All About Lead-Acid Batteries

What do Apollo Milperra  (south of Bankstown) Lead Acid Batteries offer?

Invented by French physicist Gaston Planté in 1859, lead-acid batteries are the oldest rechargeable batteries. Despite having low energy to weight and volume ratio, lead-acid battery supplies high current (large power to weight ratio). The life of VRLA Lead Acid Battery is expected to be of 10 years when operated at 77°F and 5 years when operated at 92°F. Lead Acid Batteries are available in Gell cell, Wet cell and Absorbed Gel Mate (AGM).

The Lead Acid Batteries are found in Marine Applications, Stand By batteries, Deep Cycle batteries and Motorcycle batteries.  It is used in alarms, boats, recreational vehicles, telephone exchanges, fridge, trolling motors, and lights.

How does Lead Acid Battery Operate?

Lead Acid Batteries operate with three fundamental components of physical laws,

  • Anode: It is made up of lead and is known as a negative electrode.
  • Cathode: It is made up of lead dioxide and is known as positive terminal or electrode.
  • Electrolyte: It is made with the combination of sulfuric acid and water and is also known as a flooded cell.
Tyoes of Lead Acid Batteries
  • Automotive Batteries:
  • Supplies power to start the engine. It also acts as a voltage stabilizer to even out voltage spikes and to control damaging of other components in an electrical system.
  • Standby Batteries:
  • Supplies electrical power as a power back up. Acts as a voltage stabilizer to control fluctuations in electrical systems. Holds electrical loads as electrical utilities on a temporary basis.
  • Motive Batteries:
  • Supplies power to drive electric vehicles (truck) and its accessories (head light).
What the Motive Battery Does
  • Powers the motor that drives an electric vehicle, such as forklift truck.
  • Powers accessories like headlights on an electric vehicle.
  • Provides power for a specific purpose on an electric vehicle, such as the lift on an electric fork lift truck. Apollo Battery - What the Motive Battery Does
How a Battery is Made

Batteries are made of five basic components:

1. A container made of plastic. 2. Positive and negative internal plates made of lead. 3. Separators made of porous synthetic material. 4. Electrolyte, a dilute solution of sulphuric acid and water better known as battery fluid. 5. Lead terminals, the connection point between the battery and whatever it powers.

Apollo Battery - How a battery is made

Manufacturing Process:

  • A series of plastic container and cover is produced. For a 12-volt car battery, the container is segregated into six sections just like an ice cube tray and gets sealed on top after the process of battery manufacturing is over.
  • A battery must have negative and positive plates to get charged, so grids or plates from lead or alloy of lead are made.
  • A mixture of lead oxide powder, sulphuric acid and water are applied on the grids.
  • Separators are then placed to separate the negative and positive plates to prevent short circuits. Pores inside the separators allow fine flow of electrical current preventing short circuits.
  • The elements (negative and positive plates) are paired on a separator. Elements are then dropped in the battery case. The cells are then connected with lead and then it gets welded.
  • The battery is then filled with El          ectrolytes (a mixture containing water and sulphuric acid).
  • Charging is the final process. In this, the mixture of positive plates gets converted into lead oxide while the mixture of negative lead gets converted into a spongy lead.
  • After the cell gets fully charged its cleaned, labeled and shipped.

Apollo Battery - Battery Plates

The battery is then filled with electrolyte – or battery fluid – a mixture of sulphuric acid and water, and the cover is attached.

The final step is charging, or finishing. During this step, the battery terminals are connected to a source of electricity and the battery is charged for many hours. During this process the paste in the positive plate is converted to a different form of lead oxide and the paste in the negative plate is converted to spongy lead. When the battery is fully charged, the battery is cleaned, the labels are attached and it is packaged ready for transport.

Apollo Battery - Charging Process

How a Battery Works?

A battery stores electricity for future use. It develops voltage from the chemical reaction produced when two unlike metals, such as the positive and negative plate materials, are immersed in the electrolyte, a solution of sulphuric acid and water. In a typical lead-acid battery, the voltage is approximately 2 volts per cell, for a total of 12 volts. Electricity flows from the battery as soon as there is a circuit between the positive and negative terminals. This happens when any load that needs electricity, such as the radio, is connected to the battery.

Apollo Battery - Discharging Process

Most people don’t realize that a lead-acid battery operates in a constant process of charge and discharge. When a battery is connected to a load that needs electricity, such as the starter in your car, current flows from the battery. The battery begins to be discharged.

In the reverse process, a battery becomes charged when current flows back into it. This happens when you’re driving without any accessories and the alternator puts current back into the battery.

As a battery discharges, the lead plates become more chemically alike, the acid becomes weaker, and the voltage drops. Eventually the battery is so discharged that it can no longer deliver electricity at a useful voltage.

Apollo Battery - Charged with electricity

You can recharge a discharged battery by feeding electrical current back into the battery. A full charge restores the chemical difference between the plates and leaves the battery ready to deliver its full power.

If the battery won’t start your car, you usually refer to it as “dead,” even though that’s not technically correct. A battery that’s merely discharged – from leaving your headlights on or from a faulty alternator — can usually be recharged to its full capacity. But a battery that’s at the end of its service life can’t be recharged enough to restore it to a useful power level. Then it truly is dead, and must be replaced.

Apollo Battery - Jump start

If the battery is discharged, not dead, you can jump-start it from another fully charged battery. About 30 minutes of driving should allow the alternator to return charge the battery (in such cases it is recommended that the battery be given a top up charge at an auto servicing outlet so as to restore full charge). But if the alternator or another part of the electrical system in your car is damaged, they won’t be able to recharge your battery. So if your battery keeps discharging, before you replace it, have your electrical system checked. What looks like a bad battery could be an electrical system problem. If you have a bad component in the electrical system, it will keep draining a new battery, and you’ll be stranded again and again.