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the functions the
of an aircraft
list the provisions stowage compartment, explain describe explain explain the battery battery battery
• • • •
vent system on an aircraft,
charging, discharge rates, check. contained Plan No. in
I have assumed that you will have the knowledge the Basic Electrics Module (Module No.2, Study this will give you a good lead into this booklet. Attempt the activities in the order given essential reading at the end. This booklet INTRODUCTION and
take you about one hour to complete.
All aircraft will have an electrical power system that is used to provide power for an assortment of radio communication and navigation systems, engine and flight control systems, instruments, and lighting systems, together with miscellaneous systems, such as galley and cargo handling. Electrical power will be required during all phases of aircraft operation, i.e., both in flight and on the ground. On any aircraft 1. 2. there will be two sources of electrical or power. d.c. power
The engine driven generator, providing a.c. power whenever the engine is operating.
The battery, providing a source of d.c. whenever the engine generator is not operating.
-8COMMENTS ON ACTIVITY 1 Your diagrams should look something like this:-
CORRENT - cycles per second
polarity positive neqative or
If you had difficulty remembering these terms, the Basic Electrics Booklets.
THE AIRCRAFT BAT'l'ERY
The principal functions of an aircraft battery are:• , to assist in maintaining the aircraft's d.c. voltage constant under varying operating conditions, such as when turning on a d.c. fuel pump. to supply power for internal starting of an engine, i.e., auxiliary power unit (APU) on a jet transport or a piston engine on a Piper Cherokee. to maintain a limited amount of lighting, communication, and instrument systems under emergency conditions, such as during an engine failure.
Principle of Operation The battery operates on the principle of conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy. This is done by the exchange of electrons (the atomic components that produce electricity), due to the chemical reaction, between the electrodes and the electrolyte.
two types of aircraft battery in use. It is for you to be aware of both types. They are fferent and not normally interchangeable between aircraft. are the:-
lead acid battery,
nickel-c.admium battery (commonly Ni-Cad Battery). 'i
e battery type is derived from ectrodes) and liquid (electrolyte) nstruction.
plate material is used during
1 shows the construction of a typical battery cell.
INTERLEAVED PLATES (ELECTRODES)
-10Table cell. I shows the materials that are used to make a battery
Plates Lead PeroxideElectrode Potassium Cadmium Lead Electrolyte Nickel Hydroxide Sulphuric Hydroxide Negative Acid Cell Type
the that to note It is important for you or alkali. electrolyte is either acid They contact with react violently when brought into one another. the Whenever handling a battery, never allow electrolyte to spill onto the airframe or your body, damage to both will occur. Special cleaning and neutralizing procedures apply. Read a Maintenance Manual to ensure you are aware of them.
An aircraft battery consists of a number of individual cells interconnected together, the terminal posts are connected by cell straps and brought out to a main receptacle for connection into the aircraft's main wiring.
~. ': r
1I.)'L".nJ;iilil.'.I'·· r[ ..• ,'JjJJJn;"'>'-.','
,_ .~_.~" ", ' __ '_
-11The cells are enclosed in an acid (alkali) container with a removable lid. This forms the battery box and it shielding and mechan~caI protection. affords resistant both metal
Fig. 2 shows a typical Ni-Cad battery box.
CELL STRAPS INDIVIDUAL CELL
MAIN RBCBP'1'ACLE CELL 20 OUTPUT • 1.2 V 20 X 1.2
• 24 V
Fig. 2 TYPICAL NI-eAD BA'M'ERY BOX
Fig. 3 shows a typical light aircraft lead acid battery with cells enclosed in a light weight polystyrene case.
TERMINAL AND CAP
LEAD ACID BATTERY
Batteries are installed in either individual compartments specially designed and located to provide adequate heat dissipation, ventilation and protection or they will be located within the aircraft's main electrical equipment bay beneath the passenger compartment. . Fig. 4 shows a typical lead acid battery installed in large jet transport aircraft.
TEFLON COVERED WIRES
INLBT VENT HOSE
OO'l'LET VENT HOSE
BATTERY INSTALLATION - JET TRANSPORT
"During normal operation, the battery cells give off gas and fumes wh~h are removed from the battery box by the vent hose system. Before the fumes are deposited overboard, they are ~awn through an acid jar which contains an acid neutralizing .gent, normally·~ica~bonAte of soda (baking power), this will :preventairframe corrosion .0 . It is important to remove, clean and inspect the acid jar the periods specified in the aircraft Maintenance Manual.
NOTE A Ni-Cad battery vent system will not include an
-14BATTERY CONNECTION To facilitate removal and installation of an aircraft battery, a quick disconnect assembly is normally used to connect the power leads to the battery. Fig. 5 shows a typical assembly. Ni-Cad battery and quick disconnect
The quick-disconnect plug consists of a socket and a coarse pitch handwheel, it is readily connected to the receptacle by rotating the handwheel. After installation it is important to lock the handwheel in place by use of an attached locking pin.
