Lead acid battery – how does it work?

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In the modern world, almost everything runs on electricity. Today, there are many types of batteries, that allow us to power things. The first type of rechargeable battery ever created is a lead acid battery. What are they and how do they work?

Brief history of the lead acid battery

Lead acid battery is a technology from the late 19th century. Invented by a French physician in 1859, was obviously improved over the years, but the basic idea remains the same: lead is submerged in sulfuric acid to allow a controlled chemical reaction.

They are dependable and the cost-per-watt is relatively low. This makes it very effective to use lead acid battery for forklift, cars, other means of transport or UPS.

Lead acid battery – How does it work?

Lead acid battery is rechargeable, which means there are different things going on while its charged or discharged.

What makes it work is an electrolyte. It is sulfuric acid with water. As all things, when you look at them from chemistry perspective, it contains a lot of ions. This time, they are charged ions of sulfate and hydrogen. While the first are negatively charged, the latter are positive.

When the battery is being discharged, the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte is being depleted, and sulfate from it is coating the plates, reducing the surface area over which the chemical reaction is able to take place. While charging, sulfate is driven back to acid, which reverses the process.

Simply speaking, electrical charge is generated when the sulfate bonds to the lead.

Lead acid battery- any disadvantages?

The biggest and the most known disadvantage is that they self-discharge. The rate at which its happening isnt very high, but still – it happens.

Over time, the sulfate bonded to the lead can harden, which keeps it on the lead permanently. This means the battery can no longer fully charge.

It can also damage if discharged below 50%. On the other hand, it can be overcharged.

To sum up, these batteries need a little care. They are great for starting cars or to power electric vehicles (if charged often) but arent of use for devices used for longer periods of time.

Lead-acid batteries – almost 200 years old but still very much needed

Lead-acid batteries are still very much in demand. They have very powerful voltage, despite being relatively small. This makes them a preferable option for heavy-duty equipment, such as forklifts. They are also commonly used in cars, where they get the engine started. Furthermore, they can even power the entire electric vehicle – golf buggies being a great example.

If you look for lead acid battery for forklift, you may want to check lead-acid battery manufacturer, such as BATER.

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