Believe it or not, in a world filled with NiCad, alkaline, and lithium rechargeable batteries for cell phones, flashlights, television remotes and a host of other electronics, the type of rechargeable battery the world relies on most is still the old-fashioned, sealed lead-acid (SLA) battery. Why? Because virtually every vehicle with a gasoline or diesel engine has one!
If you own a car, truck, van, boat, motorcycle, plane, helicopter, or even an ATV with a gasoline engine, you’ll almost always find a sealed lead-acid battery as a part of the electrical system. That’s because lead-acid batteries not only hold the voltage necessary to start the engine, but have the amperage (or power) to keep it running as well. Even hybrid vehicles and some electric vehicles rely on lead-acid batteries for starting and power.
Although lead-acid batteries were invented in 1859 by French physicist Gaston Planté, modern batteries still use very similar concepts and technology to provide the same results. For today’s modern automotive systems, six galvanic cells are wired in series to provide the necessary voltage required. Also, since lead-acid batteries are capable of supplying the surge current needed by modern engine starter motors, they are still the battery of choice for automotive, aquatic, and aeronautic requirements.
Even though SLA batteries are best known for their uses in motor vehicles, they are also very popular in other applications as well. As an example, if you have an uninterruptible power supply supporting your computer or other electronic devices, odds are they have an SLA battery in them. Also, many toys and other rechargeable electronics may contain SLA batteries. That’s because SLA batteries are inexpensive to manufacture, last for years (depending on the application), and are capable of supporting heavy power loads for short periods of time. For instance, while a radio-controlled toy vehicle with an electric motor may need alkaline or NiCad batteries for the remote, the vehicle itself will have a sealed lead-acid battery to generate the torque and speeds that these RC vehicles are capable of. Other types of batteries simply can’t deliver the necessary power.
SLA batteries are also eminently recyclable. Today we all know that batteries disposed of as regular waste can cause immense environmental damage. Soil and water pollution is a sure result if the lead contained in such batteries isn’t properly contained. Thankfully, most responsible SLA producers are now committed to both recycling all used batteries as well as meeting continuously emissions standards. For more information, check out the latest deep cycle batteries from competitive Canadian companies.
Sealed lead acid batteries have been around for over 150 years and their capacity, usability and reliability have made them more popular than ever. Whether you’re driving a toy car up and down your driveway or a real car for hours a day on your commute, a sealed lead-acid battery is probably at the heart of your electrical system.