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Reconditioning Dead Batteries ??? BS Or What ?

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  • Reconditioning Dead Batteries ??? BS Or What ?

    I stumbled across this, listened to some of it but went into with a "more BS" kind of attitude. I've seen battery gimmicks in the past that I never fell for.

    Let the comments roll !!!! https://ezbatteryreconditioning.com/video_v3/

    JL.................

  • #2
    I have heard of chargers that use a "pulse" technique for lead-acid batteries. And they do work, it is no secret. They knock the crystals off the plates with high-energy bursts, allowing the battery to work properly.
    25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
      I have heard of chargers that use a "pulse" technique for lead-acid batteries. And they do work, it is no secret. They knock the crystals off the plates with high-energy bursts, allowing the battery to work properly.
      Yes, I have heard of those battery desulfators that pulse the battery with different waveforms. I don't recall hearing any great success stories with them though.
      It looks like this guy is selling a book on how to do it. I didn't listen to it long enough to find out what his method is.

      JL....
      Last edited by JoeLee; 07-18-2021, 11:52 PM.

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      • #4
        These pitches are based on a grain of truth, but the claims are vastly exaggerated. The techniques, which are pretty common knowledge, sort of work, sometimes.

        The pitch is 90% BS.

        Ed
        For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

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        • #5
          I've also read....

          That the real killer of lead acid batteries is the build up of sulfation materials at the bottoms of the plates that eventually leads to shorted cells.

          Add to that the design of "DEEP CYCLE" batteries includes two main features. First, they have increased plate volume and material. Second they have a greater depth "at the bottom". to allow for accumulation of sulfated material from the plates. This allows increased shedding before shorting plates occurs.

          So yes, pulsed charging technologies can rejuvenate battery cells, even to the point of temporarily clearing away accumulations at the bottom of the plates.

          But it will return.

          I've had experience with dumping the electrolyte, flushing the battery internals with lots of fresh water and agitation to wash away the bottom sludge, and then refilling with the clear electrolyte that was drained. Good for a while. a year or two. but always a question of performance.

          Buy the way, I just had to replace the battery on the tractor. That battery in service as long as I've owned the tractor, over 14 years. Worked fine all last winter too.
          Battery series 91 premium. pricey item. I hope this replacement lasts as long! I'm OK with $10 per year COA ;-)


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          • #6
            Band-Aid on a broken wing. You can dump out the 'mud' at the bottom of the cells if they are shorted out and add some fresh acid but it's only going to buy you a few months, at best. Chasing good money after bad. When the lead plates are etched off they're just plain done for. Some of the big industrial batteries have a bolt-on top covers that make cleaning out the sulfates and swapping out the lead plates easier, but the batteries we get at the local auto parts stores are simply prime candidates for professional recycling when at the end of their service life. When they're done, they're done. Pony up the coin and get a good quality replacement(s) and enjoy some peace of mind not having to worry about a battery failure.

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            • #7
              Lead acid batteries work by "sulfation".... They convert to "sulfate" when discharged, and convert back to acid, lead, and lead dioxide when charged.

              "Sulfation", so-called, is when the sulfate is no longer connected to electrodes in a way that can participate in the conversion back to acid, lead, and lead dioxide. it may have fallen off, it may have converted to a form that does not electrically connect to the plates, and so will not convert back to acid (the lead sulfate is "not active"). The specific gravity at "full charge" will be lower, and the ampere hour capacity is reduced.

              As far as I know, none of the fancy "battery rejuvenators" can actually "fix" a battery that has become "sulfated" in the sense of having material that no longer active. batteries work chemically as batteries by a combination of chemical processes, AND the mechanical structure of the battery.

              Even if you can restore the chemicals to the charged compounds, that does not put the lead back where it came from. The mechanical structure is just as important as the chemicals.

              Material that has fallen off the plates is lost. Even if you could convert it to lead and sulfuric acid, the lead would not be on the plates, and would not "work as a battery". It may appear to work since lead of the plate structure may start to be active material, but the capacity will be low.

              material that has converted to an inactive crystalline form is also lost. Again, even if converted to lead and acid, the lead (or lead dioxide) will not be on the plates.

