Recombination Batteries

The recombination battery is one of the most recent advances in the automotive battery

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FIGURE. The recombination battery is one of the most recent advances in the automotive battery.

A recent variation of the automobile battery is the recombination battery. The recombination battery is sometimes called a gel-cell battery. It does not use a liquid electrolyte. Instead, it uses separators that hold a gel-type material. The separators are placed between the grids and have very low electrical resistance. The spiral design provides a larger plate surface area than that in conventional batteries. In addition, the close plate spacing results in decreased resistance. Because of this design, output voltage and current are higher than in conventional batteries. The extra amount of available voltage (approximately 0.6 V) assists in cold-weather starting. Also, gassing is virtually eliminated and the battery can recharge faster.

Construction of the recombination battery cells

FIGURE. Construction of the recombination battery cells.

The following are some other safety features and advantages of the recombination battery:

  1. Contains no liquid electrolyte.

Hybrid Batteries

Note: The following discussion on hybrid batteries refers to a battery type and not to the batteries that are used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

The hybrid battery combines the advantages of the low-maintenance and maintenance-free battery. The hybrid battery can withstand six deep cycles and still retain 100% of its original reserve capacity. The grid construction of the hybrid battery consists of approximately 2.75% antimony alloy on the positive plates and a calcium alloy on the negative plates. This allows the battery to withstand deep cycling while retaining reserve capacity for improved cranking performance. Also, the use of antimony alloys reduces grid growth and corrosion. The lead calcium has less gassing than conventional batteries.

Hybrid grid and separator construction

FIGURE. Hybrid grid and separator construction.

Grid construction differs from other batteries in that the plates have a lug located near the center of the grid. In addition, the vertical and horizontal grid bars are arranged in a radial pattern (Figure 5-15).… READ THE REST

Maintenance-Free Batteries

Maintenance-free batteries

FIGURE. Maintenance-free batteries.

In a ⚡ maintenance-free battery ⚡ there is no provision for the addition of water to the cells. The battery is sealed. It contains cell plates made of a slightly different compound than what is in a conventional battery. The plate grids contain calcium, cadmium, or strontium to reduce gassing and self-discharge. Gassing is the conversion of the battery water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. This process is also called electrolysis. The antimony used in conventional batteries is not used in maintenance-free batteries because it increases the breakdown of water into hydrogen and oxygen and because of its low resistance to overcharging. The use of calcium, cadmium, or strontium reduces the amount of vaporization that takes place during normal operation. The grid may be constructed with additional supports to increase its strength and to provide a shorter path, with less resistance, for the current to flow to the top tab.… READ THE REST

Chemical Action inside of the Battery

Activation of the battery is through the addition of electrolyte. This solution causes the chemical actions to take place between the lead peroxide of the positive plates and the sponge lead of the negative plates. The electrolyte is also the carrier that moves electric current between the positive and negative plates through the separators.

The automotive battery has a fully charged specific gravity of 1.265 corrected to 80°F (27°C). Therefore, a specific gravity of 1.265 for electrolyte means it is 1.265 times heavier than an equal volume of water. As the battery discharges, the specific gravity of the electrolyte decreases because the electrolyte becomes more like water. The specific gravity of a battery can give you an indication of how charged a battery is.

  • Fully charged: 1.265 specific gravity
  • 75% charged: 1.225 specific gravity
  • 50% charged: 1.190 specific gravity
  • 25% charged: 1.155 specific gravity
  • Discharged: 1.120 or lower specific gravity

These specific gravity values may vary slightly according to the design of the battery.… READ THE REST

Conventional Batteries

The ⚡ conventional battery ⚡ is constructed of seven basic components:

  1. Positive plates.
  2. Negative plates.
  3. Separators.
  4. Case.
  5. Plate straps.
  6. Electrolyte.
  7. Terminals.

The difference between “3-year” and “5-year” batteries is the quantity of material expanders used in the construction of the plates and the number of plates used to build a cell. Material expanders are fillers that can be used in place of the active materials. They are used to keep the manufacturing costs low.

Conventional battery grid

FIGURE. Conventional battery grid.

A plate, either positive or negative, starts with a grid. Grids are generally made of lead alloys, usually antimony. About 5% to 6% antimony is added to increase the strength of the grid. The grid is the frame structure with connector tabs at the top. The grid has horizontal and vertical grid bars that intersect at right angles. An active material made from ground lead oxide, acid, and material expanders is pressed into the grid in paste form.… READ THE REST

Automotive Batteries

An automotive battery is an electrochemical device capable of storing and producing electrical energy. Electrochemical refers to the chemical reaction of two dissimilar materials in a chemical solution that results in electrical current. When the battery is connected to an external load, such as a starter motor, an energy conversion occurs that results in an electrical current flowing through the circuit. Electrical energy is produced in the battery by the chemical reaction that occurs between two dissimilar plates that are immersed in an electrolyte solution. The automotive battery produces direct current (DC) electricity that flows in only one direction.

When discharging the battery (current flowing from the battery), the battery changes chemical energy into electrical energy. It is through this change that the battery releases stored energy. During charging (current flowing through the battery from the charging system), electrical energy is converted into chemical energy. As a result, the battery can store energy until it is needed.… READ THE REST