Airplane Batteries: Why Lead Acid Batteries are Used

Posted by Jonathan

You may have heard of lead acid batteries but, have you ever wondered how they are used in avionics?  

In this blog, we will discuss how these airplane batteries work, and what their roles and purposes are in the aerospace industry, so keep reading to learn more! 

How Do Lead Acid Batteries Work? 

Before finding out how they are used, it may help to first understand how these airplane batteries work. 

Lead acid batteries, also known as flooded batteries in aerospace engineering, contain the three following materials: lead dioxide, pure lead (pb), and aqueous sulphuric acid (aq). When on a closed circuit, the two plates of lead dioxide and pb cause an electrical current to flow between them from the resulting chemical reaction in the electrolyte solution. This is how the battery delivers power to an aircraft.   

Aside from flooded batteries, there are also other types to be aware of like sealed and NiCd (nickel-cadmium) airplane batteries. NiCd batteries are more commonly used in the commercial aerospace industry. In avionics, lead acid batteries can consist of 6 to 12 lead cells connected in a series found in a single aircraft.   

The Role of Lead Acid Batteries in Avionics  

The role of lead acid batteries varies from improving DC bus stability to fault clearing. Furthermore, an aircraft battery’s purpose will depend on multiple characteristics. Considerations of the battery’s weight, cost, service life, maintenance, and charging rate are taken very seriously by avionic professionals.   

For most airplane batteries, strict maintenance procedures are imperative to avoid the risk of bodily injury, death and loss of the aircraft. Referring to the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper inspections, recharging and replacements are strongly recommended.   

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