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Deep Cycle Battery FAQ

Deep Cycle Battery FAQ

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Published by Yinka Akinkunmi
Battery, deep cycle, inverters
twin arrangement,
Battery, deep cycle, inverters
twin arrangement,

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Published by: Yinka Akinkunmi on Aug 03, 2012
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07/07/2014

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Deep Cycle Battery FAQfor Solar Electric SystemsNote - this FAQ has become huge, and we still need to add more, so once we finish a few morerevisions we will be splitting it into 3 parts/pages. We will also be making a new PDF filewithout the navigation buttons etc for easy downloading.
The Ultimate FAQ for Deep Cycle Batteries for Solar Electric Systems
The links below are on this page - you can also just scroll down if you want to read themall.
This entire page is copyright 1998-2006 by Northern Arizona Wind & Sun. Please do not use without prior permission. This entire article may bedownloaded in PDF format without the website graphics graphics.
 
Most batteries don't die - they aremurdered...
 
The subject of batteries could take up many pages. All we have room for here is a basic overviewof batteries commonly used with photovoltaic power systems. These are nearly all variousvariations of Lead-Acid batteries. For a very brief discussion on the advantages anddisadvantages of these and other types of batteries, such as NiCad, NiFe (Nickel-Iron), etc. go toour Batteries for Deep Cycle Applications page. These are sometimes referred to as "deepdischarge" or "deep cell" batteries. The correct term is deep cycle.This is a very long page, so you may want to download it and print or read it off-line - Aprintable version of this page is available in Adobe PDF format without the website graphics fordownloading and printing: Battery_FAQ.pdf. Most of the charts have small images for fasterdownloading. To see the full size picture, just click on the small one (Large images not availablein the PDF version).
Battery History
Although Alessandro Volta in Italy is usually credited with being the inventor of the modern battery (Silver-Zinc), ancient cells have been discovered inSumerian ruins, origin around 250 BC.. or maybe 400 AD - there is somedispute over the exact age.The first evidence of batteries comes from archaeological digs in Baghdad, Iraq.This first "battery" was dated to around 250 (?) B.C. and was used in simpleoperations to electroplate objects with a thin layer of metal, much like theprocess used now to plate inexpensive gold and silver jewelry [This is also debated,the current put out by these batteries is very small, so they may have been no more than a witch doctorsprops to amaze patients with electrical tingles].The jars were found in Khujut Rabu just outside Baghdad and are composed of a clay jar with astopper made of asphalt. Sticking through the asphalt is an iron rod surrounded by a coppercylinder. When filled with vinegar or even grape juice - or any other electrolytic solution - the jarproduces about 1.1 volts.The actual term "battery" was coined by Benjamin Franklin to describe an array of static chargedglass plates (sort of a primitive capacitor). He used the term battery, as that term was common atthe time for a group of guns or artillery.Batteries were re-discovered much later, in 1800 in Italy by a man named Alessandro Volta afterwhich the unit of electrical potential was named, the
volt
. His original battery consisted of discsof Zinc and Copper in a large glass tube separated by cardboard.The French inventor, Gaston Plante developed the first practical Lead-Acid rechargeable storagebattery in 1859. In 1881 Faure discovered a way to make a Lead "paste", which greatly improvedthe capacity of batteries. This is basically the same method and chemistry used in most batteriestoday.
 
Most early batteries were used for telegraphs, and research and development was slow until theautomobile came along. Some of the first cars were electric, and relied on these rather primitivebatteries to get around. With the suddenly increased demand for rechargeable batteries, themodern battery started to take shape. One of the first commercial car batteries was made with anOak wood case with Red Cedar plate separators. A variety of other woods were used, but Cedarwas most common. The cases were dipped in asphalt, assembled, and then the top was glued,tied, screwed, or latched on. Up until around 1916 it was quite common to have these batteriesrepaired, so they had to be easy to take apart. A few "luxury" batteries also used glass cases, anda variety of what we would consider strange materials were tried by some manufacturers -including kiln fired clay and heavily waxed leather. Needless to say, reliability was not a strongpoint, and neither was safety.Rubber plate separators were introduced by Willard Battery Company in 1915. Shortly after,Willard and several other companies started using hard rubber cases. These were common in carbatteries until the invention of easily molded plastics, like Bakelite, prior to WW2.The First gelled VRLA battery was made in 1958, and Polypropylene cases became common inthe mid to late 60's. In 1980 the first AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery was invented, mainly formilitary use. Up until the early 90's AGM batteries were very uncommon outside the military,but then around 1991 Concorde battery began selling it's military line of batteries to the civilianmarket. Accu Oerlikin and several other manufacturers followed soon after.
What is a Battery?
There are two classes of batteries, primary and secondary. No idea why they are called that, butprimary cannot be recharged, secondary can be.A battery, in concept, can be any device that stores energy for later use. A rock, pushed to the topof a hill, can be considered a kind of battery, since the energy used to push it up the hill(chemical energy, from muscles or combustion engines) is converted and stored as potentialkinetic energy at the top of the hill. Later, that energy is released as kinetic and thermal energywhen the rock rolls down the hill. Common use of the word, "battery," however, is limited to anelectrochemical device that converts chemical energy into electricity, by use of a galvanic cell. Agalvanic cell is a fairly simple device consisting of two electrodes (an anode and a cathode) andan electrolyte solution. Batteries consist of one or more galvanic cells.A battery is an
electrical storage device
. Batteries do not
 make
electricity, they
 store
it, just as awater tank stores water for future use. As chemicals in the battery change, electrical energy isstored or released. In rechargeable batteries this process can be repeated many times. Batteriesare not 100% efficient - some energy is lost as heat and chemical reactions when charging anddischarging. If you use 1000 watts from a battery, it might take 1200 watts or more to fullyrecharge it. Slower charging and discharging rates are more efficient. A battery rated at 180 amp-hours over 6 hours might be rated at 220 AH at the 20-hour rate, and 260 AH at the 48-hour rate.Typical efficiency in a lead-acid battery is 85-95%, in alkaline (NiFe) and NiCad batteries it is65% or less.

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