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Ques

What is a storage battery?

Ans.

A device that converts energy from chemicals into electrical power is called a battery. Since, electrical energy is stored in the form of chemical energy, the device is called “Storage” battery or “Accumulator”.

   

Ques

How is electrical energy generated from chemicals?

Ans.

When any metal/ alloy / chemical is dipped inside a solution it shows a “tendency” or “potential” to dissolve in the solution OR precipitates something from solution OR tries to be inert without any action. This “tendency” or “potential” of metal / alloy / chemical is measured in terms of “voltage” . When two dissimilar chemicals are added together into a solution, the chemical energy is wasted as “heat energy”. If they are separated and connected externally through a load, because of “difference in potential /voltage” there is flow of “electrical energy” from higher “potential/voltage” chemical to lower “potential/voltage” chemical.

   

Ques

What are electrodes?

Ans.

To generate electrical energy, we need two dissimilar metals / alloy / chemicals which are separated inside a solution. The one which is having higher voltage is called the “Positive” electrode and the one with lower voltage is called the “Negative” electrode.

   

Ques

What is a cell?

Ans.

The simplest fundamental building block of a battery is called a cell . At least one “Positive” and one “Negative” kept inside a solution (called electrolyte) without touching each other constitute a cell.

   

Ques

What is a battery?

Ans.

The arrangement of connecting more than one cell in series or parallel or both constitutes a battery.

   

Ques

What are the different classifications of batteries?

Ans.

Batteries are classified broadly into Primary & Secondary batteries.

   

Ques

What are Primary batteries?

Ans.

These are batteries that can’t be reused after discharge and they are “use and throw” types. Eg., batteries used for toys, old torch cells etc.

   

Ques

What are Secondary batteries?

Ans.

These are batteries that can be used again and again by recharging . They are also known as “rechargeable” types. Eg., Car batteries, video camera batteries etc.

   

Ques

What are the different types of Secondary batteries?

Ans.

Depending on type of Electrolyte used, Secondary batteries are further classified into

- Acid batteries: Lead Acid batteries

- Alkaline batteries: Nickel-Cadmium, Silver-Zinc, Nickel-Iron batteries.

   

Ques

What type of battery do we use for Automobile starting?

Ans.

We use Lead Acid battery. We also call it as “SLI” battery as this is used for “Starting, Lighting & Ignition” of Automotive vehicles.

   

Ques

What is Lead Acid battery?

Ans.

It is an Acid based Secondary battery with

• Dilute Sulfuric acid as electrolyte
• Lead Dioxide chemical as the “Positive” electrode &
• Spongy Lead as the “Negative” electrode
   

Ques

What are the other applications of Lead acid batteries?

Ans.

In addition to SLI application, Lead Acid batteries are also used for Traction, (Forklifts, airport vehicles, Golf cart, Toy cars in amusement parks), airconditioning of Diesel Rail coaches and Stationary (Telecom, UPS, Inverters, load leveling, Solar, Wind power etc.,) applications.

   

Ques

Why Lead Acid batteries are most popular?

Ans.

• Lead is the cheapest among all the metals used for battery applications • available in plenty.
• The technology is proven and matured over 2 centuries
• process has been refined & automated over a period of time.
• Lead is completely recycleable
This makes Lead as the first choice for battery makers.

   

Ques

What are the Technological variants of Lead acid battery and what is the difference between these variants?

Ans.

The technological variants are classified based on extent of Maintenance required during in-service life of batteries. The type of alloy used for making electrode current collectors makes the difference.

• Low Maintenance (LM) batteries : Low Antimony Lead alloy
• Maintenance Free (MF) batteries : Calcium Lead alloy
• Hybrid Maintenace Free (HMF) batteries : Low Antimony for Positive & Calcium for Negative electrode.

   

Ques

Does Reem batteries have all these variants in it’s range?

Ans.

Yes. They are available in different brand names.

• Low Maintenance (LM) batteries : ANTARA, GULFSTAR, POWEPACK
• Maintenance Free (MF) batteries : ANTARA GOLD, GULFSTAR GOLD
• Hybrid Maintenace Free (HMF) batteries : ANTARA HYBRID

   

Ques

What do these variants mean to a common customer?

Ans.

• ANTARA GOLD: No water topping up throughout battery life
• ANTARA HYBRID: Less frequent water topping up
• ANTARA: Frequent water topping up

   

Ques

What are Drycharged batteries?

