Lead-acid batteries are cheap, convenient, and that they work for several battery power applications. they’re probably best known for his or her use in vehicles where they provide the facility for everything from starting, to the electronics and far more.
The lead-acid battery has many advantages for automotive and lots of other uses: they need an outsized current and surge capability, which is right when getting used to starting combustion engines.
As a technology, lead-acid batteries are well a well-established technology and that they are often easily manufactured with relatively low technology equipment.
Lead-acid battery basics: how do they work
When watching how a lead-acid battery works, it’s necessary to seem at the essential components. The battery has comparatively few components – essentially there are four main elements:
• Positive plate: this is often covered with a paste of lead dioxide.
• Negative plate: this is often made from sponge lead.
• Separator: This is often an insulant between the 2 plates, but it allows the electrolyte and therefore the ions into it to enable conduction without the 2 plates touching.
• Electrolyte: This consists of water and vitriol
These constituents are all contained within a plastic container that acts to stay the electrolyte in and therefore the battery together.
To enable the essential lead-acid cell to supply a voltage, it must first receive a charge. The voltage applied to supply this must be greater than the two .1 volts to enable current to flow into the cell. If it were but this, the charge would effuse of it.
Once charged, the cell or battery is going to be ready to provide charge to external circuits, often operating over several hours dependent upon the drain on the cell or battery.
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Lead-acid battery self-discharge
The self-discharge characteristic of the lead-acid battery is comparatively good. At an area temperature of 20°C the self-discharge rate is around 3% per month> In theory a lead-acid battery is often stored for up to 12 months without a recharge.
Lead-acid battery advantages & disadvantages
Although lead-acid batteries are widely used because they need a variety of distinct advantages, they even have several significant disadvantages. of these got to be considered when deciding upon whether to use this technology or not.
Lead Acid Battery Advantages
• Mature technology
• Relatively cheap to manufacture and buy (they provide rock bottom cost per unit capacity for rechargeable cells)
• Large current capability
• Can be made for a spread of applications
• Tolerant to abuse
• Tolerant of overcharging
• Wide range of sizes and specifications available
• Many producers worldwide
Lead Acid Battery Disadvantages
• Fails after a couple of years use lifespan typically 300 – 500 cycles
• Cannot always be utilized in a spread of orientations
• Lead isn’t environmentally friendly
• Acid needs removing with care
• Not suitable for fast charging
• Typical charging efficiency only around 70%.
The lead-acid battery is extremely well established. it’s been in use for over 150 years and is currently one of the mainstays of the automotive industry. The lead-acid battery features a high current capability, low cost and it’s tolerance to abuse. This makes it ideal for several applications.
However, with the move to more environmentally friendly sources of power, electric vehicles now appear to be the longer term with manufacturers and legislation pointing to the phasing out of the interior combustion engine. intrinsically the lead-acid battery is probably going to be considerably less widely used.
There are many variations of Lead Acid batteries. These battery types are specifically designed for a group designated end application.
It is important to select the proper lead-acid battery for your particular application.
Generally speaking, Lead Acid batteries are weakened into two main categories; Flooded (or wet) Cells and Maintenance Free Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (SLA).
Flooded Lead Acid Batteries
Flooded Lead Acid batteries are the foremost commonly found lead acid battery type and are widely utilized in the automotive industry. they supply the foremost cost-effective solution, because of the least cost per amp-hour, of any lead-acid battery type.
The modern voltaic cell comes in two styles; serviceable and maintenance-free. Normal flooded batteries require extra care and regular maintenance within the sort of watering, equalizing charges, and keeping the terminals clean. Flooded cells got to be mounted the proper high and may be vulnerable to spillage.
Classified as a ‘dangerous good, flooded lead-acid batteries require particular transportation methods and may only be shipped with accredited dangerous good certified shipping and courier companies.
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Sealed Lead Acid Batteries
Commonly referred to as Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) or Sealed Lead Acid (SLA). SLA batteries are available during a few different formats. Their principal manufacturing process, including the number of plates and plate thickness, determines its designated user application.
AGM Sealed Lead Acid Battery
AGM batteries offer the simplest price point within the Valve Regulated Sealed lead acid variety. Fine, highly porous, micro-fiber glass separators absorb the electrolyte, increasing efficiency by lowering internal resistance, which successively boosts capacity.
Lower internal resistance also means the battery is often recharged much faster than conventional flooded or wet lead-acid batteries.
AGM batteries provide much larger capacity during a smaller case size and are ready to be mounted on their side and shipped using standard shipping processes.
AGM batteries are found in many applications and are commonly used in; UPS, alarm and telecommunications industries, golf carts and trundlers, mobility vehicles, performance automotive, and far more.
As always, it’s important to make sure you’re selecting the proper AGM battery for your application. Although the voltage, capacity, dimensions, and ratings could also be very similar across a variety, each AGM battery features a specific application that they ought to be utilized in.
Gel Sealed Lead Acid Types
A common misconception is that each one “sealed” lead-acid batteries are GEL. vitriol is mixed with silica fume, which makes the resulting mass gel-like and immobile. This creates a totally maintenance-free, non-spillable lead-acid battery product. Unlike a flooded or wet-cell lead-acid battery, GEL cell batteries don’t get to be kept upright and may be shipped using standard shipping process’.
GEL’s inheritance design reduces electrolyte evaporation, spillage, and subsequent corrosion issues that are quite common in flooded or wet-cell batteries.
GEL is generally far more expensive than their AGM and Flooded counterparts. they need a really low discharge rate (1% per month), but they require specific charging practices and wish to be charged with a GEL specific charger.
Deep Cycle Lead Acid Batteries
Deep Cycle Sealed Lead Acid batteries because the name suggests are specifically designed for deep cycling applications. They contain fewer plates than their cranking or starting counterparts. These plates also are much thicker.
Deep cycle batteries are typically discharged to 50% of their capacity and recharged again. this is often referred to as the depth of discharge (DoD).
The basic formula that we follow when recommending a deep cycle battery is to suggest one with a residual capacity approximately 3 times the estimated daily use.
it’s recommended to bring Deep Cycle batteries to copy to a full charge every few months to take care of their levels’ true capacity. Failure to try to so will reduce the batteries’ life and over time it’ll provide lower and lower capacity.
Cranking or Engine Starting Lead Acid Batteries
Engine Start batteries have a bigger number of thinner plates. the entire current output is suffering from the entire area. With thinner plates per battery, the top result’s an increased area which will provide a way higher current potential.
Generally Cranking batteries differ to their deep cycle counterparts as they need been specifically designed to supply an outsized burst of current during a short time-frame. this is often particularly useful in engine starting applications.