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Batteries/Automotive page 051105
 (April 2006) Honeywell develops new electric-power management system for vehicle-battery performance. The new technology monitors the battery’s state-or charge, capacity, level and concentration of electrolyte, load conditions and temperature.  The microprocessor/controller will allow the automotive designers to monitor engine performance by controlling the alternator and thus match battery-charge maintenance with optimum engine-power availability.  If the microprocessor/controller senses a surplus of engine energy, the system can selectively switch the alternator off and on.  Surplus energy can be converted to electricity and stored in the battery to be used later to start the vehicle or power the electrical systems while the vehicle is off.

 auto batteries  Some go the distance
Lab testing of current auto battery offerings suggest that the prior image of DieHard batteries performing better than the Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club batteries is now reversing. Not only are the Wal Mart offerings performing better, but they also are lower in cost than many of the other tested batteries.

The report highlights the problems owners have with newer autos placing batteries in hard to get at places. Despite the ‘maintenance free’ image of Lead-acid batteries, the electrolyte level should be checked yearly, according to the Battery Council International. (Ed. note; The hidden locations just make servicing that much more difficult, but then many have thought that Detroit has always sought methods to improve service access difficulties.)

Of the batteries tested, only 6 of the 39 met the Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) claims and four of those six were from Wal-Mart. This would indicate that  a broad range of auto Lead-acid manufacturers is not very honest about its specifications.

There are two problems with this review. The first is that only a few of the apparently high price offerings from various retailers were chosen. While some may always want to pay the highest price offered, many shoppers often think of mid-range or low range because past experience could have given suitable performance for four or more years. Such price performance combinations are often preferred.

The second problem is that the article uses the term ‘life test,’ the results of which are based on charge/discharge cycles. The depth of discharge, critical in cycle testing, is not specified. The use of the term ‘life test’ could be misconstrued by the reader  who does not know total  life effects which include calendar life and the charge regimen. The customer has no way of obtaining state-of-health for a battery whether at the retailer or in his/her vehicle. All these factors can negatively impact the suitability of a battery, whether bought for top or bottom dollar.

Despite the above concerns, this overview is a valuable service to battery purchasers.
CONSUMER REPORTS, November 2005, pp 55-57
Microsoft Excel Chart Over 128 million automotive batteries will be sold by the U.S. manufacturers in 2005.  Although the replacement  market  dominates sales, OEM (Original Equipment Manufcture) sales should rise more than 9 percent annually through 2006, roughly double the pace expected in the replacement sector. (Information is from “The 2005/2006 Outlook for the Battery Market” by Business Trend Analysts, Inc., 08/2005.  For information on the complete report, contact [email protected]) +
(May, 2003) Q: Give some insight into the new ASTM subcommitee which will pursue 42 Volt insulating systems?
(May,2003) Lead for Hybrid
(May 2003) Nickel-metal hydride, For Autos... The Benchmark of Price and Performance
To compete in the marketplace, Lead-acid must look at the benchmarks Nickel-metal hydride has ste to date...

(Sept, 2002) Electric cars part of parks’ effort to improve air quality. The fleet of 500 Ford Th!nk vehicles, being donated in California to the national and state parks, have found a home for 12 of the EVs at Death Valley National Park where Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the largest concessions operator in state and national parks, will operate them.
Star Tribune
August 25, 2002, p. G5
(Sept, 2002)The Electric Tran