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Fast-activating reserve power sources: is lead dead indeed?

Pavel A. Shcheglov, Dmitry A. Samsonov, Anatoly B. Pavlenkov, Tatiana L. Kulova, Alexey Yu. Rychagov, Alexander M. Skundin, Evgeniya Yu. Postnova


The purpose of this research is to improve the performance and reduce the activation time of reserve power sources based on lead-acid systems at lower temperatures, down to –50 °C. Physico-chemical factors affecting the activation speed of reserve power sources based on Pb–HClO4–PbO2 and Zn–HClO4–PbO2 systems are investigated using chronopotentiometry, scanning electron microscopy, and standard contact porosimetry. Two approaches to the improvement of the low-temperature performance of power sources are used. The first one is based on the substitution of lead as anodic material with zinc. This allows the increase in discharge voltage and simultaneous decrease in activation time, but brings about the instability of discharge characteristics and, finally, deteriorates the reliability of power sources. The second approach is based on the use of PbO2 cathode material with enhanced nanoporosity. The chronopotentiometric method in galvanostatic mode is applied to the quality estimation of cathodes. The criterion of applicability of cathodes for reserve power sources consists in the low discharge overvoltage (0.1–0.2 V). Efficient performance of reserve power sources possessing the stable discharge voltage (1.5–1.8 V per cell) and the unprecedentedly short activation time (under 30 ms) even at lower temperatures (down to –50 °C) is achieved. The results are verified by fabrication and testing of pilot batches of miniaturized reserve power sources having microcells’ volume of 0.02 ml. The second approach to the improvement of power sources is transferred into the industrial production.


reserve power source; activation time; discharge; lead dioxide; lead; zinc

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Copyright (c) 2023 Pavel A. Shcheglov, Dmitry A. Samsonov, Anatoly B. Pavlenkov, Tatiana L. Kulova, Alexey Yu. Rychagov, Alexander M. Skundin, Evgeniya Yu. Postnova

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Chimica Techno Acta, 2014-2024
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