Ans.

Drycharging is a special process by which the “full charge state” of the electrodes are preserved and such batteries can be put into use immediately by filling acid without giving any boost charging. Such type of batteries are called “Drycharged” batteries. Without “drycharging” batteries may require overnight boost charging before being put into use

   

Ques

Can I use Drycharged batteries immediately after filling acid?

Ans.

No, DC batteries need some time after acid filling, for the acid to wet and percolate through the pores of the plates and separators so that the whole chemical is available for electrical energy production. Without this, the electrodes may not able to deliver full power. Drycharge battery needs about 30 mins of soaking period to make it fit for use.

   

Ques

Does RB make Drycharge batteries?

Ans.

Yes, about 80% of RB’s production is Drycharge batteries and they are sold under the brand names of ANTARA & ANTARA HYBRID, GULFSTAR, POWEPACK etc.

   

Ques

What are the advantages of Drycharge batteries?

Ans.

• Easy to transport
• Fit for use immediately within 30mts after filling acid
• Easy to store - can be stored in any orientation
• No recharging is required during storage
• Shelf life is more than 2 years
• No risk of being short circuited until the acid is filled in.

   

Ques

What are “Wet” batteries and their merits and demerits?

Ans.

Batteries supplied in filled, fully charged and ready to use condition are called “Wet” batteries.
Merits:
• Fit for immediate use without soaking
• No hassles of storing & handling corrosive acid
• No environmental problems
• Countries where the regulations are stringent, wet batteries are the best
Demerits:
• Difficult to transport because of corrosive acid / weight and hazardous classification
• Can be stored only in upright condition
• Batteries go waste if stored unused and uncharged
• Needs maintenance charging at a frequency depending on ambient storage conditions
• Risk of accidental shorting & explosion hazards
• Invisible leakage leads to corrosion of storage structures and sometimes accidents / explosions

   

Ques

Does RB supply “Wet” batteries?

Ans.

YES.

• Antara-Gold & Gulfstar-Gold MF batteries are supplied in “Wet” condition all the time
• Also, Low Maintenance & Hybrid Batteries are supplied in “ Wet” condition in addition to their DC requirement

   

Ques

I have filled a DC battery with acid but the customer doesn’t buy the battery. Shall I leave the battery as it is till I find the next customer?

Ans.

No. Batteries undergo loss of performance (self discharge) on storage in wet condition. This is very high in fresh batteries and also at high temperatures. Under these circumstances, it is recommended that fresh batteries are fully charged & kept on the shelves.

   

Ques

What will happen if I sell a DC battery after filling & storing for 3 or 7days?

Ans.

Fresh batteries sold like this may possibly crank the engine but might come back within few weeks/months as flat batteries. If sold after 10 days, it may not even crank the engine.

   

Ques

What is the correct procedure for activating a fresh DC battery?

Ans.

• Take the battery for filling only if there is a sale. Do not fill and keep the battery idle
• Remove tape / vent plugs just before filling the battery.
• Keep the battery on a levelled flat surface
• Fill each cell with battery grade dilute sulfuric acid of correct strength as recommended.
• Do not fill if the acid is hot
• Fill batteries only to the Upper level mark or “O” level as relevant.
• Wait for 30mts. Should the acid level go below prescribed level, top it up with the same acid strength.

   

Ques

What are the prechecks before installing a battery?

Ans.

• Check the fitment chart and make sure the nomenclature and performance rating of the battery tallies with recommendation. (Or sometimes a higher capacity battery may also be installed)
• Check if the layout of the battery is okay
• Check the positive terminal marked as “+” is thicker than Negative terminal marked as “–“. If it is not so, please do not install the battery
• Check the voltage is “+” when voltmeter’s +ve probe is kept on Positive terminal and -ve probe is kept on Negative terminal of the battery. If it shows “-“, do not install the battery
• Clean the battery free of acid and make sure the surface is dry
• Tighten the vent plugs
• Clean the terminals and expose the shiny metal surface
If all the above aspects are okay, the battery is ready for installation.

   

Ques

How to install a battery in the vehicle?

Ans.

