We Offer a Range of Power Solutions & Services

An Introduction To Battery Technology

Barden UK Ltd is the UK’s premier supplier of Lead Acid batteries. The Lead Acid battery was invented some 150 years ago and is the oldest rechargeable battery available today. The term Lead acid refers to the construction of the battery in that it uses Lead plate and Sulphuric Acid in order to create a potential of 2 Volts.

Batteries are made up of 2V cells to produce 6 and 12V batteries. Each cell, in a charged state, is made up of electrodes of Lead (Pb) and Lead Dioxide (PbO2) in and electrolyte of Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4). In a discharged state, both electrodes turn into Lead Sulfate and the electrolyte becomes primarily water. This process is completely reversible when the battery is recharged.

Anatomy of a Typical Battery

In recent times there have been advances in battery technology and VRLA batteries have become very popular. VRLA stands for valve regulated lead-acid and is the designation for low maintenance lead acid batteries, also called recombinant batteries. VRLA batteries are commonly further classified as:

  • Absorbent glass mat battery (AGM)
  • Gel battery

These batteries are often called sealed lead-acid batteries, but this term is misleading. A sealed battery would be a safety hazard due to overpressure risks when overcharged and there is always a safety valve present, hence the name valve-regulated. Sealed is opposed to vented (also called flooded). Because VRLA batteries use much less electrolyte (battery acid) than traditional lead-acid batteries, they are also occasionally referred to as an “acid-starved” design.

The name “valve regulated” does not wholly describe the technology; these are really “recombinant” batteries, which means that the oxygen evolved at the positive plates will largely recombine with the hydrogen ready to evolve on the negative plates, creating water–thus preventing water loss. The valve is strictly a safety feature in case the rate of hydrogen evolution becomes dangerously high.

One result of this design is a much higher ratio of power to weight than large, flooded type battery systems; another is a high-rate power capacity, though of relatively short duration. As a result, VRLA batteries are frequently employed in UPS or other high-rate applications.

Batteries can be subdivided further by application. They are many jobs batteries are asked to perform but the everyday jobs can be listed as follows:

Engine Starting

Lead acid batteries designed for starting engines are not designed for deep discharge. They have a large number of thin plates designed for maximum surface area, and therefore maximum current output, but which can easily be damaged by deep discharge. Repeated deep discharges will result in capacity loss and ultimately in premature failure, as the plates disintegrate due to mechanical stresses that arise from cycling. A common misconception is that starting batteries should always be kept on float charge. In reality, this practice will encourage corrosion in the electrodes and result in premature failure. Starting batteries should be kept open circuit but charged regularly to prevent sulfation.

Deep Cycle

Specially designed deep-cycle cells are much less susceptible to degradation due to cycling, and are required for applications where the batteries are regularly discharged, such as Photovoltaic systems, electric vehicles and UPS systems. These batteries have thicker plates that can deliver less peak current, but can withstand frequent discharging

Marine/Motorhome batteries, sometimes called “leisure batteries”, are something of a compromise between the two, being able to be discharged to a greater degree than automotive batteries, but less so than deep cycle batteries.

Sizing Your Deep Cycle Battery

The chart below shows some typical examples of calculations necessary when trying to size your deep cycle batteries.

Description Watt @12V Amps X hrs/day =Ah
 Autopilot  20  1.67  5.0 8.33
 Echo Sounder  4  0.33 7.0  2.33
 Instrument Lamp 10  0.83  5.0  4.17
 Log  2  0.17  7.0  1.17
 Nav. Lamps  80  6.67  6.0  40.00
 VHF Transmission  50  4.17  0.2  0.83
 VHF Reception  5  0.42  5.0  2.08
 Fridge  55  4.58  8.0  36.67
 Bilge Pump  50  4.17  0.1  0.42
 Sink Pump  50  4.17  0.3  1.25
 FM Radio  40  3.33  2.0  6.67
 TV  40  3.33  2.0  6.67
 Reading Lamp  15  1.25  3.0  3.75
 Sundry  60  5.00  3.0  15.00
 TOTAL  129.34

The total load in this scenario is 129.34Ah. Unfortunately you can not use a 130Ah battery as the battery will not be able to provide a useful voltage at 100% discharge. The recommended maximum depth of discharge for optimum battery performance and life is 50%. Therefore in this example you should have a minimum battery capacity of 260Ah. This can be made up using one very large 12V battery or multiple smaller batteries.

It is important to remember most manufacturers recommend a maximum of three batteries in parallel. This is to avoid battery imbalance which can occur during normal cycling.

Batteries - Information

We offer a wide range of batteries for a huge number of applications. The expandable sections below will provide you with more information about battery technology, to help you in choosing the perfect product for your needs –

Barden UK Ltd is the UK’s premier supplier of Lead Acid batteries. The Lead Acid battery was invented some 150 years ago and is the oldest rechargeable battery available today. The term Lead acid refers to the construction of the battery in that it uses Lead plate and Sulphuric Acid in order to create a potential of 2 Volts.