              It's kind of like rust removal. While you can remove the rust, maybe, there is nothing about the process that will put the iron back where it came from.

              In the battery, "restoration" involves lead that was not intended to participate in the reaction (lead plate frames) being forced to substitute for the lead that used to be in the dioxide or the active portion of the plates (porous sponge lead). That will work for a little while, but the plates will not have enough active lead, and lead that participates in the chemical reaction is no longer structural, weakening the plate frames. That may allow more material to fall off the plates and become lost.

              Best idea is to not bother, and concentrate on preventing the battery from sitting discharged for too long. Sitting discharged allows the active sulfate to become "inactive" sulfate. If the battery is not working, turn it in for the core charge, and replace it.
              CNC machines only go through the motions

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              • #8
                There is another fairly common restoration technique. That one involves dumping the electrolyte, rinsing the battery out and replacing the electrolyte with a new epsom salt based electrolyte. The process is detailed all over the internet. I never tried it, nor know anyone that has so can't speak of success/failure rates. Someday I will try it just for kicks, nothing to loose with a battery that is toast anyways.

                Probably the biggest killer of batteries is the charging method/system used. Most are pretty crude. In the commercial/industrial and solar worlds batteries are charged with a 3 step process, bulk/absorption and float stages. Proper charging can make a huge difference in battery life. Its about getting ALL the sulfates converted back to acid rather than just MOST of them each cycle. Also, its commonplace in those environments to do a occasional balancing cycle which ensures all cells in a battery are equally charged, over time some cells charge more than others, the undercharged cells never fully convert all the sulfates back to acid and will deteriorate faster.

                My solar system has such a 3 step charging system along with balancing. Balancing can be done on a scheduled basis automatically (monthly is common) or manually selected when desired.
                Last edited by Sparky_NY; 07-19-2021, 06:50 AM.

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                • #9
                  Sparky, is the 3 step process you talk about dependent on the charger being set up specifically for it or is it using whatever charger you have and using a timed or other technique? Jim

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jmm03 View Post
                    Sparky, is the 3 step process you talk about dependent on the charger being set up specifically for it or is it using whatever charger you have and using a timed or other technique? Jim
                    Usually a charger made for the method but it could also be done manually with a variable DC power supply. The bulk phase is constant current, lets say 50 amps for example, when the voltage rises to a certain point, normally about 2.40V per cell / 14.4 for a 12V battery, then the absorption mode begins which is constant voltage. In the absorption mode the voltage is held steady, at 14.4 for example and the current decreases as the charge progresses. When the current decreases to the area of 2-3 amps the float stage begins which is at a lower voltage, around 13.5V, the current decreases slightly more then remains steady, the battery can be left in float stage for a extended period, years if necessary.

                    The higher end chargers made for 3 step charging often have settable points for the bulk charge max current, absorption voltage and float voltage. If a variable power supply was used you would have to keep a eye on it and readjust at the appropriate times.

                    You may be able to do similar with a charger that has a high/medium/low charge rate, would all depend on the particular charger and the voltages/current it produces.

                    Battery manufacturers usually publish charging specs for their batteries with the parameters for 3 step charging so you don't have to guess and use values that give the best possible results for that battery.
                    Last edited by Sparky_NY; 07-19-2021, 12:20 PM.

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                    • #11
                      And there is an equalizing charge, which deliberately gasses the battery by applying a current at a higher voltage than the other stages.

                      By overcharging some cells, any that are behind on charge are brought up to full charge and specific gravity. Those will often be ones that have slightly more capacity than the others, so they are not charged fully when the others are.

                      You do not want any cells to have low specific gravity, because that means they have unconverted sulfate.

                      If the battery has been really drained (which is not good for it) there is also a charge stage that is low constant current, to bring the battery up to a voltage where it is able to accept the "bulk" charge. That deeply discharged voltage is often considered to be below 1.75 V/cell.

