BU-202: New Lead Acid Systems

Discover advancements made in lead acid batteries and how they benefit industry.

Most battery systems allow reasonably fast charging of one hour or so. The energy can also be withdrawn in about the same time, meaning that the charge and discharge times can be made similar. Lead acid is unique in that the battery can be discharged at a very high rate but requires more than 14 hours to fully charge. Lead acid also needs periodic equalization to de-sulfate the plates and correct other ills.

The answer to the inherent low charge acceptance relates to the formation and dissolution of lead sulfate on the negative electrode, which is pure lead. On discharge, lead sulfate adheres to the surface and dissolves again on charge. The process is sluggish and when trying to hasten the charge, excess electrons have nowhere to go; this leads to hydrogen generation and water loss. With age, the lead sulfate crystals engrain, which reduces the charge acceptance even further.

The positive electrode also contains lead sulfate, but it supports a high charge rate. It is clear that the negative electrode is the problem with lead acid batteries. New lead acid systems try to solve this problem by adding carbon to this electrode with promising results.

Advanced Lead-carbon

Scientists have known for years that sulfate accumulation prevents the classic lead acid from delivering sustained performance; partial charge and aging are the main culprits because the negative lead plate is not sufficiently scrubbed. The advanced lead-carbon (ALC) solves this by adding carbon to the negative plate (cathode). This turns the battery into a quasi-asymmetric supercapacitor to improve charge and discharge performance.

Figure 1 illustrates the classic lead acid cell with the lead negative plate being replaced with a carbon electrode to benefit from the qualities of a supercapacitor.

Advanced Lead Carbon
Figure 1: The classic lead acid develops into an advanced lead-carbon battery.
The negative plate is replaced with a carbon electrode that shares the qualities of a supercapacitor.
Courtesy of Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC)

The ALC is being tested as a replacement for the classic starter battery in start-stop applications and in 48V micro and mild hybrid systems. Rapid charging on regenerative breaking is a decisive advantage with these batteries, a task that is difficult to achieve with regular lead acid. Although larger and heavier than Li-ion, the ALC is low-cost, operates at subfreezing temperatures and does not need active cooling — advantages Li-ion cannot claim. Unlike regular lead acid, lead carbon can operate between 30 and 70 percent state-of-charge without fear of becoming sulfated. The ALC is said to outlive the regular lead acid battery, but the negative is a rapid voltage drop on discharge, resembling that of a supercapacitor.


Firefly Energy

The composite plate material of the Firefly Energy battery is based on a lead-acid variant, and the maker claims that the battery is lighter, longer living and offers a higher active material utilization than current lead acid systems. It is also one of the few lead acid batteries that can operate for extended time in partial-states-of-charge. The battery includes carbon-foam electrodes for the negative plates, which gives it a performance that is comparable to NiMH but at lower manufacturing costs. Firefly Energy was a spin-off of Caterpillar, and in 2010 it went into bankruptcy. The company was later revived under separate ownership but folded again. Since 2014, the battery is manufactured in India under Firefly Batteries Pvt. Ltd.

Altraverda Bipolar

Similar to the Firefly Energy battery, the Altraverda battery is based on lead. It uses a proprietary titanium sub-oxide ceramic structure called Ebonex® for the grid and an AGM separator. The un-pasted plate contains Ebonex® particles in a polymer matrix that holds a thin lead alloy foil on the external surfaces. At a specific energy of 50–60Wh/kg, the battery is comparable with NiCd and is said to be well suited for high voltage applications. Based in the UK, Altraverda works with East Penn in the USA.

Axion Power

The Axion Power e3 Supercell is a hybrid battery/supercapacitor in which the positive electrode is made of standard lead dioxide and the negative electrode is activated carbon. The assembly process is similar to lead acid. The Axion Power battery offers faster recharge times and longer cycle life on repeated deep discharges than what is possible with regular lead acid systems, opening the door for the start-stop application in micro-hybrid cars. The lead-carbon combination lowers the lead content on the negative plate, which results in a weight reduction of 30 percent compared to a regular lead acid. This, however, also decreases the specific energy to 15–25Wh/kg instead of the 30–50Wh/kg with a regular lead acid. Another negative is a steep voltage decline on discharge that shares similarities with the supercapacitor.

CSIRO Ultrabattery

The Ultrabattery by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia combines the asymmetric ultracapacitor with the lead acid battery, sharing similarities with the advanced lead-carbon described above. The capacitor enhances the power and lifetime of the battery by acting as a buffer during charging and discharging. This is said to prolong battery lifetime by a factor of four over regular lead acid systems while boosting the power by 50 percent. The manufacturer further claims a 70 percent cost reduction over current batteries in hybrid electric vehicles. CSIRO batteries were tested in a Honda Insight HEV, and the results were said to be positive. The battery is also being tested for start-stop applications in micro-hybrid cars. Unlike other advanced lead acid, the ability to rapid-charge is a decisive advantage over the regular lead acid. Furukawa Battery in Japan licensed the technology and also makes the battery.