Batteries are made up of 2V cells to produce 6 and 12V batteries. Each cell, in a charged state, is made up of electrodes of Lead (Pb) and Lead Dioxide (PbO2) in and electrolyte of Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4). In a discharged state, both electrodes turn into Lead Sulfate and the electrolyte becomes primarily water. This process is completely reversible when the battery is recharged.

In recent times there have been advances in battery technology and VRLA batteries have become very popular. VRLA stands for valve regulated lead-acid and is the designation for low maintenance lead acid batteries, also called recombinant batteries. VRLA batteries are commonly further classified as:

• Absorbent glass mat battery (AGM)
• Gel battery

These batteries are often called sealed lead-acid batteries, but this term is misleading. A sealed battery would be a safety hazard due to overpressure risks when overcharged and there is always a safety valve present, hence the name valve-regulated. Sealed is opposed to vented (also called flooded). Because VRLA batteries use much less electrolyte (battery acid) than traditional lead-acid batteries, they are also occasionally referred to as an “acid-starved” design.

info_Battery

The name “valve regulated” does not wholly describe the technology; these are really “recombinant” batteries, which means that the oxygen evolved at the positive plates will largely recombine with the hydrogen ready to evolve on the negative plates, creating water–thus preventing water loss. The valve is strictly a safety feature in case the rate of hydrogen evolution becomes dangerously high.

One result of this design is a much higher ratio of power to weight than large, flooded type battery systems; another is a high-rate power capacity, though of relatively short duration. As a result, VRLA batteries are frequently employed in UPS or other high-rate applications.

Batteries can be subdivided further by application. They are many jobs batteries are asked to perform but the everyday jobs can be listed as follows:

Engine Starting

Lead acid batteries designed for starting engines are not designed for deep discharge. They have a large number of thin plates designed for maximum surface area, and therefore maximum current output, but which can easily be damaged by deep discharge. Repeated deep discharges will result in capacity loss and ultimately in premature failure, as the plates disintegrate due to mechanical stresses that arise from cycling. A common misconception is that starting batteries should always be kept on float charge. In reality, this practice will encourage corrosion in the electrodes and result in premature failure. Starting batteries should be kept open circuit but charged regularly to prevent sulfation.

Deep Cycle

Specially designed deep-cycle cells are much less susceptible to degradation due to cycling, and are required for applications where the batteries are regularly discharged, such as Photovoltaic systems, electric vehicles and UPS systems. These batteries have thicker plates that can deliver less peak current, but can withstand frequent discharging

Marine/Motorhome batteries, sometimes called “leisure batteries”, are something of a compromise between the two, being able to be discharged to a greater degree than automotive batteries, but less so than deep cycle batteries.

Sizing your Deep Cycle battery:

The chart below shows some typical examples of calculations necessary when trying to size your deep cycle batteries.

Description Watt @ 12V Amps X hrs/day = Ah
Autopilot 20 1.67 5.0 8.33
Echo sounder 4 0.33 7.0 2.33
Instrument Lamp 10 0.83 5.0 4.17
Log 2 0.17 7.0 1.17
Nav. Lamps 80 6.67 6.0 40.00
VHF Transmission 50 4.17 0.2 0.83
VHF Reception 5 0.42 5.0 2.08
Fridge 55 4.58 8.0 36.67
Bilge Pump 50 4.17 0.1 0.42
Sink Pump 50 4.17 0.3 1.25
FM Radio 40 3.33 2.0 6.67
TV 40 3.33 2.0 6.67
Reading Lamp 15 1.25 3.0 3.75
Sundry 60 5.00 3.0 15.00
TOTAL 129.34

The total load in this scenario is 129.34Ah. Unfortunately you cannot use a 130Ah battery as the battery will not be able to provide a useful voltage at 100% discharge. The recommended maximum depth of discharge for optimum battery performance and life is 50%. Therefore in this example you should have a minimum battery capacity of 260Ah. This can be made up using one very large 12V battery or multiple smaller batteries.

It is important to remember most manufacturers recommend a maximum of three batteries in parallel. This is to avoid battery imbalance which can occur during normal cycling.

Solar Power - Information

We offer a wide range of solar panels for a huge number of applications. The expandable sections below will provide you with more information about the technology, to help you in choosing the perfect product for your needs –

What is Solar Power?

The sun supplies energy in the form of radiation. Because of the great distance between the sun and the earth only a tiny part of solar radiation reaches the earth’s surface. In good conditions this equates to approximately 1000 W/m². Of this solar cells can only convert approximately 15% (150W).

How does Solar Power work?

