The Benefits Of Lead Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries are sometimes referred to as “starting batteries”.  This type battery is the oldest rechargeable battery in existence.  It was originally designed for commercial use.  The lead-acid batteries have dominated the market ever since their invention in 1859 by French physicist, Gaston Plante.  Even with the surge of new batteries in the market, the lead-acid battery has not lost its importance and to this day continues to weave its magic.

The lead-acid batteries meet the requirements of the high current needed tor the automobile starter motors.  These batteries are cost-effective and their ability to supply surges of high currents make them the most viable option for use in cars and other motor vehicles.

Car batteries provide the electricity needed for starter motors, ignition, lights and other electrical features.  Car batteries are needed to start either diesel or gasoline engines as they provided the necessary electricity.  Most car batteries are lead-acid batteries.  The energy is produced through a chemical process that involves lead, lead oxide and a liquid electrolyte solution.  Plates of lead and lead oxide sit in the electrolyte solution made up of a small percentage of sulfuric acid and a greater percentage of water.  This combination produces a chemical reaction which causes electrons to be released.  These are routed through conductors in the battery to generate the electricity needed for the car.

When lead-acid batteries are discharged, sulfuric acid forms on the lead plates.  When they are recharged again, this sulfuric acid on the plates breaks back into its basic lead and lead oxide. 

Some car batteries are designed so that you can add water for maintenance.  In the 1970s maintenance-free sealed lead-acid batteries were developed.  This type lead-acid battery can be used in any position, sideways or upside down without the risk of acid leakage.  The liquid electrolyte is gelled into separators and sealed.  Safety valves allow venting during charging, discharging and other atmospheric pressure changes.

At the present time, there are two lead-acid systems used.  The small sealed lead-acid (SLA) system and the larger valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) system.

The Absorbed Glass Mat batteries (AGM) are the newer type sealed lead-acid batteries.  These batteries are maintenance free. The plates are mounted so that they are designed to withstand extensive shock and vibration.  Hydrogens emission from cars using these batteries is less than 4%.  Self-discharge is extremely low at 1-3% per month. These batteries have long storage before there is a need to recharge.  The AGM batteries are more expensive than the flooded lead-acid batteries (liquid electrolyte), but they are preferred for use in high performance cars because for their durability.

The self-discharge of the lead-acid batteries is one of the best for rechargeable batteries at about 40% per year.  Compare this with the nickel-cadmium batteries that self-discharge in about three months.

Lead-acid batteries make a perfect choice for cars. These batteries are inexpensive and reliable.  They

provide dependable service.  When used appropriately they are durable, and they have the lowest self-discharge rate among rechargeable batteries.