This is the mystery battery/supercapacitor combination that has received much media attention. The battery is based on a modified barium titanate ceramic powder and claims a specific energy of up to 280Wh/kg, higher than lithium-ion. The company is very secretive about their invention and releases only limited information. Some of their astonishing claims include: One-tenth of the weight of a NiMH battery in a hybrid application; no deep-cycle wear-down, 3–6 minute charge time; no hazardous material; similar manufacturing costs to lead acid; and a self-discharge of only 0.02 percent per month, a fraction of that of lead acid and Li-ion. Tests conducted in 2013 did not find meaningful levels of energy because of high resistance between the layers. Research is continuing.

Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB)

Car manufacturers are aware of the added stress when a regular starter battery is in start-stop mode. AGM (absorbent glass mat) batteries can withstand the repeat start function, but car manufacturers looking for a lower cost solution came up with the enhanced flooded battery (EFB). Tests reveal that the EFB performs better than the regular flooded version, but it is not as good as AGM. Performance appears to be directly related with battery cost.



Battery experts believe that the core limitation of the lead acid battery is the utilization of lead. Lead-based technology has significant unused performance potential. Improving the active material is said to unlock such prospect by attaining a deeper understanding and getting access the analytical tools to investigate the phenomenon. Adding carbon-based material to the negative electrode lowers sulfation, improves conductivity and increases charge acceptance.

Last Updated 2019-02-15

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Comments (89)

On May 3, 2011 at 6:31am
ab zaman wrote:

i want to know about lead acid batteries

On May 28, 2011 at 6:02am
John Fetter wrote:

The original flooded lead-acid battery using lead-antimony grid alloy and pasted plates is by far the best technical, most economic battery ever invented. The change to lead-calcium negative grid alloy was a CLEVER move - the change to lead-calcium alloy positive grid alloy was a STUPID move. The special oxygen recombination, fibreglass mat / gel, VRLA, maintenance free batteries are just plain junk. Should have stuck to the old flooded technology, added some space for extra electrolyte, put on inversion protection, a pressure control valve to keep the cell interior above ambient pressure. Will last twice as long as the so-called maintenance free junk that was designed by sales people and definitely not in the laboratory.

I will explain how gassing and positive plate wear can be VASTLY reduced in ordinary flooded batteries next month.

On June 24, 2011 at 9:40am
Afzaal Khan wrote:

Hello John,

I find your comments candid and interesting especially in the light of all the marketing hype propogated by various leading brands.

Please may I request some technical data to back up your claims. I am in search for excellence for consumers as well as for the environment that sustains us.

Kind Regards,
Afzaal Khan

On June 25, 2011 at 5:55am
John Fetter wrote:

Hello Afzaal

Part of the answer to your question can be found on the following website:

The rest of this rather large website contains more information about lead-acid batteries than you can absorb in one “sitting”.

Good luck.

Best regards
John Fetter

On September 26, 2011 at 3:47pm
Ruben wrote:

time to charge a12v. 55ah battery with 125 milliamps

On September 26, 2011 at 4:07pm
John Fetter wrote:

12v 55Ah @ 125mA = 3 weeks

On September 27, 2011 at 12:00am
John Fetter wrote:

Gassing and positive plate corrosion can be reduced by introducing a substance into the electrolyte of the battery that is made of molecules that have a specific shape and that carry an electric charge. The electric charge encourages the molecules to migrate as ions to the NEGATIVE plates and to adhere on their surfaces. When the molecules attach, they become arranged like trees in a huge forest. There is little space between the “trees”, just enough to allow the comparatively small ions that govern battery functioning to pass through. When metal dissolves in the battery electrolyte, it forms bulky hydrated cations. These are too big to get through the spaces between the “trees”, so they remain in solution.

The metal originates from the grids of the positive plates. It gets into the solution as result of a process known as corrosion. Corrosion is an inevitable result of repeated recharging of the battery. If the solution containing the metal becomes saturated, metal cannot get into solution and, incredibly, the process of corrosion is brought almost to a complete stop.

The substance can be modified to become voltage sensitive. The shape of the molecules can be made to react to the voltage present on the negative plate. Careful design of the molecule can cause the spacing between the “trees” to change, so that during normal operation, the spacing is large and during overcharge, the spacing is small. This allows the battery to function completely normally throughout its operating range, except when it becomes overcharged.

When a battery is overcharged, it gasses and consumes water. However, the molecules of the substance now grow wider just as the battery becomes overcharged, pinching off the channels that are carrying water molecules on their way to become electrolyzed to hydrogen at the surface of the negative plates.

