How to Restore Lead-acid Batteries

A lead acid battery goes through three life phases, called formatting, peak and decline (Figure 1). In the formatting phase, try to imagine sponge-like lead plates that are being exposed to a liquid. Exercising the plates allows the absorption of  more liquid, much like squeezing and releasing a sponge. This enables the electrolyte to better fill the usable areas, an exercise that increases the capacity.

Formatting is most important for deep-cycle batteries and requires 20 to 50 full cycles to reach peak capacity. Field usage achieves  this. There is no need to apply added cycles for the sake of priming; however, manufacturers recommend  to go easy on the battery until broken in. Starter batteries are less critical and do not need priming; the full cranking power is present right from the beginning, although the CCA reading will go up slightly with early use.

Cycle life of a battery

 

 

Figure 1: Cycle life of a battery

The three phases of a battery are formatting, peak and decline.

Courtesy of Cadex

A deep-cycle battery delivers 100–200 cycles before it starts the gradual decline. Replacement should occur when the capacity drops to 70 or 80 percent. Some applications allow lower capacity thresholds but the time for retirement should not fall below 50 percent because the aging occurs rapidly once the battery is past its prime. Apply a fully saturated charge of 14 to 16 hours. Operating at moderate temperatures assure the longest service times. If at all possible, avoid deep discharges; charge more often.

The primary reason for the relatively short cycle life of a lead acid battery is depletion of the active material. According to the 2010 BCI Failure Modes Study,* plate/grid-related breakdown has increased from 30 percent five years ago to 39 percent. The report does not give reasons for the increased wear-and-tear, other than to assume that higher demands of starter batteries in modern cars induce added stress.

While the depletion of the active material is well understood and can be calculated, a lead acid battery suffers from other infirmities long before plate- and grid-deterioration sound the death knell. The following articles address the most common problems that develop with use and time and what battery users can do to minimize the effect.

These are:

Corrosion / Shedding, Internal Short


Sulfation


Water Loss, Acid Stratification and Surface Charge

                                   

*   Every five years, the Battery Council International Technical Subcommittee conducts a study to determine the failure modes of batteries that have been removed from service. 

Comments

On December 14, 2010 at 1:56pm
maghsoud safari javid wrote:

please send me more cataluage.

On December 16, 2010 at 5:05am
George S wrote:

I am a qualified auto electrician and I still found this article to be quite informative Thank you/

On January 10, 2011 at 4:26am
HyunChard wrote:

Need some help here regarding my Split System AC. It’s not operating well and produce a warm air.

On January 22, 2011 at 11:16am
iyr wrote:

Are you people so stupid you can’t realize the article and website have nothing to do with your posts? Call an hvac technician or suffer.

Back to the toppic. I had a sla battery almost blow up inside my battery backup system. Bought it used plugged it in and ran fine for a week. Then the battery alarm started going off. Upon inspecting the battery it swelled about 1/4” on all sides and had visible cracking of the case but did not release any fluids and from the swelling I would say didn’t release any gas either.

On March 3, 2011 at 9:02pm
BWMichael wrote:

iyr: you probably bought a battery that had been sitting on the shelf for a long time.

It would be sulphated, thats why it swells up. The only other reason could be over-charging

On March 5, 2011 at 1:13pm
Jurij wrote:

I have a question :
Application: electric scooter
Battery Type: Sealed Lead Acid
Batteries: 12 V 20Ah deep cycle (4 batteries in scooter)
Model: Tainnaeng 6-DMZ-20
Charger 1:  2 Ah 48 V
Charger 2: 4 Ah 48 V
Maximum charger that can be used 5 Ah ( 20 / 4 )
Question: using charger1 will I get longer battery life then using charger 2 and by how much

On March 11, 2011 at 3:22am
sangram wrote:

basic diffrence between valve regulated lead acid battery and convenctional lead acid battery

On March 29, 2011 at 6:04am
Allen Huang wrote:

Thanks for the auther for his kindness to share such a good article. actually we are professinal producer of valve regulated lead acid batteries in China with reasonable price and excellent quality.

any question you may have, please feel free to contact!
allenhuang2011@hotmail.com

On April 1, 2011 at 6:13am
Eric wrote:

We’re always told “Don’t add acid.” I have a new battery that was upturned in transit and a lot of the acid spilled out, topping up with d/water and it works but I think the acid is too diluted, what’s the remedy?

On April 7, 2011 at 1:29pm
Kyle Bailey wrote:

I was hoping you could tell me your thoughts on the Batt Recon system www.battrecon.com. I am in the process of starting a small business based on battery restoration using this machine. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

On April 8, 2011 at 5:53am
Allen Huang wrote:

For the VRLA battery or SLA battery, It is no need to add acid. if the acid spilled out, the quality of the battery maybe not good, I suggest you change a new one.

On May 27, 2011 at 1:33pm
tony truett wrote:

hello ,I have scooter chair that is new it was used for 5 minutes then it sit for 4 or 5 months battery now they want recharge back up is there something i can do to make them charge . trucks717@yahoo.com

On May 27, 2011 at 9:24pm
BWMichael wrote:

u cant let batteries sit for 4-5 months without charging them. They sulphate and u cant fix that. The batteries would not be any good, thats why they dont charge. if you arent going to use the scooter for a while, just give the batteries an hour charge every 2 weeks and they will last much longer

On June 1, 2011 at 4:33pm
Haroon Bhabha wrote:

If you are fammiliar with the different battery reconditioning systems.
  * Battery sevices International - additive + electronic pulsating +/ 20Hours
  * Zulu One - no additive only electronic treatment +/- 0ne hour
please try to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the two methods.
Your help will be highly appreciated
Thank you

On June 3, 2011 at 7:44am
Pcrous wrote:

Very good article thanx for usefull information

On July 10, 2011 at 11:58pm
Ranjith wrote:

What shiod be the best charging routine for the 48V/20 AH (4 Cells) battery of my EBike with 20 Km daily travel?  I have bought a new e-bike (250 W BLDC motor, 48 V/20 AH (4 cells) SLA Battery. The charging time for the battery is 6-8 hours. The range of the e-bike as claimed by the company is 60-70 km per charge. According to them, the battery would last for approximately 300 cycles of charging. I plan to use the e-bike for 20 km a day. With my usage, the battery charge would last for 3 days. But I know that deep discharging would decrease the life of a SLA battery. Is it okay for me to charge the battery every 3 days or should I charge the battery daily ?. Please suggest the best possible routine for charging the batteries so that I could get most out of the battery and also increase the life of the battery to the maximum extent possible.

On July 17, 2011 at 4:03am
Andrej Simson wrote:

Hi, I’m a battery and EV technician working & living in Gothenburg Sweden. Our business name is Simson Motor Company AB and we import EVs from China and we are also a European distributor of Battery Life Saver from Tampa USA.
There is a huge and major problem in terms of charging several batteries in series connected systems.
In the beginning of life span of a lead acid battery all works pretty fine. Shorty after driving / discharging an EV some of the cells shows shortcoming in SoC due to slight quality differences of each cell.
For instance our cars have 72 volt / 6 batteries system. Some of them are reaching 14,5V some only 13 volt and the best ones will overcharge 15-16V due to the charger is targeting for 87-88VDC, so the total voltage of all batteries will stop the charger. This applies to 48V or whatever you have. First of all you need to balance each of the batteries. We are the only manufacturer of very effective and affordable BMS for Lead-Acid. The AToB Balancing Shunt is a good product and has been tested for a year. You need one unit of AToB and a power resistor 50W on each battery to shunt the overcharging current and transmit the heat to metal. This helps to charge the batteries that are behind. Next point is that BLS works fine to stop building up of crystals and prolong the life span greatly. We can show capacity testing report performed on very sulphated batteries. It definitely works fine. smcab@telia.com

On July 17, 2011 at 4:10pm
Fat Tony wrote:

Hey Simson: This is a comment section to ask questions, not to advertise your products for sale, or to brag about what you have ‘invented’. Get a life

On August 13, 2011 at 2:22am
G Grainger wrote:

I bought a used mobility scooter recently, it has twin 12v 80 ah x2 pcs ,when fully charged it shows 6 bars on display when ignition is turned on, but after a few minutes it drops 2 bars. do it mean the batteries are on their way out.
                                              thank you.

On August 17, 2011 at 3:19am
safari javid / maghsoud wrote:

tell about seald acid battrey, chaging procedure.

On August 23, 2011 at 2:53am
Glycol Tubing British Columbia wrote:

I just couldn’t leave your website before saying that I really enjoyed the quality information you offer. Will be back often to check up on new stuff you post grin ! !

On August 29, 2011 at 12:19am
Vito Tam wrote:

Any type of VRLA batteries own their charged Volt rang, can not be charged by higher nor lower volt. should be right volt rang from -0.2~+0.2 aM. give me message if you have different battery: vitotam@126.com

On August 29, 2011 at 11:54am
G Grainger wrote:

would someone kindly answer my question of the 13/ 8-2011 regarding batteries not performing properly.I hope you can Oblige.thank you.

On September 3, 2011 at 4:14am
Sanjay wrote:

I connect a 42AH battery with a 16W Lamp without a charge controller, after couple of days found the light was very dim, does this mean that the battery has over discharged, I have now installed a 10A SPV charge controller please advise what can be wrong and in case if the battery has been over discharged how do I revive the battery

On September 14, 2011 at 1:43am
Dennis wrote:

Good morning,

I bought the book: ‘Batteries in a portable world’ by Isidor Buchmann, Third edition.
But the information named here is missing in that book.
Is this information still availible in a paper form?
I would love to have that.

Greets,
Dennis.

On September 17, 2011 at 4:50am
efendy wrote:

O Bediniho nabijačkach ste nepočuli? Inak funguju aj ako desulfator

On September 20, 2011 at 12:50pm
Craig wrote:

I just added acid to a motorcycle battery and charged it.  I will not be needing this batter for another year or so.  Can I remove the acid, then clean the battery out with RO water and bring it back to a new state.  Then I plan on just putting the acid back in.  The battery is only a few days old and has never been used/discharged.

On September 26, 2011 at 6:16am
steve wrote:

@craig
do not drain battery of acid, if not using for extended period the best course of action is to attach battery to an optimiser, battery conditioner and leave

On September 26, 2011 at 6:34am
steve wrote:

@G Grainger
wthout testing sounds like your batteries have lost capacity

On October 7, 2011 at 1:29pm
alan.daykin wrote:

can i check % discharge after use my golf cart 2x12v 75.ah.battries and how

On October 8, 2011 at 5:00am
iraj alizadeh wrote:

please send me about life of sild asiad battery and do we need a diferent voltage to charge of that battery . for example first charging- maintnance charging and repeting charging
beacuse we have deferent charger in my company

On October 14, 2011 at 3:49am
sudheer kanthety wrote:

I wont recharg my 140 amp batrey using with wing power . can u give me suggest

On October 18, 2011 at 9:06am
vic platania wrote:

is there any secret to extending the life of my 36 volt golf cart battery. I have heard about putting a asprin in each cell or epsem salt do these trick really work ?

On October 19, 2011 at 5:55am
xenon hid conversion kit wrote:

Thanks for this great and interesting article. I really enjoyed the article. It’s really useful and informative for me.

On October 31, 2011 at 11:02pm
charles794 wrote:

Many problems with multiple batteries’ charging & discharging are caused by their being incorrectly connected. Take some hints from
http://cdpl1.blogspot.com/2007/05/multiple-batteries-in-cars.html

On November 2, 2011 at 11:42pm
John Fetter wrote:

AD-X2 was invented in the 1940s by Jess Richie, a bulldozer operator. He founded Pioneers, Inc to promote the product Someone wrote about AD-X2 subsequently: “The instructions on the AD-X2 package were sound. By following them a consumer might have achieved favorable results without even using the additive inside the package.” What did the instructions say? “Fully charge the battery at not more than 10 amps.”

On November 5, 2011 at 8:06am
Nehmo wrote:

@Kyle Bailey
You are asking if one of those scam De-Sulfation systems work, You buy junk from them to start a business rejuvenating lead-acid batteries. There is no scientific evidence such systems work. There are plenty of people who *say* they work, but they can’t cite real evidence.
The author of this piece talks about “reversible or soft sulfation”. Apparently, he means a battery that is slightly discharged. A truly dead lead-acid battery cannot be returned to life by applying a voltage higher than normal. 
Batt Recon is one such snake oil company. But identifying the name of the company does no good because, the guy will simply change the name.
`~-  Nehmo

On November 5, 2011 at 12:30pm
John Fetter wrote:

This might be of some help. Every year about 250 million automobile-truck batteries wear out and are replaced, world-wide. If the average lifetime automobile ownership is 50 years, then each year one-fiftieth of the driving population are first-timers, who have little or no idea there are “snake oil” battery rejuvenation merchants out there. Thus there are five million “virgin” customers who, like most people, are willing to try something new at least once. Statistics are on the side of the “snake-oil” merchants. Human nature is on their side and has guaranteed they can continue to make a living. I am simply trying to give an explanation. There is a great deal worse going on out there. Caveat emptor.

On November 5, 2011 at 2:13pm
charles794 wrote:

There is no black magic in your car/truck battery performance:
1. buy battery that is less than 4 weeks old;
2. prior to installation in the car charge it for 8 hours using charger that delivers about 10% of Amps of battery AH capacity;
3. ensure that your alternator current rating is higher that the maximum possible current used by your vehicle (including trailer/caravan where applicable);
4. regularly clean the battery posts & check the electrolyte level; when required top up with distilled water.
With these four simple points, your battery will last a minimum of 5 years.
With multiple batteries ensure they are of the same “age” and are connected as indicated in my previous post.
By the way, my best experience has been with the so-called spiral batteries (3-4 times more expensive than “normal” ones).

On November 11, 2011 at 3:58am
zlop wrote:

Using an old personal computer power supply,
I am going to build a desulfator
Tap into the 33 kilohertz and ride it on top of the 12 volt output
(chokes and capacitors to to isolate)

12 volt is above 60% charge
Anyone try something similar ?

(more ideas—with a transformer, stepping up the voltage of the audio output, of a sound system—or 27 mhz output of a CB set (power amp ?)—my 2.4 ghz wifi can ut out half a watt, but how to connect ?)

On November 11, 2011 at 10:03am
matej wrote:

Zlop, 33kHz is way too much. Normally you desulfate with 2 to 12kHz. I have been trying with 16kHz because it is outside audio range, and it works, it desulfates pretty fast but only to SG of about 1,22, then it stops. I could leave it for 2 weeks, it did not move. But when I lowered the freq to 12k, it quickly ramped up to 1,26 average.
But still, I believe the most in my 6kHz unit. It did 40Ah car battery from 1,21 to 1,26 in 12 days, and now I am testing a 3 times stronger unit.

For those who say desulfation does not work .. well I am only at the beginning, but I have already desulfated abou 10 batteries, vrla/flooded, various sizes. If there is no other problem with the battery (before desulfation 24hrs after charging voltage is over 12,5V for 12V battery), desulphation surely recovers the capacity. If you say it does not work, you most likely never tried it or you are doing something wrong. It definitely is no snake oil.

