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Lead Acid Batteries

Updated: Apr 12

What are Lead-Acid Batteries?

Lead-acid batteries are rechargeable batteries that have been in use since the 19th century. They are composed of lead and lead dioxide plates, immersed in a sulfuric acid electrolyte. This setup allows the battery to store and release energy through chemical reactions between the lead, lead dioxide, and sulfuric acid.

There are two main types of lead-acid batteries:

  1. Starting, Lighting, and Ignition (SLI) Batteries: These are designed to deliver a quick burst of energy to start a vehicle's engine. They are commonly used in cars and motorcycles.

  2. Deep Cycle Batteries: These batteries are designed to provide a steady amount of current over a long period. They are suitable for powering golf carts, RVs, floor scrubbers, and for renewable energy storage.

Maintenance Tips for Lead-Acid Batteries

  1. Regular Watering: Flooded lead-acid batteries need periodic watering to replace water lost during the charging process. Use only distilled or demineralized water and water the batteries after charging to avoid overflow and dilution of the electrolyte.

  2. Avoiding Overcharging and Deep Discharges: Do not let the battery discharge below 20% and avoid overcharging, as both can significantly reduce the battery's lifespan.

  3. Keeping the Battery Clean: Ensure the battery, including its terminals and cables, is kept clean to prevent corrosion.

  4. Temperature Considerations: Operate the batteries at moderate temperatures and avoid exposing them to extreme heat or cold, as these conditions can affect performance and longevity.

  5. Regular Checks: For SLI batteries, avoid deep discharges as they are not designed for this and can be damaged if regularly discharged fully.

  6. Proper Storage: When storing lead-acid batteries, ensure they are charged and kept in a cool, dry place. Regular checks are necessary to maintain their charge over long storage periods.

  7. Safe Handling Practices: Always wear protective gear like gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries, and ensure proper ventilation to avoid the buildup of explosive gases.

Disposal and Recycling

Lead-acid batteries are highly recyclable. Most retailers accept used batteries for recycling, and in many regions, there are laws that encourage or mandate recycling of these batteries.

By following these guidelines, you can significantly prolong the life of your lead-acid batteries, ensuring they remain safe and effective for their intended use. For more detailed information and specific maintenance guidelines, you can visit sources like Battery University, Crown Battery, and Continental Battery Systems.

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