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Miscellaneous/Ask George/Accumulators 030401
(April, 2003) Question: What relationship exists between batteries and accumulators?

Answer: This month question relates to additional requests from the readership to provide information on the relationship between electric accumulators and batteries.

I was reading about Van Raden Accumulators from a book called Electric Accumulators which was edited by Bernard E. Jones and published by Cassell and Company, LTD. It's interesting because in reading about this type of accumulator, it reminded me of valve regulated Lead-acid batteries. It should be noted that this book was originally published in 1911 with a January 1920 reprint (my issue). I'd be interested in receiving comments if anybody has had any experience with this type of battery.

Below is an excerpt from the book describing this type of accumulator for reference.

"The cells of this make have plates in which the function of the mesh lead support is assisted by very fine threads (of) spun glass, which are, as it were, woven with the lead of the grid. The object is to secure the active material firmly to keep it from falling out. Spun glass is used in the cell in a further way, it being made up into pads which are used as separators between the plates. Also, spun glass is used as a filter, as shown at c in figure 45, (not shown) which represents the section of a(n) ignition cell, with the circulation electrolyte and the supports A and B for the plates both top and bottom being clearly indicated. The capillary action caused by spun glass is claimed to assist the circulation of electrolyte around and between the plates. The arrangement of the trough below the central bank in the top of the cell and the provision of the spun glass has the following advantages: the cell is practically unspillable and the acid is filtered before it comes into contact with the plates. A vent plug is superfluous with this system."