There is a lot of information out there about lead acid batteries. Here are a few websites that you can use to learn about this well established technology, how it works, and where it is going. As always, exercise critical reading and thinking skills. Some of these pages have errors, some have assumptions that may not work well with your interests, some simplify things in ways that may mislead – that is why you need to be careful about what you get from your research.
operation and construction – Nuclear Power Fundamentals? but really, a good rundown on the chemistry with diagrams showing plate construction.
Battery Basics A good rundown on the basics that isn’t too technical from the maker of one of the better RV converters.
The Basic Chemistry of Gas Recombination in Lead-Acid Batteries – this is about the sealed batteries that first appeared in the 1970’s and how they work.
Battery Basics – fireflyenergy.com – You might have to dig a bit here as this website for a new battery technology project is quite active. The focus is on explaining the current technology as a reference for their new one.
lead acid batteries, battery history types and development – solar navigator world electric navigation challenge, nelson kruschandl, bluebird electric land speed record cars – the focus here is on solar systems so be careful about context as the range they discuss is much broader than that normally found in the RV community.
Part One – Basics every battery user should know – a gateway to a number of articles about battery at the Battery University
Battery Modeling for HEV Simulation by ThermoAnalytics Inc – if you want to make a mathematical model of your battery, this is one place to start.
The ABCs of AGMs. (PDF) – some nice pictures and a lot of good advice about this battery technology and how to get the most out of it.
Batteries – University of Hawaii amateur radio enthusiasts explain how batteries work.
Batteries – fundamental theory and concepts.
How Lead Acid Batteries Work – and some nice diagrams for wiring battery banks
Frequently Asked Questions
Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ, Battery Manufacturers and Brand Names List, and – the BatteryFAQ.org entry page with links to several documents.
Az Wind Sun Battery FAQ They call it the “The Ultimate Deep Cycle Battery FAQ” and it isn’t bad … but, again, be careful of the broader scope of the solar alternative energy bias.
Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ – check the battery life expectancy map from Interstate. This is another solar and alternative power site. The same FAQ is also at BatteryFAQ.org as part 7
Pacific Power Batteries – About Automotive Batteries – this one has some good stuff to look for if buying a battery.
deep cycle battery frequently asked questions – this one is a bit more technical and has some good diagrams of construction and charts for temperature effects and other phenomena.
Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ – part 16 of the BatteryFAQ.org documents about how to revive a sulfated battery at RPC.
Exide Technologies FAQs – Marine & RV Batteries – takes some liberties to simplify things but covers some good topics.
Battery Tutorial | Batterystuff.com – some good information about why batteries fail and a nice chart of specific gravity and voltage as a function of state of charge.
DIFFLOCK.com – Battery Guide – This is another page found copied in several places. Do check the section on how to determine the date of manufacture for batteries.
what do i look for in buying a new battery? A part 7 FAQ copy.
what do i look for in buying a new battery? – Bill Darden’s part 7 at the Optima Battery website
battery criteria performance ranking chart (PDF) – Flodded, AGM, or Gel, which is best? As with any rating, the key is to figure out what is actually being evaluated. This PDF has a nice rating chart and a page defining the criteria that may give you an idea about what to think about when buying your own batteries.
Download specs for Exide batteries (PDF)
Use and maintenance
Batteries — and Other Electric Stuff by phred – some good tips for your RV battery use and maintenance.
Battery Desulfation – Projects – build your own! Learn about what it is and what you can do about it.
Aviation Battery Plate Sulfation and Resultant Degradation Explained – “Battery Plate Sulfation For Us Dummies” some good stuff on charging and maintenance, too.
Battery Maintenance InformationHow to keep your golf cart batteries from going dead over winter – some lessons for the RV, too.
Exide :. battery servicing tips – page load error? you try it, maybe they have it fixed again.
Preventive Maintenance, Charging and Equalization info – if you are really into the hazardous realm, here is the manual for the hydrometry enthusiasts and bona fide equalizing community. Again, solar and alternative power oriented and not so much for the Rver except as a reference.
The care and feeding of solar batteries by Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM Issue #95 – the top half is ‘why’ and the bottom half is “how” to maintain your batteries properly – again, an alternative/solar bias.