On November 11, 2011 at 2:06pm
John Fetter wrote:

When the battery quite suddenly, without the usual tired morning cranking, refuses to start the engine and then on top of that refuses to accept a proper full charge, it is unlikely to have become sulfated but is suffering from “open circuit”. This is a condition that affects calcium grid alloy batteries. The junction between the calcium alloy of the positive grids and the positive lead dioxide active material develops an insulating film over time, causing the active material to become electrically disconnected.  This problem is well known among the inner circles of the lead-acid battery industry. They prefer to ignore it.

The film can be broken down by (a) chemical means and by (b) pulsing the battery with high energy spikes. The pulses need to be spiky, intense and be repeated reasonably slowly in order for the insulating layer to be broken down.

I used a chemical that released a tiny amount of chloride very slowly into the electrolyte. The chloride, (not the same as chlorine), simply dissolved the insulating film and the battery has been working for four years. I checked its ampere-hours after the treatment and it was at about 70% of what was on the label.

Batteries can fail for a variety of reasons. Batteries that are always being used do not sulfate. Batteries left standing do sulfate. Sulfation is caused by neglect. Usually it cannot be reversed. “Open circuit” can occur at any time. It can be treated successfully. 

 

On November 13, 2011 at 4:37am
matej wrote:

@ John Fetter > Thanks a lot, John! Actually I think you answered a question that was in my mind for about 2 weeks. I have a battery one year old, CSB EVX12260 (12V 26Ah). I do howewer not know if there is calcium involved, usually they state it on the label, but here it is not stated, but who knows. The battery has 5 cells OK, they were sulphated at SG about 1,20 at full charge. One cell however was lower, at only 1,14 and its plates were naked, I needed to add water to cover them. I pulsed the battery with sharp (<50ns rise time) 10A with pulses at 12kHz. All cells got much better. Those five that were on 1,20 got to 1,27 - 1,28. But the cell that was at 1,14 got to only 1,24 and seems not willing to go any higher. And when I try an Ah test with C/20, for the first hour everything seems OK, but then this lowest cell starts to decline voltage slowly, with SG unchanged. When I remove load, it jumps again to about 2,05V.
I suppose I am facing the problem you talked about. The problem is, although I already tried to cure the battery just like you stated, I think my pulses are spiky enough, but I am not sure s how intense the pulse has to be (if 10A is enough) and if I am repeating the pulses slowly enough (is 12kHz too much, or not)?

On November 14, 2011 at 12:11am
John Fetter wrote:

@ matej > Let us look at the situation with your battery again. (1) You have not described its history, so discussion must be considered speculation. (2) Nowadays batteries are assembled entirely by machine. It does happen that one of the separator envelopes gets torn. The QA inspection does not pick this up. So the battery works for a while and then, out of the blue, the opening gets filled by sludge and/or moss and the SG of the affected cell begins to fall and keeps falling. (3) The fact that the affected cell appears to have been using more water seems to suggest there may have been a metal object, (piece of steel),  that somehow got into the cell, causing excessive gassing, self discharge. (4) When one or more cells develop a low SG that seems to want to stay down, it is usually the end of the road for the battery. You have very little to lose by emptying out that cell, washing it out and refilling with new acid. But don’t expect any miracles.

By the way. Simply charging the battery very slowly and for an extended period has revived many batteries inexpensively.

On November 14, 2011 at 10:22am
matej wrote:

Thanks John. The battery was bought about 18 months ago. Actually we bought two batteries for a small 24V solar system with maximum charging current of about 7A, which is a little below specified maximum. These 2 batteries were in series all the time, they were even in the same package. Very interesting is, that the other battery it has been in series with is perfect, when I got it it was about 85% and after few days’ desulfation is 110% on Ah test. I did not even open it.
If there is some metal object in the discussed cell, it must have got there in the factory. I did not open that battery until I did the first Ah test and measured only about 15% capacity.
(All test at C/20 until 10,5V).

The battery has been at desulfator at 13,8V for more than three weeks. I do not think the DC current itself would fix it, if DC current + desulfator didn’t .. or am I wrong?

How can I empty this cell? I never did this on VRLA battery. I guess I must hold the other rubber covers in place while flipping the battery..?

On November 14, 2011 at 2:35pm
John Fetter wrote:

@ matej > OK. Now you are saying the battery is VRLA. I guess I should have looked up CSB EVX12260 specifications before commenting. Let me know how you measured electrolyte levels and SGs!

On November 15, 2011 at 2:22am
matej wrote:

The only method I could do toat was to pop the cover, remove the rubber clamps. In VRLAs I do not measure exact level, I just always add enough water to cover the cells that are not covered. Then I measure SG with refractometer. Then I desulfate and when after desulfation the SG gets over 1,29, which is the usual case, I add enough water to dilute it for 1,28.
Look maybe you will offend that this “should not” be done on VRLAs but there is no other way one can check and/or add water into the VRLA, right?

On November 15, 2011 at 2:29am
matej wrote:

The only method I am ableto do that is to pop the sealing cover, remove the rubber clamps. In VRLAs I do not measure exact level, I just look into and add enough water to cover the cells that are not covered, plus a little more (2-3mm above plates) just to be sure, because desulfation pulses sometimes cause water loss at first. Then I measure SG with refractometer. Then I desulfate and when after desulfation the SG gets over 1,30, which is the usual case, I add more water to dilute it for 1,28. This usually results in water level in half between the cell top and battery top. Such was also the case with the EVX we talk about, except that one problemous cell.
Look maybe you will offend that this “should not” be done on VRLAs but there is no other way one can check and/or add water into the VRLA, right?

On November 15, 2011 at 4:22am
John Fetter wrote:

@ matej > Why not !!! You paid for the batteries. That gives you permission to do as you please with them. All I can say is carry on what you are doing. I would give the battery with the “down cell” a nice long slow charge, with pulses.

I am one of those people who recharges alkaline cells. Some brands work very well, others do not. My flashlight has run for five years on same set of repeatedly recharged alkalines.

Another “non-standard”. I try to buy my car batteries unformed. I have a special organic chemical “brew” that I use to fill the battery, then drain out, dry, then fill with acid, charge until 350% of the ampere-hours have gone in, to form the battery. After that it is ready for the car. The reason for the “brew” is that it reduces the self discharge to just about zero. If left disconnected, she will start the car after standing 2 years.

On November 15, 2011 at 8:37am
matej wrote:

Thanks John, as I said the battery has been sitting at 13,9V DC with 12kHz 10A inductive pulses for more than 2 weeks. The question remains, are these pulses adequate, or what frequency / amplitude can you recommend?
That zero-self-discharge “brew” would definitely be something veteranists would love! If you could only disclose some details ..
There are batteries that are sold dry-charged, without electrolyte, maybe that is what would suit your needs.
I also charge ordinary alkaline cells sometimes, with 1,6V 200mA and have the same experience as you. Some work, some don’t. I also found out that Energizer Lithium cannot be recharged.

On November 15, 2011 at 2:28pm
John Fetter wrote:

@ matej > The charging instructions for VRLA assume the user will never open the cells to replenish the water. Your willingness to open the cells to add water changes the rules. I would give the battery 100mA constant current and let the voltage go as high as it likes. I use an ordinary electronic regulated power supply to do this kind of thing, not a battery charger. If you have not got, try putting two 12V charger outputs in series, plus a small filament lamp also in series to limit the current, and charge with that. Select the wattage of the lamp to adjust the current. Combinations of lamps in series/parallel to adjust current. The current is not critical. You need to let the battery “find” its proper top-of-charge potential at which it is gassing freely. After that add water and reclose.

The “brew” would definitely work for dry charged batteries. It is dangerous to use. It consists of a blend of organic molecules having a molecular weight of around 700, which are dissolved in boiling acetone, giving a concentration of less than 1%. Poured boiling into one cell at a time, then immediately poured out again. This leaves a coating of the organics on every component inside the cells. Only the negatives need it. The rest is wasted but there is no other way to do this. The organics are insoluble in battery acid. However, they do diffuse at nanoscale, just enough to do what needs to be done to create a selective ion barrier over the negatives that stops impurities reaching the negatives and thereby causing gassing. The idea is based on a “party trick” which can be seen on www.battery-plus.net - if you’re interested.

On November 17, 2011 at 10:55am
Hilary Watson wrote:

I replaced one bad battery in a group of older batteries connected in series and the charge life was cut in half.  Is the problem that the older batteries are not being brought up to capacity and if so can I do anything short of replacing the older batteries.

On November 20, 2011 at 11:14am
Karen DuBois wrote:

I’m having a similar problem.

On November 20, 2011 at 11:21am
Hilary Watson wrote:

I am receiving email notifications to my question.  However, for some reason the comments are not showing up on my computer.  Please send responses to slim5@centurytel.net.  Thanks!

On November 21, 2011 at 1:41am
zlop wrote:

Using 60 cycle reverse pulse —light bulbs with diodes
300 watt — and 100 watt reverse — directly from 110 volt AC
took a couple of weeks, but did work
(anyone try something similar—perhaps high frequency riding on top
CB transmitter or output of broken compact fluorescent ?))

On November 23, 2011 at 1:35am
glamoxy wrote:

A big thumps up for your site .The information you provided is very beneficial and it could not even better .You did a good job By posting this article here , Thanks !!!

On November 24, 2011 at 2:32am
Virendra Anand wrote:

How I Reduce the water loss in my lead acid battery

On November 24, 2011 at 3:39am
John Fetter wrote:

Virendra

You can reduce water loss by making sure the charging voltage does not go too high and by pressurizing the cells of the battery.

If you can explain what kind of battery, (automobile, solar, standby or motive power) and/or what kind of duty, I can give you specific details.

On November 29, 2011 at 4:37am
MADHU T M wrote:

STILL IN MANY AUTOMOBILES WE ARE USING LEAD ACID BATTERIES. CAN WE REPLACE THIS WITH LITHIUM-ION BATTERY?

On November 29, 2011 at 7:12am
John Fetter wrote:

Madhu

Li-ion makes sense only where minimum weight is critically important. Lead-acid SLI costs roughly one tenth the price and seems to last twice as long as Li-ion. Volume/weight difference, in terms of SLI, is irrelevant in an automobile.

Unlike semi-conductors, the real cost of Li-ion will not fall significantly over time.

On November 30, 2011 at 8:22am
Martin wrote:

On November 5, 2011 at 8:06am
Nehmo wrote:
@Kyle Bailey
You are asking if one of those scam De-Sulfation systems work, You buy junk from them to start a business rejuvenating lead-acid batteries. There is no scientific evidence such systems work. There are plenty of people who *say* they work, but they can’t cite real evidence.
The author of this piece talks about “reversible or soft sulfation”. Apparently, he means a battery that is slightly discharged. A truly dead lead-acid battery cannot be returned to life by applying a voltage higher than normal. 
Batt Recon is one such snake oil company. But identifying the name of the company does no good because, the guy will simply change the name.
`~-  Nehmo

They are not not all a scam and junk!...........

http://www.puls-r.com/assets/images/Puls-R_Mira_Leaflet_LR.pdf

Independant testing by MIRA (Motor Industry Reaserch Association).  Show that it does work.

Martin

On November 30, 2011 at 9:20am
Matej wrote:

@Martin - agree!

@Nemho - It is true that “A truly dead lead-acid battery cannot be returned to life by applying a voltage higher than normal.” However, the question is - what battery is considered “truly dead”. And to be precise, desulfation is not about applying “voltage higher than normal” but by applying it for short periods of time, repeatedly.
12V battery that stays above 12V for days after charging, has not been used very heavily (plates not worn out), is not very old but has little capacity would be considered “dead” by many. But such battery is the prime candidate for desulfation with promising results. If you would give me such a battery and I will restore its capacity by pulsing - will that be good enough evidence for you?
Of course, there are people who sell junk, but that is in every kind of industry. Desulfation by pulsing definitely works, I personally desulfated many batteries that had little capacity and could not be returned to function by charging.
If you say there is no scientific evidence they work, well - I ask who is gonna prove it scientifically? Battery makers surely aren’t the ones trying to make batteries last longer. Sadly, they rather want you to buy new battery instead.

And there are also many patents on desulfation, even 30 years old ones.

On November 30, 2011 at 9:40am
matej wrote:

@Martin - I agree.

@Nemho - It is true that “A truly dead lead-acid battery cannot be returned to life by applying a voltage higher than normal.” However, the question is - what battery is considered “truly dead”. And to be precise, desulfation is not about applying “voltage higher than normal” but by applying it for short periods of time, repeatedly.
12V battery that stays above 12V for days after charging, has not been used very heavily (plates not worn out), is not very old but has little capacity would be considered “dead” by many. But such battery is the prime candidate for desulfation with promising results. If you would give me such a battery and I will restore its capacity by pulsing - will that be good enough evidence for you?
Of course, there are people who sell junk, but that is in every kind of industry. Desulfation by pulsing definitely works, I personally desulfated many batteries that had little capacity and could not be returned to function by charging.
If you say there is no scientific evidence they work, well - I ask who is gonna prove it scientifically? Battery makers surely aren’t the ones trying to make batteries last longer. Sadly, they rather want you to buy new battery instead.

And there are also many patents on desulfation, even 30 years old ones.

On November 30, 2011 at 1:25pm
John Fetter wrote:

Here is some food for thought. The more patents there are on a given technology, the MORE problematic the technology. There are more than 70 US patents on pulse desulfation, under one guise or another. Each successive inventor describing the prior art as flawed.

Modern automobile batteries contain calcium alloy grids. This alloy is very problematic. A significant number of these batteries fail due to “open circuit”, also known as the antimony-free effect. The cause is an ultra-thin insulating layer that develops over time at the junction of the positive grid surfaces and the positive active material. The symptoms are almost indistinguishable from the popularized malady known as sulfation.

Calcium alloy grids were introduced into the mass automobile battery market not long before pulsing came onto the market.

What does the pulsing do? Does it desulfate, does it punch through this insulating layer or does it rely on strong imagination?

On November 30, 2011 at 2:22pm
matej wrote:

John .. well that is interesting. I have noticed there exist batteries with some Calcium addition, it is sometimes mentioned on the battery sticker. Your explanation of breaking down this insulating layer, and not sulfation sounds quite possible. In fact, the pulse regeneration is based on the fact that high frequencies can at least partially - energize (punch through) insulators regardless if the insulator is sulfation or calcium alloy layer, but DC can not travel thru insulators.
You mention automotive batteries. But there are great results with desulfation of stationary, traction, GEL, AGM ... lead acid batteries. Do you think they all involve this calcium alloy layer?
Also in many cases, when the case of battery is transparent or at least translucent, by pulsing the plate surface turns from white to dark grey or almost black. I assume the insluating layer you mention as between grid and active material, is not visible as it is “inside” the plates .. right?
I personally can send you photos of desulfated 12 12Ah (exact type is Yuasa 12V12A-4A-1) motorcycle battery, that was left discharged for almost 2 years in an unused motorcycle and had 4 cells shorted by hard sulfation (battery would not stay above 5V after charging). The battery is translucent. Slowly i have managed to turn the battery to a condition when it is usable again and the plates visible from the sides are dark, whereas they were white before pulsing started. What do you think of this?

