Energy Created By The Flow Of Electrons Through A Conductor Rock Down to Electric Avenue – What You Need to Know About Car Batteries

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Rock Down to Electric Avenue – What You Need to Know About Car Batteries

Anyone who has ever left the lights on after running around on a rainy day knows the soul-wrenching experience of shoving the key in the lock followed by deafening silence. Fortunately, the battery in your car is more like the one in your iPod than a digital camera. Your car’s electrical system is constantly charging as you drive. And, with a little basic knowledge, you can even recharge a dead battery or keep a new one in good condition during storage, extending its life beyond the manufacturer’s specifications.

Most modern vehicles use “sunken cell” batteries, indicating the presence of liquid electrolytes (no, not from Gatorade). When you put the key in the ignition and start (or crank) the vehicle, your vehicle’s electrical system delivers large bursts of energy from the battery to the coil, which fires the spark plugs and starts the engine.

A submerged cell car battery gives your vehicle a 12 volt boost by connecting six galvanic cells in series, each cell providing 2.1 volts for a total of 12.6 volts at full charge. These lead batteries consist of two different types of plates, lead and lead dioxide. In turn, the plates are immersed in an electrolyte solution (again, not Gatorade), causing a chemical reaction that releases electrons. This charge enables the flow of electrons through the conductors and the production of electricity needed to start the vehicle.

As the battery discharges, the acid reacts with the plate materials, changing their surface to lead sulfate. When the battery is recharged, the chemical reaction is reversed and the lead sulfate is converted to lead oxide and lead, returning them to their original state and allowing the process to repeat.

When installing a new battery or recharging an accidentally discharged battery, there are several different methods for charging it. The gentlest of them is called continuous charging. With the battery charger, you can easily and safely recharge an empty battery or keep the battery charged during long-term storage of the vehicle without having to disconnect the battery from the vehicle. A modern battery charger isn’t like a clunky old dinosaur in dad’s garage. It’s small enough to slip between the battery and your vehicle’s frame and comes complete with multiple output cables and battery clamps. In addition, many come with a plastic case for safety, preventing electric shock.

The car battery should be monitored and charged regularly when stored. In addition, when preparing to store batteries, they should be fully charged, cleaned of corrosion, and placed in a cool, dry environment. High temperatures increase the rate of self-discharge and plate corrosion.

Finally, do not throw away the used battery. About 97% of lead from used batteries is recycled through recycling. In fact, many cities offer lead acid battery recycling services. There are even some dealers that give a nominal credit toward the purchase of a new battery for recycling your old 12V battery at their location.

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