This process is subject to Faraday’s First and Second Laws of Electrolysis. Simply limit the top-of-charge voltage to around 2.55V per cell and the water consumption falls dramatically.

The battery lasts about twice as long and uses about half the amount of water.

Bear in mind it would be a bad career move for the technical people working in the battery industry to get involved in making batteries last longer. The person in charge is likely to translate an extension in battery life into a reduction in battery sales.

On September 29, 2011 at 12:21am
MIKE HUNT wrote:


On July 22, 2012 at 11:09pm
Bradley Phillips wrote:

Very interesting discussion thread

On July 26, 2012 at 9:15am
Jai singh shekhawat wrote:

why distile water is added in battery.

On October 26, 2012 at 1:05pm
M J Bunce wrote:

Distilled (or deionised) water is added to replace water lost through overcharging or overheating. Since the water lost is pure, it needs to be trplaced with pure water. Tap water contains magnesium and calcium ions, which will eventually destroy the surfaces of the lead plates. Distillation removes the water from any impurities, while deionisation removes impurities from the water. Even rainwater is not pure as it contains carbonic acid (dissolved carbon dioxide).

On October 26, 2012 at 4:10pm
John Fetter wrote:

The majority of large motive power battery users operating hundreds of batteries, even thousands per site, in the USA, Australia and South Africa, use tap water. A minority use purified water. The situation in Europe is exactly opposite. The majority of Europeans are happy to pay the full going rate for deionized, reverse osmosis water. It is a question of perception and of economics.

On December 6, 2012 at 11:45pm
naveen wrote:

what are the reasons for battery jar breaking? and reason for inside jar color chaging? which influence the battery performance?

On May 12, 2013 at 1:34am
MJD wrote:


On September 6, 2013 at 11:41pm
Ratan Deep Rastogi wrote:

As per John Fetter has added that to reduce gassing and corrosion in positive grids some substance should be added to electrolyte. Mr. John I want to ask now a days I have been facing a very critical problem in my deep cycle flooded tubular batteries. After charging some copper is being deposited on negative plates, I have been watching such type of deposition in my 25 years carrier in battery industry, it is due to addition of something in tubular positive plates oxide or something else. As per faraday low copper gets dissolved in at anode and during charging (Electrolysis) will deposit at cathode (negative). We have been procuring these plates from outside. I want to know that is it possible some body has added copper salt in positive tubular plates and that salt is getting dissolved in electrolyte and depositing on negative. In such batteries I am facing the self discharge problem. A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS THE DANGEROUS THING.

On September 7, 2013 at 12:02am
John Fetter wrote:

Ratan Deep Rastogi - You appear certain it is copper. It would be a good idea to describe the test that told you it is copper. I would not expect any copper but I would expect antimony. Copper turns the acid blue. Antimony does not.

On January 1, 2014 at 2:11am
tradesman wrote:


we have battery liquid that would remove sulphation from weak /old batteries, and bring back to its life for reusing. The liquid technolgy is been tested by most of the user and they have given the result on the performance on the battery after using the liquid. We also have electronic reviver for sealed batteries, and we have sold more than 4000pcs in india for a ebike manufacture/assembling company.

we are closely looking to give franchisee for entire india. we also provide traning and can give the entire KIT for the battery servicing company.

if u are intrested please get intouch with us.


On January 1, 2014 at 3:53am
Narada Yuyutsu wrote:

Mr tradesman you are trying to sell somethings lots of people tried that do’nt work

On January 1, 2014 at 9:18am
theodore wrote:

I have discovered that the substance that John Fetter talks about in his Sep 2011 posting is found in natural rubber. Batteries fitted with rubber separators last more than twice as long as batteries fitted with ordinary plastic separators. Am I right John?

On January 1, 2014 at 10:25am
tradesman wrote:

On January 1, 2014 at 3:53am
Narada Yuyutsu wrote:
Mr tradesman you are trying to sell somethings lots of people tried that do’nt work

Ans:  sir, i not try to sell any thing that do not belong to me, what is lead sulphation ? and how do u term it arrives in a battery ? please describe ? and what is the remedy that has taken place in lead acid industry till date to remove sulphation ?
i am not scientist or who found out lead acid battery. But i appreciate the technology that had improved or remove the defect on lead acid battery.

perpetrators whether rubber or plastic or so what so ever found in recent years, please do let me know why does lead acid battery fail , just because of temperature or outside temperature or the acid gravity ???

kindly explain

All to-gether lets us make the environment safe from c02 emission, save money and lead poison ???

please ensure i am not here to money or whom so-ever here in this . we want to save environment .....

