Lead Acid Battery & How to Revive Dead ones

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Lead Acid Battery & How to Revive Dead ones
Posted on: November 08, 2023, 01:19:27 PM
This post is all about everything you need to know about Lead Acid Batteries, how to revive dead ones and the advantages and disadvantages of using lead acid batteries.

Lead-acid batteries have been a cornerstone of electrical energy storage for over a century. Their durability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness have made them a preferred choice for various applications, including powering automobiles, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), backup power systems, and renewable energy storage. In this article, we will delve into the world of lead-acid batteries, exploring their construction, working principles, advantages, disadvantages, and common applications.

1. Construction of Lead-Acid Batteries



Lead-acid batteries consist of several key components:

Lead Dioxide (PbO2) and Sponge Lead (Pb): These electrodes are immersed in a solution of diluted sulfuric acid (H2SO4).

Separator: A separator, typically made of porous materials like rubber or plastic, keeps the positive and negative plates from touching each other while allowing ions to pass through.

Electrolyte: Diluted sulfuric acid serves as the electrolyte, facilitating the flow of ions between the positive and negative plates.

Cell Casing: The cell casing holds all the components together, ensuring electrical insulation and protection.

2. Working Principles of Lead-Acid Batteries



Lead-acid batteries operate based on chemical reactions between the lead dioxide and sponge lead plates immersed in sulfuric acid. During discharge (when the battery is providing power), the following reactions occur:


At the positive plate:

PbO2 + H2SO4 + 2H+ + 2e- -> PbSO4 + 2H2O

At the negative plate:

Pb + H2SO4 -> PbSO4 + 2H+ + 2e-

Overall reaction:

PbO2 + Pb + 2H2SO4 -> 2PbSO4 + 2H2O

These reactions release electrical energy, making the battery discharge. During charging, the reactions are reversed, converting electrical energy into chemical energy and restoring the battery's charge.

3. Advantages of Lead-Acid Batteries



Reliability: Lead-acid batteries are known for their robust and dependable performance.

Low Cost: They are cost-effective compared to many other types of batteries.

Ease of Maintenance: They are relatively easy to maintain, with simple procedures for adding distilled water and cleaning terminals.

High Surge Current: Lead-acid batteries can deliver high surge currents, making them ideal for starting automotive engines.

Wide Temperature Range: They can operate in a wide range of temperatures, making them suitable for various applications.

4. Disadvantages of Lead-Acid Batteries



Limited Cycle Life: Lead-acid batteries have a finite number of charge and discharge cycles compared to newer battery technologies like lithium-ion.

Low Energy Density: They have a lower energy density, which means they are bulkier and heavier for a given energy capacity.

Risk of Acid Leakage: If not properly maintained, lead-acid batteries can leak sulfuric acid, which is corrosive and harmful.

Environmental Impact: The production and disposal of lead-acid batteries raise environmental concerns due to the lead content.

5. Common Applications of Lead-Acid Batteries



Automotive Batteries: Lead-acid batteries are widely used in vehicles to start the engine and power various electrical systems.

Backup Power Systems: They are utilized in UPS systems to provide emergency power during outages.

Renewable Energy Storage: Lead-acid batteries are used for off-grid solar and wind power systems.

Electric Wheelchairs: Lead-acid batteries provide the energy required for mobility devices.

Telecommunications: They are used in remote cell towers and communication systems where a reliable backup power source is needed.

Also Read

Flow Batteries: Advantages & Disadvantages
Lithium-Ion Batteries: Advantages & Disadvantages
Lead Acid Battery & How to Revive Dead ones

How to Revive Dead Lead Acid Battery



Reviving a dead lead-acid battery is sometimes possible, but it's important to note that not all dead batteries can be brought back to life, and the process can be somewhat risky. Lead-acid batteries may fail due to a variety of reasons, including sulfation (the buildup of lead sulfate crystals on the battery plates), over-discharge, or physical damage. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to attempt to revive a dead lead-acid battery:

Materials You'll Need:

• Distilled water
• A battery charger
• A voltmeter or multimeter
• Safety gear (gloves and safety glasses)
• Baking soda (for cleaning, if necessary)
• A well-ventilated area
• Safety Precautions:

Before you attempt to revive a dead lead-acid battery, ensure you take the following safety precautions:

Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect your eyes and hands from acid exposure.
Work in a well-ventilated area to minimize exposure to potentially harmful gases.

Reviving the Dead Lead-Acid Battery:

Assessment: Start by checking the battery's overall condition. Inspect the battery for any physical damage, such as cracks or leaks. If the battery is severely damaged, it may not be safe or practical to attempt a revival.

Remove the Battery: If the battery is in a vehicle, disconnect it from the electrical system, ensuring the ignition is off.

Safety Check: Make sure the battery is clean and free from debris. If there is corrosion on the battery terminals, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean them.

Check Voltage: Use a voltmeter or multimeter to measure the voltage of the dead battery. If the voltage is extremely low (below 10.5 volts), it may be difficult to revive.

Fill with Distilled Water: If the battery has removable caps, check the electrolyte levels in each cell. If the cells are low on electrolytes, add distilled water to cover the plates. Do not overfill; follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

Slow Charge: Use a battery charger designed for lead-acid batteries. Connect the charger to the dead battery, ensuring you follow the charger's instructions. Set the charger to the lowest voltage and current settings. Slow charging can help break down lead sulfate crystals on the plates. Charge the battery for 8-12 hours.

Monitor Charging: Keep an eye on the charging process. If you notice excessive heat or gassing (bubbling) in the battery, stop the charging process immediately. This may indicate an internal short circuit or other problems.

Recheck Voltage: After the initial charge, recheck the battery's voltage. If it has significantly increased, you might be on the right track.

Desulfation Charger: If the voltage remains low, you can try using a desulfation charger specifically designed to break down sulfation on the battery plates. These chargers use pulsating currents to help rejuvenate the battery. Follow the desulfation charger's instructions.

Recharge: If the battery voltage has increased and stabilized, disconnect the charger and allow the battery to rest for a few hours. Then, fully charge the battery using a standard charger.

Test and Reinstall: After fully charging the battery, test it under a load or reinstall it in the vehicle. Monitor the battery's performance and capacity to ensure it's functioning as expected.

It's essential to be cautious throughout this process, and it's not guaranteed to work in every case. If the battery doesn't show signs of improvement or continues to underperform, it may be best to recycle it properly and invest in a new one. Reviving a dead lead-acid battery is a temporary solution, and the battery's overall lifespan may be significantly reduced.

In conclusion, lead-acid batteries have a long and storied history in energy storage. While they face competition from newer battery technologies, their reliability and cost-effectiveness ensure they will remain a significant player in various applications for years. However, as environmental concerns grow, there is an increasing emphasis on developing more sustainable and eco-friendly battery technologies to replace or supplement lead-acid batteries in the future.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2023, 04:02:48 PM by Everest »
 

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