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Evolving battery technology

Getting to Know Your Car Battery: Anatomy & How It Works

As the automotive battery is the vehicle’s electrical heart, knowledge is power when it comes to your car battery and electrical system. The last thing you want is to be left stranded with a dead battery. The more you know about your battery and electrical system, the less likely you’ll get stuck. At RECOR Batteries, we are here to guide you understand just what’s going on with your vehicle’s battery and electrical system.

Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a car battery:

  • Battery Case: The case is polypropylene resin, which holds the battery plates, cast-on straps and electrolyte. It’s designed to minimize vibration impact and extend battery life.
  • Battery Plates: The element consists of stacked alternating positive and negative plates. The plates are connected at the top by a cast-on strap that is welded to the plates. The elements fit into the individual cells of each battery.
  • Battery Paste: The paste is a lead oxide mixture that creates both lead dioxide and sponge lead. It adheres to the positive and negative battery grids.
  • Battery Terminal/Bushing: The terminals are connected to the positive strap and the negative strap of the end cells, and are the interfacing point between the battery and the vehicle’s electrical system.
  • Battery Acid: The acid is a high-purity solution of sulfuric acid and water.
  • Cast-on Strap for Batteries: The cast-on straps are welded to the top of each element to provide an electrical connection to the terminals.
  • Battery Negative Plate: The negative plate contains a metal grid with spongy lead active material.
  • Battery Separator: The separator is a polyethylene material that separates the positive plates from the negative plates to provide an efficient flow of electrical current.
  • Positive Battery Plate: The positive plate contains a metal grid with lead dioxide active material.
  • Lid on Battery: The lid is made of polypropylene resin and sealed to the battery case.

But how exactly does a car battery work?

The car battery provides the jolt of electricity necessary to power all the electrical components in your vehicle. Talk about a pretty huge responsibility. Without battery power, your car, as you’ve probably noticed, won’t start.

Most car batteries rely on a lead-acid chemical reaction to get things moving and grooving. These batteries fall into the “SLI” category. SLI stands for “starting, lighting, and ignition.” This type of battery provides short bursts of energy in order to power your lights, accessories, and engine. Once the battery jolts the engine to life, power for the car is supplied by the alternator. Most vehicles come with a generic SLI battery from the factory.

A typical SLI battery has six cells. Each cell has two plates, or grids: one is made of lead, the other of lead dioxide. Each cell is able to produce about 2-volts of energy. In most car batteries you have six cells, and therefore a 12-volt battery.

The plates are submerged in sulphuric acid that triggers a reaction between the two plates. In scientific terms, the acid acts as a catalyst.

This acid will trigger a reaction on the lead dioxide plate, causing the plate to produce two things: ions and lead sulphate.

The ions produced by the lead dioxide plate react to the adjacent plate to produce hydrogen and lead sulphate.

The result is a chemical reaction that produces electrons. The electrons race around the plates and generate electricity. The electricity flows out of the battery terminals to start your engine, turn on your headlights, and play the radio.

This chemical reaction is entirely reversible, which is why you can jumpstart your battery and continue to charge it throughout the duration of its life. By applying current to the battery at just the right voltage, lead and lead dioxide will form on the plates and you can reuse your battery, over and over again!

Ready to find the best battery replacement for your needs? Check out RECOR line of vehicle batteries and the different features each option offers. It doesn’t matter if your priority is power, dependability, or value – we’ve got a battery for you.

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