Why Your Car Battery Is So Important in the Modern Era?
The car battery is one of the most overlooked components of your vehicle. This is because it is never visible and quietly plays its role from behind the scenes. As soon as you turn the key, the battery quietly sends an ignition signal to the engine and also begins to power all other electrical systems of the car.
But with the increase in car manufacturing technology, there are more electrical components added to the car. Initially, only a few components like the radio, air-conditioning, wipers, etc. Needed electricity. But now everything from the power steering, sunroof, wipers, wireless charging docks, automated driving, etc. depend on the car’s battery to operate successfully. This is a clear indication that your car battery has a bigger, better, and more crucial role to play than ever before.
Let us understand why your car battery is so important now, what are the different types of batteries, and their functions.
Read More: Top Five Important Things to Ensure About Your Car Battery
The evolution of modern car batteries
The advancements in automotive electronics are the prime reason why car batteries are also being revolutionized. Three primary types of batteries are being utilized by the vehicle industry. Each has its own unique set of features and applications.
A. Lead-Acid Batteries:
Lead-acid batteries are champions in the automotive world and have proven their effectiveness over the past few decades.
- Wet Cell Batteries:
- Valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA):
Wet Cell lead-acidic batteries have been the workhorses in the industry for a long time and are extremely reliable and cost-effective. These batteries are made with a mixture of water and sulphuric acid in six cells. A fully charged car battery produces about 12.6V of electricity. These batteries require periodic maintenance for optimal performance. Distilled water has to be added every few months to keep it functioning properly.
VRLA batteries are also known as sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries. The sealed design eliminates the need to refill the battery hence resolving spilling concerns.
B. Lithium-Ion Batteries:
Lithium-ion batteries have taken the center stage of the electric revolution. These batteries are a powerhouse of electricity. They are also known for their fast charging, high energy density, and extended lifespan.
The amount of power that can be packed inside the small and light form factor of a lithium-ion battery has changed the entire automotive industry. Electric cars can cover impressive distances on a single charge.
Lithium-ion batteries are also future-friendly in nature. They can be recycled and this makes them a preferred choice for many manufacturers.
C. Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries:
Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries have a life cycle that extends beyond that of lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. These batteries are also resilient to high temperatures. While these batteries are not as popular as their lithium-ion counterparts, they are better for use in hybrid vehicles. NiMH batteries meet the energy storage requirements of a hybrid vehicle.
The evolution of batteries in the past few decades reflects upon the ever-changing demands of the automotive industry. Beginning with lead-acid batteries that are reliable to lithium-ion batteries that are efficient, car batteries have come a long way. Batteries are poised to change over the coming years to adapt to the increased demand for sustainable and affordable means of transport.
Know your car battery: Most important functions
It is important to know your car battery to understand how it functions and how it helps in running the most crucial components. Proper maintenance of the car battery will ensure a longer life with minimal hiccups.
Here are 4 important roles of your car battery:
- Storing power:
- Starting power for the engine:
- Regulating the voltage and preventing surges:
- Powering electronic components:
The car’s battery is the powerhouse of the vehicle and stores the necessary power to start the vehicle and keep it running. The normal-looking rectangular box contains a complex chemical solution and a series of plates that react with each other to generate the current required for ignition. The chemical solution used in batteries is generally sulfuric acid.
Car batteries operate at 12.6v. Each battery contains 6 cells, each of which produces 2.1 volts when fully charged. It becomes vital to maintain the battery’s charge so that it can deliver the required power to all electronic components of the car.
As soon as you turn the power key or push the power button (in modern cars), the battery comes into action and begins to generate power using chemical reactions in its cells. This current travels from the battery to the car engine and jump-starts it.
The engine needs a sudden charge to ignite and start, and the battery can provide this promptly. The battery also ensures that the spark plugs, starter, and combustion chambers, all receive the predetermined voltage. Today, a seamless circuit is created using multiple components and intricate mechanisms.
A car battery’s performance becomes even more evident in extremely cold and hot weather conditions. A cold-cranking ampere reading of a car battery determines how well it will perform in extremely cold temperatures. Hot-cranking amperes (HCA) will tell you how well the battery will perform in hot weather conditions. It is therefore important that you choose a battery that suits your climate.
It is important to protect the vehicle’s electronic components from electrical surges. Your car’s battery is a buffer that prevents power spikes. Power spikes can be extremely damaging to the car’s electronics like AC, radio, ignition systems, etc. The battery works in line with circuit protection devices and fuse elements to control how much power is being delivered to each electronic component.
An alternator is always present in the regulator to ensure that the electric current always remains within the safe limit. When the alternator fails, the battery promptly takes charge and begins to maintain the required charge. This prevents any unnecessary fluctuations that can damage crucial components.
Modern vehicles are equipped with a myriad of electronic features that have become essential for the driving experience. All these electronics will not be able to function properly without the power from a battery. All the electronic amenities like the USB ports, lights, audio systems, reverse parking lights, etc. will stop functioning if there is an issue with the car battery or the alternator.
Conclusion: A car battery is crucial for smooth operation
Vehicles have evolved into sophisticated machines and are laden with modern electronic technologies that are tied together using the battery. The car battery plays a crucial role and is far more important than it appears in its simple plastic box. It is, in short, the lifeline of your vehicle, and overlooking its maintenance may cause profound repercussions. A well-maintained car battery will not only ensure that your ride is smooth but also protect your sensitive electronic components, saving you from any unnecessary costs.