On November 30, 2011 at 4:44pm
John Fetter wrote:

Hi Matej

ALLOY
All earlier lead-acid batteries were made with antimony alloy lead grids. Their perceived disadvantages: (1) Relatively high water consumption; (2) High price of antimony.

Calcium alloy was introduced to overcome disadvantages (1) and (2). However, calcium alloy has its own inherent disadvantages. That insulating layer is one of them.
Calcium alloy batteries also generally have shorter life expectancies than antimony alloy. From a battery manufacturer perspective this equates to an increase in replacement battery sales. 

SULFATION
The only way to demonstrate the efficacy of pulse treatment is to run properly controlled experiments. Cells for testing must be new prior to testing. Their ampere-hour capacity tested prior to being allowed to sulfate under controlled conditions.

Pulsing causes cells to be charged at the average value of the pulses. So it is necessary to cancel out the beneficial effect produced by this charging effect. The cells would need to be divided into two groups. One group receiving pulsing, the other group receiving dc charging at the average value of the pulsing.

The cells must be subjected simultaneously and for the same duration. At the end of the test their ampere-hours must be measured.

Discharged plates have a different color to fully charged plates. A white coating can form even on perfectly good plates.

Surely a battery can only be described as hard sulfated after the presence of “hard sulfation” is demonstrated by actual sampling and analysis?

On December 3, 2011 at 8:10am
Aubrey Barrow wrote:

Recently I had a battery die on me.  I too. k it to have it trickled charged BUT before I had it put on the charger, I asked the technician…what was this black crud on the battery caps ???

I have been in service station management from 1950 to 1972 and sold name brand batteries and never had seen this before. The technician told me it was a impure lead composition and that it ad oxidized [or sulphated ] .

The battery failed to take any charge. The technician tried over two consecutive days. NADA. I asked for the for a print out of the charging results.

I sent a copy of y purchase receipt, battery test and a few pointed questions to the MANUFACTURER and asked him WHY his “PRIVATE LABEL” battery made for a franchise…[1] failed 3 months before the 2 year warranty, and [2] WHY it would fail to take any charge ? I sent a PDF of a photo of he battery caps, purchase receipt, and battery test.

ALL of my questions were evaded. All they want to do is adjust the battery.

AT this point I no longer trust their manufacturing process or the lead they are using. I ow suspect they are using a “calcium alloy”...??? I came to his conclusion by reading what John Fetter wrote about “calcium alloys” ...On November 30, 2011 at 4:44pm.

If anyone has any input or suggestions, it would b appreciated. I am no longer in service station management, but still do the maintenance on my vehicles

On December 3, 2011 at 12:55pm
John Fetter wrote:

Aubrey

The battery manufacturing game has become so ultra competitive, local battery vendors are buying more and more from the low manufacturing cost countries in the world. There is nothing wrong with that, in principle, but it does open the door to manufacturers who cut corners and whose products end up in our cars without us even being aware of it.

The brand labels are often put onto the batteries by the local battery vendors. You have no idea after that where it was made. There is nothing that is made today that someone, somewhere is not able to make at an even lower price. In the case of batteries - fewer plates, inferior raw materials, poor manufacturing. Try weighing the battery. If it is underweight, you have confirmation.

On December 7, 2011 at 4:53am
Gaurav wrote:

Are there any special additives to be added to the active material (lead oxide) while manufacturing SMF AGM Batteries.

And what is a Gel Battery. How is this Gel and the electrodes of gel batteries made?

On December 8, 2011 at 1:04am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

I wouldl like to know how to make the ion additive- boiling acetone?-don’t seem right to me- & molecular weight 700- eh? what are you referring to?please come clean here! thank you. John Fetter.

On December 8, 2011 at 3:12am
John Fetter wrote:

Hi Bevan
You can make an impure version from beeswax. Your local beekeepers can probably sell you some raw bluegum (brown) beeswax, however, you should go for raw citrus (yellow), because that reacts to form the required substance.
You also need sodium hydroxide, sodium bisulfite and sulfuric acid.
Boil the wax in roughly 10% solution of sodium hydroxide. turning it into soap. Allow to cool. You want to collect the hugely expanded volume that floats, discard the liquid part containing all the impurities. You’ll probably need a strainer.
Make up an approximately 2% solution of sodium bisulfite and bring to the boil. Slowly add the “soap”, wait until “soap” has melted, stir, then add ordinary sulfuric battery acid, milliliter by milliliter, SLOWLY, stirring, until the pungent smell of sulfur dioxide stops. You cannot do this inside - the sulfur dioxide that is given off is obnoxious.
Allow to cool.  The modified wax will form a hard block on the surface. This is what you use to treat the batteries, per suggestion, Nov 15, 2011.
There will not be very much of the required ingredient in this modified wax but it will work. The “wise guys” out there will imply that wax is the real ingredient. The wax gets blown off the plates when the battery is put on charge. The active ingredient does not.
As to what the stuff is - all I can say is that I prefer to use the Coca Cola philosophy.
I have given this material to numerous battery manufacturers all over the world for testing. Some of them continued testing the batteries to destruction. When they found the treated batteries lasted longer than the plain ones, disappointingly, they lost interest..

On December 9, 2011 at 2:06pm
Guillaume wrote:

Any ideas about how the battery will react to a very low charge rate.

Say a 16AH 12 V charged at a constant current rate of 150mA.

I quickly estimated a 5-6 days recharge time. This seems a lot. Note that I am using the battery in a float mode. Could a charge rate that low cause problems to my battery ?

On December 9, 2011 at 2:40pm
John Fetter wrote:

Hi Guillaume
Your proposal will probably result in the battery being given the best possible quality charging. Slow charging is always much better for the battery than fast charging. You should not continue at 150mA beyond 6 days, rather limit the charge voltage to 13.5V. You can leave it at that (float) voltage indefinitely.

On December 11, 2011 at 11:37pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Thanks for info John- will try. I endorse my home made desulphator- it has rescued many batts wla vrlsa gel which would not charge at any settings- @ a short period on desulphator- recharged as new. Uses a 555 into a mos-n-fet into 2 large inductors, a smallchoke, a large diode- & a diode at pos term to read pulse level- I have seen 350v- when falls to 15v or so- put on charge- works on 12v & 6v batts. One would assume that world wide batt manus were not interested in making longer life batts!. Just bought 2 new wla batts from local retailer- both brand new- 270 CCA- $59eaA- both needed charging at 14v using my modified ATX 300W charger for 12 hrs to reach full charge! To my knowledge, as older days, fully charge batt then empty electrolyte out- thus batt becomes dry-charged & thus able to be stored without deterioation for long periods. A flat wla batt has all acid in plates- a full charge wla has all acid in electrolyte. Cheers.

On December 12, 2011 at 1:08am
John Fetter wrote:

Hi Bevan
Here is some food for thought. It is fairly general. In the early 1980s industrial motive power battery users began demanding single point battery watering equipment, (battery watering caps). The battery industry went ahead - designed and manufactured. Their caps were a 100% across-the-board disaster. They did not have clue what they were doing. They never got them right. Specialists running small businesses designed and went into manufacturing - and were successful.
Battery pulsing units are auxiliary in the same way. Battery people could not get their heads around watering caps. Similarly, they cannot get their heads around pulsing technology.
There were never many battery watering cap makers due to the staggering high business entry cost of plastics injection molding tooling. Electronic pulsing units can be made at next to zero business entry cost. Hence it attracts thousands of eager beaver pulse equipment makers world wide.
I gauge the effectiveness, or otherwise of pulsing, not by technical efficacy but by by the size of the pulse equipment-making population world wide. It is huge. therefore pulsing works, (although I am of the opinion desulfation plays only a minor part, see my comments Nov 30).
From a purely business point of view, however, so what. There appear to be more and more pulse equipment makers chasing after a finite number of comparatively stingy customers. Profits are bound to stay tight. (Anything you can do well, someone else in a low labor cost country will inevitably also do.)
I am sure your circuit works. But surely what one needs is not technical but technical-plus-business exclusivity?
A combination of novel technology plus exclusive local applications know-how.

On December 12, 2011 at 6:36am
guillaume wrote:

@John

Thanks for your reply. Just finish my charge test through the weekend. The total charging time is 5days and 1hour.

Unfortunately, I can’t control the charger voltage, my application is working with a constant-current charger.

I spoke with a representant from the manufacturer of the battery and here’s what came out : Constant-voltage charger is the way to go with lead-acid battery (I need to work with a constant-current charger). The minimum recommended current for a float charge is 10% of C10. That is 160 mA for my 16AH battery (C10 = 1.6A) This lower limit is for constant voltage charger.

Constant-current charger are to be used indoor only. Don’t really know why but I assume that the higher internal battery resistance at low temperature may increase the losses in the battery (P=R*I^2) and those losses might damage the battery ?

The float current recommended is 16-32 mA (my charger works with 8mA). According to the manufacturer, a “8mA charge current will most likely undercharge the battery, particularly at cold temperatures. Over time this will cause internal sulfation to build up and ultimately cause premature battery failure.”

On December 12, 2011 at 6:53am
John Fetter wrote:

Hi Guillaume

If you try floating lead-acid at constant current you are asking for trouble. You can minimize long term problems by charging at constant current fractionally above the 32mA that was recommended.

On December 12, 2011 at 8:36am
Chris, wrote:

Yes Iam Very new to the Battery repair area, I was wondering it you had a Free trainning DVD on Forklift battery repaair and Amps, voltage, ect.. That you could send me? Also I want a T shirt from Battery U,  LOL just joking. thank you.

On December 12, 2011 at 12:17pm
Guillaume wrote:

@John

The thing is that I don’t have the option on the charger current levels. It’s a 150 mA charge-rate until the battery reaches 90% then it switches to a 8 mA charge-rate.

This charge is controlled by a protection relay and a modification of either charge-rate implies a firmware update. And that is if the 150 mA is not the upper limit of the actual charger. I think I have no choice but to redesign the system.

On December 13, 2011 at 2:01am
John Fetter wrote:

Hi Guillaume
If you can, at all, manage it, you should aim for 150mA constant current until the battery reaches 14.4V. As soon as the battery reaches 14.4V, switch to constant voltage 13.5V. The battery can be discharged as and when required. Avoid going under 10.5V. Recharge soonest after discharge. Battery life expectancy - probably 10 years.
GENERAL COMMENT
Battery manufacturers affix barest minimum notification to batteries. All they do is put on is stuff that scares people - “Acid burns. Batteries explode”.No wonder people have such a low opinion of batteries.  Why no operating instructions? Why do they not address the No 1 problem? It would save billions of dollars every year and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of lead-acid batteries if a little note is put in a prominent place: “We recommend keeping this battery charged at all times. Batteries are best recharged as soon as possible after use. This precaution can help to avoid premature battery failure. Fewer battery replacements - lower carbon emissions.” Good PR sells, grumpiness does not.

On December 13, 2011 at 12:32pm
Guillaume wrote:

@John

Thanks for your input. This one really helps. I’ll try to figure if it is possible to switch to constant-voltage 13.5V at 14.4V. Unfortunately, I can’t program the battery charger firmware but I can still ask for it.

On December 15, 2011 at 10:45am
Aubrey Barrow wrote:

Jeff,

I HAVE A BATTERY THAT DIED…and could not be revived !!!

I have emailed the battery manufacturer and his franchisee over this non-performing battery rated at 24 months, that suddenly died on the 21st month. It would not take a trickle charge even over a two day period.

I did receive emails both from the manufacturer and franchise operator requesting I bring in the battery with the receipt for an adjustment. Which I did.

IN THE PROCESS of waiting to write a response of the test performed by the franchise operator…

I RECEIVED an import/export alert for a SUPPLY of Lead acid drained battery scraps :

SO I put on my thinking cap and searched for a surplus metals recycler to email:

I WROTE…

When you recycle batteries are there various qualities of lead.

When you melt it down to recycle to re-sell please explain…

[1] do you segregate the brands by their quality of lead

[2] if not, how many times do you smelt it to remove the dross

[3] when you have a finished product, do you have an assay too of that particular batch available for the buyer

[4] I assume you have battery manufacturing companies purchase your product…so do you sell various grades of lead/alloy compositions

Thanks for your help.

NEXT…I did more research and found this site and article…

LEAD-ACID BATTERY HAZARDS written by Robert L. Taylor President of Morning Star Industries, Incorporated Power Systems Solutions Division.

WEB PAGE:  http://sabahkini.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6525:lead-acid-battery-hazards&catid=42:rencana&Itemid=57

I found these two paragraphs quite interesting..

“...the cells that have not failed dissipate their energy into the failed cells.”

WHEN I TOOK THE BATTERY IN TO THE TECHNICIAN TO INSPECT…this is what transpired…

[1]  When I arrived I told the technician, I have a battery that failed under warranty and went completely DEAD and I want to find out why it cannot be charged

[2] He asked me to put it up on the wood workbench to be tested…and I was surprised it was still holding a 12 volt charge, although it would make no connection with the starter solenoid to turn over the engine. It could not be jump-started with battery cables either.

[3] Next he started taking off the battery caps. I asked him about the black oxidized substance on the bottom of the caps and that I had sent a photo to the manufacturer. BOTH OF THEM HAD IGNORED THE COMMENT…“about the black residue” and made no comment as to why it is there..

[4] THEN I was amazed that he took a flash light to shine in each cell.  He stated, “YOU HAVE A DEAD CELL. SEE THAT PIECE OF LEAD FLOATING IN THIS CELL ?...,[i.e. the negative post cell]...THIS IS A BAD/DEFECTIVE BATTERY.”

[5] We then went in and I showed him my receipt. He computed how much it would cost me to purchase a new battery. Saying, “XYZ Company supplies us with their batteries and they make thousands of batteries and ever so often a bad/defective battery ends up being sold.”

[6] In a previous email the franchise operator said, “YOU KNEW YOUR 24 MONTH BATTERY ONLY HAD A SIX MONTH FREE REPLACEMENT WARRANTY !” I wondered why he said that, but later sensed they knew it would not last the 24 months. On their website it stated that previously they were involved with reconditioning batteries. Made sense now. I kind of feel they have a lot of returns of faulty batteries, so they can increase the bottom line ??? [no proof]

[7] The technician told me that a new battery would cost me about 39.82 % of the original price ! I said thank you, took my battery and left their premises.

AT THE PRESENT TIME…I am writing the manufacturer to see what he has to say about the seven [7] statements of facts above.

