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  • Lead–acid battery

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    The lead–acid battery was invented in 1859 by French physicist Gaston Planté and is the oldest type of rechargeable battery. Despite having a very low energy-to-weight ratio and a low energy-to-volume ratio, its ability to supply high surge currents means that the cells have a relatively large power-to-weight ratio. These features, along with their low cost, make them attractive for use in motor vehicles to provide the high current required by automobile starter motors. As they are inexpensive compared to newer technologies, lead–acid batteries are widely used even when surge current is not important and other designs could provide higher energy densities. In 1999 lead–acid battery sales accounted for 40–45% of the value from batteries sold worldwide excluding China and Russia, and a manufacturing market value of about $15 billion. Large-format lead–acid designs are widely used for storage in backup power supplies in cell phone towers, high-availability settings like hospitals, and stand-alone power systems. For these roles, modified versions of the standard cell may be used to improve storage times and reduce maintenance requirements.

  • VRLA battery

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    A 12V VRLA battery, typically used in small uninterruptable power supplies and home security systems A valve-regulated lead-acid battery ('VRLA battery) sometimes called sealed lead-acid (SLA), gel cell, or maintenance free battery'. Due to their construction, the gel and absorbent glass mat (AGM) types of VRLA can be mounted in any orientation, and do not require constant maintenance. The term "maintenance free" is a misnomer as VRLA batteries still require cleaning and regular functional testing. They are widely used in large portable electrical devices, off-grid power systems and similar roles, where large amounts of storage are needed at a lower cost than other low-maintenance technologies like lithium-ion. There are three primary types of VRLA batteries, sealed VR wet cell, AGM and gel. Gel cells add silica dust to the electrolyte, forming a thick putty-like gel. These are sometimes referred to as "silicone batteries". AGM (absorbent glass mat) batteries feature fiberglass mesh between the battery plates which serves to contain the electrolyte. Both designs offer advantages and disadvantages compared to conventional batteries and sealed VR wet cells, as well as each other.

  • Automotive battery

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    A typical 12 V, 40 Ah lead-acid car battery An automotive battery is a rechargeable battery that supplies electrical current to a motor vehicle. Its main purpose is to feed the starter, which starts the engine. Once the engine is running, power for the car's electrical systems is supplied by the alternator. Typically, starting discharges less than three percent of the battery capacity. For this reason, automotive batteries are designed to deliver maximum current for a short period of time. They are sometimes referred to as "SLI batteries" for this reason, for Starting, Lighting and Ignition. SLI batteries are not designed for deep discharging, and a full discharge can reduce the battery's lifespan. As well as starting the engine, an SLI battery supplies the extra power necessary when the vehicle's electrical requirements exceed the supply from the charging system. It is also a stabilizer, evening out potentially damaging voltage spikes. While the engine is running, most of the power is provided by the alternator, which includes a voltage regulator to keep the output between 13.5 and 14.5 V. Modern SLI batteries are lead-acid type, using six series-connected cells to provide a nominal 12 volt system (in most passenger vehicles and light trucks), or twelve cells for a 24 volt system in heavy trucks or earth-moving equipment, for example. Battery electric vehicles are powered by a high-voltage electric vehicle battery, but they usually have an automotive battery as well, so that they can use standard automotive accessories which are designed to run on 12 V.

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