• Modern cars come with many computerized functions which works on the battery. Before removing connections, check whether it can be handled by the electrician or it needs to be done at approved vehicle service centres
• Make sure the ignition keys are removed from the car. Apart from electrical safety, in some cars the doors get locked when battery is removed with ignition on
• Switch off key electrical loads which are directly connected to the battery
• Remove the Earth/Negative cable of the old battery first
• Disconnect the positive cable second and cover it with an insulator. This is required because, in some of the modern cars, to avoid computer memory loss, there is a standby battery which keeps the positive cable live even after disconnecting from the primary battery. To avoid shorting, it is necessary that positive cable after removal is insulated
• Remove old battery from the battery box
• For easy verification, keep old & new batteries side by side and check the size, holddowns and polarity of the batteries are identical
• Keep new battery inside the battery box and make sure the layout orientation is right, to enable fitment of correct cables.
• Check the battery height is okay and not going to touch and short through the bonnet
• Fit the battery to the vehicle firmly secured by the hold downs. Do not over tighten.
• Remove plastic cap from the Positive terminal of the new battery and connect Positive cable from the vehicle first. Do not over tighten
• Then, connect the earth cable from the chasis to Negative terminal of the battery. Do not overtighten
• Put / connect elbow, plastic tube and terminal covers which were taken out of old battery on the new battery
• Smear petroleum jelly around terminals to prevent corrosion

   

Ques

What kind of maintenance a battery requires while in service?

Ans.

• Check battery holddown clamps are securely connected. Loose battery clamping leads to jumping of battery causing shedding of chemical from electrodes and hence premature failure of the battery.
• Check terminal connections are not loose. Loose terminal connections lead to sparking of terminals (sometimes explosion), improper charging of batteries and early failure of batteries.
• Clean the terminals free of corrosion products and smear petroleum jelly around
• Check the vent holes (in case of vented batteries) are not obstructed / blocked with dust or other material
• Check the electrolyte level and top up with Battery grade distilled water upto required level.

Battery loses water because of high under the bonnet temperatures. Evaporation losses are particularly high in Gulf climate due to high temperature.
Also, if the alternator voltage is high, it leads to overcharging and water loss.If the battery is not topped up with water properly, battery plates are exposed to air. This leads to corrosion of plates and premature failure of batteries. It may also lead to explosion by a spark during cranking.
• If vehicle is not used for longer periods, check the condition of the battery and if required take out the battery and charge it externally and fit it back.

   

Ques

Do all batteries need topping up?

Ans.

No. Sealed MF batteries (Antara Gold, Gulfstar Gold) do not require topping up throughout their life.
All other batteries require topping up depending on vehicle usage (distance covered/day), alternator voltage setting, location of the battery (under the bonnet / seat or behind), parking without shade, etc.

   

Ques

What does Maintenance Free (MF) battery mean?

Ans.

Out of all maintenance requirements of a battery, water topping up is the most important and frequently required maintenance. MF batteries do not require this maintenance at all.
But all other aspects of maintenance like recharging, cleaning of terminals, tightening of clamps and applying petroleum jelly on the terminals etc remain common for all types of batteries.

   

Ques

What are the specialities of ANTARA / Gulfstar GOLD MF batteries?

Ans.

Usage of specially designed thicker gravity cast grids made out of Calcium-Tin-Silver alloy to fight and survive in extreme hot Desert conditions of Gulf region by minimizing water loss, grid growth and corrosion makes Antara / Gulfstar Gold MF batteries the special and make them the really “Desert proof” batteries, enable them to perform / live longer compared to competition.
These batteries are completely sealed (no vent plugs), factory charged, wet batteries not requiring topping up throughout the entire service life of the batteries.

   

Ques

How do I know that the ANTARA GOLD MF which I purchased is a good one?

Ans.

All ANTARA GOLD batteries come with a “magic eye” which, without opening the carton, is visible from the top side. If the magic eye shows
• GREEN - its a good battery
• BLACK - it needs recharging.
• WHITE - it is bad.

   

Ques

How do I charge my battery? How do I know my battery is fully charged?

Ans.

Batteries need a Direct Current (DC) source for charging. Connect Positive cable of the charger to the Positive terminal of the battery and Negative to the Negative terminal of the battery. Reverse connections would spoil the battery. Depending on the voltage of the charger, a knob , marked 1 to 5, is used for setting the number of batteries connected for charging. Set the current based on manufacturer’s recommendation. Continue charging till 3 constant consecutive hourly temperature corrected specific gravity or voltage readings. Attaining this state indicates, battery reached the full charge level.

   

Ques

Can I use the same charger used for charging DC batteries for sealed MF batteries also?

Ans.