I am of the opinion that I may be filing a report with the…

[1] BBB
[2] Consumer Reports Magazine
[3] State of Kentucky Department Of Consumer Affairs
[4] State of Georgia Department Of Consumer Affairs
[5] State of Florida Department Of Consumer Affairs

I’m spending a lot of time and energy which I feel is unnecessary.

I have a mechanic I use to do repairs when I don’t have the specific tools or the part is in such an area I cannot reach . This mechanic has had a similar story with the same manufacturer. While at his shop the other day, he asked another mechanic that purchases supplies for his own business. He was more demonstrative with his dissatisfaction of that manufacturer’s batteries.

SO I hope the article by Robert Taylor is of some help to others who have been short-circuited by shoddy workmanship and poor quality materials…with warranties based
knowingly on using inferior materials in their business practices to increase their bottom line.

Some of us remember ZENITH TV and their slogan, “The Quality Goes In Before The Name Goes On”...and I made a notation of this slogan in my first email to the manufacturer….and he made no comment or acknowledgment. Hmmmm !!!

Regards,

Aubrey Barrow..

On December 15, 2011 at 10:52am
Aubrey Barrow wrote:

Jeff,

I HAVE A BATTERY THAT DIED…and could not be revived !!!

I have emailed the battery manufacturer and his franchisee over this non-performing battery rated at 24 months, that suddenly died on the 21st month. It would not take a trickle charge even over a two day period.

I did receive emails both from the manufacturer and franchise operator requesting I bring in the battery with the receipt for an adjustment. Which I did.

IN THE PROCESS of waiting to write a response of the test performed by the franchise operator…

I RECEIVED an import/export alert for a SUPPLY of Lead acid drained battery scraps :

SO I put on my thinking cap and searched for a surplus metals recycler to email:

I WROTE…

When you recycle batteries are there various qualities of lead.

When you melt it down to recycle to re-sell please explain…

[1] do you segregate the brands by their quality of lead

[2] if not, how many times do you smelt it to remove the dross

[3] when you have a finished product, do you have an assay too of that particular batch available for the buyer

[4] I assume you have battery manufacturing companies purchase your product…so do you sell various grades of lead/alloy compositions

Thanks for your help.

NEXT…I did more research and found this site and article…

LEAD-ACID BATTERY HAZARDS written by Robert L. Taylor President of Morning Star Industries, Incorporated Power Systems Solutions Division.

WEB PAGE:  http://sabahkini.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6525:lead-acid-battery-hazards&catid=42:rencana&Itemid=57

I found these two paragraphs quite interesting..

“...the cells that have not failed dissipate their energy into the failed cells.”

WHEN I TOOK THE BATTERY IN TO THE TECHNICIAN TO INSPECT…this is what transpired…

[1]  When I arrived I told the technician, I have a battery that failed under warranty and went completely DEAD and I want to find out why it cannot be charged

[2] He asked me to put it up on the wood workbench to be tested…and I was surprised it was still holding a 12 volt charge, although it would make no connection with the starter solenoid to turn over the engine. It could not be jump-started with battery cables either.

[3] Next he started taking off the battery caps. I asked him about the black oxidized substance on the bottom of the caps and that I had sent a photo to the manufacturer. BOTH OF THEM HAD IGNORED THE COMMENT…“about the black residue” and made no comment as to why it is there..

[4] THEN I was amazed that he took a flash light to shine in each cell.  He stated, “YOU HAVE A DEAD CELL. SEE THAT PIECE OF LEAD FLOATING IN THIS CELL ?...,[i.e. the negative post cell]...THIS IS A BAD/DEFECTIVE BATTERY.”

[5] We then went in and I showed him my receipt. He computed how much it would cost me to purchase a new battery. Saying, “XYZ Company supplies us with their batteries and they make thousands of batteries and ever so often a bad/defective battery ends up being sold.”

[6] In a previous email the franchise operator said, “YOU KNEW YOUR 24 MONTH BATTERY ONLY HAD A SIX MONTH FREE REPLACEMENT WARRANTY !” I wondered why he said that, but later sensed they knew it would not last the 24 months. On their website it stated that previously they were involved with reconditioning batteries. Made sense now. I kind of feel they have a lot of returns of faulty batteries, so they can increase the bottom line ??? [no proof]

[7] The technician told me that a new battery would cost me about 39.82 % of the original price ! I said thank you, took my battery and left their premises.

AT THE PRESENT TIME…I am writing the manufacturer to see what he has to say about the seven [7] statements of facts above.

I am of the opinion that I may be filing a report with the…

[1] BBB
[2] Consumer Reports Magazine
[3] State of Kentucky Department Of Consumer Affairs
[4] State of Georgia Department Of Consumer Affairs
[5] State of Florida Department Of Consumer Affairs

I’m spending a lot of time and energy which I feel is unnecessary.

I have a mechanic I use to do repairs when I don’t have the specific tools or the part is in such an area I cannot reach . This mechanic has had a similar story with the same manufacturer. While at his shop the other day, he asked another mechanic that purchases supplies for his own business. He was more demonstrative with his dissatisfaction of that manufacturer’s batteries.

SO I hope the article by Robert Taylor is of some help to others who have been short-circuited by shoddy workmanship and poor quality materials…with warranties based
knowingly on using inferior materials in their business practices to increase their bottom line.

Some of us remember ZENITH TV and their slogan, “The Quality Goes In Before The Name Goes On”...and I made a notation of this slogan in my first email to the manufacturer….and he made no comment or acknowledgment. Hmmmm !!!

Regards,

Aubrey Barrow..

On December 16, 2011 at 9:10am
Aubrey Barrow wrote:

I sent a more detailed email of the above [complaint] to the franchisee and the manufacturer of the batteries they sell.. I especially made a note about their technician showing me the LEAD FLOATING in the dead cell.. and .highlighted this point.

So far I have received no reply, They have usually responded within 24 hours or less.

SO doing more research this morning I found this web site…

http://www.bsiopportunity.com/docs/BSI GUIDE2.pdf

I hope it proves to be valuable information to those of you involved with batteries in any capacity.

Regards,

Aubrey Barrow

On December 16, 2011 at 4:00pm
John Fetter wrote:

Aubrey

Lead has a specific gravity of 11.341. Battery acid has a specific gravity of about 1.25. Are you telling us you actually saw LEAD FLOATING IN BATTERY ACID?

On December 17, 2011 at 5:42am
Aubrey Barrow wrote:

NO…I did not see it [i.e. the lead] floating Their own technician told me that…and they have not yet refuted it !!

BUT I intend to have whatever is floating analyzed at the Department of Agriculture Testing Lab or someone other chemical lab. Because I do not think the technician, the franchise or the manufacturer have been “straight up” with me. I’m thinking they are using a very poor quality of contaminated lead alloy from overseas ???

The battery manufacturer has previously been in the battery reconditioning business and the franchise has been in the battery business sine 1959. My email to all concerned was sent at 3:02 PM 14 Dec 2011.

As of today 17 Dec 2011 at 7:35 AM EST ,  neither the manufacturer nor the franchise have made any attempt to resolve or address my complaint/issue with their product.

I am supposing they just want [perhaps] to sell me another battery and [perhaps ] recondition my core and resell it.

What can I say !, BUT the days of operating your business by your spoken word and a handshake to seal the deals over ! When I was growing up in my dad’s service station from 1950 to 1976…that is how we wished to operate our business. For me that has not changed and in my 30 years of paint contracting and carpentry repairs…you can find my name, signature and date of my work !!!

So I will continue to be about My Father’s Business !

Go figure ???

On January 2, 2012 at 6:00am
John Fetter wrote:

I thought this was a battery forum. Either the lines are crossed or people just want to blow off.

On January 18, 2012 at 9:18am
Ian wrote:

I came across this useful site as I have one of those portable charge units for vehicles with a carry strap etc, got it out of the garage and found it now wont take a charge, there should be a large warning sign printed on the front of these units, saying that they should be trickle charged every couple of weeks, the same goes for some torches (flash lights US) some also have lead acid batteries, how many of those are binned due to not being charged on a regular basis,  so much for us all trying to live in a greener society!

On January 18, 2012 at 9:40am
Ian wrote:

One point I forgot, no doubt known by everybody, but just in case… I well remember my friend taking the charge leads off of a battery he was charging without switching the charge unit off, the spark ignited the gas coming from the charging cells and blew up the battery, lucky for him he never got hit, but its a lesson learned, switch off the charger before removing the charge leads!

On January 18, 2012 at 11:45pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Ian- this is basic stuff that everyone knows-(or should!) Often one can save a batt by zapping it with hi-voltage pulses which removes sulphation. Sla batts are used in these port batt/start boosters- I remove batt , attach short wide copper leads & clamps- starts far better- plus batt is available to recharge with proper method!

On January 19, 2012 at 12:34am
John Fetter wrote:

Very high magnification (600 to 2000) shows that lead sulfate crystals and lead metal crystals actually grow in completely different areas across the surfaces of negative plates - lead dioxide crystals and lead sulfate crystals likewise grow in different areas on the positive plates.

When a battery is in the process of being discharged, at the negative electrodes, the surface atoms of the lead metal crystals go into solution, then travel almost in contact with the surface towards the lead sulfate areas, get converted into lead sulfate upon arrival and precipitate out, adding to the lead sulfate crystals. The activity at the positives is similar.

When batteries are left discharged for a long time, the sulfate crystals simply take over and dominate. Is there anyone who can PROVE that pulsing can reduce these lead sulfate crystals and regrow the lead metal crystals, making the battery serviceable again, without resorting to pseudo-science and techno-babble?

On January 19, 2012 at 6:50am
Ian wrote:

Thanks for info Bevan, I do however take issue with the comment ‘what everyone should know’  I came to this site because I did not know, surely that’s what this site is all about, imparting information to those that perhaps, as you put it, not yet passed the ‘basic stuff’ in the battery knowledge threshold as yet!
Anyway it gave Mr Fetter a chance to question the fundamentals of the ‘basic stuff’ that I seem to lack!
All very interesting..

On January 20, 2012 at 11:33pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John-John_John!- What can we do with a person like you who demands PROOF of everything! Science don,t work that way my friend- in science what works works &a scientist then provides a theory of what worked(or seemed to) at the particular experiment- peer reviewed then supports or rejects . I have obtained some lovely yellow beeswax & will try your selective ion screening. As to proof of if high voltage zapping of a gel, vrlsa, sla, wla, works- well I am not a liar- my unit definitely works on all these types- but you will not believe till you do it your self! If you want the circuit I will provide. Cheers- Bevan.

On January 23, 2012 at 6:17am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan

If pulsing is as good at getting rid of sulfation as you appear to suggest, it should be easy for one of the numerous pulsing proponents to show not that it works but how it works. I am not suggesting pulsing is not capable of reviving batteries. It is just that I do not buy the sulfation cure story as it has been told

There are over 70 pulse patents of one kind or another on file at the USPTO. Each successive patent specification claiming the previous technologies are flawed. The last one filed inevitably receiving it comeuppance a few weeks later. Translation: They are all guessing.

On January 23, 2012 at 3:15pm
matej wrote:

John, even though me and some others are convinced, by our own experience, that pulsing works to remove sulfation and use it to save batteries, we are not neccesarily scientists. Based on what do you assume that it ‘should be easy’ to show how it works ?! I may THINK how it works, but it is basically not important for me. There is so many things that work in nature but we not know how yet, or we only think we know.
If you are so curious, why don’t you do your own experiments? I do not have a 1000x microscope and a lab handy to show you the plates prior to and after sulfation, or whatever you require.

The fact that there is so many patents about pulse desulfation, does not neccesarily mean the technology is flawed. Maybe they all but the first one just “want a patent too” so they describe the prior art as flawed, USPTO dont require any proof right?
Yes they may be all guessing how it works, but what is important is that it WORKS.

On January 23, 2012 at 5:17pm
John Fetter wrote:

There may be quite a few people who have been wondering about pulse treatment products and now they know.

On January 23, 2012 at 11:17pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

I agree with matej- sure there are different ways of using pulsing- just as there are different ways of doing just about anything! All I need to know is IT WORKS!!!! & that it will rescue a battery that is useless to one with further life!!! The consensus of opinion is that pulsing reverses sulphation- I will go along with that. John is the odd man out here- looking for 100% confirmation of whatever at the atom & molecular level- well I just don"tcare about that level! It is ALL theory anyway!!! Cheers-Bevan.

On January 24, 2012 at 2:27am
John Fetter wrote:

I think there are fractionally under 60 billion dollars worth of automotive type batteries in use world-wide. Increasing their useful service life by just 1% would be worth $600 million. The pulse merchants are getting nowhere near this number in their businesses. It seems there are thousands just scratching around. Imagine how much money they stand to make if they take the trouble to figure it all out and get properly organized.

From a technical perspective, lead-sulfate requires energy for conversion back into normal active plate material. This energy has to be supplied by the pulsing device. It seems that what is being suggested by pulsing proponents is that they do not know and do not care enough to test their products.

It should be easy to run one group of to-be-reclaimed batteries on pure DC charging, a second on pure pulsing, a third on combined. The numbers need to be big enough to make the results statistically reliable. Can be part of everyday business. Just needs reliable recording. No special science, just ordinary electrician work.

There seems to be something at work that is holding back the pulsing proponents and preventing them from moving from a cottage industry into mainstream business.

 

 

 

On January 25, 2012 at 12:24am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- the energy needed to power my desulphator or if you like battery zapper COMES FROM THE BATTERY ITSELF!!! As to business- I am 66, retired & just don’t care about filthy lucre!!! ALL THAT MATTERS in each of our lives is good health & enjoying our existence in whatever way that satisfies us, without harming others & the environement..Cheers- Bevan.

On January 25, 2012 at 1:28am
matej wrote:

Bevan, mine too grin However of course no desulphator is perpetuum mobile, and the energy it dissipates needs to be replaced to the battery. Usually I just connect a 13,7V PSU and put a ferrite filter on one lead to prevent pulses from travelling to charger. And program the pulser to kick in at 13,1V, to turn off 12,9V.
I am 40 years younger than you Bevan grin Btw, what pulsing peak amplitudes and frequency are you achieving with your pulsers? Mine are about 6kHz 30-50A peak .. does most batteries <100A in less than a week.

On January 25, 2012 at 5:14am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan,

I agree with your sentiments but not with your science. 

Evolution made it fundamental to human nature always to find the easiest way to perform a given task. This worked very well until people’s pursuits began to damage the environment. Today, only the people who have done science experiments at some stage earlier in their lives seem capable of understanding the effects of careless industrial growth.

I am interested in extending battery life. I have researched the subject in great detail. I believe in being practical and in being businesslike. My background is electronics. I have a reasonable understanding of electrochemistry.

I have had contact with the battery industry for 30 years. Curiously, the industry seems to comprise mostly accounting-types in charge, salesmen and factory workers - with engineers down in the basements. The national standards for batteries are worked out by committees consisting of representatives from the industry itself. Two out of every three batteries sold are replacement batteries. Batteries have become grudge buys, are sold at the lowest price and are now mere commodities.

