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WHAT IS AUTOMOTIVE BATTERY?

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Lead Acid Battery is a plastic container with two metal terminals that stores chemicals; mainly two different types of lead in presence of acid electrolyte and produce electricity. A lead acid battery, charge accumulator or storage battery is driven by electrochemical reactions out of which end product results in form of voltage

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electric current.



Battery is regarded as source of all electrical energy used for starting almost all kind of automotive engines and thus “CRANKING” is considered to be a primary purpose of battery. Other uses include powering up other electrical devices in the vehicle. Thus, technically, a lead acid battery converts chemical energy to electrical energy and this energy conversion is the fundamental for all lead acid based automotive batteries.

 

WHY DO I REQUIRE BATTERY IN MY VEHICLE?

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In the State Off Engine:

Talking about most of the vehicles, when their engine is not running they draw electrical current from battery to power up head

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tail lamp, Stereo/Music System and other required electrical devices.



In the sate of Starting Engine known “Cranking”:

Ignition system of engine

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starter motor draws electric current from the battery. This is most important aspect of automotive battery as it draws large amount of current for short time that can last for 3-5 seconds. This is the function where automotive

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inverter or other type of batteries differ from one another.



In the state of Running Engine: Generally when is running, vehicle

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s all the electrical systems are powered up by dynamo (alternator) that produces the electricity. However, if the load requirement exceeds the supply, supplementary supply of current may be drawn from the battery. In such case, vehicle

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s electrical systems are supplied current form alternator in conjunction with battery.

 

WHAT ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BATTERY?

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Batteries are classified in two types on the basis of recharging capability. One is known as Primary cell battery type and another Secondary Cell Battery. You may wonder what it means but remember that most of the automotive batteries sold today are WET CHARGED BATTERIES.

Primary Cell Battery: This type covers mostly alkaline batteries used in Radio, Flashlights and small toys. The chemical reactions generally destroys or completely changes properties of inside contents leaving the battery dead. Since this type of battery entail irreversible chemical reaction. Hence, this type of battery can only be used once and are not Re-chargeable.

Secondary Cell Battery: Such type of batteries have in built reversal chemical system and thus can be recharged after discharge. Although, secondary cell battery and its materials do have a certain age, yet they have advantage over primary cell in recharge capability and hence the later last long. When current is drawn from the battery the lead metal plates tend acquire each others properties and acid strength weakens. This process is known as battery discharge. However, this process is reversible and when current is supplied to the battery, the inside components restore their properties, thus recharging the battery for next use. Automotive batteries fall in Secondary Cell category and they eliminate the need of replacing battery every-time one starts the vehicle.

 

WHY DO THEY CALL IT DRY CHARGED OR WET CHARGE BATTRIES?

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Automotive battery manufacturers produce both kind of battery. There are two types of batteries available in the market one DRY CHARGED and another WET CHARGED.

Dry Charge Battery: The battery plates are built and bulk charged in a large industrial containers. Once charged, plates are then washed, dried and sealed into battery. Dry Charged battery is shipped without acid (electrolyte) and at the destination, when the battery is put under use it is filled with electrolyte at the final stage for ready to use state.

Wet Charge Battery: Such type of batteries are first charged

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sealed along with acid. The batteries are shipped with Acid from manufacture. Wet charge batteries gradually discharge and hence requires periodic recharge. They tend to discharge faster as compared dry-charge.

 

HOW DOES A LEAD ACID BATTERY WORK?

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An automobile battery is a lead acid battery. It contains several bunches of positive and negative lead plates called electrodes. The electrodes are submerged in the electrolyte solutions comprising 36 % and 64 % H2SO4 (diluted Acid). A battery may contain several cells, and in each cell there could be bunch of several positive

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negative cells bunched together but contains separator of fiberglass in between two plates.

 

HOW DOES BATTERY CELL PRODUCE ELECTRIC CURRENT?

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Any two metals placed in acid solution have capability to produce the electric potential across two terminals. When connected together the current flows from negative to positive terminal. In case of a lead acid battery, the positive plate is made of reddish-brown material such as lead oxide while the negative plate is made of grayish material called sponge lead. In presence of electrolyte, when terminal are connected in circuit, electrons flow from negative to positive plate producing electric current.

 

WHAT IS BATTERY CYCLE, ARE DEEP CYCLE USED FOR AUTOMOTIVE APPLICATIONS?
WHAT IS THE DIFFRENCE BETWEEN INVERTOR

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AUTOMOTIVE BATTERY?

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Battery stores chemical energy which, when used, is converted to electrical energy. However, in case of lead acid battery the chemical process is reversible. i.e. when reverse current is applied back to the battery by alternator of vehicle; it restores chemical properties capable of delivering current for further use. In day to day life, these process are known as charging and discharging in continuous manner and hence called “battery cycling”.

No, Automotive batteries are generally used for short burst of high current for few seconds to merely start engine. After vehicle cranking is performed the alternator starts charging the battery for the loss of current used in starting the vehicle. Thus automotive battery do not discharge completely. Since the automotive battery are not designed for deep cycling hence any accidental deep cycle will cause the excessive damage to the battery, will shorten the age and at worst may render battery completely dead.

