Steps to Recovering Lead Acid Batteries
Some of the following procedures are also a component of battery maintenance but are in fact destructive to some degree and will decrease battery longevity. Longevity may not be a problem if the battery performance is presently sub-optimal and you need to recover performance. What follows as a whole should not be considered preventative maintenance.
Restoring Sulphated batteries;
You've determined that your battery needs recovering. It will probably exhibit some or all of the following: rapid voltage drop under light loads, quickly taking on a charge, takes a long time to full charge, higher temperatures during charge and discharge, specific variance between cells of 50 points or more.
A more detailed description of the following steps follows below this section
Description of Battery Recovery Methods and Technology and their Affect on the Batteries
During an equalization charge peak voltage is raised, causing increased temperatures and vigorous gassing. It is probable that gassing causes resulting from the overly high voltage induced gassing causes the separation of some of the sulphate crystals coating the battery plates and allowing them to drop to the bottom of the cell due to turbulence and resonance within the electrolyte . The higher temperatures associated with equalization charging also helps erode the battery plates, fresh plate surface is exposed. The turbulence within the electrolyte will also stir up and mix the electrolyte if it has become stratified.
Electronic current of up to 10A cycled at 800 kHZ is applied to the batteries. This creates a resonance within the batteries that wears down the sulphate crystals at an ionic level. The resonance may adversely affect older batteries with structurally eroded plates by causing fragile plate pieces to fall off and possibly short a cell.
A technique used to equalize and rejuvenate where batteries are cycled between a full state of charge then down to 20% state of charge. Recharging from 20% state of charge is optimally performed at a charge rate of 10% of the ampere hour rating of the battery array e.g. a 1500 AHr battery is charged with a charger capable of charging at 150 Amps. The recharging sequence proceed through the complete three stage charging sequence of Bulk, Absorption and Float and charging should be uninterrupted. Deep-cycling batteries reduces battery life but is less destructive than an equalization charge.
Other Battery Recovery Methods
We have surfed the Internet and seen many other solutions suggested and followed. From the cleaning of battery sulphation through the use of a chemical referred to as EDTA, or Ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid-tetrasodium salt. (N,N'-1,2-ethanediylbis [N-(carboxymethyl) glycerine tetrasodium salt to removing sulphation deposits to the use of TSP (after the electrolyte has been drained) to remove the other crud out of batteries. We have no experience with the addition or use of chemicals to batteries and the manufacturers we represent do not recommend their use.
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