About Lead Acid Batteries
The technology behind lead acid batteries has been around for over 100 years. They were invented in 1849 by French physicist Gaston Plante. Lead acid batteries are the oldest and most used type of rechargeable battery. Lead acid batteries use lead plates and sulfuric acid to store electricity. There are two types of lead acid batteries that are used today, starting batteries and deep cycle batteries.
Starting batteries are used to start vehicles, and are designed to deliver a quick burst of energy. These batteries have several thin plates to maximize surface area, which lets them deliver a higher output of current.
Deep cycle lead acid batteries are designed to be used in electric vehicles, or are used with photovoltaic, or solar panel systems, and do not deliver a high output of current as starting batteries. Deep cycle batteries deliver lower peak current but can handle frequent discharging. They are able to provide current over a longer period of time. To do this they use thicker lead plates.
Lead Acid Battery Maintenance
If you want to get the most life out of your lead acid battery the main thing you need to do is to make sure your battery is charged regularly. When a batter sits and is not charged the battery becomes susceptible to sulfation. When a battery sits too long in a discharged state lead sulfate in the battery begins to crystallize. This can coat the battery plates and prevent the plates from storing energy properly. This will lower your batteries capacity and life.
Make sure to keep the top of your battery clean and the cables tight as well.
Check Your Lead Acid Battery Often
You should check your battery frequently to make sure it is charged properly. You can use a hydrometer to check the specific gravity. If the specific gravity is not what it should be then sulfation has most likely occurred.
To get the most life out of your battery you should recharge the battery immediately after discharge. It is best to make sure your battery is fully charged at least once every two weeks. Purchasing a battery with a high reserve capacity (RC) or amp hour (AH) will also let you get more use out of your battery as well.