Battery Basics


Getting the lowdown on how lead-acid batteries work

Batteries have been tried and true technology for centuries, as the concept of how they work remain largely the same.

For standard lead-acid batteries that are used in many applications, understanding how they work can help when deciding which battery works best for different applications.

Every lead-acid battery contains three or six individual compartments within that battery case, depending on whether the battery is 6 or 12-volt. Within each individual compartment is a series of positive and negative plates, with special separators in between each to prevent short circuits.

These positive and negative plates are a lead grid of different shapes and sizes that have an active material pasted into that grid. Each manufacturer will have a different active material pasted into that grid, depending on the application it was designed for.

The types of active material that's pasted in that grid will depend on the battery type:

  1. Starting Batteries: contain more plates that are thinner with more surface area, resulting in a higher cold cranking amp and initial burst of power.

  2. Deep-Cycle and Traction: plates are thicker for higher reserve capacity resulting in more cycles when used in continuous discharge and recharge applications.

  3. Calcium and Antimony: these are common additives used in the active material of the battery plate grids. Different additives are used if the battery is a sealed low-maintenance type or designed for deep-cycle applications.

Ultimately, every manufacturer has its own plate grid design and active material mix that will result in different power and performance requirements.

Within the cells of a lead-acid battery is a specific mixture of sulfuric acid and water, which facilitates the chemical reaction in the battery, the chemical reaction and type of plates and active material results in a battery that will deliver more or less cranking amps, cold cranking amps, reserve capacity, or amp hours. Canadian Energy offers many different types of lead-acid batteries. All are storage devices designed for a specific purpose or application. 

  • Flooded
  • Gel
  • AGM



Check out Canadian Energy’s batteries and accessories for all needs:

Or come into your nearest Canada Proof dealer or Canadian Energy branch to ask what works best for your vehicle or application: