Points Common to Acid and Alkaline Batteries
1. Gas Evolution: Both acid and alkaline batteries undergo a chemical breakdown of water (H2O) present in the electrolyte, resulting in the evolution of gases. Oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) gases are generated during the battery operation.
2. Corrosive Electrolyte: The evolved gases carry a mist of corrosive acid or alkaline electrolyte, which can be harmful to the battery and surrounding components if not properly controlled.
3. Explosive Hydrogen Gas: Hydrogen gas (H2) produced in the battery is highly explosive. Proper ventilation and safety precautions are necessary to prevent the accumulation of hydrogen gas and minimize the risk of explosion.
4. Vents: Battery designs include vents to allow the evolved gases to escape, preventing internal pressure build-up and ensuring safe operation.
5. Water Loss: The evolution of gas and evaporation within the battery can lead to water loss from the electrolyte. Periodic checking and topping up with distilled water are required to maintain the electrolyte level.
6. Recharging: Both acid and alkaline batteries can be recharged using suitable charging equipment. The recharging process reverses the chemical reactions, restoring the battery’s energy capacity for further use.
7. Capacity Rating: The capacity of acid and alkaline batteries is typically rated in terms of their discharge current at a specific rate, often referred to as the 10-hour rate. For example, a 250 Ampere-hour (Ahr) battery can supply a current of 12 Amperes (A) for a duration of 10 hours.
8. Emergency Power Loads: Acid and alkaline batteries are commonly used for emergency power applications. They provide reliable power for emergency lighting, starting emergency generators, operating navigational lights, powering fire detection and alarm systems, engine room control consoles, and alarm circuits.
Understanding these common points helps in proper maintenance, safety, and utilization of acid and alkaline batteries across various applications.