On February 27, 2014 at 4:12am
harry potter wrote:

do you use skype? If yes we can also discuss there. -  It would be awsome if a discussion of e.g. batteries could be done between different scientist via skype or something else, so that everyone get soon help…
i just want to ask something about that battery and explain me how to make it in russia\
harry potter movies in order
thanks you

On March 14, 2014 at 9:44am
Haresh wrote:

i am facing ferquently low ocvs problem in SLI batteries can u give the root causess

On June 26, 2014 at 6:35am
Thomas Soares wrote:

Build a Bedini SG charger and use it to revitalize any kind of battery.

On August 17, 2014 at 3:16am
Neap wrote:

Those EEStor claims about their batteries are really something. I wonder when electric cars will completely take the place of petroleum fuel cars. Those old lead acid batteries tend to fail quickly if abused.:

On August 17, 2014 at 3:21am
Neap wrote:

Few good reasons for a battery failure especially those old dry batteries:
Lets see what these new batteries with new technology has got.

On August 22, 2014 at 8:24pm
suvashish mallick wrote:

sir i am a student of electrical engineer i want to research about batteries,because i want to improve the performance of battery.today battries takes a lot of time to charge,i want to minimize the charging time.if a battery shows 100 cell if it connect to plag for charging and shows only 4 cell as output then it looks so effective and can make charge speedy,but i there is no facilities for reacherch.now sir what should i do

On August 22, 2014 at 9:42pm
sunil wrote:

dear all

if u wish to discuss on battery reviving or maintenaning the battery pls come via skype so that its easy . my id : sales_4squaree


On September 4, 2014 at 12:02pm
Infinite exploration wrote:

Dear,John Fetter
It feels great to know the depth of knowledge u have on this product.Can u suggest any Analysis/theoretical model like MAtlab simulink interfaces that can be developed for predicting lead acid battery all electrical performance.Im am finding hard to make a battery equivalent circuit.

On January 21, 2015 at 5:12am
Mrpunxs wrote:

this forum is making me more confused ???

On January 21, 2015 at 5:55am
John Fetter wrote:

Infinite exploration - I missed your message. I apologize for the delay in replying. It is my impression that the lead-acid battery is a product that evolved out of something like 80% science and 20% art. Alloys, active material preparation, material sourcing, play a part. All lead-acid batteries contain organic performance improvers. It is impossible to accurately predict its performance.

On May 8, 2015 at 2:38am
Badrul Alam wrote:

I am interested to get update & other details news & information from battery university

On June 17, 2015 at 11:55am
akin fadeyi wrote:

(1)  What do think about new Axion Power Technology invention?

(2)  What company is leading the way to improve Batteries performance

On June 17, 2015 at 4:30pm
John Fetter wrote:

akin - There is nothing new about the Axion Power Technology Invention. I had a look at their website. The pages on their website that are devoted to technology date back to before 2009. Not a very good sign. Almost every page on their website carries an item of self congratulation. They appear to be focused on bringing in more and more and more investors. There is no sign of a product on the market.  With regards to your second question - impossible to tell until the new product is on the market and the customers have had their say.

On July 3, 2015 at 10:30pm
veenu saini wrote:

Information and discussion are useful .

On July 31, 2015 at 4:29am
Muzaffar Iqbal wrote:

Thanks John

On July 31, 2015 at 7:54am
akin fadeyi wrote:

Thanks with your update.
You can also visit my website at: https://rocketbusiness411.wordpress.com/

On August 13, 2015 at 1:37am
The rookie wrote:

Whilst reading your forum I came to the conclusion that I’ll need a vast of information in order for me to by a good choice on batteries for my solar application at my house. Some of you seems to be experts.(John Getter) Will you please advise me to a good solar application battery.

On December 12, 2015 at 12:35am
Gerrit van den Dool wrote:

John, looks like a local company has come up with a new lead acid battery design and a commercial opportunity. http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/cape-energy-storage-start-up-creates-peak-shaving-offering-on-back-of-battery-innovation-2015-12-11/rep_id:3182

I would value your comments.

On December 12, 2015 at 1:30am
John Fetter wrote:

Gerrit - The article describes a lead-acid battery design in which hollow aluminum conductors are used. A coolant is circulated to cool the battery.
Where would this idea have been used if the idea was feasible ? Submarines.
I researched this subject years ago. There are quite a few patents that describe this kind of technology - public announcements - followed by embarrassing silence.
It is possible to use metals other than lead inside the conductors connected to the negative plates. They have a tendency to electroplate back. It is quite something else to use metals other than lead inside the conductors connected to the positive plates. They have a tendency to electroplate out.

On February 13, 2016 at 1:12pm
Pete Rau wrote:

You are so knowledgeable that I wonder what your history is.  It sounds like almost trade secrets are known and you had to do a lot of work for some battery companies.  I consult and have to be very careful on what I release.  None the less I am going to ask an electrical modeling question.  What would the equivalent circuit look like for a supercap battery?  Is the series resistive component in series with the battery and supercap and do you have a rough guess at how much capacitance.  I want to create a model for use in other circuits for the different types and can find no information for these values for lead acid which I generally just use the perfect battery and calculate the series resistance from the voltage droop under load.  Thank you for your info, and thank you in advance you might give.

