1. CASE: Container which holds and protects all battery components and electrolyte, separates cells, and provides space at the bottom for sediment (active materials washed off plates). Translucent plastic cases allow checking electrolyte level without removing vent caps.
2. COVER: Permanently sealed to the top of the case; provides outlets for terminal posts, vent holes for venting of gases and for battery maintenance (checking electrolyte, adding water).
3. PLATES: Positive and negative plates have a grid framework of antimony and lead alloy. Active material is pasted to the grid ... brown-colored lead dioxide (Pb02) on positive plates, gray-colored sponge lead (Pb) on negative plates. The number and size of the plates determine current capability ... batteries with large plates or many plates produce more current than batteries with small plates or few plates.
4. SEPARATORS: Thin, porous insulators (woven glass or plastic envelopes) are placed between positive and negative plates. They allow passage of electrolyte, yet prevent the plates from touching and shorting out.
5. CELLS: An assembly of connected positive and negative plates with separators in between is called a cell or element. When immersed in electrolyte, a cell produces about 2.1 volts
(regardless of the number or size of plates). Battery cells are connected in series, so the number of cells determines the battery voltage. A "1 2 - volt" battery has six cells.
6. CELL CONNECTORS: Heavy, cast alloy metal straps are welded to the negative terminal of one cell and the positive terminal of the adjoining cell until all six cells are connected in series.
7. CELL PARTITIONS: Part of the case, the partitions separate each cell.
8. TERMINAL POSTS: Positive and negative posts (terminals) on the case top have thick, heavy cables connected to them. These cables connect the battery to the vehicle's electrical system (positive) and to ground (negative).
9. VENT CAPS: Types include individual filler plugs, strip-type, or box-type. They allow controlled release of hydrogen gas during charging (vehicle operation). Removed, they permit checking electrolyte and, if necessary, adding water.
10. ELECTROLYTE: A mixture of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and water (H2O). It reacts chemically with the active materials in the plates to create an electrical pressure (voltage). And, it conducts the electrical current produced by that pressure from plate to plate. A fully charged battery will have about 36% acid and 64% water.
A lead-acid cell works by a simple principle: when two different metals are immersed in an acid solution, a chemical reaction creates an electrical pressure. One metal is brown-colored lead dioxide (Pb02). It has a positive electrical charge. The other metal is gray colored sponge lead (Pb). It has a negative electrical charge. The acid solution is a mixture of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and water (H20). It is called electrolyte.
If a conductor and a load are connected between the two metals, current will flow. This discharging will continue until the metals become alike and the acid is used up. The action can be reversed by sending current into the cell in the opposite direction. This charging will continue until the cell materials are restored to their original condition.
A lead-acid storage battery can be partially discharged and recharged many times. There are four stages in this discharging/charging cycle.
1. CHARGED: A fully charged battery contains a negative plate of sponge lead (Pb), a positive plate of lead dioxide (Pb02), and electrolyte of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and water (H20).
2. DISCHARGING: As the battery is discharging, the electrolyte becomes diluted and the plates become sulfated. The electrolyte divides into hydrogen (H2) and sulfate(S04) . The hydrogen (H2) combines with oxygen (0) from the positive plate to form more water (H20). The sulfate combines with the lead (Pb) in both plates to form lead sulfate (PbS04)
3. DISCHARGED: In a fully discharged battery, both plates are covered with lead sulfate (PbSO4) and the electrolyte is diluted to mostly water (H2O).
4. CHARGING: During charging, the chemical action is reversed. Sulfate (S04) leaves the plates and combines with hydrogen (H2) to become sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Free oxygen (02) combines with lead (Pb) on the positive plate to form lead dioxide (Pb02). Gassing occurs as the battery nears full charge, and hydrogen bubbles out at the negative plates, oxygen at the positive.
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You can now recondition your old batteries at home and bring them back to 100 percent of their working condition. This guide will enable you to revive All NiCd batteries regardless of brand and battery volt. It will give you the required information on how to re-energize and revive your NiCd batteries through the RVD process, charging method and charging guidelines.