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STORAGE BATTERIES The term storage battery has been used for many years as the name for

a battery of secondary cells, and particularly for lead-acid batteries. Because lead-acid batteries are still extensively used, we shall discuss them in detail. Lead-acid secondary cells consist of lead-compound plates immersed in a solution of sulfuric acid and water which is the electrolyte. Each cell has an open-circuit voltage of approximately 2.1v when fully charged. When connected to a substantial load, the voltage is approximately 2. Aircraft storage batteries of the lead-acid type are generally rated at12 or 24 volts; that is, they have either 6 or 12 cells connected in series. Note that there are six cells connected in series to produce12 volts. Actually the emf of a 12volt battery is somewhat more than 12 volts because each cell when fully charged produces about 2.1 volts. Schematic diagrams of cells connected in series and parallel are shown in Figure below.


The lead-acid secondary cell used in a storage battery consists of

positive plates filled with lead peroxide (PbO,); negative plates filled with pure spongy lead (Pb); an electrolyte consisting of a mixture of

sulfuric acid and water mixed in such quantities that the solution has a specific-gravity range of 1.275 to 1.300 for a fully charged battery.
The sulfuric acid in the electrolyte breaks up into hydrogen ions (Hz)

carrying a positive charge and sulfate ions (SO,) carrying a negative charge. An ion is an atom or molecule which is either positively or negatively charged. A positively charged ion has a deficiency of electrons, and a negatively charged ion has an excess of electrons. The SO, ions combine with the lead plate and form lead sulfate (PbSO). At the same time, they give up their negative charge, thus creating an excess of electron son the negative plate. The H, ions go to the positive plate and combine with the oxygen of the lead peroxide (Pb02), forming water (H,O), and during the process they take electrons from the positive plate.

The lead of the lead peroxide combines with some of the SO, ions to form lead sulfate on the positive plate. The result of this action is that

the positive plate has a deficiency of electrons and the negative plate has an excess of electrons. When the plates are connected together externally by a conductor, the electrons from the negative plate flow to the positive plate. This process will continue until both plates are coated with lead sulfate and no further chemical action is possible; the battery is then said to be discharged. The lead sulfate is highly resistant to the flow of current, and it is chiefly this formation of lead sulfate which gradually lowers the capacity of the battery until it is discharged.
During the charging process, current is passed through the storage

battery in a reverse direction. A d-c supply is applied to the battery with the positive pole connected to the positive plate of the battery and the negative pole connected to the negative plate. The emf of the source is greater than the emf of the battery. This causes the current to flow in a direction to charge the battery. The SO, ions are driven back into solution in the electrolyte, where they combine with the H, ions of the water, thus forming sulfuric acid. The plates then return to their original composition of lead Peroxide and spongy lead. When this process is complete the battery is charged. In as much as the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte is used up as the battery is discharged and returned to the electrolytes it is charged, a test of the specific gravity of the electrolyte will give a good indication of the state of charge of the battery.

BATTERY CONSTRUCTION A storage battery consists of a group of lead-acid cells connected in series and arranged somewhat as shown in Figure below.

The closed-circuit voltage of the 6-cell battery is approximately 12 volts, and that of the 12-cell battery is about 24 volts.

Each cell of a storage battery has positive and negative plates arranged alternately and insulated from each other by separators. Each plate consists of a framework, called the grid, and the active material held in the grid. The grid material is 90 percent lead and 10 percent antimony.

The purpose of the antimony is to harden the lead and makes it less

susceptible to chemical action. Other metals, such as silver, are also used in some grids to increase durability. The heavy border adds strength to the plate, and the small horizontal and vertical bars form cavities to hold the active material. The structural bars also act as conductors for the current, which is distributed evenly throughout the plate. Each plate is provided with

extensions, or feet, which rest upon ribs on the bottom of the cell container. These feet are arranged so the positive plates rest upon two of the ribs and the negative plates upon the two alternative ribs. The purpose of this arrangement is to avoid the short-circuiting which could occur as active materials shed from the plates and collects at the bottom of the cell. The plates are made by applying a lead compound to the grid. The paste is mixed to the proper consistency with dilute sulfuric acid, magnesium sulfate, or ammonium sulfate, and is applied to the grid in much the same manner as plaster is applied to a lath wall. The paste for the positive plates is usually made of red lead (Pb304) and a small amount of litharge (PbO). In the case of the negative plates, the mixture is essentially large with a small percentage of red lead. The consistency and the manner of combining the various materials have considerable bearing on the capacity and life of the finished battery.
In compounding the negative-plate paste, a material called an

expander is added. This material is relatively inert chemically and makes up less than1 percent of the mixture. Its purpose is to prevent the loss of porosity of the negative material during the life of the battery. Without the use of an expander, the negative material contracts until it becomes quite dense, thus limiting the chemical action to the immediate surface. To obtain the maximum use of the plate material, the chemical action must take place throughout the plate from the surface to the center.

Typical expanding materials are lampblack, barium sulfate, graphite, fine sawdust, and ground carbon. Other materials, known as hardness and porosity agents, are sometimes used to give the positive plates desired characteristics for certain applications. After the active material paste is applied to the grids, the plates are dried by a carefully controlled process until the paste is hardened. They are then given a forming treatment in which a large number of positive plates are connected to the positive terminal of a charging apparatus and a like number of negative plates, plus one, are connected to the negative terminals.

The separators used in lead-acid storage batteries are made of wood,

rubber, or other insulating materials. Their purpose is to keep the plates separated and thus prevent an internal short circuit. Without separators, even if the containers were slotted to keep the plates from touching, material might flake off the positive plates and fall against the negative plates.

