Solar Energy Myths Busted – Lead-Acid Batteries End Up As Toxic Waste


There's plenty of skepticism round concern photo voltaic and renewable power, and this skepticism provides rise to many myths and far misinformation. A fantasy that’s comprehensible, however nonetheless a fantasy, nonetheless, is the one which collects that, as soon as they're lifeless, lead-acid batteries find yourself as poisonous waste in our landfills. Sounds cheap, however is it true? Possibly not.

What's In A Lead-Acid Battery?

The cell of a lead-acid battery is shaped from optimistic and unfavorable plates constituted of lead and lead alloy. The plates are then submerged in a diluted electrolyte resolution constituted of sulphuric acid and water to create an electrochemical cell.

Electrochemical cells are grouped collectively to kind a battery. The cells are mixed to both enhance voltage or capability, relying on how they’re linked. For instance, if a cell's voltage is rated at 2 and also you want a 12 volt battery, then 6 cells are wired in collection in order that the voltage of every cell is mixed to create the required 12 volts.

Not Simply Any Outdated Lead-Acid Will Do

The above describes the fundamental building of all lead-acid batteries, however not all lead-acid batteries are created equal. Car, or starter, batteries are lead-acid batteries which are designed for brief bursts of power discharged rapidly, primarily to begin the automotive, and are constituted of skinny lead plates not designed to be deeply discharged.

Batteries mostly utilized in photo voltaic electrical PV programs are deep cycle, which implies they will tolerate being deeply discharged earlier than being re-charged. They’re constituted of thicker lead plates which permit the battery to be deeply discharged and which enhance the lifetime of the battery.

Sealed Or Unsealed

Liquid vented lead-acid batteries will not be sealed and permit gasses to flee because the battery approaches a completely charged state. As gasses are vented, water can also be misplaced and have to be refurbished so the battery have to be refilled periodically, thus requiring upkeep.

Sealed lead-acid batteries will not be fully sealed as they do have a valve in case of over-charging when extra stress have to be launched. They’re often known as valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries and are thought of upkeep free, as there isn’t a entry to the electrolyte. For PV purposes, sealed batteries are available 2 flavors – gel cell or absorbed glass mat (AGM). Gel cells' electrolyte is was gel by the addition of fumed silica; AGMs' electrolyte is suspended utilizing skinny fibrous soften (or silica glass mat), which acts like a sponge.

Battery Disposal

The lead-acid battery trade is closely regulated and does a terrific job of recycling its merchandise, as shops in most states should by regulation settle for lifeless lead-acid batteries for recycling. 60 to 80 p.c p.c of most lead-acid batteries is recycled, together with over 90 p.c of the lead, which is as much as four occasions greater than most different commodities which are generally recyclable. Actually, about 60 p.c of the lead used to fabricate new lead-acid batteries comes from recycled lead, and, general, 60 to 80 p.c of a typical lead-acid battery is constituted of recycled lead and plastic.

The plastic in batteries is recycled and reprocessed into different plastic merchandise and battery acid is handled and both handled of safely into the sewer system or transformed into sodium sulfate, a powder utilized in textile and glass manufacturing and as an ingredient in laundry detergent.

General, lead-acid batteries have the very best fee of recycling all merchandise bought within the USA.

The one time a lead-acid battery results in the landfill is thru carelessness. Many states impose hefty fines on anybody or any firm discovered coping with lead-acid batteries incorrectly. Thus, the landfill quantity of lead-acid batteries is negligible.

Happily, that's one fantasy that may be thought of safely disposed of!

Source by Ray Boreham


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