The Automobile Battery The Lead-Acid Battery System



Examples: Car batteries (SLI, power steering/windows, anti-lock brakes, cruise control, cigarette lighter, airbag sensors, air conditioning, defoggers), emergency electric generators, telephone systems, global positioning systems, golf carts, etc.

 Applications: Automobile engine starting, lighting & ignition, energy storage, emergency power, electric/hybrid vehicles, submarines etc..

 Cathode/Anode/Electrolyte: Lead Dioxide/Metallic Lead/Sulfuric Acid Solution

 Chemistry:   PbO2 + 4H+ + 2e- Pb2+ + 2H2O                      cathode
                        Pb2+ + SO42-
Pb2+ 2e-                                                        anode
                        Pb2+ + SO42-

                       Pb + PbO2 + 2H2SO4
2PbSO4 + 2H2O         (discharge reaction)

 Distinguishing Characteristics: 

  • Popular low cost secondary battery, capable of being produce worldwide on a local basis.

  • Available in a variety of sizes.

  • Good high-rate performance.

  • Moderately good low and high temperature performance.

  • Electrically efficient turnaround efficiency of over 70%.

  • Highest open-circuit voltage of all aqueous electrolyte battery systems (>2.0V).

  • Good float service.

  • East state of charge indication.

  • Good charge retention for intermittent charge applications.

  • Available in maintenance free designs.

  • Low cost compared with other secondary battery systems.

  • Cell components are easily recycled.

 Fun Fact: Annual sales of lead-acid batteries represent approximately 45% of the sales volume, of all batteries in the world.


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