Sulfation occurs when batteries are persistently undercharged. Desulfation merchants find this a hard sell, so they invent reasons that sound better. To reverse sulfation, you need energy. The battery needs much more energy to reverse sulfation built up over time, than what it requires for a normal charge. Anything on the market that does not fulfill this requirement is bogus.

Preventing sulfation in healthy batteries is simple. No need to use pulsing. Simply keep them on a mild, direct current trickle charge. If one uses a pulser, the energy contained in the pulses does the charging. Batteries are not all that fussy and will accept what they are given. The downside of pulsing is that it gives the positive grids exposure to a persistent overpotential, which causes the grids to corrode away and the active material to fall out.

If one wants to measure the efficacy of a technology, there is no technical know-how involved. Just plain commonsense. There are thousands of pulse device constructors world-wide. If they outsell ordinary chargers and sales not only keep growing but have accelerated something like a hundredfold by ten years, they work. From what I can make out, pulse chargers have added no more than “marketing sizzle” to plain chargers, hence persuaded people to invest in chargers where previously they had not and improved sales at best respectably but nowhere near enough.

Pulsers appear to be useful in treating a condition known in the trade as “open circuit”, suffered by calcium-calcium alloy batteries, caused by a layer of insulating oxide that forms on the positive grid surfaces.

If you want to more than double the service life of today’s lead-acid battery, you need to have the battery at full charge roughly once a week and use something that counters positive grid corrosion.

On January 25, 2012 at 2:48pm
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan,

I agree with your sentiments but not with your science. 

Evolution made it fundamental to human nature always to find the easiest way to perform a given task. This worked very well until people’s pursuits began to damage the environment. Today, only the people who have done science experiments at some stage earlier in their lives seem capable of understanding the effects of careless industrial growth.

I am interested in extending battery life. I have researched the subject in great detail. I believe in being practical and in being businesslike. My background is electronics. I have a reasonable understanding of electrochemistry.

I have had contact with the battery industry for 30 years. Curiously, the industry seems to comprise mostly accounting-types in charge, salesmen and factory workers - with engineers down in the basements. The national standards for batteries are worked out by committees consisting of representatives from the industry itself. Two out of every three batteries sold are replacement batteries. Batteries have become grudge buys, are sold at the lowest price and are now mere commodities.

Sulfation occurs when batteries are persistently undercharged. Desulfation merchants find this a hard sell, so they invent reasons that sound better. To reverse sulfation, you need energy. The battery needs much more energy to reverse sulfation built up over time, than what it requires for a normal charge. Anything on the market that does not fulfill this requirement is bogus.

Preventing sulfation in healthy batteries is simple. No need to use pulsing. Simply keep them on a mild, direct current trickle charge. If one uses a pulser, the energy contained in the pulses does the charging. Batteries are not all that fussy and will accept what they are given. The downside of pulsing is that it gives the positive grids exposure to a persistent overpotential, which causes the grids to corrode away and the active material to fall out.

If one wants to measure the efficacy of a technology, there is no technical know-how involved. Just plain commonsense. There are thousands of pulse device constructors world-wide. If they outsell ordinary chargers and sales not only keep growing but have accelerated something like a hundredfold by ten years, they work. From what I can make out, pulse chargers have added no more than “marketing sizzle” to plain chargers, hence persuaded people to invest in chargers where previously they had not and improved sales at best respectably but nowhere near enough.

Pulsers appear to be useful in treating a condition known in the trade as “open circuit”, suffered by calcium-calcium alloy batteries, caused by a layer of insulating oxide that forms on the positive grid surfaces.

If you want to more than double the service life of today’s lead-acid battery, you need to have the battery at full charge roughly once a week and use something that counters positive grid corrosion.

On January 25, 2012 at 11:26pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Matej- your pulser uses WAY TOO much current! Also time!! My pulser is powered by batt itself-uses next to no current- & usually desulpates in from 1hr to several hrs depending of course on state of sulphation. The principle is pulses to dissolve sulphation- can hear running on am radio- so pulses are around 880khz. And NO John- the pulses are not chrging the batt!. As to pulsing only removing the calcium film-RIDICulous statement! I have used on gel, vrla,wla,sla, agm, etc- & also some that stated they were calcium hybrids! AND in most cases- the calcium hybrids DID NOT rejuvenate!!! Cheers-Bevan.

On January 26, 2012 at 12:57am
John Fetter wrote:

Gentlemen,

I am not criticizing your circuits. There is a huge market for battery life extending technology. Success in the market place is the litmus test of all technologies. Pulsing has done little more than add some sizzle to the ordinary battery charger market. The consumer is very particular and if a technology does not take off within ten years, it is flawed in some way.

On January 26, 2012 at 4:37am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan, I received your comments about your pulsing system, although they are not up on this page - you say your battery powers the pulser, which in turn feeds back into the battery. In plain English, you are discharging the battery - i.e. increasing the total amount of sulfation in the battery!

You go on to say this usually does not work on hybrid calcium. What you have described rather well is a system that is definitely not addressing sulfation but is a 100% perfect fit on an oxide layer that causes the condition known as"open circuit"in calcium positives. Takes very little total energy.

Calcium hybrids always have low antimony alloy positives and calcium negatives. When you pulse a hybrid battery, you are not addressing any oxide problem, because antimony is free from this defect, so the pulsing cannot be expected to work and indeed does not work.

On January 26, 2012 at 1:42pm
John Fetter wrote:

PAGE IS FULL. GO TO <Can batteries be restored?>

On January 27, 2012 at 11:42pm
TAYEBEH wrote:

hi,
would you please give me VRLA battery blowing up reasons I relay need to know
thanks

On January 31, 2012 at 2:36pm
John Fetter wrote:

Tayebeh - Overcharging.

On February 3, 2012 at 11:02am
G Grainger wrote:

I have a mobility scooter which needs two 24v-80ah batteries [which are on their way out]what would be the best batteries [sealed lead-or gel ]to buy,for power and reliability.  hope you can oblige thank you.

On February 7, 2012 at 10:40am
Terry M wrote:

I have a mobility scooter which is only two years old this coming September (2012)  I do not tell any lies when I say that the scooter has been used maybe 50 times and the maximum distance travelled on one or two of those times has been say three miles at most
I leave the battery charger plugged all of the time “trickle charging”  the other day when I was out on it (total journey distance no more than a mile and a half) I noticed that the battery level indicator had moved slightly which is normal but then I noticed that it had moved right over into the red, I was obviously fearful that my scooter would stop.  When I was almost home I noticed that the green light on my control dash had started to flash.  The weather at the time was very very cold and snowy, however my scooter is kept and charged indoors Could my batteries by on their way out.  Any advise would be gratefully accepted

On February 8, 2012 at 11:13pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Terry- much depends on your type of batt- & also the level of your “trickle charge”- it is a bad thing generally to leave ANY batt on permanent charge- overcharge can result. Any batt has a certain life- or number of charge/discharge cycles- maximised when the correct charge-care disciplines are enacted. Apart from that, any batt once put into service can only deteriate with age- just as we do!

On February 9, 2012 at 2:05am
John Fetter wrote:

G Grainger, Terry M: For roughly a century, flooded lead-acid batteries powering telephone exchanges kept permanently on trickle charge have been lasting 30 years. What this this demonstrates is that lead-acid technology has long life potential. Cycling inevitably stresses the batteries. Flooded batteries that have been properly designed for deep cycling will last five years. The reliability of sealed lead-acid has been shown by top battery using experts to be vastly inferior to flooded lead-acid.

If a sealed lead-acid battery is discharged as far as possible, it is damaged beyond repair. If a sealed lead-acid battery is overcharged as much as possible, it is damaged beyond repair. In contrast, a flooded battery will shrug off this kind of treatment.

Having to water batteries is actually less complicated than having to take all kinds of precautions in order to keep sealed lead-acid going.

(I have this theory. About thirty years ago they fired all the engineers and replaced them with accountants and advertising copywriters.)

On February 10, 2012 at 12:06am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John - the batts used in the past were better made with external posts between cells- Oz had own industry making them- now all batts are made by a worldwide group such as Yuasa- GS- century with branches in most countries. I seem to remember PMG batts as being 2v cells connected externally!. As to sla &vrla; being damaged by exteme conds- yes-BUT! they are recoverable! Recently had 2 sla at 2v- no charge- used zapper- recharged- 2 x- zap again - now holding full charge! The present vrla/sla batt is not like the older gel cell etc- these have a agm mat with electrolyte between plates- I cut 1 open- there was no sign of sulphation whatsoever- but crumbly pos connects!- leading to batt failure to output full voltage!- the majority of batts I have seen have the same failure mode- whether sla/vrla, wla, deep cycle etc.. So I stand by my assertions that modern batts have a certain life- one can maximise with correct treatment- & as far as I am concerned- constant charging is not conducive to max life- most batt engineers agree. Now, as to whether additive such as you add is beneficial- in theory it is- i have yet to try- still trying to get hold of from a chem co.

On February 10, 2012 at 1:50am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan

Batteries that have lead-calcium alloy positive grids, immobilized electrolyte, oxygen recombination, present serious problems that have never been satisfactorily addressed by the battery industry. Modern automobile, marine, sealed lead-acid, extra low and zero maintenance,  VRLA, etc. batteries belong to this group.

Flooded lead acid with lead-antimony alloy positive grids and lead-calcium alloy negative grids (a) work extremely well on float charge for 30 years, (b) provide five years minimum service life in deep cycling situations. Industrial batteries and some but not all golf-cart batteries belong to this group.

Thru-partition and radial grids were introduced by Globe Union, now Johnson Controls. They worked very well in the form of flooded automobile batteries. When lead-calcium positive alloys were introduced, crazy problems began rearing their heads. The alloys used in the “top lead”, that is, the connectors, began rotting away. The positive grids became isolated from the positive active material. The negatives became permanently sulfated. Overcharging and undercharging killed the batteries. The price to pay for maintenance free.

My additive works just fine in lead-antimony alloy positive, flooded batteries. This benefits only the industrial users and the few remaining flooded solar/wind technology users.

I have had an ordinary car battery, vintage 1995 powering my house alarm. It is held at 2.19 volts per cell. It uses water. I have not put in any additive. I have another battery for emergency lighting. It only gets charged once every nine months. It has been treated. Uses no water. Both flooded, lead-antimony positive grids.

On February 10, 2012 at 11:43pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Thanks for info John- confirms my suspicions. When I think back, the car batts that lasted longest were older type ones. Is there any info of which modern batts use l/a pos? In the interest of the consumer buying a superior product? Though I suppose that price would be higher!-& so the uneducated consumer would vote with wallet ie- cheaper = better!. Your 1995 batt then has not been treated with your additive added to batt water- as you sell it? Why not- surely the energy used in your float of 2.19v/cell costs more? Or just proving the point of l/a pos/c/a negs to longevity with float charge?.

On February 11, 2012 at 3:16am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan

The lead-acid battery has been reduced to a mere commodity level. It is part of a natural product cycle. Makes life difficult for the manufacturers.

The cost of the antimony they were putting into their battery grids was simply exorbitant. They had to find an economical alternative. At the same time they were under pressure to make batteries maintenance free. Calcium gave them what they needed.

The new lead-calcium alloy gave all kinds of previously unheard problems. But here is their secret to their success. As long as they all switched together, battery users would be obliged to follow. Pointless shopping around.

I originally bought into the advertising patter about lead-calcium being the perfect choice for an alarm system. The lead-calcium battery I had fitted went “open circuit"on me. That is when I started investigating. I was subscribing to “The Battery Man”. The magazine carried numerous articles on how yet another researcher had finally figured out the problems with lead-calcium alloy. I spent time going through patents on uspto.gov. There are an incredible number of patents. Each disparaging at least twenty preceding patents. Successful people just get on with the job at hand. Failures stand up an shout how useless the others are.

The battery I use to power my alarm is performing two functions. (1) It powers the alarm and, (2) It is helping me to verify that there is nothing wrong with the older batteries and they can be left on trickle charge. The battery I use for standby lighting is gas tight and I measure the gas flow by simply putting the end of the gas collecting tube in a jar of water and counting the bubbles. It gasses for about three weeks after charging, then goes into hibernation. Originally I waited for 9 months, could not contain myself, I had to do a discharge test. Found the battery held onto almost all of its charge. It is now four years on, it gets a refresh charge for a few hours, goes back into storage. I checked it recently. It has hardly lost any A-h capacity.

The theory behind the additive that I put in is that it stops the electroplating-out onto the negatives of all the impurities that are invariably in the batteries. That means the negatives almost do not gas. It also means the positives stop corroding because the sparingly soluble portions given off by corrosion have nowhere to go.

I managed to develop two types. One that can be put into the filling water of motive power batteries. Another that has to be forced into the plates using acetone. All lead-antimony alloy types. I still have not found any chemical substance that can reliably cure the numerous problems provided by lead-calcium. But I am trying.

On February 12, 2012 at 11:44pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Again thanks for info John. So you have closed vent holes of batt except for tube leading into water- & the batt gases for 3 weeks @ charge- why?- I have not heard of any other batt doing this- gassing while charging at over 14.2v- yes- gassing while resting- no.. And wouldn,t the closed tube in water lead to water drawn into batt if temp changed?.I think you are right about my zapper mainly zapping the oxide film in c/a pos plates- but-HEY- if it works- I will do it!. And these low maintenance batts aren,t so bad- much depends on how they are treated-eg,charge,discharge disciplines. Found a beauty in a tip yesterday- 730 cca- top cost batt- sitting at 12.42v- low maint flooded- put on charge o,night- came up to 13.2v sitting- perfect. About 6 year old. Posts were dirty- guess idiot owner panicked & bought new when vehicle wouldn,t start!.

On February 13, 2012 at 12:51am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan

The battery that I fitted with tubing has the really old fashioned vent caps. I modified them to fit the tubing. Tested the assembly by submerging in a container of water. The outlet end of the tube has a crude pressure valve made by inserting a wad of textile into the tube. When it gets wet, it begins working as a valve. This ensures the bubbles come out evenly spaced, instead of in spurts. The battery sits on the concrete floor inside a closed store room. The end of the tube is located in a jar of water. There has been no sucking back of water. I have three more of the same type of battery, unformed, waiting for me to use them in experiments. The batteries were given to me by a battery factory owner who had switched to modern low-maintenance production.

Actually, lead-acid batteries never stop gassing. They gas because fundamentally, the electrodes are not stable in acid. Impurities in the materials used to construct the grids cause reactions and these reactions cause gassing. A battery that is simply standing will usually gas almost imperceptibly. When you combine the gas output of all the cells you normally get at least one bubble per minute.

It seems charging “activates” the impurities. The impurities cause a phenomenon called local action on the plates. This is what causes batteries to lose charge when standing. The additive stops these impurities from getting to the negative plates. It is not perfect. Three weeks of gassing represents three weeks of local action and three weeks of self discharge. After that, nothing happens anymore. Well, nearly nothing. In theory the battery will probably start a car engine after two, three or more years standing. And all of that with a supposedly water guzzling 1950s designed battery.

