What's in a lead-acid battery
1 General information
2 Hazards from lead-acid batteries
3 protective measures
Lead-acid batteries are usually used as starter batteries in vehicles with internal combustion engines. Most electric forklift trucks and electric pallet trucks are also equipped with lead-acid batteries to power the electric motor. Lithium batteries, like the ones we use in electronic devices such as B. Laptops, cameras, cell phones are now usually only installed in vehicles with electric or hybrid drives.
The structure of the battery is very simple: the electrode plates are made of lead, and in between there is dilute sulfuric acid as an electrolyte. Today, most lead-acid batteries use a gel rather than liquid acid.
The typical application of this type of battery as a starter battery corresponds to the requirements for a motor vehicle with a combustion engine, which requires a very high starting current of a few hundred amperes (!) To start and is then immediately recharged by operating the engine. These batteries are able to deliver a very high current for a short time at high and low ambient temperatures and to store the electrical energy for a sufficient period of time. They can also be recharged again and again
In mobile homes and camping vehicles as well as on boats, a further stationary battery is used in addition to the starter battery.
The use of lithium-ion batteries is a matter of course today. Due to the large number of electronic devices, these batteries can be found in every company and every private household. But the use is also risky and not completely harmless as it appears. When working on electric and hybrid vehicles, special training is required due to the significantly higher voltage of the lithium-ion batteries (400 or 1000 volts).
2Hazards from lead-acid batteries
- Back problems and health problems due to the heavy weight of a car battery when installing, removing, lifting and carrying.
It is also critical if, to end the charging process, the pole terminals are removed first and then the charger is unplugged. This can cause sparks in the immediate vicinity, which can also lead to an explosion.
- Improper disconnection of the battery (before removal or during electrical work on the vehicle), e.g. B. first disconnect the positive pole.
- Storage of removed batteries without pole protection caps in the workshop or in a storage area. Even with supposedly old, discharged batteries, a short circuit can occur.
- Incorrect jump-starting of vehicles with a different battery. The danger lies in the wrong procedure when connecting and disconnecting the jump starter cables.
The PSA must always be used when filling small batteries (motorcycle or small car) or when filling small containers. It is advisable to at least wear protective goggles when lifting, carrying and transporting a battery.
When the charging process is finished, it is important to avoid sparks in the vicinity of the battery that the mains plug of the charger is unplugged first and then the pole terminals of the charging cable are removed.
The avoidance of an increased risk of explosion in the event of “overcharging” can be achieved by using electronically controlled chargers. This technically excludes overcharging.
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