About batteries: the Planté plate

The Belgian scientist Gaston Planté elaborated on the findings of Sinsteden. In 1861 he developed the first secondary battery for practical use, in which the lead plates were rolled into coils, separated by strips of felt.

In the Planté cell, we see the features of today's lead-acid battery: dilute sulphuric acid in which two lead plates covered by lead sulphate. The lead sheet is only used as a conductor, the lead sulphate is where actual process takes place and this is why it is called the active mass. Preparing the lead plate by allowing the lead sulphate to form is called formation.

The formation of the Planté plates was a difficult and time-consuming task. Before sufficient lead sulphate had formed on the lead plate, it had to repeatedly charged and discharged. It could take weeks and sometimes months before the desired capacity was obtained.

In 1881 the Planté plate was improved by Charles Francis Brush. He applied lead oxide to plates which had been scored, slotted or perforated by ramming the finely powdered oxide into the cavities. This construction still forms the basis of the current Planté plate .