Lead-Acid Battery Info – “LeadAcidBatteryInfo.org is your resource for information on the use and recycling of lead-acid batteries. Look to us for information and the latest news on how lead-acid batteries are being used in environmentally friendly practices such as recycling and hybrid car production, as well as in workhorse and mission-critical situations that require a truly dependable power source, such as the backup generating system at your local hospital.”
Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service – Battery Basics – how to keep the going and going …
Notes on Batteries – a Peukert calculator and how to figure batteries in serial or parallel.
RV Camping with Solar Power – this is a ‘HowTo” for those thinking about engineering a solar system for their rig. His use profiles include amateur radio field days and star parties.
Battery charger and battery analyzer experts – Cadex Electronics Inc. – describes the kinds of battery tests that can be done.
Battery-Web.com – Battery Tester FAQ – they are selling their gadget and present an interesting viewpoint of battery technology in the process.
Conductance Questions and Answers (PDF) – Midtronics has this effort to help you understand how these battery testers work.
Using conductance technology to ensure battery system reliability (PDF) – this is an industry white paper.
Battery Testing Using Conductance Technology for NSB Series Valve …(PDF) – Northstar Batteries starts with a simple circuit model to describe how conductance testing works and some nice graphs about what happens when using conductance testing properly.
Battery Testing Using Conductance Technology (PPT) as an aid to determining replacement strategy. The slides in this presentation have some good meat and reference a lot of other material on the topic.
Advanced battery analyzers starts with “What is the difference between CCA and RC?” and helps you understand how that question is a key to learning about battery health.
conductance testing questions and answers – more questions answered based on the Midtronics sales effort.
Bogart Engineering: manufacturer of the PentaMetric battery monitor which measures volts, amps and amp-hours for battery systems used in homes, RV's and boats.
Xantrex Technology Inc. – Boats – Link 2000 & 2000R – Product Information – a popular net energy meter for use with their inverters.
Xantrex Technology Inc. – Link 10 – Product Information – a popular battery monitor.
Digital DC Ammeter, Amp, Watt Hour, Battery Fuel Gauges & Meters – more ways to measure your battery parameters.
Watts, RC Watt Meter, Power Analyzer WU100 Version 2 – WU100 – an interesting DC power meter
Electric Vehicle Battery Information – like he says “Get the Coffee! It’s an all-nighter.” – the page is a gateway to a lot of battery information. This is a good resource if you want to see what else there is besides the lead acid battery.
Power Technology, Inc., PWTC, New Battery Technology – this and the Firefly project look to be two significant advancements in storage batteries that might be applicable to RV’s. You’ll need to browse the site to find things, though. Look for the ‘technology’ link in the menu.
www.happy-wanderers.com – a 6v series vs 12v parallel treatise that promulgates a few myths. See if you can find them.
AGM Toch Battery Power for Solar and Wind Power Systems – pros and cons from an AGM manufacturer.
Remy Battery(PDF) – these guys had a good PDF on sla and gellcell maintenance but it appears it moved. Check the site and you might find some other interesting educational nuggets.
Batterytender.com – Home of All Your Charging Needs – Their Introduction to Lead Acid Batteries is a good rundown on the basics. They sell a battery maintainer and desulfator that has a good reputation.
Car Battery and Deep Cycle Battery References & Information Links – Bill Darden provides links to a lot of manufacturers for various things battery.
lead acid battery charging – explains charging stages and voltages.
Tech Talk: Battery Maintenance – another moving link at Interstate Batteries. Hopefully you’ll find a page with links to good stuff.
USMC lead acid battery training (PPT) – for some reason this one causes Open Office Presentation to abort. It was a good training presentation when last viewed.
Carbon foam liberates lead-acid batteries for emerging military missions – the Firefly project
Firefly revamps the lead acid battery | Tech news blog – CNET News.com
Also check the Understanding section of the Owner’s Guide for pages on batteries, configuration, energy, and power. One of the more contentious, yet important, laws about the behavior of batteries is explained in the page Understanding the Peukert Effect.
Again, read carefully and don’t just take what you find ‘as is’ – learn about what is behind the conclusions and what peculiarities of measurement are behind the assertions. Boil it down to something that makes sense and can be useful.