Tech Briefs

An apparatus has been developed for checking the electrolyte level in a battery, providing a safer and more efficient means to do so. The result is a non-intrusive apparatus and method of checking the electrolyte level that reduces the need to open the caps on the battery by checking the level externally.

The apparatus comprises elements such as a frame that is engageable with the battery, and a first and second micrometer carried by the frame. The first and second micrometers may slide along the frame with respect to each other to adjust to the size of the battery. Other elements of the detector comprise an acoustic transmitter supported on a transmitter rod, which may be slidably mounted with respect to the first micrometer so that the first micrometer is operable to measure a position of the slidable transmitter rod for placement of the acoustic transmitter adjacent to a desired level of electrolyte within the battery. Similarly, an acoustic receiver is supported on a receiver rod.

Electronic receiver circuitry is operable to distinguish between an acoustic signal that passes through air, indicating a low level of electrolyte within the battery, and an acoustic signal that passes through fluid, indicating a satisfactory level of electrolyte within the battery. The electronic receiver circuitry comprises first and second bandpass filters operably connected to the acoustic receiver. The first bandpass filter is operable for passing an electrical signal indicative of a satisfactory level of the electrolyte within the battery. The second filter is operable for passing an electrical signal indicative of a low level of electrolyte within the battery.

The apparatus also features an acoustic transmitter director for directing acoustic transmitter energy. The transmitter director comprises a first transmitter socket cup positioned adjacent to a second transmitter socket cup. The first transmitter socket cup may be larger in size than the second. The second transmitter socket cup and the second receiver socket cup are positioned to contact the battery.

The first and second micrometers can be pivotally mounted to the frame for stowage of the electrolyte level detector in a compact position. The apparatus comprises a handle connectable to the transmitter rod and the receiver rod, operable for simultaneous movement of the transmitter rod and the receiver rod.

This work was done by Nathan Johnnie of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.defensetechbriefs.com/tsp under the Physical Sciences category. NUWC-0009

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Battery Electrolyte Level Detector Apparatus (reference NUWC-0009) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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