Battery life has been defined as the time period of which it lasts for service without any damage. Battery life is reduced by overcharging which causes overheating and excessive gas bubbling. In a car, the battery can be overcharged due to a faulty generator control which causes the generator to continue to charge the battery after it is fully charged. The too concentrated electrolyte also causes overcharging. Lack of water not only makes the
electrolyte concentrated but, it reduces electrolyte level also in the cell, and thus causes disintegration of the exposed plates.
If a battery is continuously undercharged, it becomes sulfated, which causes loss of active material. It also causes the plates to buckle and break. Excessive loads, such as those produced by propelling the car with the starting motor, are detrimental to the battery life.
The battery is completely damaged if the electrolyte freezes in it.’ The freezing points of various solutions depending on the state of charge are given in the following table:
FREEZING POINT (°F)
Doing this will last your battery twice long.
FACTORS AFFECTING BATTERY LIFE
- Decomposes water of electrolyte into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Gas bubbles capable of washing-active material from the plates and carries moisture and acid from the cells as a fine particle of mist.
- Decomposition of water leaves acid more concentrated. Concentrated acid is harmful to separators and negative plate material at high temperatures over a prolonged period of time, charring the separators and making the negative material sandy and granular.
- High internal heat is created, which accelerates corrosion of positive plate grids and damages separators. Also, containers may be softened and distorted and sealing compound displaced.
- Overcharging alone or in combination with a previous condition of undercharging may cause severe buckling and warping of positive plates with accompanying perforation of separators.
- May cause damage by corrosion to cradle, cables and other vital electrical and engine parts by forcing liquid from the cell if charging rates are excessive.
- A battery operated in an undercharged condition is not only unable to deliver full power but is liable to freeze during severe winter weather.
- Lead sulfate formed on the plates during discharging is relatively insoluble as long as the specific gravity of the electrolyte is kept above l.125. Subsequent charging may convert these crystalline deposits to filamentous metallic lead which may short the positive and negative plates through the areas of the separators affected. These small shorts may cause a condition of low cell voltage when the battery is charging. For this reason, the battery should not be allowed to stand idle in a more than 75% discharged condition for very long periods of time.
Lack Of Water
Freezing of Electrolyte
A 1/3 charged battery is in no danger of damage from freezing. Therefore, keep batteries better than 3/4 charged, especially during winter. This plays a major contribution to the reduction of battery life.