a Resistor

People often ask if a light bulb can work like a capacitor. Well, it should be noted that the available light bulbs are just an essential glorified resistor, not the exact resistor. As current flow takes place through the filament, it can get hotter and emit light by the result of Joule heating.

A resistor generally limits the general flow of electrons, as a result, alters the path of the electrons to a different form. 

The filament in the bulb works like a resistor in particular, moreover, you can safely use a bulb as a resistor. People often ask what they can use instead of a resistor? A bulb or a circuit has differences of 2V. With 1 ampere of current flowing through the component, since a resistance of 2 Ohms exists. Therefore, it is proven that all electrically conductive devices or materials are sowmhat resistive. For example, a good electrical wire is also a resistor.  

What Are Three Examples of Resistors

Resistors come in variety, also widely used in different electrical devices around us. In other words, resistors are passive electrical elements. 

Net resistance of the circuit: Rnet=R1+R2+R3+…..+Rn

R1+R2+R3+…..+Rn = sum of the resistance of each resistor. 

Example 1: Laptop and Mobile Chargers 

Most commonly used device is that we can’t keep our breath away without a laptop or charger. Both devices contain more than a single resistor as the resistance controller controls both flow of current and dissipated heat. 

1 A, 2A, 500mA, 700mA, etc. ranges current readings in general inscribed on every charger. These readings are the indicators of the total current that a certain charger can allow, as well as the speed of the charger. 

Example 2: Street Lighting 

Why do street lights turn off in the morning light and turn on in the darkness? Just because of the photoresistors in them. As we have mentioned above, the photoresistors work by the source of light while falling on the surface of the light or resistor. By applying the intensity of lights and the circuits, all street lights have been designed in that way. 

You can even find the application of such a resistor in photographic devices and burglar alarms. 

Example 3: Temperature Control 

H=I2RT, Joules law of heating, i.e, the square of the current (I), Resistance (R), and time (t) is directly proportional to the circuit heat. 

Thus the temperature can be altered with variation of current, resistance, time, a knob or shaft like arm is a common view. 

Final Words 

Is a battery a resistor? Why can’t it be like that? A resistor is often reset in the bulb, dividing voltage, LEDs and transistor protection, heating appliances, in-circuit functioning, fan speed controller like simple devices. 

The term or device resistor, is a passive electrical component, never discharging energy as well as electrons. As a result, it absorbs the energy and often releases heat. Therefore, batteries and resistors can be laid down in parallel for proper electrical work purposes. 

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