-16COMMENTS Your ON ACTIVITY 2 read:ACID as PEROXIDE an as
A lead-acid electrolyte, electrodes.
SULPHURIC battery has and LEAD and LEAD
A Ni-Cad battery has POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE electrolyte, and NICKEL HYDROXIDE and HYDROXIDE as electrodes. difficulty
as an CADMIUM
If you experience
here refer back to Table
Let us now move on. BATTERY CHARGING AND DISCHARGING
Whenever a battery is supplying power, it is said to be and DISCHARGING, i.e., the chemical reaction is taking place both producing electrons. This action alters the nature of the electrode and electrolyte material until such time that the chemical reaction ceases, battery output will be zero, and battery is said to be flat!
It is important that the battery is not allowed to become completely discharged under normal operating conditions. Therefore, whenever the aircraft's engine driven generator is operating or external power is applied from a ground power cart, the battery will be CHARGING, i.e., the chemical reaction is reversed, re-establishing normal electrode and electrolyte 'conditions . Discharge Rates CAPACITY as:-
An important term you must be aware of is BATTERY which is measured in AMPERE-HOURS (AH) and is defined •
The maximum current, in amperes, which the battery will deliver for a known time period, in HOURS, until the output voltage has fallen to minimum value. for and 5 hours Ni-Cad
For example, a battery whi~h discharges 8 amperes is rated at 40 ampere-':'hours(8 x 5 = 40 AH). Fig. 6 shows typical batteries. discharge rates for lead acid
8 24 12 20 16 SA "
TYPICAL DISCHARGE RA'l'ES - LEAD ACID AIm NX-CAD BA'l"l'ERIES
lead Ni-Cad battery capacity is greater than acid battery capacity, this is one of the major advantages of Ni-Cad batteries. battery charging.
Now let's move on to consider Battery Charging
lyte Battery charging is achieved by passing a direct current, of higher voltage than battery output, through the battery in a direeti~n opposite to that of normal discharge current. The ,two methods of battery charging are:-
We will consider an important aspect of constant current .charging. This.i,.s. he preferred ,metl1od for t charging Ni-Cad· has '-one batteries, as it ,_is ,more effective. Ho"fi!ver; ~awback in tha~ ..t_wi,11 &!!.creasebattery te~peratu.~e i:. to such an extent that ~t eouId destroy the battery by thermal runaway. "'-. _---, ..~.~
-18Fig. 7 explains the closed loop situation runaway and battery destruction• leading to thermal
To protect against thermal runaway, <constant current charg~ng systems use'a battery--eemper~ture sens1fien~fhat w1.ll ,~ arg a ~rature off.,t e above ng setcurrent rises limit.
Fig_ 8 shows a typical Ni-Cad battery and battery charger unit fitted to a large jet transport aircraft. Note the battery temperature sensor.
NI-<:AD BA'l"l'DY ANI) CHARGER INS'l'ALLED IN JET TRANSPORT
-19Fig. 9 shows in Fig. 8.
the simplified block diagram for the system
TO D.C. ENGINE DRIVEN ...--._.--~_._---. _ _
.. _~ --
BI.OCX DIAGRAM OP IN SITO
BAT'l'ERY AND CHARGER
The constant voltage_c~~r9in9 method is normally found on~gh~ aircrart;'"6rthose whi<:hhave E!ngin~ driv~n d.c L--genE:rators. Fig. 10 is a simplified schematlc o~ this type of system.
GENERATOR VOLTAGE REGULATOR
JUNCTION BOX LIGHTS RADIO MISC •
REVERSE CURREN'l' PROTECTION BATTERY SWITCH
CHARGING SYSTEM FOR LIGHT
Consider Fig. 10, the:currentreverse directionthe switch to the current ensures batteryoutput connects the and voltage generator -maintains circuit one charging only. protecti,on in regulator enables
-22COMMENTS ON ACTIVITY are:3
2. If your section. Finally, aircraft BATTERY
answers we must battery CONDITION were wrong, refer back to the preceding out on an
look at checks that can be carried to prove its serviceability.
The easiest way to check battery condition is to measure its output. Normally, this is achieved by an instrument mounted in the electrical panel, visible to the pilot or engineer. You will recall that the unit of potential electricity is the volt and the instrument that measures volts, is the voltmeter. The voltmeter is wired into a circuit to measure the output voltage of the battery. In addition some aircraft may have an ammeter fitted, this measures battery current. Battery discharge will be indicated by a large negative reading, battery charging is indicated by the reverse, i.e., a large positive reading. with the aircraft's generators operating the battery ammeter should read nearly zero. Fig. 11 shows a typical jet ,ran sport aircraft. electrical instrument Note the d.c. meters panel fitted to a are on the left.
(Measures battery current when
swrrea (Position to BA'!' to c:beck battery
GND PWlI TlST TlST
I~ATl2 STOI,. PM
"typical reading for a good battery would be a no'minal 24 Its, but check the relevant maintenance manual for correctgures.
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