No. Sealed MF batteries require special Voltage controlled chargers. Since, batteries are sealed and provided with calculated quantity of acid which can last throughout the life of the battery under the operating voltage of vehicle’s alternator. Any voltage more than the alternator voltage setting (13.8V ~ 14.4V) would lead to gassing, loss of electrolyte and hence loss of life. Chargers meant for Sealed MF batteries are based on this principle and are called “Constant voltage” chargers. Modern day chargers come with both Constant Current (CC mode) and Constant Voltage (CV mode) charging options

   

Ques

Will there be any problem if I overfill the battery?

Ans.

The battery should never be overfilled as this would cause acid to spill out through the vents during vehicle’s movement.
• In DIN type of batteries, this leads to acid becoming common for 2 or more cells leading to self discharge or sometimes explosion / quick failure of the battery.
• The acid which is spilled on the battery surface, establishes leakage current between terminals, leading to discharge of the battery.

   

Ques

Can I use normal tap water for topping up?

Ans.

No. Tap water contains lots of Chlorides & Carbonates which are not good for functioning of the battery. These impurities aggravate corrosion / sulfation of plates, leading to premature death of batteries.

   

Ques

Is there a problem if I top it up with pure drinking mineral water instead of battery grade distilled water?

Ans.

YES. The pure drinking mineral water is fortified with minerals which are good for human body but harmful for battery operation. It will reduce life of the battery. Hence, it is recommended to use only battery grade distilled water for topping up to enhance battery life.

   

Ques

My car engine doesn’t crank. Should I continue cranking till the engine starts?

Ans.

No. Continuous cranking will lead to battery failure prematurely. If you try to crank a discharged battery, continuous cranking will lead to collapsing of electrodes. Wait for some time and then crank the engine again but not too many times. Consult an auto electrician. It could be a starter or spark plug problem.

   

Ques

If I start my car after a long time of idle storage, it doesn’t start. What could be the reason?

Ans.

• Charged batteries on storage undergoes self discharge. If the car is not used for longer periods, then there would have been good amount of self discharge in the battery.
• Even during engine off condition, there are some small electronic loads which keep operating by consuming energy from the battery.
• If the car is parked directly under the sun, without a shade, then the self discharge is accelerated by continuous exposure to high ambient temperature leading to greater amount of capacity loss.
• Addition of impurities in the electrolyte by topping up through raw water also results in accelerated loss of capacity on standing.

   

Ques

If the battery doesn’t start my car, can I use battery from another car to start my car?

Ans.

Yes, this is called “Jump starting”. Follow the steps for carrying out this task:

a. Pull the cars next to each other and turn off both ignitions.
b. Be sure the vehicles are not touching each other.
c. Connect the positive jumper cable (RED) to the dead battery's positive terminal.
d. Connect other end of positive cable (RED) to the positive terminal of the Good battery in the assisting vehicle.
e. Connect the negative cable (BLUE / BLACK) to the negative terminal of the Good battery in the assisting vehicle.
f. Make final connection of Negative cable to engine block or frame of stalled vehicle, away from battery.
g. Make certain all cables are clear of fan blades, belts and other moving parts of both engines. Start the assisting car with good battery.
h. Now, try to start the car with the dead battery.
i. If the car starts, allow the engine to return to idle speed, then remove the cables in the reverse order that you put them on.
j. First, remove Negative cable from the stalled car that needed the jump start
k. Second, remove other end of Negative cable from the assisting vehicle
l. Third, remove Positive cable from the assisting vehicle
m. Finally, remove other end of Positive cable from the formerly stalled vehicle

   

Ques

When should I consider replacing my battery?

Ans.

If you are experiencing difficulty in starting your vehicle, get your electrical systems checked thoroughly. If they are found to be ok, then it may be the problem associated with the battery. Get the battery checked by an experienced battery dealer. Follow his recommendation for replacing the battery with a similar or suitable rating.

   

Ques

How do I know which battery is right for my vehicle?

Ans.

Always refer to the battery fitment chart at any reliable battery dealer or the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation as specified in owner’s manual for selecting the right battery for your vehicle.

   

Ques

What are the specialities of HYBRID batteries?

Ans.

Antimony batteries are known for “Good life” and sealed MF batteries are known for their “No Maintenance” . The combination of goodness of both the technologies resulted in “Hybrid” batteries using Antimony Positive electrodes and Calcium Negative electrodes. These batteries offer extended life as they allow topping up in the event of electrolyte level going down.

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