Your letter in the January issue of Motor Sport from a gentleman regarding failure of successive car batteries raises an interesting subject for discussion which has, so far, not been taken up.
It could be that the batteries were “ruined by kindness” due to a limited demand made by starting an engine “ready to go.”
As most things in nature performing a function, a battery should be fully worked as in undergoing the full cycle of charge and discharge.
In regard to 38 a.h. being too low a capacity, I feel that such capacity is “excessive” in some conditions of use. Many batteries fail by reason of low capacity due to only a small volume of plate being converted and the remainder becoming atrophied.
Today, the battery on a car is not so much a storage medium as a determiner of potential.
Two batteries of low capacity, one on charge and the other in use, with an automatic change switch, could solve the problem of short battery life but might not be economic. It may not be that batteries have a planned life so much as varying conditions of mis-use to undergo.
Much information regarding the health of a cell can be made visually and so all battery cases should be transparent. If conditions permit and facilities exist it should be possible to improve the storage capacity of a battery by a controlled slow discharge to an exhausted condition followed by a reversed charge in an effort to restore the correct plate conditions, with subsequent “forward” charge.
A Ni-Fe battery would accept onerous conditions of use.
Wareham. – E. P. Melhuish.