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metallic iron, and increasing the amount of oxide on the other group. We shall be able to get much more electricity from the battery thus formed, because of the greater plate surface exposed. We have thus determined that large surface is necessary.
"Let us next place a quantity of fine particles of iron rust in two perforated flat steel pockets and, after putting these pockets into potash solution, pass electricity from one to the other, through the solution, as before. All the iron rust in one pocket will be changed to metallic iron, because the oxygen will have passed over to the iron rust in the other pocket, causing this material to possess twice as much oxygen as before.
“Connect the two pockets to your ammeter and you will find that much more electricity is flowing than before, although the two pockets take up much less space than the two hundred steel plates. The reason of this is, the small particles present a very great combined surface to the solution. Suppose, after having made a great number of experiments, you put some iron rust or iron oxide into perforated steel pockets, and mount a number of these pockets in a steel grid or support to form one plate, and place nickel hydrate (a green powder) în perforated steel receptacles, and mount them on another steel grid to form the other plate, then immerse them in a suitable alkaline electrolyte in any kind of container; you have the essential elements of an Edison cell.”
T'he active material of the positive plate of the Edison storage battery is nickel hydrate; that of the negative plate, iron oxide. The electrolyte is a solution of potassium hydrate. The active materials are perfectly insoluble in the electrolyte. When current passes, either on charge or discharge, the electrolyte is broken up into its component parts, which react on the materials with the following results: On charge-Positive oxidized, negative reduced. On discharge-Positive reduced, negative oxidized. The exact chemical changes that go on within the cell are not definitely known, but those occurring during discharge may be approximately represented by the following equations:
Positive: 8K + 6Ni0, = 2N1,0, + 4K,0.
The reverse reactions take place on charge. The iron and nickel compounds are probably hydrated, but are here treated as pure oxides, for the sake of simplicity. It will be noted that the same amount of KOH is decomposed, according to the left-hand members of these equations, as is re-formed, simultaneously, as shown on the right. For this reason, the chemical composition, or specific gravity, of the solution does not change appreciably throughout the cycle of charge and discharge.
How Storage Batteries Differ in Construction-Batteries Using Other Than
Lead Plates-Details of Planté Process—Advantages of Faure Process
How Storage Batteries Differ in Construction.—It is not reasonable to expect that any one type of storage battery can be applied universally. Naturally, batteries must be proportioned for the work they are to do. Batteries for stationary work in power plants can be of the open-cell type; those intended for vehicle or boat use should be sealed to prevent danger of splashing out the electrolyte. Various forms of storage batteries are illustrated at Fig. 5. The stationary type in glass or rubber jars is used for isolated lighting plants, telephone, telegraph and signal service and yacht lighting. The larger stationary cells are assembled in leadlined wood tanks, and are used for electric railways, stand-by service in central stations for lighting and power and in large isolated lighting plants. Special types in rubber jars are assembled in trays for electric vehicle service, and still others for trainlighting service. The usual starting, lighting and ignition battery for automobile use is a unit in which three or more cells are imbedded in insulating compound and carried in a substantial wooden case. The usual practice is to burn all the connecting straps to the plate group terminals and cover the whole with sealing compound. Special gas vents are needed with these batteries. The "couple” type is carried in glass jars and is widely used for signal, fire alarm and private telephone service.
Storage Batteries Using Other Than Lead Plates. While there is really only one make of cell that is commercially practical that does not use lead plates, this being the Edison, inventors have endeavored to improve storage battery action for some time by try
ing other combinations of metals. A number of other couples or elements have been found that will permit a reversing chemical
Fig. 5.—How Storage Batteries Differ in Construction. A-Automo
bile Type. B-Couple Type. C—Glass Jar, Open Type. DLarge Wooden Tank Type for Heavy Duty Service.
action, but most of these are of sạch a nature that they are interesting additions to a scientist's laboratory rather than contributions to industrial progress. Storage battery plates have been made up
entirely of active material. An experimenter has used a positive plate made entirely of litharge (PbO) mixed with ammonium sulphate (NH4)2SO4, which is pressed into the desired shape. Chemical treatment converts the plate to lead peroxide. The negative plate is the conventional lead type. This is really a lead plate type, and must be considered as distinct from the non-lead types.
It is a known fact that almost any primary cell can be made to
Fig. 6.-Showing Method of Grouping Storage Cells to Form
Starting, Lighting and Ignition Batteries.
have some of the characteristics of a storage battery. The experiments in the electrolysis or decomposition of water by using silver or platinum electrodes demonstrates that these substances can be used, though their prohibitive cost renders them only of scientific interest. Zinc has been used for a negative element instead of lead, the surface zinc being converted into zinc sulphate, which dissolved into the electrolyte. Using zinc instead