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lead acid batteries

Lead acid storage batteries are a heat generating topic on many renewable energy (RE) and recreational vehicle (RV) forums. People are passionate about their misbeliefs. Mike, at the Solar Electric Power Discussion thread on Sam’s Club batteries referenced the DECA service manual for the D series batteries. That one’s a keeper! The manual is about industrial batteries but the description of battery construction and operation applies to all lead acid batteries.

The cutaway illustration (Fig. A-1) shows the construction of an East Penn battery cell. Each positive plate consists of a lead-alloy grid structure which is filled with a paste of active material, made from lead oxide. The active material is forced into the positive grid structure during manufacturing and is held firmly to the grid by a system of vertical and horizontal glass fiber mats, which reinforce and insulate the positive plate. A retainer and bottom shield encase each positive plate and mat assembly to help prevent short circuits.

The negative plate also consists of a lead alloy grid structure that is filled with active material. But because negative plates undergo much less active material shedding, no reinforcing glass fiber mats are needed. Separators provide insulation between the positive and negative plates. The positive and negative plates are connected to their respective posts by positive and negative straps.

There’s also good stuff about battery safety, operations, and maintenance that apply even to small RV and RE applications.

When you run across someone promulgating the ‘true deep cycle 6v golf cart battery’ as the penultimate solution or carrying on about the ‘deep cycle and thick plates’ baloney, get back to a manual like this to find reality.

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