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Lead Acid batteries have changed little since the 1880's although improvements in materials and manufacturing methods continue to bring improvements in energy density, life and reliability. All lead acid batteries consist of flat lead plates immersed in a pool of electrolyte. Regular water addition is required for most types of lead acid batteries although low-maintenance types come with excess electrolyte calculated to compensate for water loss during a normal lifetime.
Lead acid batteries used in the RV and Marine Industries usually consist of two 6-volt batteries in series, or a single 12-volt battery. These batteries are constructed of several single cells connected in series each cell produces approximately 2.1 volts. A six-volt battery has three single cells, which when fully charged produce an output voltage of 6.3 volts. A twelve-volt battery has six single cells in series producing a fully charged output voltage of 12.6 volts. A battery cell consists of two lead plates a positive plate covered with a paste of lead dioxide and a negative made of sponge lead, with an insulating material (separator) in between. Each cell is capable of storing 2.1 volts.
In order for lead acid cell to produce a voltage, it must first receive a (forming) charge voltage of at least 2.1-volts/cell from a charger. Lead acid batteries do not generate voltage on their own; they only store a charge from another source. This is the reason lead acid batteries are called storage batteries, because they only store a charge. The size of the battery plates and amount of electrolyte determines the amount of charge lead acid batteries can store. The size of this storage capacity is described as the amp hour (AH) rating of a battery. A typical 12-volt battery used in a RV or marine craft has a rating 125 AH, which means it can supply 10 amps of current for 12.5 hours or 20-amps of current for a period of 6.25 hours.
The most important thing to understand about recharging lead acid batteries is that a converter/charger with a single fixed output voltage will not properly recharge or maintain your battery. Proper recharging and maintenance requires an intelligent charging system that can vary the charging voltage based on the state of charge and use of your RV or Marine battery. The Battery Exchange utilizes an intelligent charging system and a tech we call Heisenberg. Together, they solve battery problems and reduce battery maintenance.
During the battery recharge cycle lead sulfate (sulfation) begins to reconvert to lead and sulfuric acid.
During the recharging process as electricity flows through the water portion of the electrolyte and water, (H2O) is converted into its original elements, hydrogen and oxygen. These gasses are very flammable and the reason your RV or Marine batteries must be vented outside. Gassing causes water loss and therefore lead acid batteries need to have water added periodically. Sealed lead acid batteries contain most of these gasses allowing them to recombine into the electrolyte. If the battery is overcharged pressure from these gasses will cause relief caps to open and vent, resulting in some water loss. Most sealed batteries have extra electrolyte added during the manufacturing process to compensate for some water loss.
An Equalizing Charge increases charging voltage to 14.4 volts or higher for a short period. This higher voltage causes gassing that equalizes (re-mixes) the electrolyte solution.
One disadvantage of recharging a lead acid battery at a fixed voltage of 13.6-volts is the recharge time is very long. A typical 125-AH RV or Marine battery will take approximately 80 hours to recharge at 13.6 volts. Increasing the charge voltage to 14.4-volts will reduce battery recharge time for a 125-AH battery to 3-4 hours. Once a battery reaches 90% of full charge, the voltage must be reduced from 14.4-volts to 13.6-volts to reduce gassing and water loss. This higher concentration of acid at the bottom of the battery causes additional build-up of lead sulfate (sulfation), which reduces battery storage capacity and battery life. In order to prevent Battery Stratification, an Equalization Charge (increasing charging voltage to 14.4-volts) must be applied periodically. In order to properly charge and maintain a lead acid battery you must use an intelligent charging system. Our systems provide the intelligent charging system your battery needs for a long life, with low maintenance. Warranties are included, and most last between 1 to 3 years.
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We are located across from Maher Chevrolet
3002 34th St. North (at 30th Ave. N.)
St. Petersburg FL 33713
Located at 1700 Terry Rd in Jackson MS
Cindi Mainer, CEO
David Mainer, COO
Monday - Friday: 9am - 6pm
For FREE installs, please arrive before 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 3pm