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Glossary

If electrolyte density is correct (battery is charged) and starter does not work, so could be following r

  • internal interruption of battery
  • no connection on clamps (oxidizing)
  • loosened connection at starter or on mass
  • faulty starter
  • faulty ignitron switch

 

Most of these faults can be detected and removed in our factory.

 

Maintenance-free battery does not need adding of water. None of battery that is not hermetical is in 100% maintenance-free. Most of batteries called for advertising “maintenance-free” have vent holes and holes for water adding, usually under flaps or labels. 

Example of really maintenance-free batteries is found on Polish market, spiral batteries manufactured by company “Optima”. Each cell is coiled in spiral, it means, as if take normal cell and roll it “in pancake”. Wherein, between positive and negative plates is gel or other material in which is trapped sulfuric acid – such material can be, for example, glass fiber cloth. Rolling of cell in spiral allowed for significant reduction of battery internal resistance which results in higher starter currents. However, introduction of fiber allows reducing evaporation of water from electrolyte that means, in fact, obtaining of maintenance-free battery. This, in turn, allows for completely hermetical sealing of battery. There are no plugs and you can not add water. These batteries, however do not like complete discharge and overcharge.

Rinse immediately with water, remove splashed clothes, thoroughly rinse with water, wash in hand (acidified clothes will destroy elements of washing machine!).

Plates will distort and cracks insulations – battery will be permanently damaged.

Exposed part of plates covers with sulfate, sometimes permanently.

Battery parameters reduce gradually.

The newer type of sealed maintenance free valve regulated battery uses “Absorbed Glass Mats”, or AGM separators between the plates. This is a very fine fiber boron-silicate glass mat. These type of batteries have all the advantages of gelled, but can take much more abuse. These are also called “starved electrolyte”. Just like the Gel batteries, the AGM Battery will not leak acid if broken.

Deep cycle batteries are designed to be discharged down as much as 80% time after time, and have much thicker plates that a standard automotive battery.

Starting batteries (sometimes called SLI, for starting, lighting and ignition) are commonly used to start and run engines. Engine starters need a very large starting current for a very short time. Starting batteries have a large number of thin plates for maximum surface area. The plates are composed of a Lead “sponge”, similar in appearance to a very fine foam sponge. This gives a very large surface area, but if deep cycled, this sponge will quickly be consumed and fall to the bottom of the cells. Automotive batteries will generally fail after 30-150 deep cycles if deep cycled, while they may last for thousands of cycles in normal starting use (2-5% discharge).

Marine batteries are considered „hybrid” batteries which actually fall between the starting and deep-cycle batteries

A gel battery design is typically a modification of the standard lead acid automotive or marine battery. A gelling agent is added to the electrolyte to reduce movement inside the battery case. Many gel batteries also use one way valves in place of open vents, this helps the normal internal gasses to recombine back into water in the battery, reducing gassing. “Gel Cell” batteries are non-spillable even if they are broken. Gel cells must be charged at a lower voltage (C/20) than flooded or AGM to prevent excess gas from damaging the cells. Fast charging them on a conventional automotive charger may permanently damage a Gel Battery.

A battery can be any device that stores energy for later use. The word battery is limited to an electrochemical device that converts chemical energy into electricity, by use of a galvanic cell. A galvanic cell is a fairly simple device consisting of two electrodes (an anode and a cathode) and an electrolyte solution. Batteries consist of one or more galvanic cells.

A battery is an electrical storage device. Batteries do not make electricity, they store it. As chemicals in the battery change, electrical energy is stored or released. In rechargeable batteries this process can be repeated many times. Batteries are not 100% efficient – some energy is lost as heat and chemical reactions when charging and discharging.

An amp-hour is one ampere for one hour, or 10 amps for 1/10 of an hour and so forth. It is amps X hours. If you have something that pulls 20 amps, and you use it for 20 minutes, then the amp-hours used would be 20 (amps) X 0.333 (hours), or 6.67 Ah. The accepted Ah rating time period for batteries used in solar electric and backup power systems (and for nearly all deep cycle batteries) is the “20 hour rate”. This means that it is discharged down to 10.5 volts over a 20 hour period while the total actual amp-hours it supplies is measured. Sometimes ratings at the 6 hour rate and 100 hour rate are also given for comparison and for different applications. The 6-hour rate is often used for industrial batteries, as that is a typical daily duty cycle. Sometimes the 100 hour rate is given just to make the battery look better than it really is, but it is also useful for figuring battery capacity for long-term backup amp-hour requirements.

