Car Batteries – What’s in the Design?
The most common car battery in use is the Lead-Acid battery, the lead acid battery was invented back in 1859 by a frenchman named Gaston Planté, it is also the oldest type of rechargeable battery. Lead acid batteries actually have a low energy to weight ratio, i’m sure you have all picked up a car battery before? typically they weight anywhere from 15 kilograms to 22 kilograms, depending on the size among other things. So why are they so popular? Glad you asked, the main reason is the actually manufacturing cost is very low, they also have a good power to weight ratio, enough to supply a vehicles starter motor. Please note low energy to weight ratio and good power to weight ratio!
Design and construction of a lead acid battery
The main parts in the construction of a lead acid battery are as follows:
- Positive plates
- Negative Plates
- Positive Terminal
- Negative Terminal
- Electrolyte Solution
There are a few variations to the lead acid battery and of course newer more modern battery designs available, often with greater life spans than the traditional lead acid battery, maintenance free but also at a premium price.
Some common names in which you may see when battery shopping:
- Maintenance Free Lead Acid
- VRLA ( valve regulated lead acid )
- AGM ( Absorbed Glass Mat )
- Starting Batteries
- Deep Cycle Batteries
Some of the terms above are just describing the same product, such as sealed and maintenance free, some have a different construction process of additional additives which make the battery more specific in it’s use – a cranking / starting battery or a deep cycle battery ( such as used in camper vans , boats etc )
Most lead acid batteries will last 2 years or more for every day use in a vehicle, some brands may use superior materials to extend this life span, or construction design. Typically the use of lead with out impurities or batteries with a higher concentration of acid may lead to a longer life. This is also dependant on using the correct battery for the vehicle type, how often it’s used, the vehicles electrical load and the condition of the vehicles charging system.
For more information of lead acid batteries please visit this wikipedia page : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead-acid_battery