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Batteries BATTERY THEORY Summary Battery theory is summarized below. Battery Theory Summary The purpose of a battery is to store chemical energy and to convert this chemical energy into electrical energy when the need arises. A voltaic cell develops a potential difference when electrodes of two different metals are immersed in an electrolyte.   One electrode accumulates a positive charge.   The potential difference is due to the difference in charge between the two electrodes. The chemical equation for a lead-acid battery during discharge is: . PbO2 Pb 2H2SO4 discharge 2PbSO4 2H2O The chemical equation for a lead-acid battery during charge is: . PbO2 Pb 2H2SO4 charge    2PbSO4 2H2O When a lead-acid battery is discharged, electrolyte and the active material on the plates of the battery are consumed to produce water and lead sulphate. When a lead-acid battery is charged, electrical energy is added to the battery, causing the water and lead sulphate to be consumed and produce electrolyte and active material. Since specific gravity of a lead-acid battery decreases proportionally during discharge, the value of specific gravity at any given time is an approximate indication of the battery’s state of charge. Rev. 0 Page 9 ES-04


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