In a lead-acid battery, the electrolyte is sulfuric acid diluted with water. It is a conductor that supplies water and sulfate for the electrochemical reaction.

The reserve capacity of a battery is defined as the number of minutes that it can support a 25 ampere load at 27°C until its terminal voltage drops to 1.75 volts per cell or 10.50 volts for a 12V battery. Thus a 12V battery that has a reserve capacity rating of 100 signifies that it can be discharged at 25 A for 100 minutes at 27°C before its voltage drops to 10.5 V.

The cold cranking ampere (CCA) rating according to European Standard – it is discharge current specified by producer, which battery can provide at -180C for 10 s to minimum voltage U=7.5V.

A WATT is the unit for measuring electrical power, i.e., the rate of doing work, in moving electrons by, or against, an electrical potential. Formula: Watts = Amperes x Volts.

A WATT-HOUR is the unit of measure for electrical energy expressed as Watts x Hours.

Volt is the unit of measure for electrical potential.

Sulfation is the formation or deposit of lead sulfate on the surface and in the pores of the active material of the batteries lead plates. If the sulfation becomes excessive and forms large crystals on the plates, the battery will not operate efficiently and may not work at all. Common causes of battery sulfation are standing a long time in a discharged condition, operating at excessive temperatures, and prolonged under or over charging.

Add distilled water, recharge, check density of electrolyte – if is too low, make it higher (thicken it).

  • Do not go near with fire (emitted from battery hydrogen can explode)
  • Do not tip over and crush (electrolyte is caustic)
  • Do not connect poles with piece of metal (plates distort and break an insulation)
  • Do not leave without service for more than 2 month without recharging (sulfation will appears)
  • Do not leave not attached to car body (additional shocks result in plate active material falling)
  • Do not overcharge, charge with too high current or voltage
  • Do not operate with too much power consumption by starter (power consumption we can check in our factory)
  • Do not put a clamp on battery by tapping (hitting it from the top) – unscrew the bolt, unclench “eye” with screwdriver, gently put on post (cleaned and greased with technical Vaseline) and tighten the bolt

In battery there is still explosive hydrogen gas. Do not let sparking on terminal posts, do not approach with fire.

Yes, it can. It should be recharged after 1,5 months.

In a partially discharged state, the electrolyte in a lead acid battery may freeze. At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature reaches approximately

-­9°C. The freezing temperature of the electrolyte in a fully charged battery is -69°C.

Definitely it should not be discharged to zero. After discharging below 8V you can not be able to charge it, it must be desulfurized. Completely discharged and left for a longer time battery may no longer be suitable for regeneration.

Overcharging of battery results in disintegrating of battery plates, which is irreversible damage.

Not hermetic batteries can not be used in rooms that can not be ventilated. If you can ventilate, modern batteries are safe to use in any room.

Lead acid batteries are 100% recyclable. Lead is the most recycled metal in the world today. The plastic containers and covers of old batteries are neutralized, reground and used in the manufacture of new battery cases. The electrolyte can be processed for recycled waste water uses. In some cases, the electrolyte is cleaned and reprocessed and sold as battery grade electrolyte. In other instances, the sulfate content is removed as Ammonia Sulfate and used in fertilizers. The separators are often used as a fuel source for the recycling process.

All batteries, regardless of their chemistry, self-discharge. The rate of self-discharge depends both on the type of battery and the storage temperature the batteries are exposed to. However, for a good estimate, wet flooded deep cycle batteries self-discharge approximately 4% per week at 270C.

 

Even more simply, voltage drop of battery is approximately 0.01V for 4 days (at ambient temperature 250C.

When charging lead acid batteries, the temperature should not exceed 490C. At this point the battery should be taken off charge and allowed to cool before resuming the charge process.

Under normal operating conditions, you never need to add acid. For a standard auto or marine battery, only distilled, deionized or approved water should be added to achieve the recommended levels mentioned above. When a battery is shipped in a dry state or accidental spillage occurs, electrolyte should be added to the battery. Once filled, a battery should only need periodic water addition.

This is an electrolyte which escaped fro battery and deposited as a solid, it can be sulfur that due to be an insulator, may cause difficulties in normal operation of battery.

Sandpaper. You should be very careful when using a round, universal “cleaners” to terminal posts – repeated careless use may cause significant reduction of post diameter and problems with effective tightening of clamps!

As in other cases – capacity. Regardless battery production technology, if its capacity corresponds to capacity recommended to our car, starting current will be sufficient. Even if on battery cover there are low values, there is no reason to worry (it can be given according to different standards).

