Info BASE Technologies

Introduction

Most cars and bikes contain lead-acid battery nowadays. Chances are, the car you drive also has one. Or, you’re a mechanic who needs it to power a new machine that you’ve been working on. But, you might not know anything about this battery.

1859 was the year when the first Lead Acid Gel battery came to life. But, since then these batteries have gone through many modifications. Now it has turned into a go-to battery for heavy-duty.

After that manufacturers started to set their eyes on this type of battery. Even an aircraft manufacturing company started using these batteries on their aircraft. 

What is a Lead-acid Battery?

lead acid battery in a car engine

The Lead battery is one of the oldest types of rechargeable batteries. These batteries were invented in the year 1859 by the French physicist Gaston Plante.

Despite having a small energy-to-volume ratio and a very low energy-to-weight ratio, its ability to supply high surge contents reveals that the cells have a relatively large power-to-weight ratio.

Lead-acid batteries can be classified as secondary batteries. The chemical reactions that occur in secondary cells are reversible. The reactants that generate an electric current in these batteries (via chemical reactions) can be regenerated by passing a current through the battery (recharging).

The chemical process of extracting current from a secondary battery (forward reaction) is called discharging. The method of regenerating active material is called charging.

The lead battery is best known for its seal. The seal keeps the battery safe from any danger. So let’s know what a sealed lead acid battery is. 

Sealed Lead Acid Battery

sealed lead acid battery

The sealed lead-acid battery consists of six cells mounted side by side in a single case. The cells are coupled together, and each 2.0V cell adds up to the overall 12.0V capacity of the battery.

Lead-acid batteries are relatively heavier than other types of batteries. As lead-acid batteries can deliver a high amount of electricity, people prefer them the most. Which is also enough to ignite a cold engine in an automobile.

A completely loaded lead battery is built up of a stack of alternating lead oxide electrodes. Lead oxides electrodes are isolated from each other by layers of permeable separators.

All these parts are located in a rich solution of sulfuric acid. Intercell connectors connect the positive end of one cell to the negative end of the next cell hence the six cells are in series.

How Does Lead Acid Batteries Work?

lead acid battery ready for installation

Every kind of battery has a chemical reaction going inside of them. They convert chemical energy to electrical energy. And each type of battery has a unique technic. 

So let’s take a look how lead-acid battery produces electrical energy.

We know that there’s a solution of sulphuric acid inside the seal. So, the sulfuric acid dissolves. Molecules break up into positive hydrogen ions (2H+) and sulphate negative ions (SO4—) and move freely.

If the two electrodes are immersed in solutions and connected to the Direct current supply. Then the hydrogen ions being positively charged and moved towards the electrodes and connected to the negative terminal of the supply. 

The SO4— ions being negatively charged moved towards the electrodes connected to the positive terminal of the supply main (i.e., anode).

Lead-acid-battery each hydrogen ion takes one electron from the cathode, and each sulphates ion takes the two negative ions from the anodes and react with water and form sulfuric and hydrogen acid.

The oxygen, which produced from the above equation react with lead oxide and form lead peroxide (PbO2.) Thus, during charging the lead cathode remain as the lead. However, the lead anode converts into lead peroxide, chocolate in colour.

If the Direct Current source of supply is disconnected and if the voltmeter connects between the electrodes, it will show the potential difference between them.

If the wire connects the electrodes, then the current will flow from the positive plate to the negative plate through an external circuit i.e. the cell is capable of supplying electrical energy.

So, now you know the working principle of a lead-acid battery. This ain’t enough, you also should know about the pros and cons of a lead-acid battery.

No worries we got it all covered for you.

Pros And Cons of Lead Acid Batteries

lead acid battery

Everything has its pros and cons. This battery is no different. So, first, let’s take a look at the pros.

Sealed Maintenance Free

The valve regulated, spill-proof construction of sealed lead-acid battery allows trouble-free, safe operation in any position. 

There’s no need to add electrolytes, as gases generated during charging are recombined in a unique ”oxygen cycle ”.

Economical

The high watt-hour per dollar value is made possible by the materials used in a sealed lead-acid battery. They are readily available and lower in cost than alternative battery chemistries such as lithium batteries.

Long Service Life 

Sealed lead-acid batteries can have a design life of anywhere from 3-5 years all the way to over 12 years. Though it depends on the manufacturing process of the battery. There are many factors that affect the service life of the battery including temperature.

Compact Design

Power sonic use state of the art design, high-grade material, and a controlled plate making process to provide an excellent output per cell. The high energy density provides superior power/volume and power/weight ratios.

High Discharge Rate

The discharge rate is one of the important matters of any battery. Because all we want is the best output per cell from the battery. The lead-acid battery produces high peak currents.

Cons of lead-acid battery

Minitrucks powered by lead acid battery

Though the lead-acid battery is one of the most used batteries of all time. It has some drawbacks. So, let’s see about the cons of lead-acid batteries.

  • Lead is heavier compare to alternative elements.
  • It contains a low specific energy, poor weight to energy ratio.
  • You can charge it slowly i.e. fully saturated charge takes 14 to 16 hours.
  • Store it in charged condition in order to prevent sulfation.
  • It has limited cycle life. Moreover repeated deep cycling reduces battery life.
  • The flooded version of the battery requires watering.
  • It is not environmentally friendly.
  • There are transportation restrictions on flooded type.

Now you know all about lead-acid batteries. We hope this article helped you with your question.

Signing Off

Lead Acid Battery is the MVP out there. You’ll see them anywhere you go. Your car, your computer, your generator and even the plane you fly in. 

The applications of Lead Acid batteries are endless. Their ability to store so much energy in such a compact space is what makes them so great. 

Well, that’s about everything on Lead batteries. Did we miss anything? If we did, let us know in the comments.

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