Before we stride ahead and rally round some enhanced battery technologies, let’s have a quick look at what a lead acid battery actually is, and what lies in its core.

A lead-acid battery is a storage battery which has electrodes that are grids of lead containing, lead oxides. These grids change in their structure during charging and discharging. The electrolyte used is a 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water solution, which causes a chemical reaction that produce electrons. The Lead Acid battery is fabricated using plates, lead, and lead oxide (various other elements are used to change density, hardness, porosity, etc.). But this short description isn’t everything that we should know about the lead acid batteries. Lead Acid Batteries are gradually becoming obsolete and have two major concerns. Excessive charging electrolyzes some of the water, which in turn emits hydrogen and oxygen. This process is known as “gassing”. Excessive gassing can result in explosions. The second and the major concern is the threat to environment which lead batteries pose. According to a 2003 report by Environmental Defense and the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Mich : “Getting the Lead Out”, the batteries of all vehicles on the road enclosed approximately 2,600,000 metric tons (2,600,000 long tons; 2,900,000 short tons) of lead. We all are aware that lead is highly toxic. Continued exposure to even little amounts of lead compounds can cause brain and kidney damage, hearing impairment, and learning problems in children.

LeadAcidBatteryScrap1

Li-ion_batteryThus, the industry had to find a solution to this, which was cost-efficient, eco-friendly, and reliable. The swerving shifted towards the use of Li-ion batteries, which were a mine for great benefits owing to their lighter weight, cost-effectiveness, longer runtime, faster charge time and longer cycle life.  The lithium-ion battery, is the battery that powers everything from the mobile in your pocket, your PC/Laptop to airplane flight systems and the new electric cars. Commercially used since 1991, there are more than 1.8 billion of them in exercise. Their abilities have assisted huge advancements in digital technology. But nearly all Li-ion batteries generate levels of energy too low down to control large machines and expire within three years. Whilst a single cell is sufficient to run an iPhone, at the same time, airplanes and cars require to be stocked with rows of Li-ion batteries. Such large arrays of battery can overheat and even burst into flames, in the vein of the 63-pound battery pack that triggered a fire within a Boeing 787 Dreamliner months back.

li-ion_in_action

Li-ionbattery_for_driving_big_machines_and_jets

Li-ion battery for driving big machines and jets

Boeing787Liionbattery1

Realizing all this in unison, we all have an obvious common question,

Are there alternatives or better options to Li-ion Batteries ?

LI_ION_Battery_consumptionHere comes the beginning of the battle. Researchers and Scientists around the globe are still trying to find but the best and most efficient alternative for Li-ion batteries. In chronological terms, the death of the flint tool and other olden technologies cropped up very rapidly. This was due to several factors which conspired to fetch the superior alternative and this had a multiplier effect. So it is with li-ion batteries.

As an alternative, one can go for GreenBatt batteries, which come with an equalizer. Greenbatt’s ability provides valued charging and discharging system for recondition process for new and used batteries. With completed process you will find much less cost than you are presently paying for purchasing new batteries at times. There are many types of companies that can benefit from GreenBatt’s Reconditioned Batteries, mainly there are 2 types:

  1. Companies that call for and use batteries for their vehicles and equipment.
  2. Companies that tender services dealing with vehicles, machinery and equipment, which could offer battery replacement as an additional service.

GreenBatt Batteries come with a Battery Equalizer, which is a non-corrosive and non-flammable water-base liquid battery treatment devised to extend the life and performance of any new or used lead acid battery. Battery Equalizer is suggested for use in autos, boats, golf carts, motorcycles, solar, trucks, RV’s, electric forklift batteries, and any other lead acid battery. GreenBatt has an added bonus of being more eco-friendlier than the regular lead-acid batteries. However, they require lead in their fabrication, and yield no extra-ordinary power.

