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Bedini-The Battery Bible

Bedini-The Battery Bible

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Published by Luke Rides

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Published by: Luke Rides on Jan 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Section I
Working Principles, Manufacture,Maintenance, Diseasesand RemediesCHAPTER 1The Automobile Storage
Gasoline and electricity have made possible the modern automobile.
Each has its work to do in the operation of the car, and if either fails to perform its duties, the car cannot move.The action of the gasoline, and the mechanisms that control it are comparatively simple, andeasily understood, because gasoline is something definite which we can see and feel, andwhich can be weighed, or measured in gallons. Electricity, on the other hand, is invisible,cannot be poured into cans or tanks, has no odor, and, therefore, nobody knows just what itis. We can only study the
of electricity, and the wires, coils, and similar apparatus inwhich it is present. It is for this reason that an air of mystery surrounds electrical things,especially to the man who has not made a special study of the subject.
Without electricity, there would be no gasoline engine,
because gasoline itself cannotcause the engine to operate. It is only when the electrical spark explodes or "ignites" themixture of gasoline and air which has been drawn into the engine. cylinders that the enginedevelops power. Thus an electrical ignition system has always been an essential part of every gasoline automobile.
The first step in the use of electricity on the automobile, in addition to the ignitionsystem, consisted in the installation of an electric lighting system
to replace theinconvenient oil or gas lamps which were satisfactory as far as the light they gave wasconcerned, but which had the disadvantage of requiring the driver to leave his seat, and light
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each lamp separately, often in a strong wind or rain which consumed many matches, time,and frequently spoiled his temper for the remainder of the evening. Electric lamps have noneof these disadvantages. They can be controlled from the driver's seat, can be turned on or off by merely turning or pushing a switch-button, are not affected by wind or rain, do not smokeup the lenses, and do not send a stream of unpleasant odors back to the passengers.
The apparatus used to supply the electricity for the lamps consisted of a generator, ora "storage" battery, or both.
The generator alone had the disadvantage that the lampscould be used only while the engine was running. The battery, on the other hand, furnishedlight at all times, but had to be removed from the car frequently, and "charged." With boththe generator and battery, the lights could be turned on whether the engine was running ornot, and, furthermore, it was no longer necessary to remove the battery to "charge," or putnew life into it. With a generator and storage battery, moreover, a reliable source of electricity for ignition was provided, and so we find dry batteries and magnetos beingdiscarded in a great many automobiles and "battery ignition" systems substituted.
The development of electric lighting systems increased the popularity of theautomobile,
but the motor car still had a great drawback-cranking. Owing to the peculiarfeatures of a gasoline engine, it must first be put in motion by some external power before itwill begin to operate under its own power. This made it necessary for the driver to "crank"the engine, or start it moving, by means of a handle attached to the engine shaft. Cranking alarge engine is difficult, especially if it is cold, and often results in tired muscles, and soiledclothes and tempers. It also made it impossible for the average woman to drive a car becauseshe did not have the strength necessary to "crank" an engine.
The next step in the perfection of the automobile was naturally the development of anautomatic device to crank the engine,
and thus make the driving of a car a pleasure ratherthan a task. We find, therefore, that in 1912, "self-starters" began to be used. These were notall electrical, some used tanks of compressed air, others acetylene, and various mechanicaldevices, such as the spring starters. The electrical starters, however, proved their superiorityimmediately, and filled such a long felt want that all the various makes of automobiles nowhave electric starters. The present day motor car, therefore, uses gasoline for the engineonly, but uses electricity for ignition, starting, lighting, for the horn, cigar lighters, handwarmers on the steering wheel, gasoline vaporizers, and even for shifting speed changinggears, and for the brakes.
On any car that uses an electric lighting and starting system, there are two sources of electricity,
the generator and the battery, These must furnish the power for the starting, or"cranking" motor, the ignition, the lights, the horn, and the other devices. The demandsmade upon the generator are comparatively light and simple, and no severe work is done byit. The battery, on the other hand is called upon to give a much more severe service, that of furnishing the power to crank the engine. it must also perform all the duties of the generatorwhen the engine is not running, since a generator must be in motion in order to produceelectricity.
A generator is made of iron, copper, carbon, and insulation.
These are all solidsubstances which can easily be built in any size or shape, and which undergo very little
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change as parts of the generator. The battery is made mainly of lead, lead compounds, waterand sulphuric acid. Here we have liquids as well as solids, which produce electricity bychanges in their composition, resulting in complicated chemical as well as electrical actions.
The battery is, because of its construction and performance, a much abused, neglectedpiece of apparatus
which is but partly understood, even by many electrical experts, for tounderstand it thoroughly requires a study of chemistry as well as of electricity. Knowledgeof the construction and action of a storage battery is not enough to make anyone an expertbattery man. He must also know how to regulate the operating conditions so as to obtain thebest service from the battery, and he must be able to make complete repairs on any batteryno matter what its condition may be.Table of ContentsNext Chapter
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