Lead acid batteries are one of the most prevalent batteries used in golf carts, forklifts, wheelchairs, cars, etc. In addition, it has also be used for storing solar energy over the past few decades. As per a study by Persistence Market Research (PMR), the global lead acid battery market is projected to witness a steady growth at 4.6% CAGR during 2015 to 2020 and is pegged to surpass US $58 Bn by 2020. Along with battery banks for power grids and electric cars, soaring demand for battery-operated motorcycles is expected to sustain the growth of global lead acid battery market.
Burgeoning urbanisation and industrialization have resulted into decent demand for uninterrupted supply of power. In addition, there has been a consistent rise in adoption of environment-friendly, fuel-efficient battery operated vehicles such as heavy transportation vehicles and passenger cars. This has improved the deployment of vehicle battery charging infrastructure. These factors are expected to drive the market growth in the near future. A growing trend of utilizing smart battery as a power management system that is highly efficient, and robust consumption by consumer electronics manufacturers is further estimated to push the market growth.
Potential Problems faced by Lead Acid Batteries Include
- Gassing of the battery resulting into safety problems and water loss from electrolyte, in turn increasing the maintenance requirements of lead acid batteries
- Vigorous movements easily damage the lead at negative electrode as it is made up of soft material
- The cycling of sulfuric acid concentration in the electrolyte results into electrolyte stratification
- Large deposition of lead sulfate crystals on lead electrode at low charge of lead acid batteries
- Leakage of sulfuric acid from battery housing, leading to serious safety risks
- Freezing of batteries at low levels of discharge
Past few years have witnessed the development of extremely corrosion-resistant positive grid materials for lead acid batteries. Even though these materials possess high corrosion resistant properties, they pose problems in production of batteries. The low calcium content results into soft grids, which require time to harden and artificial aging at higher temperatures for exhibiting adequate mechanical properties. However, the grid must be corroded in curing/pasting process for paste to adhere to grids. This has rendered battery operators to take huge measures for corroding grids in order to give adequate attachment of active material. Active material interface problems in grids cause reduction in battery life.
ALABC to Improve Capabilities of Missouri S & T’s Solar Powered Storage Units
The ALABC (Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium) recently stated that it will help Missouri University of Science and Technology in replacing existing lithium batteries with the lead versions. ALABC believes that this will improve reliability, performance, recyclability and cost effectiveness of Missouri S & T’s solar powered storage units. The university hopes on creating a completely functional “Ecovillage Microgrid” using this technology on its campus.
ISRO’s own Lithium-ion Technology-based Light Weight Batteries to Improve Efficiency of e-Bikes
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is soon expected to help Indian e-bikes to overcome the drawback of low mileage per charge & limited speed. The primary reason behind this is poor battery capacity. The obvious solution to this problem is increasing battery capacity. However, this will result into increased weight and sizes of batteries, thereby impacting the range and speed of the vehicles. ISRO has pitched its in-house battery technology to overcome the aforementioned problems. ISRO has developed its own lithium-ion technology-based light weight batteries, delivering more capacity compared to traditional lead acid batteries. Both speed and range of electric vehicles are expected to improve by utilising these batteries.
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