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Battery

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Servicing Lead Acid Battery
Aizat Hizami Bin Abu Bakar, Unikl MIAT, aizathizami@gmail.com
Abstract—These articles is about servicing one of the type of battery which is Lead Acid Battery. In time, batteries’ capacity may decrease due to the way we handle the battery thus proper way of servicing and charging of the battery is necessary. The capacity of the battery can be maintain through the process of servicing below.

Index Terms—Battery
I. INTRODUCTION
O
NE of the most important aspects of battery servicing is to keep the battery clean and all the terminals tight and free of corrosion. If any corrosion exists on the battery terminals or within the battery box, it should be removed. One way to do this is by scrubbing the battery box and the top of the battery with a soft bristle brush and a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water. When washing the top of the battery, avoid getting any baking soda in the cells since it neutralizes the electrolyte. After the battery and box are clean, rinse them with clean water and dry thoroughly. Coat the battery terminals with petroleum jelly or general purpose grease, and touch up any paint damage to the battery box or adjacent area with an acid-resistant paint.
A lead acid battery goes through three life phases, called formatting, peak and decline are shown in Figure 1.
Fig. 1. Cycle life of a battery

In the formatting phase try to imagine sponge-like lead plates that are being exposed to a liquid. Exercising the plates allows absorbing more liquid, much like squeezing and releasing a sponge. This enables the electrolyte to better fill the usable areas, which increases the capacity. Formatting is most important for deep-cycle batteries and requires 20 to 50 full cycles to reach peak capacity. Field usage does this and there is no need to apply added cycles for the sake of priming, however, manufacturers say to go easy on the battery until broken in. Starter batteries are less critical and do not need priming; the full cranking power is present right from the beginning.
II. SERVICING AND CHARGING
A. Mixing The Electrolyte
The electrolyte in each cell should just cover the plates. Most batteries have an indicator to show the correct level. If the electrolyte level is low, add distilled or demineralized water. Never add acid to the battery unless it has been spilled, and then follow the recommendations of the battery manufacturer in detail. The normal loss of liquid in a battery is the result of water decomposing during charging. Most new batteries are received in a dry-charged state with the cells sealed. When putting a new battery into service, remove the cell seals and pour in the electrolyte that is shipped with the battery. In order to ensure a fully charged battery, the battery must be given a slow freshening, or boost charge. Once this is done, allow the battery to sit for an hour or so and then adjust the electrolyte level.
It is normally not necessary to mix electrolyte. However, if it should ever become necessary to dilute acid, it is extremely important that the acid be added to water, and never the other way around. If water is added to acid, the water being less dense, floats on top of the acid, and a chemical action takes place along the surface where they meet. This action can generate enough heat to boil the water and splash acid out of the container causing serious injury if it gets on your skin or eyes.
When acid is added to the water, the acid mixes with the water and distributes the heat generated by the chemical reaction throughout the battery. This action still causes the water temperature to rise, but not enough to cause boiling or violent reaction.
Automotive and aircraft electrolytes are different and should not be mixed. Automotive electrolyte has a lower specific gravity when charged and therefore an aircraft battery may never obtain a full charge with automotive electrolyte.
B. Battery Charging
A storage battery is charged by passing direct current through the battery in a direction opposite to that of the discharge current. Because of the battery’s internal resistance, the voltage of the external charging source must be greater than the open-circuit voltage.
1) Constant-Current Charging: The most effective way to charge a battery is by inducing current back into it at a constant rate. The amount of current induced is typically specified by the manufacturer. However, in the absence of manufacturer information, you should use a current value of no more than seven percent of the battery’s ampere-hour rating. As a battery begins to charge, the no-load voltage increases. Therefore, the voltage on a constant current charger must be varied in order to maintain a constant current throughout the charge. Because of this, a constant current charger usually requires more time to complete and additional attention. When charging more than one battery with a constant-current charger, connect the batteries in series. One way to remember this is to recall that current remains constant in a series circuit. The batteries being charged can be of different voltages but should all require the same charging rate. When charging multiple batteries, begin the charge cycle with the maximum recommended current for the battery with the lowest capacity. Then, when the cells begin gassing freely, decrease the current and continue the charge until the proper number of ampere hours of charge is reached. 2) Constant-Voltage Charging: The generating system in an aircraft charges a battery by the constant voltage method. This method utilizes a fixed voltage that is slightly higher than the battery voltage. The amount of current that flows into a battery being charged is determined by a battery’s state-of-charge.
Constant-voltage chargers are often used as shop chargers. However, care must be exercised when using them since the high charging rate produced when the charger is first connected to a discharged battery can overheat a battery. Another thing to keep in mind is that the boost charge provided by a constant-voltage charger does not fully charge a battery. Instead, it usually supplies enough charge to start the engine and allow the aircraft generating system to complete the charge.
Like constant-current chargers, you can also charge several batteries simultaneously with a constant-voltage charger. However, since the voltage supplied to each battery must remain constant, the batteries must have the same voltage rating and be connected in parallel.
III. CONCLUSION
As a conclusion, lead acid battery is actually can be maintain in capacity by going through a proper servicing and charging. Therefore, the lifetime of the lead acid battery can be prolonged. Careless in doing servicing will guide into drop of performance of the battery.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
First and foremost, I would like to thank to God for giving me the opportunity to complete this journal. A special thanks to my lecturer, Mr. Zulhilmy bin Sahwee for giving me guidance in order to make this journal a success. Lastly, a big thanks to my family and friends for giving me support during my period finishing this journal.
REFERENCES
[1] Jeppesen, A&P Technician: Airframe Textbook, 2nd ed, R. M. Osgood, Jr., Ed. Berlin, Germany:Springer-verlag, 1998.
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead-acid_battery#Maintenance_precautions, extracted on 1 February 2012.
[3] http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_restore_and_prolong_lead_acid_batteries, extracted on 1 February 2012.
[4] http://www.itacanet.org/eng/elec/battery/battery.pdf, extracted on 1 February 2012.

Aizat Hizami Bin Abu Bakar (22) was born on October 7th 1990 in Kangar, Perlis. The youngest of three siblings. Secondary school is Sekolah Dato’ Abdul Razak (SDAR), Seremban in class of 2003-2007. Furthering study in Foundation in Engineering Technology at Kolej Mara Kulim in 2009 and now proceeding study in Bachelor in Aircraft Engineering Technology Hons. (Mechanical) at UNIKL Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (MIAT).
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