A photovoltaic device (generally called a solar cell) consists of layers of semiconductor materials with different electronic properties. In a typical crystalline silicon cell, the bulk of the material is silicon, doped with a small quantity of boron to give it a positive or p-type character. A thin layer on the front of the cell is doped with phosphorus to give it a negative or n-type character. The interface between these two layers contains an electric field and is called a junction.

Light consists of particles called photons. When light hits the solar cell, some of the photons are absorbed in the silicon. If the photons have enough energy they will be able to free electrons, the electric field at the junction will cause the electrons to move through the silicon atoms in the cell and into an external circuit as electrical current. As they flow through the external circuit they give up their energy as useful work (turning motors, charging batteries, for example) and return to the solar cell.

info_Solar

Solar Energy:

Photovoltaics (PV), more commonly known as Solar Power is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity. Solar power is generated by solar panels. There are composed of a number of solar cells containing a photovoltaic material. The most common material presently used for photovoltaics are Monocrystalline silicon and Polycrystalline silicon.

Solar panels can be subdivided by the type of construction used to house the solar cells –

Rigid Glass Solar Panels:

Available in both Mono & Polycrystalline, these solar panels are made using sturdy Aluminium frame that allows them to be easily mounted.

The cells are encapsulated between a sheet of high transmission tempered glass, which provides enhanced stiffness and impact resistance, and a triple layer EVA back sheet.

Semi-Flexible Solar Panels:

They use the same cells but are mounted on a slightly flexible, thin, steel back plate which is then powder coated and fully encapsulated.

Flexible Solar Panels:

These solar panels are made with Monocrystalline cells with an efficiency greater than 16.5%. The cells are embedded in polymers with high resilience technology. They weigh 1/8 of a traditional glass panel.

Chargers & Inverters - Information

We offer a wide range of chargers and inverters for a huge number of applications. The expandable sections below will provide you with more information about the technology, to help you in choosing the perfect product for your needs –

A Battery Charger – is a device used to put energy into a cell or battery by forcing an electric current through it from an AC such as main, generator or shore power. The battery chargers output current depends upon the battery’s state of charge. An intelligent battery charger may monitor the battery’s voltage, temperature and/or time whilst charging to determine the optimum charge current at that instant. Battery charging is terminated when a combination of the voltage, temperature and/or time indicates that the battery is fully charged.
Most modern battery chargers are now fully automatic and intrinsically safe. Our battery chargers have reverse polarity protection and can be left on permanently without fear of overcharging you battery.

A battery chargers cycle can be described as multi stage. This normally consists of Bulk, Absorption and Float. The Bulk charging stage is designed to deliver the majority of charge back to the battery. Once the battery reaches approximately 80% charged its resistance is much higher and it does not want to accept as much current. This stage is known as Absorption or constant voltage. The voltage will be held and the battery is able to absorb the remaining current required to reach a fully charged state.

Once charged the voltage is reduced to a Float voltage and the third stage begins. This stage is designed to maintain the battery at 100% state of charge by supplying a constant voltage lower than that of the Absorption stage but high enough to stop self discharge. In theory the battery can be left on a permanent float charge without fear of overcharging. Some battery chargers employ other special stages such as pulsing and equalisation to further improve charging and prolong battery life.

 

A Power Inverter – or inverter, is an electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

 

This enables the conversion from a 12V or 24V battery into AC current to power microwaves to hairdryer, DVD player to electrical tools, laptop to flatscreens.

 

A typical inverter requires a relatively stable DC power source capable of supplying enough current for the intended power demands of the system. The input voltage depends on the design and purpose of the inverter, for example 12 VDC, for smaller consumer and commercial inverters that typically run from a rechargeable 12 V lead acid battery.

 

An inverter can produce a square wave, modified sine wave, pulsed sine wave, pulse width modulated wave (PWM) or pure sine wave depending on circuit design. The dominant commercialized waveform now used is the pure sine wave.

 

The AC output frequency of a power inverter device is usually the same as standard power line frequency, 50 or 60 hertz

The AC output voltage of a power inverter is often regulated to be the same as the grid line voltage, typically 120 or 240 VAC, even when there are changes in the load that the inverter is driving. This allows the inverter to power numerous devices designed for standard line power.

A power inverter will often have an overall power rating expressed in watts or kilowatts. This describes the power that will be available to the device the inverter is driving and, indirectly, the power that will be needed from the DC source.

info_Charger

Need advice? Get in touch with us today.

Download our catalogue or order a printed copy…

Click here to download our latest catalogue in PDF format, to view at your convenience on your computer or mobile device. Alternatively, if you would prefer a printed copy of our catalogue, you can order one here and we will send it out to you as soon as possible.

Copyright 2015 Barden UK | All Rights Reserved | Design by Footprint