Automotive Batteries: Summary

An automotive battery is an electrochemical device that provides for and stores electrical energy. Electrical energy is produced in the battery by the chemical reaction that occurs between two dissimilar plates that are immersed in an electrolyte solution. An automotive battery has the following important functions: It operates the starting motor, ignition system, electronic fuel

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Battery Holddowns

FIGURE. Different types of battery hold-downs. All batteries must be secured in the vehicle to prevent damage and the possibility of shorting across the terminals if the battery tips. Normal vibrations cause the plates to shed their active materials. Hoiddowns reduce the amount of vibration and help increase the life of the battery. FIGURE. Some

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Battery Cables

Battery cables are high-current conductors that connect the battery to the vehicles electrical system. Battery cables must be of a sufficient capacity to carry the current required to meet all electrical demands. Normal 12-volt cable size is usually 4 or 6 gauge. Various forms of clamps and terminals are used to assure a good electrical

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Battery Ratings

Battery capacity ratings are established by the Battery Council International (BCI) in conjunction with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Battery cell voltage depends on the types of materials used in the construction of the battery. Current capacity depends on several factors: The size of the cell plates. The larger the surface area of the

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Battery Terminals

FIGURE. The most common types of automotive battery terminals. Terminals provide a means of connecting the battery plates to the vehicle’s electrical system. All automotive batteries have two terminals. One terminal is a positive connection; the other is a negative connection. The battery terminals extend through the cover or the side of the battery case.

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Ultra-Capacitors

FIGURE. Ultra-capacitor cell construction. Ultra-capacitors are capacitors constructed to have a large electrode surface area and a very small distance between the electrodes. Unlike conventional capacitors that use a dielectric, the ultra-capacitors use an electrolyte. It also stores electrical energy at the boundary between the electrodes and the electrolyte. Although an ultra-capacitor is an electrochemical

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High-Voltage Batteries

Automotive manufactures have been investigating the use of high-voltage batteries for over 20 years. The first step was to the use of 42-volt systems. Today, high-voltage batteries are required by electric-drive vehicles. This section discussed the high-voltage battery system and its progression. 42-Volt Systems The first production vehicle that used the 42-volt system was the

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