On February 13, 2016 at 2:15pm
Pete Rau wrote:


This is the model just no values for a typical high volume battery for electric vehicles.


On February 14, 2016 at 8:09am
Pete Rau wrote:

If you don’t have anything convenient let me know.  I will buy one. I have a battery backup system for our fridge in the kitchen and freezer in the garage.  I parallel the jeeps with the one permanently on the system when power goes out. I want to go to all lead carbon.

I have a full lab and all you need is a Kepco BOPS programmable 4 quadrant PS to charge and discharge and map profiles with a PC connected meters.  Cheap from China and I love them.  The only pain is mine still run NT and need to run in the shell inside Windows 7 or something.  The BOPS can be controlled that way too with GPIB and a host of other communication options for bidirectional control and readings.  I designed a couple things with supercaps and have a great share control circuit for series banks.

On April 1, 2016 at 7:39am
Dr Jack wrote:

Dear Michael, you commandeered the name of your number one enemy and used it to promote your concept. NO ONE SHOULD ATTEMPT to try the five H one tee link.

On April 24, 2016 at 1:02pm
Dr. Venugopal Katta wrote:

I have started Lead Acid Battery plant in South Part of India. I am looking for investor and or if any of the companies would like to collaborate with my company I am glad to take over and restart the project.

All the government compliances and licenses are readily available and the facility is in ready to start condition.

If anyone is interested please email me at v.katta@hotmail.com and or can reach me on 1-647-939-2215 (Toronto, Canada, Number).

Thanks & Regards,
Dr. Venugopal Katta

On June 1, 2016 at 1:43am
Paul wrote:

Does anybody have info on Narada rexc batteries like DOD and life expectations.
I am looking at installing 400ah batteries 48v with schiender gear.

On August 15, 2016 at 11:43am
Vishal Sharma wrote:

how can we made ALC battery we are the currently Lead Acid Battery Manufacturer in india, we want to start Manufacturering ALC Batteries for E-Vehicles..

On August 24, 2016 at 6:35am
Venkat b wrote:

Vishal Ji

Kindly contact pl


On August 26, 2016 at 10:11am
Jason Wharton wrote:

I own some HUP Solar One batteries. Does anyone know what innovations they use in their batteries?

On September 26, 2016 at 11:24pm
sudipto ranjan dass wrote:

All the smart carbon manufacturers are claiming improvement in life cycle performance of batteries. But till date , noone is able to confirm an additive for improving life cycle of a battery which undergoes a varying DOD operation like home invertor batteries where DOD can vary between 20% to 100% typically.

On October 11, 2016 at 10:51am
M.Sharif Nadeem wrote:

You have not disclosed the name of the substance mentioned in your post of 27th september 2011?.
Do you still stand on its effectiveness? Will you share it with me please.

On October 11, 2016 at 3:24pm
John Fetter wrote:

Yes and no.

On October 12, 2016 at 11:08am
M.Sharif Nadeem wrote:

Are these carbon rich molecules, manufactured from wood pulping, coal / mineral oil feed-stocks, soluble in water and soluble in sulfuric battery acid ?

On October 13, 2016 at 5:49pm
John Fetter wrote:

Sufficiently soluble.

On October 28, 2016 at 2:45am
Tim wrote:

I stumbled over a company where they “invented” a bipolar-lead-acid-battery with thin lead foils. What du you think about these outstanding information?

-  Uniform current density
-  Increased active material utilization
-  Higher energy density
-  Higher power density
-  Simpler construction

I was woundering if it makes sense, regarding the durability, to use thin Lead foils?

On November 15, 2016 at 10:20am
Rahul wrote:

How important is it to maintain the core temperature of Lead Acid Batteries to 27C

On April 26, 2017 at 10:19pm
Michael wrote:

Is there any difference in a lead carbon battery’s life if the battery is charged and discharged between 20% and 50% of its capacity as compared to being charged between 70% and 100% of it capacity?

On April 27, 2017 at 5:29pm
John Fetter wrote:

Michael - You might increase the service life by a factor of two to three times.

On June 17, 2017 at 9:22pm
Ali wrote:

Hello John
I use HCl to remove sulfate from terminals of Lead-Acid batteries, Do you know any chemical compound that i can use to remove sulfate instead of HCl ?
Thank you

On June 19, 2017 at 2:05pm
Peter Seligman wrote:

What can you tell us about Lead Crystal batteries? They claim very high cycle life - 1200 cycles at 80% DoD and 40degC

On June 28, 2017 at 9:21am
S.R.Bhat wrote:

For sulphation removal from terminal, dnt use HCl, simply wash the terminal with hot water

On July 2, 2017 at 7:40pm
Ian wrote:

John, like Peter I am interested in your thoughts re the lead crystal batteries.