                      Trojan T-105 batteries specify (for a 12V system) a voltage of 14.82 for bulk, 13.5 for float, and 16.2 for equalizing. At 11.5V, their remaining capacity is about 10%.
                      Last edited by J Tiers; 07-19-2021, 12:56 PM.
                      CNC machines only go through the motions

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                        And there is an equalizing charge, which deliberately gasses the battery by applying a current at a higher voltage than the other stages.

                        By overcharging some cells, any that are behind on charge are brought up to full charge and specific gravity. Those will often be ones that have slightly more capacity than the others, so they are not charged fully when the others are.

                        You do not want any cells to have low specific gravity, because that means they have unconverted sulfate.

                        If the battery has been really drained (which is not good for it) there is also a charge stage that is low constant current, to bring the battery up to a voltage where it is able to accept the "bulk" charge. That deeply discharged voltage is often considered to be below 1.75 V/cell.

                        Trojan T-105 batteries specify (for a 12V system) a voltage of 14.82 for bulk, 13.5 for float, and 16.2 for equalizing. At 11.5V, their remaining capacity is about 10%.
                        Yes, equalizing charge is synonymous with balancing charging which I mentioned back in post #8. Most of the higher end chargers have the feature. My solar inverter will do it automatically on a scheduled basis (monthly is common) or manually.

                        A battery discharged to near 10% will have a very short life. Depth of discharge, abbreviated DOD, is a major factor in lifespan. Generally, going below 50% DOD is something to avoid if you want decent lifespan. I use a much higher end battery than the trojan T-105's, PowerSafe 170AH ones, a bank of eight in 48V configuration. They sell for about $800 each new so you want them to last ! Treated well, they commonly last 15 years.
                        Last edited by Sparky_NY; 07-19-2021, 01:51 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                          And there is an equalizing charge, which deliberately gasses the battery by applying a current at a higher voltage than the other stages.

                          By overcharging some cells, any that are behind on charge are brought up to full charge and specific gravity. Those will often be ones that have slightly more capacity than the others, so they are not charged fully when the others are.

                          You do not want any cells to have low specific gravity, because that means they have unconverted sulfate.

                          If the battery has been really drained (which is not good for it) there is also a charge stage that is low constant current, to bring the battery up to a voltage where it is able to accept the "bulk" charge. That deeply discharged voltage is often considered to be below 1.75 V/cell.

                          Trojan T-105 batteries specify (for a 12V system) a voltage of 14.82 for bulk, 13.5 for float, and 16.2 for equalizing. At 11.5V, their remaining capacity is about 10%.
                          My Genie has Trojan T145's x 4. 6v ea. Their getting kind of lazy. I've never let them discharge beyond the 50% mark and I charge them regularly off the units charger. I've never put anything but distilled water in them, that's probably why they have lasted as long as the have. 14 years to be exact. After a charge all the cells read into the green as far as specific gravity goes, but that doesn't mean the battery is in good shape.

                          JL...........

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                          • #14
                            I get 10 years at least from the T-105s, which is not bad. Sometimes, with power out and no sun, you are just stuck. But 50% is a good number to use for max discharge.

                            When a battery has the right specific gravity (SG), there cannot be a lot wrong with it. If there were, you'd never get the SG up. The SG tells you if you are losing acid to sulfating, it the active material is less, etc.

                            1.250 is about right for most lead acid batteries, but the specs tell the story on what it should be. The T-105 are spec'd at 1.277 for 100%.

                            There is also the fact that if water is low, SG may be up, and if overfilled, SG will be lower..
                            CNC machines only go through the motions

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                              I get 10 years at least from the T-105s, which is not bad.
                              Last I heard the T-105s are among the best. I know they used to use them to make battery packs for floor machines and forklifts. Not sure about how they are used today. I have heard of guys using forklift battery packs with the proper charge controllers for a "whole house" UPS setup with solar and wind. (of course that runs into money...)
                              25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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