How a Lead Acid Battery works | County Battery

How a lead acid battery works

How a Lead Acid Battery works


We all know what batteries are and what their purpose is, but how do they work?

An electrical battery is a combination of two or more cells used to convert chemical energy into electrical energy. A battery stores electricity and develops voltage from the chemical reaction produced when two different metals are immersed in an electrolyte solution. In a battery, when a chemical reaction occurs, electrons move from one pole to the other, the different metals and electrolytes used give the battery different characteristics, the most significant of these is the varying voltage of the battery.

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How it works

A battery is made up of cells, lead-acid batteries contain lead grids onto which lead and another plate made of lead oxide are pasted, with a sulphuric acid electrolyte that the plates are immersed in. Lead combines with SO4 (sulphate) to create PbSO4 (lead sulphate), plus one electron. Lead dioxide, Hydrogen ions and SO4 ions along with electrons from the lead plate, create PbSO4 and water on the lead dioxide plate. As the battery discharges, both plates build up PbSO4 and water builds up in the acid. The voltage is about 2.2 volts per cell, for starter car batteries, six of these cells are connected in series to produce a 12v battery. This reaction is reversible, if you apply current to a battery at the right voltage, lead and lead dioxide form again on the plates, enabling you to reuse the battery until the active material has been depleted rendering the battery unserviceable.

So there's a simple explanation of how a lead-acid battery works, for any battery-related questions you may have, our helpful team of battery experts are always on hand to help, you can contact us here.