With the improvement of materials and the advancements in how batteries are construction, the need for topping up a battery with distilled water has been greatly reduced or removed. The maintenance free batteries have become an attractive option for many car owners. These styles of batteries have improved control of the charge rate over traditional batteries. Here are the two main types of these new batteries.
The low-maintenance battery needs a lot less attention than the traditional type of car battery. When low-maintenance batteries are used in normal temperatures, and are being charged under suitable conditions, the battery’s electrolyte level should only need to be check once a year, or about every 80,000 km of use.
The way that low-maintenance batteries are built is similar to a traditional battery, until you look at the charging grid material. The grid material is charged from a lead-acid antimony alloy, to lead-calcium. Low-maintenance batteries can be used on most vehicles, and are a great option in place of traditional batteries.
Maintenance Free Battery
The maintenance free battery has several modifications from a traditional battery. The major difference is that a maintenance free battery is sealed, except for a tiny vent hole. It also needs no servicing, next to being cleaned from time to time.
The first maintenance free battery was the Dalco-Remy Freedom which was released to the public in 1971. What made the battery special, next to being the first maintenance free battery, was that it was able to start better in the cold weather. It was also had improved resistance from heat and vibration damage.
This battery also was able to remove four of the major causes of early failure which were: water usage, overcharging, self-discharge, and thermal runaway. Thermal runaway is a condition, which happens to traditional batteries when they are used at high temperatures, or when there is a faulty regulator in the charging system that combines with the electrolyte temperature. Over charging is still a major cause of gassing in traditional batteries. In maintenance free batteries, this is not a problem since the lead calcium is used to create a grid material. This grid construction deals with the higher EMF that is given off as the battery is approaching full charge, which lower the chances of loss of water by over 80 percent during the overcharge conditions. There is still going to be gassing; however, there is a gas reservoir that collects the water, and returns it to the main electrolyte mass, once it has cooled.