The mak­ing of lead-acid bat­ter­ies

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Lead-acid bat­ter­ies in the new plant of Amar Raja are man­u­fac­tured with well­main­tained equip­ment in an au­to­mated and controlled en­vi­ron­ment. The man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses goes through about 12 stages like ox­ide and grid pro­duc­tion process, past­ing and cur­ing, as­sem­bly process, for­ma­tion, fill­ing, charge-dis­charge process, fi­nal as­sem­bly, in­spec­tion, pack­ing and despatch.

The process be­gins with the grids, which are stamped out of a con­tin­u­ous strip of lead. The grids are to con­duct the elec­tri­cal cur­rent and to pro­vide a struc­ture for the ac­tive ma­te­rial to ad­here to. Then a paste is ap­plied to both the sides of the grids, con­sist­ing of lead ox­ide, sul­phuric acid and wa­ter. To pro­duce neg­a­tive plates, ex­pander ma­te­rial is made from pow­dered sul­phates. Then the plates are sent to the cur­ing process in a warm tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­i­ty­con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment. Dur­ing this process, the crys­talli­sa­tion growth oc­curs which binds the paste to the grids.

Af­ter the pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive grid reaches the as­sem­bly line they are stacked al­ter­na­tively (pos­i­tive, neg­a­tive, pos­i­tive) with sep­a­ra­tors in be­tween to pre­vent short cir­cuits, but al­low­ing elec­tri­cal cur­rent flow. All the neg­a­tive plates, and pos­i­tive plates are con­nected re­spec­tively, to create a sin­gle 2-volt bat­tery cell. The cells are then prop­erly ori­ented and in­serted into the bat­tery case. The re­quired volt­age of the bat­tery will de­ter­mine the num­ber of the 2-volt cells. They are welded to­gether in a se­ries.

Af­ter plac­ing the bat­tery cells and weld­ing them to­gether, the top cover is per­ma­nently heat sealed. The top cover con­tains the con­nected el­e­ments, and the ter­mi­nal posts which are formed out­side cre­at­ing an acid tight seal. From there, the bat­tery trav­els to the next sta­tion for acid fill­ing (elec­trolyte) and it is given a for­ma­tion charge. Dur­ing the for­ma­tion charg­ing, the bat­tery is con­nected to an elec­tri­cal source and charged for 18 – 32 hours, de­pend­ing on the bat­tery type and size.

The com­pany has in­vested in au­to­mated guided ve­hi­cles (AGVs) for load­ing and un­load­ing the bat­ter­ies and in an au­to­mated charge mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem. An au­to­mated wa­ter cir­cu­la­tion sys­tem re­moves the heat gen­er­ated dur­ing charg­ing. Once fully formed, the elec­trolyte is drained out and the bat­tery is filled with higher strength acid and the seal­ing process is com­pleted. Fol­low­ing var­i­ous qual­ity checks, clean­ing and la­belling, the bat­ter­ies are packed in boxes for despatch.

The com­pany has in­vested in so­lar en­ergy to power the plant. It has in­stalled 2.7 MW roof top so­lar power pan­els, which gen­er­ate 4.5 mn KWh of en­ergy.

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