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July 26, 2009
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July 28, 2009
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Rockfort Battery Services Battery Do's and Dont's
Do 's
  • Check the terminals where cables connect to be sure they are tight and corrosion-free. If corrosion if present, have terminals cleaned by a professional. Periodically lubricate terminals with a dab of petroleum jelly to keep cables clean longer.
  • Make sure the battery is firmly secured to its mounting bracket. An unsecured battery can become damaged and cause short circuits.
  • Check the fluid level unless it's a maintenance-free battery. If the fluid is low, add distilled water. If there is no fluid visible, replace the battery.
  • Keep your battery case clean. Dirt conducts electricity which can discharge the battery. Use a solution of baking soda dissolved in warm water to clean. Then wet the case and agitate with a nylon bristle to scrub the surface.
  • Batteries come in many different sizes. When replacing a car battery make sure you choose the right size for your vehicle. Always disconnect the negative cable first and reconnect it las
Don'ts
  • If your battery is frozen, do not charge it because it may explode. One visual sign of a frozen battery is that the sides are bowed out. This condition is not repairable and you need to replace the battery.
  • If you need to charge the battery yourself, switch the charger to a low-charge setting. Most chargers have this feature, but if not have a professional charge the battery.
  • Don't charge a dead battery with a car's alternator. An alternator is not designed to function as a charger and it may be damaged or have a shortened life as a result.
  • Never lean over a battery when charging, testing or jump-starting the engine. Also, don't disconnect battery cables while the engine is running (your battery acts as a filter). Don't let the battery get hot or the electrolyte boil while charging.
  • Don't let the battery get totally discharged. Most car batteries get their power from lead cells submerged in electrolyte and these cells can be damaged when the battery is totally discharged.
Why Recycle?
Unless we recycle used batteries certain toxic components pose a potential risk to the environment and human health. However, recycling:
Saves Natural Resources
By making products from recycled materials instead of virgin materials, we conserve land and reduce the need to mine for more minerals.
Saves Energy
It takes less energy to make a recycled battery. In fact secondary lead bullion, for example, requires four times less energy to make than primary lead.
Saves Clean Air and Water
In most cases, making products from recycled materials creates less air pollution and water pollution than making products from virgin materials.
Saves Landfill Space
When the materials that you recycle go into new products, instead of landfills or incinerators, landfill space is conserved.
Saves Money and Creates Jobs
The recycling industry and the associated processes create far more jobs than land-fill sites or waste incinerators, and recycling is frequently the least expensive waste management option for cities and towns.
Recycling Rates
All the components of the modern lead acid battery are recyclable and from an Industry perspective lead-acid batteries are an environmental success story because in the United States just over 96% is recovered and in most of the G7 nations upwards of 95% is recycled. Compared to the usual "flagship" recycled products such as glass bottles at only 38%, aluminum cans at nearly 64% and newsprint at about 68%, lead acid batteries are the clear leaders in the field. In fact, used lead-acid batteries have topped the list of the most highly recycled consumer products for over a decade.

Unfortunately, battery recycling is not a public utility and scrap batteries are only recycled because it is profitable for the secondary non-ferrous industry to do so. In recent years, however, the introduction of essential environmental and occupational health regulations, and an all time low lead price has cut profit margins to such an extent that most secondary lead smelters that are not the beneficiaries of government levies are barely breaking even and others have closed due to severe losses. It is increasingly important therefore for the secondary lead industry to generate as much income from a spent battery as possible in order to improve margins and maintain profitability. Although there are some processes that smelt whole batteries most modern second- ary plants break spent batteries in a mechanical hammer-mill.

Lead-Acid Battery Uses
Lead-acid batteries are truly the power behind everyday life. They keep those systems we depend on—cars, boats, public transportation —running as we move through the day. However, perhaps even more important is the function these batteries play in those times when normal life is halted—such as during a blackout or brownout. In these situations, when all other power is cut, lead-acid batteries ensure our safety by providing necessary back-up power for everything from computers to hospital emergency lighting.

In a power outage, lead industrial batteries are what back up wireless and wired telephones and computer systems so that phones stay on no computer data is lost. They power the majority of mobile vehicles both on land and sea. Lead-acid batteries start and power vehicles, back up uninterruptible operations like hospitals, railroad signals, weapons systems, and air traffic controls, and help electric utilities shift loads among grids. On the water they start engines, back up critical systems in submarines, and power navigational signals and devices in boats.

