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Equalizing Batteries

(Flooded batteries only)

Equalizing is an overcharge performed on flooded lead acid batteries after they have been fully charged.

Equalizing reverses the buildup of negative chemical effects like stratification, the condition where acid concentration is greater at the bottom of the battery than at the top.  More importantly equalizing also helps to remove sulfate crystals that may have built up on the plates.  If left unchecked, sulfation will reduce the overall capacity of the battery.

Many experts recommend that batteries be equalized periodically, ranging anywhere from once a month to once or twice per year. However, we recommend equalizing every three months or when low or wide ranging specific gravity (+/- .015 sg) is detected after fully charging a battery.

 

Equalize Procedure:

  1. Verify the battery(s) are flooded type.
  2. Ensure your batteries are at full charge before starting the equalize process.
    (Failing to do so may cause the batteries to overheat.)
  3. Remove all loads from the batteries.
    (Not removing loads may damage other equipment as higher voltages are used during the equalization process and may damage electronics and electrical equipment.  The energy of the equalization process is also diluted if loads consume some of the power battery or generator power during equalization.)
  4. Connect battery charger.
    (Your inverter will already be connected.)
  5. If you have Water Saver vent caps remove them now to prevent damage.
  6. Set charger for the equalizing voltage
    (12V system = 15.5V and 24V system = 31V).
  7. Start equalizing the batteries.
  8. Batteries will begin gassing and bubbling vigorously.
  9. Take specific gravity readings every hour.

 

Equalization is complete when specific gravity values no longer rise during the gassing stage.

NOTE: Most good Inverter/chargers have an equalization setting.  If we set your system up parameters will have been set within your inverter.  Most normal battery chargers are not equipped to undertake the equalize procedure.

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Last modified: November 13, 2018