A recent development is the use of Ultra-capacitors. Researchers at MIT are developing a new type of battery that has the prospective to hold as much energy as a usual battery but could be recharged in seconds (not hours), and would last almost indefinitely. Not only this, this new class of batteries doesn’t mind the cold. The device could prove the first inexpensively feasible alternative to today’s li-ion or VRLA batteries. A “synthetic battery” works on the basis of ultra-capacitors. Conventional batteries stock up the energy by performing chemical reactions to entrap ions that move about, from one electrode to the other. Batteries have a colossal storage capacity, but—because of the chemicals involved—electricity can go in and out only so fast, and some is lost as heat. Adding to this, they pose environmental threats in one way or the other.

In contrast, capacitors store energy in an electric field. The absence of chemical reactions has advantages. Capacitors can deliver energy quickly, and they can be charged up in minutes or even seconds. They can hold up temperature changes, shocks, and vibrations. And they can be recharged hundreds of thousands of times before they wear out. They’re thus much easier on the environment than today’s batteries, which must be tossed out after a few hundred charges.

Graphene super-capacitors

Carbon Nanotube Forest

Carbon Nanotube Forest

When advancement comes, it can seem to be nearly like an accident. Last year UCLA chemistry student Maher El-Kady discovered a technique to use the laser in a low-priced DVD burner to fabricate graphene, a carbon material that has astonishing electrical properties, but is disgracefully pricey to manufacture. Using sheets of graphene put on by El-Kady’s method, a UCLA team has made a very efficient super-capacitor — a device that accumulates energy akin to a battery, but recharges up to 100,000 times more rapidly. They’re now running on commercial relevance.

Initiatives by Governments, Companies and Societies, Facts and Figures pertinent to this:

  • Obama administration invested $2.4 billion in 29 private firms working on power cells for electric cars. But many of those firms have struggled financially because they haven’t made progress they can bring to the market.
  • China wants to leapfrog in technology and there is no leapfrogging on offer with lead acid batteries -just hideous pollution injuries from smelting, making and disposing of lead batteries in China. The Chinese Government has therefore cut lead acid battery manufacture to 42% of what it was in 2010.
  • Since French physicist Gaston Planté invented the first rechargeable battery 154 years ago, battery performance has improved only eightfold.
  • Around 150 000 tonnes of wastes arise from the UK lead-acid battery industry each year and 65 % of the wastes is lead.

Recycled_Lead Acid batteries

  • Sadly, The new report, ‘Lead-Acid Battery Market in India’, states that the battery market in India is experiencing rising demand from various sectors, However, Energy management firm Acme has tied up with South Korean company Samsung SDI to manufacture and market lithium ion batteries in telecom, solar power, defence sectors and other allied industries in India and the African continent.
  • As per an estimate by Frost & Sullivan, global market for Li-Ion segment was around USD 11.7 billion in 2012 with 64 per cent share of consumer batteries, for example, mobile phone, cameras, laptop, tablet PC and power tools. This is expected to grow to double by 2016 and the share of consumer batteries in the overall segment to be reduced to 52 per cent and industrial usage to grow multifold.
  • According to a recent report published by TechSci, the Indian Li-ion batteries market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 24 per cent during 2013-18 riding high on the success of consumer electronics and automotive applications. The “India Li-ion Batteries Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2018″ cites that the demand for lithium ion batteries has increased exponentially in the country.

(Source : http://efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=128351)

Want to read more on Energy & Cost Efficient Batteries ? Visit:

http://low-powerdesign.com/article_death-of-lead-acid-batteries.html

http://news.nationalgeographic.co.in/news/energy/2013/08/130821-supercapacitors/

http://web.mit.edu/erc/spotlights/ultracapacitor.html

Abhinandan is a part-time media and journalism professional and a passionate victim of wanderlust. Despite all his attempts to conquer the eclectic tastes of diverse cuisines, scenic views of deep valleys and panoramic mountains, he is still uncertain about his interests. He is a food lover, compulsive traveler, an enthusiastic writer, aspiring entrepreneur, ingenious web developer, and a mathematics-savvy guy. To make up for the credence of eternal optimism, he is skilfully blessed with boundless energy and an inborn penchant for new experiences.

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