Presented the concept to a number of battery manufacturers. Let me put it this way. I will not be doing that again in a hurry. The battery industry appears to be impervious to logic.

On February 22, 2012 at 11:51am
Skippy Landry wrote:

Could one or more of the posters here explain the need for an “additive” (like China Depot) to bring a battery back from the dying or dead? From what I have read, keeping the water levels correct and making sure the battery is charged correctly is what is needed. I found the discussions here very informative, but I am considering a battery reconditioning business here in Costa Rica (lead-acid/automotive). Any thoughts on the distilled/epsom salts process appreciated as well.

On February 22, 2012 at 11:34pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Skippy- modern auto batts have calcium alloy pos plates which don’t seem to sulphate, but may oxide film- causing much same effect. Older batts had lead/antimony pos plates- whichwould sulphate- a cure sometimes was a teaspoon of epsom salts to each cell- or a pinch of caustic soda- or EDTA to each cell. If sulphated, a cure was to zap batt with highvolt pulses which dissolved sulphation- batt would then charge. But really all batts have certain life- & failure may be through several different mechs- usual is a cell becoming open circuit or even short circuit- which renders batt useless as starter batt. The number of batts which can be “rejuvenated” are due mainly to ignorant owners throwing em out, & buying new, when the thrown out batt/s had other reasons for not starting vehicle! Batt sellers offer “free tests” to encourage new sales! So I would not start a business fixing batts- as each is different- while still conforming to failure modes generally(sooner or later!) The things one can do to “fix” a batt are extremely limited now- in the past “batt fixers” put say dozens of batts on high charge- those that “charged” had electrolyte replaced with new- these batts then sold for say $20 with 3 month warranty- a lot failed in the warranty period!

On February 23, 2012 at 9:25pm
Skippy Landry wrote:

Thanks Bevan, you are the first to explain things plain and simple. Here in Costa Rica new batteries are prohibitive due to price for many who make $400-$500 a month, so I thought there was an opportunity to rebuild/recharge, then sell for a small profit. You have given me much to think about before I invest a few thousand for battery technology. I needed to understand the chemistry of the process, and it looks like I would end up with a bunch of old batteries for recycling, and not rebuilding. Thanks also for explaining what the chemical mix probably is made of, as the battery reconditioning franchise companies would not explain what the powders were, other than they were hazardous.

On February 26, 2012 at 6:56am
Rich Walter wrote:

Just purchased a Currie bicycle conversion kit with a SLA battery.  Owners manual indicates that new battery should have a break in period of 3 full charges and 3 COMPLETE DISCHARGES and then keep charge topped off.  Based on what I have read here this is not consistent with suggestion to keep SLA battery from deep discharges.  Wondering if I should follow manufacturers advice but hesitant to ignore knowledge gained here?  ARRGGHHH.

On February 26, 2012 at 8:02am
John Fetter wrote:

Rich
Do what the manufacturer recommends. Three cycles. After that, make sure you do not discharge the battery all the way right down to zero and make sure you do not overcharge like crazy. You bought it, you might as well enjoy it.

On February 27, 2012 at 4:23am
John Fetter wrote:

Nehmo despaired about desulfators that allegedly do not work being sold by Battrecon to people who want to go into the battery restoration business, (November 5, 2011). I went right through their website from beginning to end. Fancy equipment, complicated operating instructions. They do not provide credible details on how the claimed desulfation actually happens. That is never a good sign. So I looked up their US patent pending to find out. It turned out they repeatedly discharge a capacitor into the battery, instead of using an inductor. Superficially different, essentially the same. Actually quite a clever way of charging batteries at constant power. No need to accurately match the charger output volts to the battery volts. Very good at promoting themselves. They say they can rid of sulfation very quickly indeed. Strong evidence they are not desulfating but addressing the “open circuit’ problem. My best guess is truly sulfated batteries stay sulfated.

On March 8, 2012 at 11:38am
Cadex Electronics Inc. wrote:

Hello all,

The author of Battery University, Isidor Buchmann, has updated this article and we have added 3 new articles to explore the following important issues concerning lead-acid batteries.

- Corrosion / Shedding, Internal Short
- Sulfation
- Water Loss, Acid Stratification and Surface Charge

Enjoy and we look forward to all of your comments!

Brandon Crick

On March 17, 2012 at 1:05am
muhammad munir wrote:

Sir i need your help regarding batteries. i have new battery in my store since 1997 almost 5 years old with a 12 Volt 150 Ah when i check the battery some battery shows 5.6 volt and some are shoinfg 3.5 volt.

sir please tell me if i charged these batteries it will work or not or what is the life of battery.

these are lead acid battery .

On March 18, 2012 at 11:12pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Hmmm- interesting mathematics there- from figures supplied- batts are stuffed! However we all would try recharge to see if batt/s come up- are sure batts are not dry- charged? If so electrolyte needs to be added .

On April 6, 2012 at 4:16pm
NORMAN MOYER wrote:

can the old liquid be poured out of battery and add new battery acid   put new life into 12v battery

On April 7, 2012 at 12:14am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

No- only way is if old electrolyte has been spilled or diluted. Sure- some claim it works- depends on mechanical cond of batt-ie not o/c or s/c- whatever- if works- will not be for long! IF! can get electrolyte cheap-try- otherwise- buy new cheap batt with warranty!.

On April 7, 2012 at 2:08am
John Fetter wrote:

Seems a bit like giving great grandpa a blood transfusion after he has already died. Sorry. I don’t want to offend anyone. It is only an analogy.

On April 9, 2012 at 11:22pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- I have heard the odd story about r/p electrolyte old with new adds new life for while- personally I have never tried- but the odd occasion I emptied out electrolyte(in batt/s that had elevated self discharge)- on premise sediment maybe s/cing plates- then filtering & readding electrolyte made NO DIFFERENCE whatsoever- but I never used NEW electrolyte- so I don’t know- but I am extremely doubtful. About the only way electrolyte could “wear out” is spill, leakage,dilution- or fine lead suspended particles?- the flsp may be seen if batt is overcharged at 15v for short while- the rising bubbles bring this dark film up. I do know that batt rejuvenators used to add fresh electrolyte to batts that had charged up on a fast charge line- if they charged they were not sulphated,s/c,o/c- so mtying old electrolyte also cleaned out shed lead- the batts were then sold with 3 month warranty- (& some never made it!) Don’t see any of these rejuvenators around now- guess that calcium alloy grids made game worthless! (ie, the propensity for pos plate disintegration).

On April 10, 2012 at 2:38am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - As long as batteries wear out, there will be people with an eye on profiting from the consequences. In the past the fashion was additives. Now it is pulsing. It all comes down to figuring out how to turn opportunity into commercial gain. I do not see anything wrong with it. At the same time, i do not see anything right with it either.

On April 21, 2012 at 7:33am
Will wrote:

Just bought a used (1-year old) electric bike (operating voltage 36 V) with SLA battery.  Seller told me to completely discharge battery before charging (i.e run the bike until it stops!).  Everything I read in this thread tells me I should NOT deep cycle the SLA battery but incrementaly charge it as I use the bike.  Can one of you gurus please tell me the correct way to operate the e-bike/battery to maximize battery life?  Thanks!

On April 21, 2012 at 7:50am
John Fetter wrote:

Will - The seller is right. One deep discharge when the battery is still new is beneficial for the battery - too many deep, deep discharges later on are not! Hope this puts your mind at ease.

On April 22, 2012 at 9:09am
Will wrote:

John - Thanks for responding.  Let me clarify my understanding….After the initial charge, let’s say I ride the bike for 4 blocks and use 5% of the stored battery energy.  Should I then recharge the 5% or wait and let it discharge more though use? In other words, will it harm the battery to keep it close to fully charged like if I charge it a little bit every day?

The Seller told me to only recharge it when it is completely discharged ON AN ONGOING BASIS….not just initially…..that’s what I find troubling…. appreciate your thoughts and comments….

On April 22, 2012 at 2:16pm
John Fetter wrote:

Will - If I were in your position I would NOT continue deep cycling but would use the bike in a way that discharges the battery roughly 50%, as much as possible. Use the first deep discharge to guide you to work out 100%, hence deduce 50%. If you need to, by all means go beyond 50% but otherwise keep the discharges as shallow as possible.
Having said that, please take care not to over charge the batteries. If charged too much over 42/44 volts the batteries will use more and more water and will end up with positive grid corrosion. Again, having said that, it is a good idea to let the voltage go higher once every two, three weeks, to 46 volts, to help equalize the cells.
An important point to observe. Never let the batteries stand in a discharged state for very long. A couple of days, max. If you do not use the bike, start off by fully charging. You can then leave it for a couple of months.After standing a long time, begin by charging, then using.
It seems likely your Seller knows that the battery charger tends to overcharge and pushes the end of charge voltage up to or beyond 46 volts. If so, you need to do something about it. Try using a timer on the mains plug side, adjusted to cut the charge when the voltage goes over 46. Brief excursions to 46 volts are harmless. Takes a bit of experimentation.

On April 22, 2012 at 2:40pm
sani musa wrote:

thanks for a beutiful presentation

On April 22, 2012 at 10:06pm
Will wrote:

John,
Got it.  Perfect.  You are truly a guru and my new hero!  Many MANY thanks for taking all of your time to educate this newbie!!!

On May 4, 2012 at 7:01am
Patrick wrote:

From a missionary in West Africa:

I just had six batteries shipped to me on a container from the States. To make a long story short when the custom agents repacked the container my batteries were turned on their sides ... most of the acid ran out. Is there anything that I can do to save them? These are deep-cycle batteries for solar panels.

On May 4, 2012 at 7:41am
John Fetter wrote:

Patrick - Buy some battery acid and put it into the batteries ASAP. The negative plates will have become partially or totally discharged through exposure to the oxygen in the air. This does not cause any serious damage! The positive plates will be fine.

It is important to assume the batteries are now fully discharged and require charging. You must arrange to have batteries put on charge.

It is likely the batteries will have suffered no lasting damage!

On May 4, 2012 at 11:56pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Patrick- suggest you add sulphuric acid- to dist water in standard ratio to refill batts- then using hydrometer adjust ratio to standard once batts are fully charged- higher or lower ratio is bad news to life of batt- std ratio is 1.26 sg @20’C(though some claim differently)- main thing is to not overcharge- overdischarge-never let batts stand even slightly discharged(for maximum no of charge/discharge cycles). 50% discharge is NOT 18v!(if using 36v batt)- But 36V!(ie 2v cell)- NOT a linear std but logarithmic.

On May 5, 2012 at 12:26am
John Fetter wrote:

I fully endorse Bevan’s comments

On May 10, 2012 at 6:28am
John Fetter wrote:

Additives that are put in batteries at a very low concentration work by physics rather than chemistry. .

Here is an example that can help to clarify this point. Most battery users have never heard of lignosulfonates. Yet all lead-acid battery manufacturers include lignosulfonate battery additives in the negative plate active material.

In the late 1940s manufacturers began replacing wood veneer separators with less expensive, more durable materials. Soon thereafter their batteries began failing prematurely in large numbers. It was only then discovered that a substance had been leeching out of the wooden separators and had, all along, been making batteries work properly. Incredulous manufacturers were forced into using lignosulfonate, an organic by-product of wood pulping, to restore battery performance.

For decades they knew that lignosulfonates definitely work but they had no idea how. The effect of lignosulfonates turned out to be pure physics. When a battery is being charged, lead ions are transferred from lead sulfate crystals located in one spot to lead metal crystals located in another. Lead ions move freely across surfaces but with difficulty via the bulk electrolyte. The lignosulfonate molecules are adsorbed to these surfaces. They force the lead ions to move along defined routes electrostatically, giving them opportunity to build only small crystal formations. Related to but not exactly the same as the effect of additives that are used in electroplating.

The small crystals give the negative plates more capacity through their comparatively large surface areas. The slight impediment provided by the lignosulfonates to the migrating lead ions can be picked up by electrical measurement. During charging, the potential of the negative plates becomes more negative by a few millivolts relative to a standard hydrogen reference electrode.

Metals and metal salts would appear to have no discernible effect at low concentration because they then amount to little more than impurities. At high concentration they interact electrochemically and only very rarely do so beneficially.

On May 12, 2012 at 12:01am
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Hmmm- yes John- most of us “in the know” know about lignosulphonates-after all it is in Battery Vitamin!  Now as to the poster who claimed 25 years for the batt rejuvenator! the web site says formed in 1991! Probably EDTA, which has been around about 30 years- yes it works! But buy some & add yourself- a sight cheaper than $75 litre(+post) for a product admitted as mostly water!. And these posters NEVER admit the majority of users get NO benefit from the product- as we know, batts have a finite life- those who don,t know or hope for miracle are the customers! As you & I know, most batts these days fail from pos plate disintegration- heard that reversing batt conns gets twice life- as formerly neg becomes pos. Heard also that alt charge systems reduce batt life- 300 magnetic moments sec as against 150 for gen- when gens were on vehicles,as alts came in, batt suppliers gave twice warranty for gen systems, as batts lasted twice as long.

On May 12, 2012 at 1:49am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - It is difficult to achieve a meaningful level of understanding when information is cherry picked from a wide variety of sources and then assembled to construct a particular point of view.
I disagree with all your points except one. I believe most batteries, if they have not yet succumbed to manufacturing defects and user abuse, fail from positive plate disintegration.

On May 28, 2012 at 6:58am
Eco Power Generators wrote:

yes it works! But buy some & add yourself- a sight cheaper than $75 litre(+post) for a product admitted as mostly water!. And these posters NEVER admit the majority of users get NO benefit from the product- as we know, batts have a finite life- those who don,t know or hope for miracle are the customers! As you & I know, most batts these days fail from pos plate disintegration- heard that reversing batt conns gets twice life- as formerly neg becomes pos.

For more information visit this < a href =“www.nfpc.bz”>Eco Power Generators</a>

On May 29, 2012 at 5:32pm
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan Paynter, Eco Power Generators - Automobiles have a life expectancy, batteries have a life expectancy. You will no doubt agree that with careful use, proper servicing, the automobile can last 30 years or more. Batteries are somewhat less amenable to rewarding owners with longer life, nevertheless, from a scientific, engineering and practical perspective, they will respond when properly looked after. The secret to success in both cases is not to wait until the thing breaks but to service it and thereby prevent the problem. Just because people have been waiting until batteries fail before attempting to do something, and have been doing it for 130 years, does not mean that is the correct way.

Battery refill water is 100% water and it works. Could not help pointing this out. No one in the battery industry recommends any form of support being provided to batteries to keep them going longer because that would reduce sales of replacement batteries.

Battery life can be extended. In order to extend battery life the treatment must be given during the normal service life of the battery.

EDTA takes in lead sulfate, never lets it go. A battery can be reversed, if you do not mind losing 90% of its capacity straight away. Personally, I would rather buy a new battery than to try either.