On July 4, 2017 at 4:12pm
John Fetter wrote:

They are a fashion item. Made by none of the long established brands. Read between the lines.

On July 5, 2017 at 4:26pm
Peter Seligman wrote:

I prefer independent hard data to reading between lines. An independent tester M j Lorton tested a Lead-crystal battery vs a conventional gel cell. In both cases he flattened the battery completely every day and recharged on a 24 hour cycle. After 10 cycles the conventional gel cell was down to 50% capacity. After six months the lead crystal was still providing 75% of its nominal capacity. That’s why I thought that Battery University should consider it a serious contender.

On July 6, 2017 at 5:27pm
John Fetter wrote:

Peter - The people commenting on this page are independent contributors - people who like to discuss battery technology.
I can see plenty of applications for batteries that deliver a fairly steady output voltage. I can see only limited applications for batteries that deliver a falling output voltage. But I am scratching my head to figure out what application there is for a battery that delivers zero volts. Most modern battery powered electrics and electronics will switch off when the battery voltage falls below optimum, to prevent malfunction of the equipment.
I would suggest that most people will readily accept the validity of a battery test run by a certified laboratory. I have looked everywhere. I have been unable to find any test results performed by a certified laboratory on lead crystal. Come to think of it, I have not seen an established battery brand on a lead crystal battery.
Running a battery test that compares lead crystal with gel, by repeatedly discharging a down to zero volts, merely demonstrates that lead crystal can do this better than a seriously handicapped lead-acid technology called gel. Gel cannot withstand total discharge.

On July 7, 2017 at 6:27pm
Peter Seligman wrote:

Thanks John. I’m not saying your contributors aren’t independent but referred to your suggestion to read between the lines (no data there). I agree with your comment that flattening to zero V does not represent normal use.

Since no data is available except Lorton’s I can only quote from the manufacturer’s data sheet. The CNFJ-90 sheet gives graphs showing 525 cycles at 100% DoD at 40 degrees C through to 5026 cycles at 20% DoD. I thought these are impressive numbers and was hoping to get some verification or otherwise through Battery University.

Why hasn’t a certified lab tested these batteries? Because they are sham? How would they know that if they hadn’t tested them?

On July 10, 2017 at 9:54am
John Fetter wrote:

Laboratories are like most businesses - they rely on work that brings in money. It probably costs around $100,000 to run a life cycle test. New types of batteries are put on the market all the time. There is no reason they would want to test products just for the sake of it. If the manufacturers of lead crystal are confident their product is good, they would not hesitate to commission at least one independent laboratory.

On July 25, 2017 at 9:43am
Petr Antos wrote:

hello John, I know you dont like AGM/EFB things a lot, but one thing what is nice for me is usage of lead-acid battery stationary / in-house (charging, may be quite regular speed, 0.1C 2-3hrs then few hours to max with smart charger, ok - and discharging, in this case quite fast, say 0.25C-1C) - marketing materials tells that AGM is totally safe in this case, but why they dont tell the same about EFB when some recombination of gases to water happens there too? having valves calibrated for safety too? (of course, slow enough charging required: - also they expect moving vehicle for shaking recombined water with electrolyte, it seems… - but in case of AGM, there is no shaking and water falls only on the top of fiberglass mesh?? what hapens then with unmixed electrolyte electrolyte and life of everything inside?) btw, what happens with fast discharging (suppose car-audio subwoofer amplifier up to say 200Hz in non-crazy normal rock music…) ??

On September 25, 2017 at 9:12am
Ken Cushing wrote:

I am using 3 80Ah gel batteries for my golf buggy.  It has been just ten months of a 12 month guarantee and they are showing wear, to the extent of only getting me round 15 holes per outing. I play twice per week, so only 40 recharges.  Can you recommend a battery of similar Ah, that will last for at least three years?

On September 25, 2017 at 10:01am
Akin Fadeyi wrote:

Hi Ken:

Try to look into “Lithium Battery”  It last forever.

Good luck.

On September 26, 2017 at 12:03pm
Akin Fadeyi wrote:

Continue to notify when there is a comment.

On November 2, 2017 at 12:04pm
Forough wrote:

Hello every one
I’m looking for a advanced lead-carbon battery in market and its datasheet and specification to use in my thesis. I want to use it in a microgrid. could you introduce one??

