Lead Acid

Lead Acid Battery

Lead-acid is the oldest rechargeable battery in existence, it was the first rechargeable battery for commercial use. 150 years later, we still have no cost-effective alternatives for cars, wheelchairs, scooters, golf carts and UPS systems. The lead-acid battery has retained a market share in applications where newer battery chemistries would either be too expensive.
Lead-acid does not lend itself to fast charging. Typical charge time is 8 to 16 hours. A periodic fully saturated charge is essential to prevent sulfation and the battery must always be stored in a charged state. Leaving the battery in a discharged condition causes sulfation and a recharge may not be possible.

Finding the ideal charge voltage limit is critical. A high voltage (above 2.40V/cell) produces good battery performance but shortens the service life due to grid corrosion on the positive plate. A low voltage limit is subject to sulfation on the negative plate. Leaving the battery on float charge for a prolonged time does not cause damage.

Lead-acid does not like deep cycling. A full discharge causes extra strain and each cycle robs the battery of some service life. This wear-down characteristic also applies to other battery chemistries in varying degrees. To prevent the battery from being stressed through repetitive deep discharge, a larger battery is recommended. Lead-acid is inexpensive but the operational costs can be higher than a nickel-based system if repetitive full cycles are required.

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