On May 29, 2012 at 11:22pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John- no one is argueing re service life of batts v automobiles- streets apart & completely different. What I & many more would like to know with no B/S involved is if the service life of a lead acid batt can be increased using plain cheap chemicals readily available. I aknowledge batts have many failure modes. Now I don’t want you to say"use my batt vitamin- it will extend life by 100%- & only costs $xyz”. Same as I don’t want any maker & retailer of additives to say same. All are in same boat of selling product- which may or usually not be beneficial- meanwhile the sucker is down many $. My personal experience is that nothing will extend batt life except normal maintenance, charging, & care- given that batt manu,s are supplying a reasonable product.

On May 30, 2012 at 12:45am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - The conditions you propose are (1) a conventionally produced battery, (2) a cheap chemical. The objective (3) combining these two in order to (4) make the battery last longer.

From an automobile battery manufacturer’s perspective, for example, for every 10% extra life there is a loss in sales turnover of USD 6.50. So that is total non-starter.

From a battery additive producer’s perspective, selling a genuine life extending product is an open invitation for others to copy and sell their own version. Patents do not help at this level. People set up companies without any significant capital and can fold them when the going starts getting tough. Who do you sue? How many can you sue?

There is no technical impediment, only a human problem that stands in the way. Much easier to sell bogus elixirs. Money coming in. No one copies.

On June 12, 2012 at 7:40am
crusato wrote:

how do i recycle dead sealed lead acid battery

On June 14, 2012 at 6:18am
John Fetter wrote:

Crusato - Great idea. Simply drop it off at a battery fitting center that will take in batteries for recycling. There is usually a government requirement that compels dealers to pay for dead batteries that are taken for recycling. Usually works if you buy a new one to replace a dead one. No question they will take it - another matter if they will pay anything if you refuse to buy a new one.

On August 26, 2012 at 5:45am
John Fetter wrote:

Sulfates of sodium, potassium, magnesium, aluminum are often recommended to help restore lead-acid batteries. I have seen claims that these can help to improve the solubility of lead sulfate through the common ion effect, hence help to rid the battery of so-called permanent sulfation.
The common ion effect normally causes the solubility of a weaker salt to be diminished by the introduction of a stronger salt or acid. For example, when a battery is on charge, the concentration of sulfuric acid rises and the solubility of lead sulfate falls.
When a large dollop of any of the above sulfates is thrown in, however, the solubility of lead sulfate does an about turn. The lead sulfate actually becomes more soluble.
By how much? It rises from around 4 parts per million to roughly 8 to 12 parts per million.
The effect? Well, here is an analogy. Imagine a person who was using 4 grains of sugar in a cup of tea changing to 8 to 12 grains and expecting the tea to be properly sweetened, when the effective amount is actually a teaspoon of sugar.
The best part about these additives is that they are relatively harmless and the instructions that come with them often give very good advice: Put the battery on charge.

On August 28, 2012 at 6:04am
John Fetter wrote:

I have been keeping in touch with an entrepreneur who has been promoting big industrial battery pulsers. He has been going around demonstrating his units to forklift truck battery users.
Forklift batteries are usually worked hard and do not get even vaguely sulfated. They wear out mainly because their positive plates become progressively corroded, causing shedding the active material. Their ampere-hours fall until the batteries can no longer be kept in service.
Forklift trucks that are rented out experience battery usage that is totally unique. Days, weeks, months of heavy use, alternating with days, weeks, months of standing idle. These batteries go into a premature decline, primarily because their plates become PARTIALLY sulfated. They carry on working but they progressively, prematurely lose the ability to deliver full ampere-hours.
The industrial pulser was used on several of such batteries. First, they were discharge tested. Then recharged and then pulsed. Then discharge tested a second time. The batteries delivered 30% more ampere-hours.the second time compared with the first time.
The forklift hire company placed an order for four pulsing units.
It is a niche application. Not a cure-all.
An identical pulser had been used in an attempt to bring back proven 100% sulfated cells. It failed in this task.

On September 10, 2012 at 1:48am
Alan.Yik wrote:

From the website,I learnt many people are interested rechargeable batteries,so I think I could offer more choices for energy solutions here for everyone.
Our company is a fast growing Lead Acid Battery Manufacturer in China, our batteries range from AGM(SLA)batteries type to GEL batteries(Hybrid gel),Tubular batteries(OPzV,OPzS)with good price-quality ratio ranging from 2V-12V,0.8AH-3000AH.

For more details,pls send inquiry to my email:alan@bsbpower.com or MSN;yikanger@gmail.com

On September 10, 2012 at 3:07am
Oscar Ormond wrote:

Alan.Yik Sorry. What is energy solutions? Advertising nonsense talk. When Japanese began, they made cheap stuff then changed and made good stuff. Chinese still making cheap stuff break easy. Talking about that kind of thing what discussion page is about.

On September 17, 2012 at 10:52pm
Dennis Dullea wrote:

Dear Sirs,
I just puchased two CSB EVH12390 Deep Cycle SLA 12V Batteries for my Dalton PC-MP3CM Power chair. They came with 12.5 & 13.2 Volts in them respectively. When I hooked them up and turned the chair on the meter read FULL charge (All 8 LEDS lit, and the chair runs very well. My question is…Should I charge the batteries now while they are still full, or wait until they are depleted a little before the initial charge? I seemed to have readonline that new sealed lead acid deep cycle batteries should be charged right away regardless of how much of a full charge they have when first used…is this correct? Please help me with this as I don’t want to ruin them…the were very expensive. Thank You very much!
                                                  Dennis W. Dullea

On September 17, 2012 at 11:09pm
Alan wrote:

Hi Dennis,
For VRLA types(excluding vented type),it’s no necessary to hold initial charge.the battery had been activated in facrtory,so you can recharge the battery after the use.of course, the depth of discharge shoudl be not more deeper.Once the battery is used up,immediately recharge them as per right charging voltage and current.keep battery in goof health without no overdischarge and undercharge.

On September 17, 2012 at 11:11pm
Alan wrote:

sorry for mistakes.keep battery in good health without overdischarge and undercharge.

On September 17, 2012 at 11:14pm
John Fetter wrote:

Dennis Dullea - If they were my batteries I would put them on that initial charge straight away. Yes, the batteries might appear to be fully charged. But what if one with the lowest voltage has been sitting in someone’s inventory for many months and the one with the highest voltage is fresh? People who sell stuff are more interested in selling than in what they sell. By charging you might slightly overcharge the one with the highest voltage ONCE, which will not cause lasting damage, but from then on they will be in line with each other. If you do not charge and run them down, the one with the lowest voltage can become overdischarged, with a risk of “reverse charging” - causing it to lose capacity and after that will have a short life.

On September 17, 2012 at 11:58pm
Alan wrote:

Yes,the above mention is right.every three months,we need hold one equalization charge for battery to make some lagged battery recovering.this is helpful to make the battery bank health.

On October 7, 2012 at 12:08am
Doctor Jack wrote:

These battery restoration franchises are the biggest ripoff. I only realized what an idiot I am when I bought into Dial A Battery. I made all the arrangements to pay Deon Bester and Ludine Goosen, franchise holdetrs. They accepted my check, waited for it to clear and then said they don’t accept checks. It was only a deposit payment but I will not carry on with these people.

On October 8, 2012 at 4:44pm
Stephen wrote:

I need to know. I have some old APC battery backups, and the sealed lead acid batteries are dead and won’t take a charge. is there anything I can do to restore them. the internet doesn’t really talk about this for some reason.

On October 8, 2012 at 5:06pm
John Fetter wrote:

Stephen - When OLD sealed lead-acid will not take a charge that is usually an indication they can be thrown away. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who will tell you their pulser will fix this problem. It is up to you to decide. Caveat emptor.

On January 16, 2013 at 2:54pm
Brandon W wrote:

I would recommend looking at NICKEL IRON batteries as a way to avoid the many problems that plauge lead-acid batteries in large storage applications.

On January 16, 2013 at 5:13pm
John Fetter wrote:

Brandon W - You’re right. But at twice the price and four times the water consumption. The solution for lead-acid tends to be overlooked. Simply give the batteries a boost charge now and then. The average Joe forgets.

On February 24, 2013 at 1:45pm
J Wilson (www.timesharehelpers.com) wrote:

We left a car at our our old timeshare for nearly a year and of course the battery ran down.  I charged it up but it did not hold the charge for long, alternator was OK, then I noticed water level low so topped up with ion water.  Is there anything I can do to recover the battery, should I charge it overnight again? Is there anything else I can do to restore the battery?

On March 7, 2013 at 1:54am
nancy wrote:

NICKEL IRON batteries is now a way to solve partly problem of the problems happened to the lead acid battery, but the cost is much much higher. What’s more, NICKEL IRON batteries are not much steady. That’s why we are now still supply this kind of batteries.

On March 24, 2013 at 11:05pm
Rajesh wrote:

Dear sir, What happens if
I use filtered liquid (electrolyte)
of old & fully
discharged 12 volt lead
acid battery to top-up a
new 12v lead acid
battery, in addition with
distilled water.  whether
the performance
of new battery affects?
As I’m going to sell the
old battery for
scrap-store, they take
only old battery
excluding electrolyte.
One of
my friend told me to
reuse that electrolyte for
new battery.
Please guide me, as soon
as possible,
pleeeeease

On April 4, 2013 at 3:51pm
Rob Main wrote:

John, in one of your comments you mentioned the best material for cell separation, and also the names of a couple of battery manufacturers who use the preferred separators. The application is deep draw lead acid batteries used in a solar powered installation
Unfortunately I cannot find the particular comment. Please could you advise again

On April 4, 2013 at 11:58pm
John Fetter wrote:

Rob Main - Your question is addressed to John. You may or may not be referring to me. Anyway, I do have the information you seek. There are three main types of separators in use in heavy duty. Starting from the least preferred from a technical perspective, most preferred from an ease of manufacture perspective is polyethylene. In the middle is PVC and at the top, from a technical perspective, is rubber. There is currently some anti-trust legal wrangling going on to decide the fate of the US manufacturer of rubber separators, Amerace Microporous Products.
It appears rubber separators can improve the quality of flat-plate positive deep cycle batteries, as made in the USA, to easily match the quality of the more expensive tubular positive deep cycle batteries favored in Europe. That is why Trojan, US Battery, East Penn Manufacturing, Exide etc. use rubber.

On April 8, 2013 at 6:05am
Renier Ferreira wrote:

It all boils down to correct battery charging and maintenance procedures. Sulfation and Dry-out will occur in cases where batteries aren’t properly charged and where the operating temperatures are not within the 20-24 degrees celcius. However, Global Energy Innovations technology includes Battery Analysers with CelScan. They detect chemical properties such as Sulfation and Dry-Out as well as electrical properties such as voltage and load. Batteries can then be conditioned to optimum state with the Dynapulse machines, which will REVERSE sulfation and dry-out. Check out globalei.com and optimaxpower.com

On April 8, 2013 at 6:52am
John Fetter wrote:

Renier Ferreira - You’re trying to sell product no reasonably knowledgeable battery user would buy. You rely on an average person’s relatively scant knowledge of batteries and your principal’s appropriately developed sales technique to push out the product.
It is not difficult to keep a battery in good condition for many years. A knowledgeable battery user has no need whatsoever for your kind of gadgetry.

On April 12, 2013 at 1:13am
Rob Main wrote:

Hi John Fetter, I did mean you, and thank you for responding so promptly.
Incidentally as we live in Australia, we also favour the US batteries. Of the manufacturers that you mentioned would you be able to recommend a particular manufacturer that would be best suited to the Australian conditions.
Kind regards,
Rob Main

On April 12, 2013 at 4:31am
John Fetter wrote:

Rob Main - Trojan make good value for money, deep cycling batteries. They use either Amerace Microporous Products Flex-Sil or Polypore International Daramic HD modified rubber separators. Their T106 six volt battery has become famous world-wide. Ignore every person who tells you not to give batteries a regular 7.65V, 110 to 130 % A-h per battery periodic overcharge.
My associates in the USA and my company, (we are somewhere else), ran tests on Trojan 105s. We deep cycled 12 of them, based on BCI test procedure. Charging at 30A up to a voltage of 2.55V/cell until 130% A-h of previous discharge was returned; discharging at 75A down to 1.75V/cell. - repeatedly, 2 cycles per 24 hours. We were testing a battery water supplement.
We got 350 cycles from plain water, 560 cycles from supplement batteries. If we had charged to only 110% A-h we would have achieved 700 and 1120 respectively.
Remember, this is deep, deep cycling. Shallow cycling gives proportional better life.
Remember to add water. We discovered these batteries use a water volume in their lifetime equal to their volume of acid. Fractionally over 6 liters per 6V battery.
No one in the battery industry can give you this information. (a) They don’t know, (b) they don’t care. I have asked them over and over. In the end did the testing to find out.

On April 19, 2013 at 3:05pm
Rob Main wrote:

John Fetter - Thank you very much for your help. Regards,
Rob

On June 14, 2013 at 8:50am
Ajayi.A wrote:

hello Gentle Man,
Please i need your candid opinion, i brought some old 2v/2000AH vrla deep cycle battery. thinking they still have a good life in them,because i was told they have never being in used. when i measured their voltage was 2v.1 or 2v on the average.for most of them.but when i deployed it to site,it only lasted 45mins for a battery that should originally last 8 to 10 hours. it as been left 4 more-than two years but never being used for once. i look the plate I.D and it shows they were manufactured in 2008.
i was now thinking it could have sulfate.
what can i do to recover them since it’s a question of breaking down the sulfate. but my fear is that little could be done since they a sealed battery.
Please i need your advice.

Thanks All

On July 11, 2013 at 2:47am
eena wrote:

The model of the Dry batteries is usually important to many buyers. This is the reason why you may buy a
battery that can be larger and has a higher reserved capacity rating than the old one that you are replacing. Must consider Dry batteries before replacing.

On July 11, 2013 at 3:20am
John Fetter wrote:

WARNING !!!  I very carefully investigated the hidden link behind “Dry batteries” and established it is malicious, very dangerous.

On July 14, 2013 at 5:27am
Shreesh wrote:

hello
thanks for providing all the relevant information and it has proved to be very useful for me.what i would like to know is can the scrap of lead acid battery be used again to rebuild a new battery of the same category through recycling and the processes involved in it.kindly get back on this as soon as possible.compliance to it will be highly obliged.thank you

regards
Shreesh

On July 14, 2013 at 5:40am
John Fetter wrote:

Shreesh - Yes, over and over. Lead is the most successfully recycled material in the world. The plastic and the acid can also be recycled.