However, in case of inverter, go-cart, marine and telecoms applications, the batteries are designed to be discharged completely thus increasing the strength to withstand frequent compete discharged. Recharging a lead acid battery can cause excessive heat that may lead to the damage of active matter of plates. Its is why, thicker and stronger grid plates are used in deep cycle batteries. On the other hand automotive batteries use thinner

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weak plates.



 

HOW MANY PLATES DOES MY BATTERY HAVE, HOW DOES NUMBER OF PLATES MATTER?
WHAT IMPACT DOES NUMBER OF PLATES HAVE ON VOLTAGE?

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You may be surprised by the fact that each cell of battery produces approximately 2.1V current regardless of of the size

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thickness of the plates. A 12 V automobile battery generally contain six cells connected in series so as to produce 12.1 volts. However, more number of plates grouped together allow a great amount of electricity to be supplied. In simpler words, more surface area means the battery can produce more current.

 

WHAT ARE GEL CELL AUTOMOTIVE BATTERY?

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Since automotive batteries are mounted on moving vehicles, due to jerk and movements electrolytes erratic movement within the battery cells may cause damage to the active material of plates . In addition any such movement also produce gassing within the battery chambers. Its why industry has come up with a new spiral design of plates filled with gel to minimize the moments. Many gel batteries also come with one way valve replacing open vents. The one way valve prevents internal gasses to recombine back into water in the battery. Ideally, spiral design allow more power in a smaller battery case and the ability to recharge much faster than conventional lead acid battery.



 

WONDER WHY SIMILAR SPECIFICATIONS

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LEAD ACID BATTERIES HAVE DIFFERENT PRICE TAGS?

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There are several variations of lead acid batteries they differ from one another in methods of construction, quality

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purity of raw materials besides several other factors. Different plate material

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solution provide different characteristics within the same type of construction. Some of common constructions type are given below.

A) Lead Antimony:
Currently, most of the conventional lead acid battery use lead antimony cell plates.

Lead Antimony Advantages:

  • It provides longer service life than the calcium batteries.
  • Such batteries are easier to recharge when completely discharged.
  • It provides lower cost of construction.

B) Lead Calcium Battery:
Is generally used in maintenance free batteries.

 

Lead Calcium Advantages:

  • Provides Larger Electrolyte reserve area above the plates.
  • Higher cold cranking and amp rating.
  • Lead calcium batteries require little or no maintenance at all.

Gel Cell Batteries: Gel batteries are sealed maintenance free batteries that uses spiral plate structure for compact design besides gel electrotype for restricted movement of components within the case.

 

Gel Battery Advantage:

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  • Such batteries do not contain and liquid to spill, leak or move erratically within the cell.
  • Such batteries can be deep cycle several time without damage.
  • Such batteries are absolutely maintenance free.
  • They have long lasting life 4-5 times more than that of a normal lead acid battery.
  • Spiral plate structure and closer plate spacing provides compact size.

WHAT IS ELECTROLYTE, DO I USE DISTILLED WATER OR ACID, OR ELSE BOTH IN MY BATTERY?

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Electrolyte is a mixture of 64 % distilled water

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36% of sulfuric acid. You add more electrolyte and when in build HYDROMETER indicator checks the gravity of electrolyte indicate the need of additional electrolyte or replenish it .

 

IS LEAD ACID BATTERY HAZARDOUS, WHAT HANDLING PRECAUSTIONS?

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Yes, Lead acid battery is hazardous product. It contain acid and poisonous lead that requires extremely cautious handling. Any mishandling may lead to skin burn , poisoning or injury to eyes

Acid is very corrosive and if your skin get in touch with the acid, you are required to flush the contact area with large quantity of water. A mild solution of baking soda and water neutralizes the acid. During recharging the battery, highly flammable hydrogen gas is released and thus your are advised to keep the battery away from flames, hot surfaces to prevent violent explosion.

 

WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPE OF RATINGS IN BATTERY

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S SPECIFICATIONS?

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Having had a look at the battery specifications you may wonder as to what are the different jargon and ratings all about? Below given are some of ratings that will help you understand meaning

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purpose of such technocratic language. The ratings are governed by BATTERY COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL (BCI) evaluates and determined the current capacity of battery.

 

Cold Cranking Amps Rating (CCA): The first rating is the cold cranking amps (CCA) rating. The rating indicates the ability of battery to deliver a specified current at very low temperature of -18 degree Celsius. The rating is determined by the amount of current a fully charge battery can supply for 30 second at -18

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C without having the battery terminal voltage below 7.2 V.

Cranking Amps rating (CA): Another is CA ( Cranking Amps) rating which is the same as CCA except for the fact that test is carried out at very high temperature.

Reserve Capacity Rating: It is the time in minutes, a vehicle can be driven if the alternator (battery charging system) fails. This can be assumed that car

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s headlights are on and ignition system and lamps are constantly drawing current from the battery, in such case RCR denotes in the minutes for vehicle can be driven.

Ampere Hour Rating: The ampere hour rating (AH) is the amount of current a fully charged battery can supply for 20 Hours without having the terminal voltage fall below 10.2 V. The test is carried out 26.7

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C. For example, if a battery can deliver 2 Amp, under above given conditions, denotes that it is an 80 AH hour battery.


 
 
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