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The Lead Acid Battery Leads the Charge in Automotive Design

Automotive lead-acid batteries used to start car motors are one of the earliest design of rechargeable battery in existence. The lead-acid battery was primarily employed for the storage of DC power and used in old industrial vehicles due to the size and weight. These batteries have dominated the market for many years ever since their invention back in the early 1800’s and have continued to be an important automotive element of the point where there is just one in each vehicle on the roads.

Nowadays, automotive batteries used to begin gasoline and diesel motors, are somewhat smaller, cheaper and much more cost-effective compared to their earlier cousins, supplying more great beginning and surge currents than ever before in a fraction of their original price.

Not only does the lead-acid battery provide the suitable amount of power needed to start motors, but they also provide electricity for the ignition system, lights, indication, stereos and similar electronic features found on today’s modern vehicles.

The Lead Acid Battery Leads the Charge in Automotive Design

The energy created by a lead acid battery occurs through an internal chemical procedure which entails lead (hence their name), lead oxide and a liquid acid solution called the electrolyte. Strong lead and lead amino acids are submerged within an electrolytic solution which is made up of a tiny percentage of sulphuric acid (H2SO4) mixed with distilled water.

When electric power is drawn from the battery, a chemical reaction occurs between the plates and fluid electrolyte releasing electrons. All these free electrons in the kind of an electric current flow through electrical conductors mounted onto the battery and outside through lead terminals providing the electricity required to initiate the car.

Since the lead-acid battery becomes discharged, the malic acid creates deposits onto the lead plates, but when the lead-acid battery is discharged again, the lactic acid breaks down and yields back in their separate lead and lead oxide parts. Heat is generated by this constant charging and discharging of the battery evaporating the water indoors.

This evaporation meant that old lead-acid batteries needed to be “topped-up” with dried water on a monthly basis, however, the standard maintenance-free lead acid battery is fully sealed against leakage where the electrolyte in the form of a gel is contained in distinct compartments are now used.

The outcome is that these sealed batteries can be rotated upside down or positioned sideways in the event of an accident without any risk of an acid leakage. Also, these modern batteries have safety valves fitted which allow the ventilation of fumes throughout the charging, the releasing and changes in atmospheric pressure when driving at elevation.

The lead-acid battery is the sole batteries appropriate to be utilised in alternative energy systems however the constant cycle of releasing a battery to some load (nighttime hours) and then recharging the battery (sunlight hours) many times over requires another kind of battery as not all lead-acid batteries are the same. The most important need of a battery would be whether it is a Deep Cycle Battery or even a Shallow Cycle Battery.

Consider automotive starting batteries. These batteries are inexpensive to buy but are intended to provide high amperes of current for quite short amounts of time (less than 10 seconds) to operate the starter motor and turn over the engine.

Following the car has started, the battery is then trickle charged by the automobiles alternator. Even on cold frosty mornings, the cars battery is just discharged to less than 10 percent of its rated capacity at startup, so automotive batteries have been designed for this very shallow cycle service, (100 percent to 90% state of cost).

As an automobile battery is designed to provide high currents for quite brief amounts of time, it’s therefore made of many thin lead plates providing a large surface area to the chemical reaction to occur.

These thin lead plates do not have the required mechanical strength for repeated cycling over a period of many years and wear out very quickly after only 200 to 400 cycles. Therefore shallow cycle auto batteries that even though they work, aren’t designed for a long-term solar power or wind power system which demands a much more in-depth cycling support.

Deep Cycle Batteries, on the other hand, are designed to be repeatedly charged and discharged by as much as 80 percent of the full capacity (100 percent to 20% condition of charge) without sustaining any significant harm to the cells before recharging.

Making the deep cycle battery an ideal choice for solar photovoltaic and wind power systems, as well as marine software, golf buggies, forklift trucks and other such electric vehicles. Even though the deep cycle battery uses the same chemical reactions to shop and generate energy because of their automotive battery cousins, deep cycle batteries are made quite differently.

The physical size of a deep cycle battery is a lot larger than a regular car battery on account of the structure and size of the lead plates (electrodes). These discs are made of solid lead normally doped with Antimony (Sb) and are often thicker than the thinner plates of a car battery.

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This means that deep cycle batteries may repeatedly be discharged almost all the way down to a very low cost and it isn’t uncommon for deep cycle batteries to be emptied (discharged) to as much as 20% of the total capacity before energy ceases flowing in the battery.

So to summarise, the lead-acid battery is the best choice for automotive automobiles, vans and motorcycles as it’s dependable, cheap, and produces high starting currents. Also for alternative energy technologies, the deep cycle battery will be the way to go as it could be discharged and charged many times over to a much lesser value.

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