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Battery Specific Gravity Test: Battery Hydrometer Test

27/06/16 22:37

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Battery: Speci-ic Gravity Test

The lead acid battery used in today's automobile is made of plates, lead, lead oxide, in a solution of electrolyte. This solution consists of 65% water and 35%
sulfuric acid. The specific gravity or weight of this solution increases as the battery charges and decreases as the battery discharges. As the battery
discharges, sulfur moves away from the solution and toward the plates. The opposite is true as the battery is charged, the sulfur returns to the electrolyte
The specific gravity of the electrolyte depends on this 65% to 35% ratio for the necessary chemical reaction to take place. This ratio is affected by the amount
of sulfuric acid and the temperature of the solution.
As the temperature drops, the electrolyte contracts increasing the specific gravity. As the temperature increases the electrolyte expands deviating from its
optimal ratio and affecting the specific gravity reading.

A battery's specific gravity is a great way of measuring a battery's state of charge. This is because during a discharge, the specific gravity decreases linear with
ampere-hours discharged. The specific gravity also increases as the battery is recharged.
A hydrometer is used to measure the specific gravity of the electrolyte solution in each cell. It's a tool used to measure the density or weight of a liquid
compared to the density of an equal amount of water. A lead acid battery cell is fully charged with a specific gravity of 1.265 at 80 F. For temperature
adjustments, get a specific gravity reading and adjust to temperature by adding .004 for every 10 F above 80 F and subtracting .004 for every 10 F below
80 F.

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Battery Specific Gravity Test: Battery Hydrometer Test

27/06/16 22:37

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Micro-Vu Image Measuring Sol
Precision Measuring Machine

Battery Level Check



Check the level of the electrolyte solution. As the level gets lower, the specific gravity is higher than optimal. When a technician adds water
to the cell, the specific gravity is lowered, bringing the solution closer to its optimal ratio.

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