Old batteries may be returned to the battery retailer, automotive service station, a battery manufacturer or other authorized collection centers for recycling.

  • The battery should be properly and firmly attached to the car body
  • Do not discharge battery fully (if engine will not start, do not turn the starter, but look for the reason)
  • If you are driving less than once a week, recharge battery with charger (or bring it to our factory)
  • Make sure that electrolyte covers plates, if not, add distilled water (we can do it In our factory)
  • Make sure with areometer that electrolyte has correct density (if not, dilute or thicken it – we can do it In our factory)
  • Every six month check charging voltage of battery – it can not be different than form 13.8V (at turned on passing beam) to 14.4V
  • Tighten clamps firmly and carefully, battery terminals clean and grease with technical Vaseline
  • Take care of battery cleanliness – dirty, wet, or at the worst, splashed at the top with electrolyte can quickly discharge itself (electrolyte conducts current, that can flow on battery body between terminals)

The lifetime of a battery varies considerably with how it is used, how it is maintained and charged, temperature, and other factors.

With current no higher than 1/10 of capacity (for example: 45Ah – 4,5 A) no longer than 10 hours. If you have an aerometer, after obtaining density 1,28 g/cm3, charging should be stopped.

The state of charge of a lead acid battery is most accurately determined by measuring the specific gravity of the electrolyte. This is done with an areometer. Battery voltage also indicates the level of charge when measured in an open circuit condition. This should be done with a voltmeter. For an accurate voltage reading, the battery should also be allowed to rest for a period sufficient to let the voltage stabilize. State of charge depending on measured voltage shows a graph below.

Be careful not to touch with wrench to mass, because it will spark. It can be avoid if during disconnecting, we unscrew negative clamp firstly and at connecting, positive clamp as a first. In recent times, there are voices from car electronics engineers that your should disconnect firstly positive, because it require electronics.

The positive terminal of the first battery is connected to the positive terminal of the second battery, the positive terminal of the second is connected to the positive of the third, etc. and The negative terminal of the first battery is connected to the negative terminal of the second battery, the negative terminal of the second is connected to the negative of the third, etc. So the batteries are connected: + to + to + and – to – to -. In this configuration, the capacity is the sum of the capacities of the individual batteries and voltage is unchanged. For example, if you take 5 6V 10Ah batteries and connect the batteries in series, you would end up with a battery array that is 30V and 10Ah. If you connect the batteries in parallel, you would end up with a battery array that is 6V and 50Ah. By the way, this is how ordinary auto batteries are made. 6 2V cells are put in series to give 12V battery and the 6 cells are just enclosed in one case. Many NiCd batteries are done the same way.

The positive terminal of the first battery is connected to the negative terminal of the second battery; the positive terminal of the second is connected to the negative of the third, etc. The voltage of the assembled battery is the sum of the battery voltages of the individual batteries. So the batteries are connected: + to – to + to – to + to -, etc. The capacity of the battery is unchanged.

Recharge it every 1,5 month, but the best, give it to someone who needs it.

12V battery has six separate cells, each 2 V, connected together. The cell is composed of alternately stacked, isolated with special insulators, negative and positive plates. Plates are immersed sulfuric acid electrolyte. Chemical reactions between plates and electrolyte result in taking or releasing an electrical charge. When releasing current, electrolyte becomes thinner as sulfuric acid “soaks” into plates.  When charging battery, there is a „dumping” of acid to electrolyte.

In battery there is still explosive hydrogen gas. Do not let sparking on terminal posts, do not approach with fire.

Small current does not destroy battery. Charging from rectifier with current higher than permissible results in spreading of plates, similarly as too high charging voltage (above 14.4V) in car.

Electrolyte level results from battery construction. It always should be higher than edge of separator (envelope in which plate is placed).

The electrolyte level should not drop below the top of the plates.

What type is required for our vehicle informs user instruction. Usually as a basic data is determined capacity of battery. Do not buy battery with capacity less than recommended. It is very important especially in winter when energy consumption of our battery increases significantly. Additionally, its capacity decreases due to low temperature. As a result of above two factors you may find that one day battery will loss energy to start vehicle. Having choice of two batteries of the same capacity, better choose battery that is characterized by starting current with higher value. In simple words, starting current shows what possibilities have battery in low temperatures. The higher starting current the “stronger” battery. From purely physical characteristics of battery you should pay attention for its size. Too big will not fit to factory mount. And too small may move during driving and disconnect from clamps. You should remember also to pay attention for terminals poles. In some vehicles, positive pole of battery must be on left side, but in other vehicle on right side. Such requirements simply pot the location of cables that are usually to short to place it in opposite way.