Life without lead-acid batteries would mean everything but muscle-powered transportation would stop. There would be frequent power outages as electric utility companies couldn’t handle rapid fluctuations in the demand for electricity. Every major telephone company in the world uses lead-acid batteries as back up power, keeping telephone systems working during storms, power outages, and earthquakes. They also provide quiet, pollution-free emergency power for critical operations in facilities like air traffic control towers, hospitals, railroad crossings, military installations, submarines, and weapons systems. Lead-acid batteries keep pollution control systems operating during blackouts and brownouts in environmentally sensitive manufacturing operations until the plant can be shut down. These batteries also back up cell phones and two-way radio systems.

How to restore and prolong lead-acid batteries?
  • Always store lead-acid in a charged condition. Never allow the battery voltage to drop much below 12.35V. Apply a topping charge every six months or when recommended.
  • Avoid repeated deep discharges. Charge more often. Use a larger battery to reduce the depth of discharge.
  • Prevent sulfation and grid corrosion by choosing the correct charge and float voltages. If possible, allow a fully saturated charge of 14h.
  • To reverse sulfation, raise the charge voltage above 2.40V/cell for a few hours.
  • Avoid operating lead-acid at elevated ambient temperatures.
  • Never apply grease to the terminals of the battery .Apply a dash of white petroleum jelly.

How to Jump Start a Car Battery?

No one wants to think of the moment when they may have to deal with jump-starting a car battery, but we all know it can happen. Here are instructions for how to do it safely and successfully.

Safe Handling of Battery Acid

Battery acid, or electrolyte, is a solution of sulfuric acid and water that can destroy clothing and burn the skin. Use extreme caution when handling electrolyte and keep an acid neutralizing solution—such as baking soda or household ammonia mixed with water—readily available. When handling battery acid:
  • Always wear proper eye, face and hand protection.
  • If the electrolyte is splashed into an eye, immediately force the eye open and flood it with clean, cool water for at least 15 minutes. Get prompt medical attention.
  • If electrolyte is taken internally, drink large quantities of water or milk. DO NOT induce vomiting. Call a physician immediately.
  • Neutralize with baking soda any electrolyte that spills on a vehicle or in the work area. After neutralizing, rinse contaminated area clean with water.
Safe Booster Cable Operation
  • When jump starting a vehicle, always wear proper eye protection and never lean over the battery.
  • Inspect both batteries before connecting booster cables. Do not jump start a damaged battery.
  • Be sure vent caps are tight and level.
  • Make certain that the vehicles are not touching and both ignition switches are turned to the OFF position.
  • Refer to the vehicle owners' manual for other specific information.
  1. Connect positive (+) booster cable to positive (+) terminal of discharged battery.
  2. Connect other end of positive (+) cable to positive (+) terminal of assisting battery.
  3. Connect negative (-) cable to negative (-) terminal of assisting battery.
  4. MAKE FINAL CONNECTION OF NEGATIVE (-) CABLE TO ENGINE BLOCK OF STALLED VEHICLE, AWAY FROM BATTERY.
  5. Start vehicle and remove cables in REVERSE order of connections.

Lead-Acid Batteries and Alternative Energy
Lead-acid batteries are in many cases the backbone behind alternative energy and related new technologies.  For example, the lead-acid battery is a key component of solar energy, wind energy and hybrid cars. 

As storage batteries, lead-acid batteries are what enable a home power system to deliver a constant level of power to the electrical system. Without storage batteries an electrical system would be limited by the immediate output of the alternative-energy generators. So wind-powered systems would be subject to constant power fluctuations as the wind speed increased, dropped or disappeared entirely.  And on cloudy days or at night, a solar-run house would have no electrical power available to turn on interior lights.  Thankfully, because of storage batteries, power can be available 24 hours a day, regardless of weather.  This is accomplished by running the output of renewable power generators through charge controllers and into the storage batteries.

Lead-acid batteries are the most commonly type of storage batteries used in these systems because of their low maintenance requirements, low initial cost, and their availability across the globe.

Solar Energy
When silicon, a natural element composing all solar panels, is heated by the sun, it becomes electrically charged. This charge is stored in lead-acid batteries so that when sun is not available—at night and on cloudy days—the stored energy can be utilized keeping the PV system operating for extended periods despite the lack of sunlight. 

Wind Energy
This process is similar in wind energy systems, as the energy made by the motion of the turning blades of a wind turbine can also be stored in lead-acid batteries so that these wind systems can function consistently regardless of any changes in wind.  Today, wind plants power the equivalent of 7.5 million average American homes and 16 million average European homes, making it the fastest growing energy source in the world. Wind power is clean, affordable, and limitless.  It has become one of today's lower cost renewable energy technologies.  
Designed for high reliability and long life, deep cycle, heavy-duty, industrial type lead-acid batteries are the least expensive batteries for wind applications.

 
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