On November 10, 2017 at 2:56pm

Hello John,
I find your comments professional and interesting especially in the light of all various leading brands and latest technologies
I am in search for excellence for SMF Maintenance-Free technologies SLI, SLA and Flooded Technologies: EFB, VRLA and AGM, AGM+ & Mixing Technologies : EGM, EFB and EMX and Spiral cell Technology OPTIMA, and PFG Power Frame grid and Nano Carbone, carbon-foam electrodes, Advanced Lead-Carbon (ALC) Technology, CSIRO Ultrabattery, EEStor, any other technology for batteries saving cost & extend the life of battery, longer cycle lifetimes under shallow and deep discharge cycles, Improved resilience to sulfation and resilience to active-material crumbling, Improved charge acceptance, Improved cold temperature behavior, Improved exhaustive discharge Ultra-low water loss.
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On November 10, 2017 at 7:10pm
John Fetter wrote:

If I knew the answers I would patent the essential aspects and offer my patent to the highest bidder.

On November 14, 2017 at 2:56pm

John Fetter
I recommend you kindly contact me by mail

On November 14, 2017 at 2:58pm

Our main goal is aiming at the international advanced technology in the field of lead-acid battery technology, combining with the domestic market need, strengthen innovation, speed up the transformation and upgrading of industry, vigorously promote the competitiveness of the product quality advantages, power type lead-acid batteries, battery than energy increase to 35 ~ 40 wh/kg, develop differentiation lead-acid battery products, long life type lead-acid battery cycle life on the basis of existing extended 30 ~ 50%; Power type lead-acid battery power 20 ~ 40%; Hardy battery - 15 ℃ capacity greater than 0.8 C2, greater than 0.9 C2 under 0 ℃, start type lead-acid batteries, significantly improve the rich liquid is sealed lead-acid battery plate grid corrosion resistant ability, PFG Power Frame grid and develop new anode oxidation additive, prevent the cathode active material under the condition of long-term high temperature shrinkage, improve the discontinued battery life, Advanced Lead-Carbon (ALC) Technology carbon batteries in half charged state, to adapt to frequent starting batteries, shallow cycle and large current recharge when braking energy recovery, shallow cycle life is more than 300000 times, fixed the spare lead-acid battery, the development of high power, the standby time is short, deep cycle miniaturization of lead-acid batteries, high-power discharge current reach 5 ~ 8 c, spare time for a few minutes, the cycle life of 800 ~ 1000 times, the spare life of more than 5 years.
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Admin Manager
Trade Observer W.L.L
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P.O.BOX: 96236 Doha, Qatar

On November 29, 2017 at 3:20pm
James Tomlinson wrote:


I’m using ALC batteries in solar applications, specifically the C&D CRS-NC. I didn’t see their ALC in the list.

One thing I picked up here is that the ALC batteries prefer the partial state of discharge (20% to 50%). We are using 80% DOD for the bottom of the standard AGM batteries. The standard AGM are used in backup type applications. The ALC are used in daily cycle applications.

The ALC we cycle down to 50% DOD and typically recharge with a generator for about 1 hour (0.2 C), and leave recharging up to 100% to the solar panels (about 0.05C on average).

For the ALC, It sounds like we should change the charge/discharge cycle to a bottom of 80% DOD and to stop charging at 14.6V (straight to a lower float). I would expect this is more like a 20% to 80%. How do you think this would compare? I’m trying to be able to use at least 50% of the nominal capacity.

James Tomlinson
Tetra West Technology

On March 11, 2018 at 4:24pm
Ivo Lorencin wrote:

Interesting thread. I have a battery in my car (which has electronic battery management) which lasts already 11 years and this winter started to show its age and will need replacement soon. It is ordinary Varta black lead battery. It shows clearly that lead acid batteries can have long life. I wonder why this is not the case with majority of lead batteries…

On April 14, 2018 at 6:57pm
George Carey wrote:

How many lead acid batteries can be connected in series?
I want to create 216 volts DC to power my UPS

On April 15, 2018 at 7:14am
Paul Stephens wrote:

Hi John
I would greatly value your advice. My boat is mid ocean sailing from South Africa to South America with failing batteries (again)!

I use a battery bank of 5 x 100ah deep cycle lead acid batteries on my boat, but have an unknown problem on board, or in my management programme, which means I have had to replace them every 6 months whilst sailing round the world.

I use a Xantrex amp hour meter to monitor state of charge.

A.  I never seem to get more than 25% of capacity before voltage drops to 12.2v at which point we start the generator and charge until the Xantrex show 100% charged.
B. Capacity drops steadily so that once more I am down to only 15-20ah useable. Also several batteries have “died”  and had to be removed from service. 
C. Latest battery type is VRLA M27DH 12v 100ah
D. There are 4 chargers.
1. Engine alternator. Delivers up to 30 amps. And 13.5v
2. Diesel generator. Delivers up to 125amps via two Cristec charger units with settings for Lead Antimony (13.4v float, 14.6v Boost) or lead calcium (14.4v flloat, 15.6v Boost)
3. Solar panels x 2
4. Ampair D400 wind generator (lots of power above 30 knots of wind!)
E. Current draw with autopilot, electronics and frefrigeration can be about 8-15amps.
The solar panels and wind generator usually mean that no charging is required in daylight hours (in the tropics!)