 

Current European Standard EN 50342-1:2006 has a status of Polish Standard.

 

Basic tests which it describes are:

 

Test of 20h capacity, expressed in ampere-hours (Ah) (this information is placed by manufacturer on battery label).

 

Test of reserve capacity (reference to American Standard SAE – result expressed in minutes are placed by manufacturer from USA)).

 

Test of starting capability (result expressed in amperes (A) is placed by manufacturers on battery label).

 

Other tests that define this standard: charge acceptance, charge retention, consumption of water, etc.

 

Additional markings that may appear on battery in accordance with above standard are: “low water loss” or “very low water loss”; of course, after fulfilling relevant requirements of the standard.

The most important is selection of battery – it must conform to parameters such as engine size. In addition, charging voltage in vehicle (measured at terminals of battery poles) should be in range 14-14,4V (in case of 12V installation).

Discharged battery – the one that voltage is lower than 12.55V – should be immediately recharged. Leaving battery in undercharged condition can lead to sulfation of plates.

Electrolyte level should be regularly checked and if necessary – it losses should be replenished with distilled water, only. Minimum level of electrolyte is 15 mm above edge of plates. At large losses battery state of charge should be checked.

Regular use of above rules (and not just before winter season) will affect battery life. Batteries lose its efficiency with time. It is hard to give universal method of evaluation when battery should be replaced. But it is worth to think about that after three years of use – especially when you are planning winter trips.

Basic principle – battery installed in car must have capacity similar (or slightly higher to 10%) than that recommended by car o battery manufacturer. Each seller should have battery application directory and advise customer what battery will be he best suited to his vehicle.

As a standard, battery capacity is expressed in ampere-hours (Ah). For batteries manufactured in USA and in The Far East we can meet marking RC expressed in minutes “Reserve Capacity”, Competent seller should offer an adequate substitute.

Similar concerns about starting capability; it can be expressed in standards SAE or DIN (becoming less common); the standard is EN.

Batteries are divided in two ways, by application (what they are used for) and construction (how they are built). The major applications are automotive, marine, and deep-cycle. Deep-cycle includes solar electric, backup power and boat “house” batteries. The major construction types are flooded (wet), gelled, and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). AGM batteries are also sometimes called “starved electrolyte” or “dry”, because the fiberglass mat is only 95% saturated with sulfuric acid and there is no excess liquid. Flooded may be standard, with removable caps, or the so-called “maintenance free” (that means they are designed to die one week after the warranty runs out). All gelled are sealed and a few are “valve regulated”, which means that a tiny valve keeps a slight positive pressure. Nearly all AGM batteries are sealed valve regulated (commonly referred to as “VRLA” – Valve Regulated Lead-Acid). Most valve regulated are under some pressure – 1 to 4 psi at sea level.

Batteries are divided in two ways, by application (what they are used for) and construction (how they are built). The major applications are automotive, marine, and deep-cycle. Deep-cycle includes solar electric, backup power and boat “house” batteries. The major construction types are flooded (wet), gelled, and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). AGM batteries are also sometimes called “starved electrolyte” or “dry”, because the fiberglass mat is only 95% saturated with sulfuric acid and there is no excess liquid. Flooded may be standard, with removable caps, or the so-called “maintenance free” (that means they are designed to die one week after the warranty runs out). All gelled are sealed and a few are “valve regulated”, which means that a tiny valve keeps a slight positive pressure. Nearly all AGM batteries are sealed valve regulated (commonly referred to as “VRLA” – Valve Regulated Lead-Acid). Most valve regulated are under some pressure – 1 to 4 psi at sea level.

  • Keep away with fire (mixture of hydrogen and oxygen can explode, hydrogen is released during battery charging)
  • Do not pour out electrolyte – electrolyte is caustic
  • During professional service of batteries, acid resistant gloves and goggles should be used

Rectifier must be 12V for 12V batteries. Having such rectifier, do not care about voltage but about amperage only. Whereas, in car important is only voltage – from 13,8 to 14,4 V, an amperage in this case is negligible. Both rectifier and charging can be checked in our factory.

If plates are exposed, add distilled water before charging and wait approximately 20 minutes until plates will soak. If plates are covered with electrolyte, it does not matter when you add water. Remember that battery is explosive and every movement of cables can result in sparking and explosion of battery. Therefore, do not manipulate with battery during charging process.

Discharged battery has a voltage without load below 12,5V, electrolyte density below 1,26 g/cm3

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