On July 14, 2013 at 12:30pm
GILD wrote:

This literature concerning the span-life of lead-acid battery is already heard for decades JUST to justify and legalize the early death of batteries BINGO that helps manufacturers and merchants of batteries…. So sorry I am in batteries for almost 40 years I was em-poisoned with such THEORIES from whom ? the cartel of lead acid batteries obviously if you keep your batteries with no excess of sulfation from the first day in using an electronical PWM attached to your batteries you keep it with only a primary layer of sulfation that is easy to reverse at your first charging NOT using such device working in magnetic resonance leads to 3 layers of sulfation at the death by suffocation of your batteries that couldn’t receive neither the charge at 100% nor given you an efficient discharge I am using the same starting batteries for more than 14 years without worn-out them ....I not want to indicate a link to this item by fear to be accused making publicity to my conceot of battery regeneration well known everywhere…Thanks

On July 14, 2013 at 10:32pm
Shreesh wrote:

Thanks for getting back on my query but what i wish to know is how to figure out whether the battery’s life is over or not ? and if not then what all measures can be used to restore the efficiency of it.
for eg…if i buy scrap batteries then lead is always the last resort of recycling but how to confirm if there is any potential left in the battery and what measures can be taken to rectify the problem and make it usable again.
it would be really kind of u to provide me with necessary information.
thanking you
regards
shreesh

On July 14, 2013 at 11:09pm
John Fetter wrote:

Shreesh - It appears you want someone to give you a detailed business plan, with step by step technical instructions on how to deal with batteries, all for free. Unfortunately, we inhabit a real world where this kind of information is regarded by many as extremely valuable and proprietary. I am not involved in type of work but I know people who are working very hard to make a living out of this.

On July 15, 2013 at 12:23am
Shreesh wrote:

ok. just wanted the summarized form.information is already available but i thought maybe it should be first confirmed with a person who can justify it and who has that required information or knowledge of it.

its better to have no knowledge than to have and not share it.
anyways thank you
regards

On July 15, 2013 at 7:07am
Dr Jack wrote:

Millions of people swallow potions believing this will make them live longer. Millions of people smear their faces with potions believing it will make them more attractive. Millions of people believe they can bring batteries back to life.

There are no words in the English language sufficient to explain their folly to them. God bless the clever people out there who know exactly how to relieve those millions of their hard earned cash.

On July 18, 2013 at 4:19am
Dr Jack wrote:

I recently watched a movie that had been posted on line by someone who claimed he was going to show how to restore a lead-acid battery. It was 26+ minutes of the worst kind of disinformation.

The demonstrator showed a 12V car battery, showed it was down to about 2 volts. He said he would try to restore it. He did not bother to find out if it was simply discharged. Did not measure SG. Threw out the acid, washed the cells out with bicarb and filled the cells with a solution of alum. He then very proudly showed that the voltage had risen to nearly 8V. He did not put a load on the battery there and then to see what would happen.

He put the battery on charge. It drew 3 amps. Twenty-four hours later he put the battery in his truck and started the engine. He was very excited - very obviously convinced he had restored the battery.

More likely he merely charged the battery. Did not have a clue. He took a battery that likely had an SG below about 1.050, emptied it out and replaced with an electrolyte with about the same SG, without actually understanding what he had done. Then he put roughly 3 X 24 = 72 ampere-hours into that battery. The lead-sulfate in the plates converted into fully charged lead-dioxide in the positives, spongy lead metal in the negatives and sulfuric acid in the electrolyte, bringing the SG up to full state of charge, possibly as high as 1.240.

A ritual.

On September 13, 2013 at 11:47pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

There is no new technology as Jeremy claims(not that works, anyway1) Just what separates seekers of the impossible from their wallets! Try to get your so called try free 60 days money back(which you had to pay 1st up!)- & to ask we believe that 100 years of batt charge technology is wrong! & that Every charger/ battery manufacturer is in on the scheme!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!! Goodbye Jeremy!.

On September 14, 2013 at 2:42am
John Fetter wrote:

Bevan - It appears that Jeremy, the perpetual motion machine salesman, has hitched a ride on his own machine.

On September 29, 2013 at 8:09am
john green wrote:

how long would a charged lead acid battery stay charged without any use

On November 20, 2013 at 7:52pm
JMR wrote:

I need some advice. I replaced the lead-acid battery of my motorcycle. It had been in there since the dawn of man. I bought a new yuasa and the guy at the counter spared me some acid in an unmarked bottle. I activated as per instructions but I’m only reading 12.3 volts. I figured I screwed up the activation, the acid he gave me was BS or all of the above. I went to a different shop, got a brand new yuasa in its original packaging. It included a sealed container of actual yuasa acid. I activated per instrucions double checking that my initiating charge is at the recommended amperage rate. Again, the battery doesn’t go past 12.3 The original piece of junk battery that was in the bike reads 12.4!! what the hell is going on?

On November 20, 2013 at 11:42pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

Yuasa batts are not what they used to be- bought a new one about 15 yrs ago for my m/c- made in Taiwan- lasted 1 ride!- O/c inside!. Most buyers do not know that batts right from new have to be fully charged- the only way to fully charge is with constant voltage 14v till amps fall to say 2-300 mA. New micro control chargers do it automatically. Suggest you do this- then if still low octv(open circuit terminal volts) check the sg of electrolyte- must be 1.260 for octv of 12.6v+. If can, use spectrometer, or at least new or known good hydrometer.

On November 21, 2013 at 4:36am
John fetter wrote:

JMR - Batteries that come with acid in separate containers normally carry instructions. Bevan is right. They need to be given a full charge after the acid has been put in.
The oxygen in the air causes the negatives to become fully discharged. Therefore, what you have is a battery with charged positives and discharged negatives. The only way to fix that is to give the battery a full charge.
The battery will give an output without a first charge but it will not last.

On November 21, 2013 at 8:16am
JMR wrote:

But I am giving it the full charge, that’s whats weird about the whole thing. I checked my voltmeter with the battery of my truck. It reads 12.62. I bought a hydrometer but it’s a car type so it needs to pickup a lot of fluid and the m/c batt just doesn’t have enough. I tried to find a smaller hydrometer but no luck so far. I watching how-to videos on youtube where the guy pours the acid in, let it sit for 1 hour, and the voltage is 12.66 right there and then, even before he gives it the first charge. My two batts instead activated to 12.3, so i give them the first charge, let them sit for a couple of hours, and then still 12.3. There’s some voodoo sh.. going on right here.

On November 21, 2013 at 9:06am
John fetter wrote:

JMR - Are you charging the battery sufficiently? It must go up to at least 15.5V. The current must gradually fall after it has reached that voltage, then level off. The battery will be gassing quite briskly. .

On November 22, 2013 at 10:01am
JMR wrote:

I charged the first one with a 1A unmarked charger. No brand, the kind a tech guy assembles at the back of an electronics store, I gave it 4 hours. The second battery I left it overnight using this http://electron.bg/black-decker-bdv080-p-61639.html set at 1A
What puzzles me is that the end result was identical in both cases.

On November 22, 2013 at 10:33am
John Fetter wrote:

JMR - You are stopping your charging too soon.

On November 22, 2013 at 11:25am
JMR wrote:

Even in the case when i left it overnight? what course of action would you recommend at this point. Are these two batteries toast or salvageable? should I use the smart charger that goes into float mode or the simpler “dumb” one that keeps charging no matter what? how long should i charge them? thanks for all the help!

On November 22, 2013 at 3:56pm
John Fetter wrote:

JMR - Use a dumb charger. This is not a normal charge. The current should gradually taper on its own. You must monitor the voltage, let the volts rise to 15.5 to 16 V, then switch off. Don’t allow the battery to overheat. If it gets too hot, give it a break. You can use fancy chargers later, to keep the battery in good condition.

On November 22, 2013 at 11:46pm
Bevan Paynter wrote:

John is right in the old days- these days smart batt chrgrs do it all- dep on battcond. It also depends on type of batt- Johns is for traction type mainly- i am into car/m/c type. My experience says that overcharge for long periods is harmful(bubbling is o’chrge- forget all about equalisation!.) No finer expo on lead acid batt charging exists on this site- “How to charge lead acid batts”!

On November 26, 2013 at 4:50pm
JMR wrote:

Ok so I tied both offending batteries together in parallel and dropped an H-bomb of nearly 36 hours of charge with the 1a dumb charger, which would account for 500ma charge rate per battery. I checked voltage and temperature. It peaked at 14.9v and began dropping, at 14.7 charge was suspended. I let them rest for 8 hours, and now i’m reading 12.54 v. I say progress has been made. Could it be possible to reach a full charge if I repeat the process? Thanks guys.

On November 26, 2013 at 5:28pm
John Fetter wrote:

JMR - Charge only one battery at a time. If you parallel, they will interfere with each other. Otherwise you are on the right track.

On December 8, 2013 at 11:48pm
katy wrote:

Hi, How can one find the constant voltage and constant current for a given AGM VRLA battery with any voltage and amp-hour range without seeing the battery data sheet

On December 15, 2013 at 11:12am
Don wrote:

I have 10 Trojan 12V deep cycle batteries that were new and left without charge.  I now have a desulfator unit and am having some luck.  However; when I first got them I noticed the fluid level was down to the plates, so naturally, I topped them to the ring, not knowing that the level would rise while charging (I should have added just enough to cover the plates).  I had to remove some of the solution which now leaves the concentration at a low S.G.  Can I buy a higher SG acid so that I don’t have to dump the entire battery just to get it back the the correct S.G.?

On December 15, 2013 at 5:27pm
Don wrote:

Thanks John,
I’m trying to get them back to optimal just to sell them; I have no use for them and no easy way to load them.  I bought a few car headlamps thinking I might be able to put a light load on each one but I’m still looking at lots of days to load and recharge all 10. 

My first inclination is to find a higher SG acid to purchase, anyone know if that is a possibility?  In testing the individual cells I see variable SG levels because I topped them off with water, then removed some, etc.  I would sure like to be able to level the SG in each cell, then do more testing.

On December 15, 2013 at 6:09pm
John Fetter wrote:

Don - Simply put the batteries on charge, allow the requisite volume of electrolyte to be electrolyzed, add ordinary battery acid.

On December 15, 2013 at 6:25pm
Don wrote:

John,
I’ve done the charge on all batteries about once per month for the last few months.  I think my real problem was from adding too much water initially so that my SG is low.  I’ve removed some of the acid above the plates and replaced it with new SG 1.265, but since that is only a small portion of each cell’s volume, my SG level still remains too low.  That’s why my main question is still “Can I buy a higher SG acid?”  I would think that either adding a higher SG solution or dumping the entire volume and using new acid are my only choices.  I think each battery holds about $40 worth of acid, so I’m searching for alternatives first.

On December 16, 2013 at 6:39am
Don wrote:

Hey John,
Thanks! Concentrated Battery Acid was the magic term!  I found it on Amazon from Duda Diesel in 98% concentration.  I just bought the 1 liter; it will be here in a few days.  I think I can easily add a couple ounces to the low SG cells and bring them back to balance quickly.  I assume I’ll need to do some charging to get the solution to thoroughly mix for accurate followup testing.  Otherwise, the turkey baster that I’m using to transfer the solution might also be used to partially mix it in the cells.
I appreciate your help and will try to leave a followup on the results.

On January 9, 2014 at 12:22am
mandeep wrote:

1 year back we have made 1000 inverter batteries(12V) & done the formation also.now we are giving the refresh charging to all the batteries but in between we are checking the specific gravity it shows variation in all cell.

how to maintain the cell gravity? kindly suggest..

 

On January 19, 2014 at 5:22pm
Monthy wrote:

I checked my car battery’s voltage when charging and it seems to be too much (14,5V). Car manufacturer service manual specification tolerates voltage between 13,8 - 14,7V. What is your opinion on this? I have lost one battery after 1 year (lost of capacity). Thank you for any feedback!

On January 20, 2014 at 12:10am
John Fetter wrote:

Monthy -  The voltage you measured is clearly within the car manufacturer’s specification.
If I had measured this voltage on my car battery I would have been very happy.
The voltage you measured is highly unlikely to cause a battery to fail in one year.
It seems likely that you have a warranty issue and that you are hoping to receive information you can use.

On January 20, 2014 at 3:17am
Monthy wrote:

John - thank you for your feedback. I’m still worried and thinking about to purchase a new alternator regulator. I read everywhere about 14,4V limit for charging of lead acid batteries, otherwise battery starts gas and in long term as I read also decrease a capacity of the battery. I have a headache of this, I spent another 140EUR for a new battery + 120EUR of the one that did not last long (Energizer). The manufacturer declined loss of capacity as a warranty issue. Weird, isn’t it?

On January 20, 2014 at 4:30am
John Fetter wrote:

Monthy - Based on information you have supplied, it is my opinion something else, that has nothing to do with the alternator/ regulator, caused your battery to fail.. You have not described the vehicle, duty, application, etc. Bear in mind the battery in question may have been a “Monday-morning battery”. These are profoundly important in terms of affecting battery life.

On January 20, 2014 at 5:47am
Monthy wrote:

John - well, then I leave it as it is when you say that 100-200 mV has no significant affect on the battery life. I’m also of the opinion of having luck of bought “Friday’s afternoon” battery. It’s just hard to prove it to the manufacturer, however they want to perform destruct test to find out the reason of my claim.

To shortly answer your question, the car is Nissan 1,5 diesel, used in European climate (-10’C / + 35’C) rather on longer journeys then short trips. Idle drain current is 20-25mA. Once a while car stays not used for a week, max. 2 weeks. Claimed 74Ah capacity was confirmed as 34Ah (C20 / 25’C).

On January 20, 2014 at 9:02am
John Fetter wrote:

Monthy - It is quite possible the voltage regulator has an intermittent fault that occasionally causes it to ask the alternator for maximum volts. The fault may be heat sensitive.

On January 20, 2014 at 9:35am
Monthy wrote:

I believe this could be the case, however I’m not sure whether short increase could cause that damage. I installed simple 5 LED Voltage monitor in the car and when I started the car this morning it went to red (more than 14.7V) for about 10 seconds and it went back to 14.5V. Tomorrow I try to measure it by voltmeter in order to get more precise results. I rather replace the regulator ...just to be sure that it works properly. John what is your charging voltage? Thanks

On January 20, 2014 at 4:44pm
John Fetter wrote:

Monthy - Between 14.2, and 14.5. If your voltage regulator is throwing the voltage around it needs to be investigated. If the voltage rises too high during your trips it is possible the battery might get cooked. This will use up water. Energizer is a “sealed” battery - could be a problem. It is possible to tear down the defective battery and to find out by inspection of the positive grids whether the voltage went too high. They will look corroded and the active material will be in bad condition. Charging at a steady 14.5 V would not cause damage.

On January 21, 2014 at 2:41am
Monthy wrote:

John - thank you for your assistance. Today, I confirmed no issue with the alternator. Right after start, it holds 14,52 - 14,55V without any peaks measurable with Metex 3850 multimeter. The 5 LED battery monitor indicates incorrect results in freezing cold.

On February 17, 2014 at 3:49am
sandeep wrote:

All actions which have the objective of retaining or restoring an item in or to a state in which it can perform its required function. The actions include the combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial, and supervision actions