How to Select Lead Acid Batteries                   Image credit:  Digi-Key Corporation; Newark/element14   Lead acid batteries are rechargeable batteries consisting of lead plates with a sulfuric acid/water electrolyte solution.  Car batteries and deep cycle batteries use lead acid technology.   How Batteries Work   All batteries have positive and negative terminals, marked...
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Q & A on Lead Acid Batteries

We asked our users for their input on Lead Acid Batteries. Here are the results of 216 users familiar with Lead Acid Batteries.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing lead acid battery design?
28 answers
Answers:
Battery regeneration is a huge step forwards for lead acid battery preventative maintenance as they reduce maintenance costs, increase efficiency and overall productivity.
~Magnus C, Quality Control, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The introduction of the service tool called Cap-Off! This device ends the arduous task of removing and installing the acid soiled caps using only your fingers!
~Murray V, Marketing/Sales, Toronto, Canada
We are now using quick and opportunity charging to help with shift life. We are also seeing higher amp hour batteries to allow equipment a longer shift life.
~Robert H, 1. Sales and service trainer 2. Technical support, Sewell, NJ
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative lead acid batteries?
28 answers
Answers:
Surrette, Westrock
~Don G, Purchaser, North Bay, Canada
Exide Battery Corporation
~Peter M, Process Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
Trojan
~Purchasing, Clearwater, FL
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used lead acid batteries for?
48 answers
Answers:
All lead acid batteries we use are in the forklift industry. We use 12 - 48 volt batteries and sometime higher voltages in electric units. We also use 12 volt batteries in I/C units.
~Robert H, 1. Sales and service trainer 2. Technical support, Sewell, NJ
One of the main uses was on board conventional submarines, where batteries are used for propulsion. These batteries are of 20000Ah and each battery weighs about 1 ton.
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Singapore, Singapore
Emergency Lighting, Diesel Firewater Pump starting batteries, Utility Battery Bank for Nuclear Industry (UPS).
~Rion P, Electrical Planner, Shelley, ID
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that lead acid batteries have been used for.
17 answers
Answers:
Lead acid batteries are of the older generation and probably the most known still today, it is of the cheaper technology that is available in all categories and standards, shapes and models. It would be difficult to analyze what they are not met for at the beginning. Could it be telecom batteries? they are mostly used with nickel cadmium batteries now, but some areas are still using lead acid, depending on the area of us.
~Magnus C, Quality Control, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Lead acid batteries are cheap and useful in fixed applications where weight is not an issue....energy storage/ energy backup. Solar/wind to battery to inverter to demand.....
~George T, Teacher Chemistry, Litchfield, ME
Solar and wind charged lead acid batteries, to power varied types and styles of LED lights, made from products purchased from China.
~Reg V, Research & Development, McKeesport, PA
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of lead acid batteries?
21 answers
Answers:
OSHA , the ABA , East Penn Manufacturing and other manufacturers have well written handbooks on the do's and dont's of batteries. Some I can think of:1- the right plate type for the job.eg starter batteries cannot handle the deep cycle requirements of deep cycle batteries. Respect the minimum discharge cutoff voltage for the type of lead-acid bat you are using. Remove jewelry and use insulated tools when making connections. Never pull off or connect a battery still connected to a live load. Watch your ventilation. Never smoke around lead-acid, especially during charging where hydrogen gas is released. Never design an air tight enclosure for lead-acid battery, even an SLA type unless certified for same. Reverse polarity is to be avoided,especially on forklifts and most sizes of batteries. Observe caution in setting up/filling wet batteries, avoid adding acid to water of batteries (other way round is best) and wear face mask, gloves and acid protection gear when maintaining them.
~John R, Senior Engineering Technician, Mount Kisco, NY
You can get stranded on road if the battery selection is incorrect. There can be a sudden blackout if the power back up battery is not selected correctly. If the battery back up is for some life saving equipment, this can lead to a major catastrophe.
~Sanjeev K, Vice President manufacturing, Pune, India
Yes - wrong chargers used to charge batteries - hence leading batteries to explode during high charging currents for a long period of time.
~Selvan G, Marketing/Sales, Durban, South Africa
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
27 answers
Answers:
I do not think lead acid batteries are in our future...heavy and toxic...Lithium iron phosphate seem to have the best grouping of power/weight/safety.
~George T, Teacher Chemistry, Litchfield, ME
Designs that extends the life span of batteries beyond what they are today Use of cheaper and environmentally friendly materials.
~Peter M, Process Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
I wish the manufacturer and the distributors one day will understand that regeneration is a part of their brand and not a technology to demote their brand in the way it is understood today. Regeneration of batteries is undervalued as people are not educated well enough to understand the real advantage, battery regeneration is making sure you are able to fully get your value worth and most of it. Battery regeneration together with green tec organisations, companies and other technologies that reduce wastes both physically and energy waste come together.
~Magnus C, Quality Control, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of lead acid batteries?
22 answers
Answers:
1. Buy and use the right battery type - different battery types have different applications 2. Buy and use the right battery size - consider the current load 3. If used in a closed space as back-up power supply - provide proper ventilation
~Peter M, Process Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
Test, test and retest your application for the batteries under ALL expected environmental conditions and loads. This helps you supply an accurately sized battery for the application. Matching the charger to not only the battery but the mode of operation the charger /battery combo will encounter is critical. For instance, will the charger be expected to help support the load as well as charge the battery? That's a different profile on the charger required. Too many folks think lead-acid batteries can be treated like car batteries or flashlight batteries in a design. You'll also need reliable, proven battery "fuel" gauges and instrumentation to get the most life out of the battery for either you or your client. Temperature should be taken into effect and appropriate measures designed into the system. The more you know about your application/load for the battery in question, the better off you will be.
~John R, Senior Engineering Technician, Mount Kisco, NY
My advice would be to read a little on what different suppliers are offering, but more importantly, compare information with the different suppliers such as lead types, quality, thicknesses and battery chargers supplied what type, brand and charging characteristics they have. Also mention what forklift you have, what you use it for, where you use it and what type of tires you have, in addition to how many hours you need to use it for.
~Magnus C, Quality Control, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using lead acid batteries?
25 answers
Answers:
Do not listen totally to battery suppliers' recommendations when purchasing or during use! Do read and educate yourself first on what your area of use is and estimate your needs, the more expensive is not always the best alternative and the size (ampere hours) is very important as some are underestimated and results in less productivity than required which results in a new set of batteries which costs furthermore investment. After use there are other options than waste or recycling, do not ask the battery supplier if there are other options, as they would not like to mention them as they think they are a threat to their industry, so check online for alternatives such as re-use before recycle (battery regeneration) or even battery repair. Usually it could be some easy to fix problem that can be rendered and used once again, when recycling get your money's worth - there is a lot of money when recycling precious metals and lead being one of them, as well as steel.
~Magnus C, Quality Control, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
When you buy a battery consider: Price - shop around; Size - check your car manual for the correct battery size; Age - make sure the battery is not more than 6 months old. If you are using a wet battery - top up with water to avoid your cells drying out.
~Peter M, Process Engineer, Johannesburg, South Africa
Load test, try to buy the "biggest" battery you can. Never can have enough power! Price compare. Some sellers overcharge for the same battery. Keep the batteries charged or "float" charge when not to be used for long time periods or very cold temps.
~Thomas G, Solar and wind power research and development and end user., Pittsburgh, PA
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