Free Essay About How Batteries Are Charged?
There are various methods applied when charging a car battery. However, in the case of an automotive battery, it is automatically charged when the engine is turned on. A car battery is made up of lead plates and an electrolyte that stores voltage (Bertness, Kevin and Michael, 198). When the engine is turned on, an alternator attached to the engine and the battery, produces electric currents that are stored in the battery. Most alternators have an in-built regulator that determines the amount of voltage/charge a battery receives and stores. In any automotive engine, there is a serpentine belt that turns on other accessories such as: Conditioners, water pumps et cetera, this belt turns the alternator hence, charging the battery while the engine is running (Bertness, Kevin and Michael, 2012). There are also other manual methods that might be applied to charge a car battery; the most applied method is referred as trickle-charging (Bertness, Kevin and Michael, 200). This concept basically involves charging a battery that is still fully charged with no load attached to it. The charging rate is maintained at an equal rate as the rate of self-discharge. This enables the battery to remain at a full charge. A battery at such conditions may be referred as being at float voltage; that is, a batter with an amount of voltage maintained after it has been charged by compensating for energy that might be lost during self-discharge (Bertness, Kevin and Michael, 201). In the case of a lead-acid battery, trickle charging occurs naturally when the charging process is completed, especially when the lead-acid battery acquires a trickle charge to maintain a full charge.
Different Power Supplies used to Charge a Battery
One of the power supplies that may be used to charge a battery is DC power supply. Direct Current s needed to charge any type of battery. The process involves electrons that flow back into the battery; this establishes an electric potential that a battery ought to have had in the case that it is fully charged. In order to charge a battery using Direct Current, one needs DC power supplies, alligator clips as well as a battery holder. The DC power supply is usually needed in a manner that allows users to make adjustments on the voltage as well as currents. This process requires users to have knowledge on the amount of current and voltage needed from the DC power supplies. Electricity i.e. from hydro-electric power sources, solar or wind energy sources may also be used to charge batteries. However, this process is risky as most electric currents are at 120 volts/AC; this requires the use of a converter that reduces the voltage to approximately 18 volts and converts the power from Alternating currents to Direct currents as most batteries can only store Alternating currents. In the case of an automotive, jump-starting may be used to charge a ‘dead’ battery; that is a battery that does not have power completely. This process involves connecting the positive terminals of the dead battery to the positive terminal of a working car battery. The negative terminals of bother batteries are also connected on a similar basis. A connection is also made on a metal from the terminals of the working battery to act as an earth. This is followed by starting the engine of the working car for about five minutes.
Battery Technology in the Electric Car
Electric vehicle batteries also known as traction batteries are either primary or secondary battery applied to facilitate propulsion in electric vehicles (Hammerslag et al, 13). The use of traction batteries has been common in Golf carts, forklifts, electric motorcycles, riding floor scrubbers et cetera. Electric vehicle batteries are unique and distinct from SLI batteries owing to the fact that they are created to provide energy over an extended period of time. This basically involves a modification of traction batteries in a manner that a high ampere capacity mode of operation is installed on them (Hammerslag et al, 13). Additionally, the battery technology in electric vehicles involves a design with higher power-to-weight ratio compared to the SLI batteries used in diesel and petrol engine vehicles. Electric car batteries also have a high energy to weight ratio as well as a high level of energy density. On the other hand, electric vehicle batteries are relatively smaller and lighter compared to the SLI batteries used in diesel and petrol engine vehicles. This is meant to reduce the weight of electric vehicles, thus enhancing their performance. Comparing this to liquid fuels, a significant number of batteries for electric vehicles have relatively lower energy; this is considered to have a higher impact on the maximum amount of energy on electric vehicles (Hammerslag, et al, 14).
Charging Batteries for Electric Vehicle
Batteries for electric vehicles have to be recharged on a regular basis after a certain period of time (Hammerslag et al, 14). They are mostly charged from the power grid i.e. street shops with recharging points or a t home using electric currents from wind power, solar panels, hydro-electric power and other sources of electricity. The time required to charge an electric vehicle is usually limited by the capacity of specific grid connection. When charging an electric car, there are two major ways of connecting the batteries or the cars to be charged. One of these methods is referred as conductive coupling; it is a direct mode of charging, which requires weather proof sockets where special high capacity cables are connected. The essence of weather proof cables is meant to protect the user from shocks caused by the high voltage.
Electric Car Battery Technologies
There are four main types of electric car battery technologies; one of these technologies is Lithium Ion batteries. They are most known to be applicable in laptops and other electronic materials such as mobile phones. Their use has extended to electric vehicles whereby a graphite anode and a cobalt oxide are used. They are preferred in electric cars owing to the fact that they can yield up to 200 Wh/kg density of energy. They are also characterized by a high level of discharge efficiency at 90% (Lee et al, 399). However, their main challenge is that that have a short life-cycle compared to other batteries. There is also the lead-acid battery; they are relatively cheaper compared to Lithium-ion batteries. The use of lead-acid batteries in most electric vehicles is preferred because they are relatively cheaper and are highly available. The third type of electric vehicle battery technology is Nickel-Metal Hydride; it is regarded as one of the most mature technologies in regard to vehicle propulsion. However, they have a less percentage efficiency at 70% compared to lead-acid, with a power density of 30-80 Wh/kg (Lee et al, 400). Consequently, there is also the zebra battery technology; it is designed in a manner that it uses chloroaluminate sodium as an electrolyte. It is produces energy density of 120 Wh/kg.
Lee, Junghoon, et al. "Integration of battery charging to tour schedule generation for an EV-based rent-a-car business." Advances in Swarm Intelligence. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2012. 399-406.
Hammerslag et al. "Battery charging and transfer system for electrically powered vehicles." U.S. Patent Application 13/347,587.
Bertness, Kevin I., and Michael E. Troy. "Automotive battery charging system tester." U.S. Patent No. 8,198,900. 12 Jun. 2012.
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