How Do Batteries Work

To understand the basics of a battery it is essential to understand the terminology used to describe how a battery works. The video below will explain all you need to know about the basics of a battery.

Basic battery fundamentals a battery is a device that can store electrical energy in chemical form and release it in a controlled way two electrodes made of different materials submerged in an electrolyte will generate a voltage, in its simplest form a battery can be made by inserting a zinc and a copper Rod into a lemon when connected the zinc Rod chemically reacts with the acidic lemon juice and begins to dissolve this reaction results in the release of electrical energy in the form of electrons into the zinc rod these electrons travel through the circuit and can illuminate an LED light when the electrons arrive at the Copper Rod they combine with hydrogen ions contained in the lemon juice to form hydrogen gas bubbles this is known as a primary voltaic cell because it uses a chemical reaction to produce electrical energy but cannot be recharged.

All Yuasa lead acid batteries are made up of lead acid voltaic cells arranged side by side that can produce a little over two volts thus a 12 volt battery will consist of six cells positive and negative plates are made from two different lead compounds suspended in an electrolyte solution of sulfuric acid and deionized water unlike the lemon the chemical reaction that produces electrical energy in a lead acid battery is reversible this means that the battery can be recharged after use this is known as a secondary type battery as it can be repeatedly recharged, typically Yuasa lead acid batteries are used in either standby or cyclic applications.

A cyclic application is where a battery is repeatedly discharged and recharged, examples include leisure batteries used to power various equipment repeatedly being charged and discharged or Industrial batteries used to power a golf trolley, standby also known as float standby is where the battery is continually on charge ready to be used as backup power when needed, examples of this include uninterruptible power supply or security system batteries.

To understand the basic principles of a battery it is essential that we first look at the units and symbols used to measure its operating States the electrical energy in a circuit is measured using both voltage and amps, voltage is a measurement of electrical pressure measured in volts, current is a measurement of electrical flow and is measured in amps voltage forces current to flow through a complete conductive circuit the bigger the voltage the higher the pressure resulting in more current flow, amp power is the measurement of a battery's capacity performance, rating vehicle batteries it's the amount of electricity it will deliver for 20 hours before its voltage Falls to 10.5 volts, industrial batteries are generally rated in the same way but in some instances will be rated at 10 hours before its voltage Falls to 10.8 volts, cold cranking amps or CCA is the measurement of starting performance it is the maximum current a fully charged battery can deliver at -18 degrees C and is represented by a on the label it is used to determine its ability to supply high cranking currents for engine starting and maintain sufficient voltage to power ignition requirements like CCA Marine cranking lamps are used to measure the current a battery and deliver at a specified temperature, however the MCA test is conducted at 0 degrees C rather than minus 18 degrees C MCA ratings are 20 to 25 percent higher than a ratings and are commonly used for marine cranking applications.

Reserve capacity is an indication of the time that a vehicle with a typical electrical load will run for if the alternator fails it is the length of time in minutes taken for the voltage to fall to 10.5 when a constant drop of 25 amps is applied at 25 degrees, C power is the rate at which energy is generated or consumed, some Leisure and marine batteries feature a watt hour rating which indicates the power it can deliver, for example a battery with a 500 watt hour rating can deliver one watt of power for 500 hours or 500 watts for one hour, industrial batteries will have published performance figures that specify what Purcell data for different discharge times also known as autonomy, as an example a single industrial battery constructed with six cells will deliver six times the watts per cell data.

Cycles are a measurement of the number of times that the battery can be fully discharged and then recharged the higher the cycle specification the longer the service life, only leisure marine super heavy duty commercial vehicle and deep cycle industrial batteries are designed to withstand repeated deep discharge cycling, although a battery May feature an amp hour rating this does not imply suitability for cyclic use, repeated deep discharge of a standard starter battery will damage the internal components and lead to premature failure.

Industrial batteries have a recommended float and boost charging voltage, float charge is the constant voltage needed to keep the battery in a fully charged State without overcharging it, boost charge is generally used for cyclic applications it is the maximum recommended charging voltage and should only be used for short time periods. Industrial batteries feature a terminal torque figure, terminal bolts must be tightened in accordance with this figure over tightened or loose bolts can cause serious battery damage and failure.

Yuasa industrial batteries carry the UL logo this means that the manufacturing facility has been registered by the United laboratory and its products classified. See the full range of batteries