The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|Johnson, Kenneth, and John D. Cutnell. Physics. 4th ed. New York: Wiley, 1998: 619, A-17.||"A car battery has a rating of 220 ampere*hours (A*h) …. Determine the maximum current that the battery can provide for 38 minutes."||350 A|
|1985 Volvo 740 GL, GLE, Turbo Owners Manual. Volvo Cars of North America: 111.||"Capacity 450 A, 90 min"||450 A|
|Batteries Catalog. Dayton, Ohio: AC Delco, 1999.||"1979, Chevrolet, CCA … " [very large table]||275–505 A|
|Hinckley, Zack. What You Need To Know About Your Battery. Spider Cañon Comment. 16 July 1999.||"By itself, the figure for battery rating doesn't mean much, but seen in terms of these typical electrical loads in your car it does:"
The potential difference of a typical car battery is 12 V. The potential difference is set up by the electromotive force generated by chemical reactions. The electrolyte used in automotive batteries is a strong solution of sulfuric acid and distilled water. The chemical reaction inside a car battery can be reversed. Therefore, a car battery is known as a secondary cell. A secondary cell battery can be recharged by applying a reverse voltage.
Car batteries have three main jobs. Starting the car is most demanding of these jobs. In order to start a car the battery must supply 100 to 200 amps of current over a short period of time. This can become very difficult during the winter. The chemicals in the battery can become too cold to stir up the power necessary to start the car motor. The second job of the car battery is to keep itself charged by providing current for the car generator's field. Finally, the battery of a car must supply a medium level of current for a long period of time in order to keep the car's electrical accessories working while the engine is not running.
Aron Fisch -- 2000
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