LEAD-ACID BATTERY MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES PRECAUTIONS Follow these precautions when servicing aircraft batteries: Always wear safety glasses Remove the negative lead first and install it last. Do not cause a short circuit between the battery terminals. Be cautious of jewelry and watches. Some are good conductors and may shortcircuit the battery, causing severe injury to the technician. Never service the batteries near an open flame or sparks. Never jump start an aircraft from another power source if the airplanes battery is discharged. LEAD ACID BATTERY INSPECTION AND SERVICE BATTERYTESTING There are a number of different methods for testing secondary cells, the best method in each case depending upon the type and size of the cell. It is often desired to determine the state of charge, the capacity, and the condition so that it may be known whether the battery will continue to serve its function satisfactorily. Because of the differences existing in the characteristics of lead-acid, nickel-iron, nickel cadmium, and silver-zinc cells, it is recommended

that the manufacturer's instructions be followed in' each particular case. HYDROMETER TESTING For aircraft lead-acid batteries, it is typical to use a hydrometer test to determine the batteries state of charge. A hydrometer is a tool used to measure the specific gravity, or density, of a liquid The specific gravity of the electrolyte in a lead acid cell decreases as the charge in the cell decreases. It consists of a small sealed glass tube weighted at the end to make it float in an upright position.

The amount of weight in the bottom of the tube is determined by the specific gravity range of the fluid to be tested.

In the case of battery hydrometer, the specific gravity range is 1.100 to 1.300. This small tube is placed inside a larger glass-tube is placed inside a larger glass-tube syringe. With this arrangement, the electrolyte can be drawn from a cell in to the glass tube and the reading noted. The electrolyte is then returned to the cell from which it was taken. BATTERY LOAD TESTER There are various automatic battery load testers available; This machine will test not only batteries but also the aircrafts charging system if so desired. While an automatic battery load test is being performed, the load is applied for 15 s, and the open circuit voltage (OCV) and closedcircuit voltage (CCV). If CCV falls below 9.6v, the indication bad appears on the test unit. If the CCV is maintaining above 9.6v during the entire load test, the unit will indicate good. INSTALLATION OF BATTERIES BATTERY COMPARTMENT The battery compartment in an airplane should be easily accessible so that the battery may be serviced and inspected regularly; it should also be isolated from fuel, oil, and ignition systems and from any other substance or condition which could be detrimental to its operation.

Any compartment used for a storage battery which emits gases at any

time during operation must be provided with a ventilation system. The inside of the compartment must be coated with a paint which will prevent corrosion caused by electrolyte. The battery must be so installed that spilled electrolyte is drained or absorbed without coming into contact with the airplane structure. The shelf or base upon which the battery rests must be strong enough to support the battery under all flying and landing conditions. The battery must be held firmly in place with bolts secured to the aircraft structure. Metal case batteries are held down by means of bolts which extend through ears on the battery cover. Nonmetallic batteries are held down by metal clamps which hook over the handles of the battery or over the edge of the battery case. Batteries should not be located in engine compartments unless adequate measures are taken to guard against possible fire hazards and the injurious effects on a battery of excessively high temperatures.

Battery manufacturers have determined that temperatures of 110 to 11 5F and higher are likely to cause rapid deterioration of the separators and plates. The critical temperature specified by the manufacturer should not be exceeded at any time.

Forced ventilation of the battery compartment may be necessary to guard against excessive battery temperatures, and this may be provided by means of a tube leading from the slip stream into the container and a suitable vent tube leading out of it.

VENTILATION SYSTEM Ventilation of a battery system may be provided by placing the battery in a compartment through which air is circulated or by ventilating the battery case as shown in Figure below.

Requirements for the adequate ventilation of batteries or battery compartments installed in civil aircraft are set forth in Federal Aviation Regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration. For military aircraft and missiles, the requirements are given in the specifications for the particular vehicle to be manufactured Air is carried through a tube to the interior of the battery case from a scoop outside the airplane. After passing over with a light film of terminal grease to prevent corrosion. The terminal cover is then attached to the battery case with bolts or screws. On certain types of aircraft batteries, when the connections are made to battery terminals supported by a rubber battery case, the leads must be made of flexible cables so that an undue strain will not be placed on the terminals. When stiff cables are used, any movement of the battery or leads will result in damage to the battery case.

QUICK-DISCONNET PLUG The quick-disconnect plug commonly used with standard AN batteries has proved to be very satisfactory for battery connection.
It consists of an adapter secured to the battery case in place of the

terminal cover and a plug to which are attached the battery leads.
Two smooth contact prongs are screwed onto the battery terminals

and the plug is pulled into place on the battery by means of a large screw attached to a hand wheel. This screw also pulls the plug off the terminals to disconnect the battery. DIGITAL AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS Digital electronics provide for greater reliability, faster response, smaller components, lighter equipment, and lower operating cost than can be provided by analog system. Digital system increase the mean time between failures and reduce the subsequent repair time for failed equipment The built-in test equipment (BITE) found in most digital systems provides rapid fault isolation. The majority of the digital aircraft systems contain several line replaceable units (LRUs). Defective LRUs may be quickly identified by the BITE system and exchanged during ground maintenance. Use of LRU and BITE concepts greatly reduces aircraft maintenance downtime.

TROUBLE SHOOTING DIGITAL CIRCUITS With the advent of digital logic circuits came the introduction of logic trouble shooting techniques. The trouble shooting system can be applied to both digital and analog circuits, as well as hydraulic, pneumatic and other mechanical systems. A logic troubleshooting sequence simply employs a flow chart of logical faults and repairs for a given system.