My battery box below floor board has a height limitation which means that I have never been able to fit AGM or Gel batteries.

I have had to attach charger leads to two different positive terminals because of lack of space to have them all on one.

The engine start battery has survived for three years.


On April 17, 2018 at 12:30pm
Akin Fadeyi wrote:

Here is what I find for you, it is recommended by one of the best Scientist in the field.Brian Donovan, Chief Scientist at McVan Aerospace. (2004-present)
Quote: Lead is toxic, and the batteries generate very explosive Hydrogen oxygen mixed gas.
Fro you to buy
Lithium iron, or LIFEPO4 do not explode or catch fire chemically (all powerful batteries can cause fire with shorts, electrically). This type also last much longer than virtually any other battery type. 5000 cycles. It can handle 90% DOD depth of discharge. You destroy lead acid batteries with full discharge. The best LA, lead acid, batteries end up costing more than average better lithium batteries or close. The lifetime cost of LIFEPO4 is probably better than any other home backup battery as well. The LIEFPO4 batteries are able to charge in an hour or less without degeneration, versus 8 hours for the LA typically. Most LA batteries need to be “watered” as well. Utilities tried them, and then replaced them within a year or two with lithium. The efficiency of LA is also 70$% versus 90% for LIFEPO4 so you need more solar panels with LA than Li. Li is non toxic.

Good Luck and let me know how you are doing with this recommendation.  I will help yo do so more research.


On April 18, 2018 at 1:35pm
Akin Fadeyi wrote:

thanks with your update.

On September 8, 2018 at 12:42am
kevin pugh wrote:

John what is your opinion on the new breed of EFB/powerframe batteries from yuasa and Varta , I’ve been recommended them to replace my failed banner energy bulls. Are they really that special and would you pick them over say the Trojan t105’s
I’ve also been told to go for agm and also another saying don’t go for agm as they are not known for doing well in a campervan type scenario ?
Very confused

On September 27, 2018 at 8:49am
Rasbehari Ghosh wrote:

Is lead alum battery a hoax?

On October 2, 2018 at 2:52am
Alexander wrote:

Hello !

I am Ukrainian, I am writing to you from Kiev, Ukraine.

Since 2008, I have been studying the processes of charge and recovery of the properties
of lead-acid batteries using “impulse charge”.
I have developed a unique charger that allows you to charge and “cure” batteries
that are not charged by classic chargers.
You’ve probably come across situations where your client discharged the battery on the car,
and then can not charge it in any way.

Cases, such as “the battery does not rotate the car’s engine”, 
“I listened to the music for an hour and now I can not start
a car”, “the car was standing for a week or a month and now I can not
start a car,”  “I bought a charger in the supermarket, it shows me
that the battery is charged but the battery can not start my car “-
My charger Version4 helps to solve this problem.

I develop and manufacture unique battery chargers, my website:
on my site the history of researches and the scientific proofs put
in a basis of my workings out is presented:

I want to find partners for the sale and popularization of the impulse charging method .

I can help you organize a business to restore the properties of lead batteries in your area.

Best regards,
Alexander V Soroka

On October 25, 2018 at 6:15am
Nicola Crosta wrote:


could you please indicate any possible material about which would be possible advancements and upgrades fo lead batteries if using ultra pure (99,999%) lead?

Thank You very much for Your attention, kindest regards

Nicola Crosta

On October 25, 2018 at 10:45am
Peter wrote:

Aqms making the purest recycled lead available for better lead acid batteries

On January 17, 2019 at 9:32pm
Mark Smith wrote:

It would be good to update on the Ultrabattery, that East Penn subsidiary ecolt is marketing a 48v 1000kg 17kwh, 20kw pallet mounted unit called UltraFlex. There is no more reference to EV applications for this technology from East Penn.

Several pilots are summarized as are some testimonials. It would be great to get more comment on how many of these are deployed!

On February 14, 2019 at 2:11pm
Shari McDowell wrote:

Update: Firefly Energy no longer manufactures in the US. The original Firefly company went bankrupt and the technology was licenced by an Indian company, Firefly Batteries Pvt. Ltd,  that manufactures the batteries in India since 2014.

On March 1, 2019 at 12:00am
Haamayet wrote:

I have completed my B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering. And now appointed as a executive Engineer in a renowned Battery manufacturing company in Bangladesh.  It is lead acid SMF battery. I want to know more about battery technology.  How can i do that?  Is there any online courses by which can i gather more Knowledge about SMF Battery.?