Many of us tend to throw the old batteries away as soon as we see a deflection in their charging holding capacity. This is because we don’t have a fair idea about the functionality of the batteries and we think that the only way to get maximum performance is by acquiring a new battery even when it costs us. However, there is more than one solution to recondition a battery of any type and save money.
By reconditioning a battery, you can turn the old battery to a functional battery and use it without any hassles. The reconditioning of a battery is indeed a simple process (check
EZ Battery Reconditioning Course Review
) which doesn’t require advanced knowledge about a battery and even a beginner can recondition it given the right investment of time, effort and tools.
Lead-acid batteries work in the same methodology. Lead Acid batteries have been developed over the years with many modifications in the manufacturing process since 1880. Based on the user requirements, there have been major improvements in life, energy density, the reliability of the lead acid batteries while keeping the flat plates inserted in electrolyte pool as a basic formula. All of the lead acid batteries require the addition of water on a regular basis to work properly.
How Does a Lead Acid Battery Work?
Lead Acid is not as durable as the Lithium Ion or the Nickel based batteries when they are deep cycled. They are heavy, and a single discharge causes so much of stress inside the battery causing a reduction in the capacity. This loss might seem to be less at the starting but as the battery fades; this loss might damage half of the capacity, and this applies to all the lead acid batteries.
Depending on the same phenomena, a lead acid battery provides around 300 discharge cycles, and the reason for the short life is because of the grid corrosion and deception of active material on the positive lead plates and the electrode as well. The ageing of the battery is elevated by operating temperature and high current as well.
Charging and Discharging of Lead Acid Battery
harging of the lead acid battery is very simple if you know how to observe the voltage limits. By choosing a low voltage, the battery will be sheltered. However, it will reduce the performance and also leads to sulfation on the negative lead plate. But when the voltage is high, it will create the above-mentioned grid corrosion on the positive plate. While sulfation can be reduced, the corrosion, on the other hand, is permanent.
Lead acid is not apt to fast charge unlike other batteries, and therefore, each full charge will take around 16 hours. The lead-acid battery should always be stored in full charge all the time. The problem of sulfation can be reduced by addition of carbon on the negative lead electrode, and it lowers the energy of the battery. The Lead Acid Battery is known to have a moderate span, but it doesn’t work as the Nickel based systems especially when it comes to the memory.
The retention of the charge is best in the lead acid batteries while the self-discharge of the lead acid battery takes a year to complete. The lead-acid batteries also work extremely well at cold temperatures and are better than other batteries at sub-zero batteries.
Types of Lead Acid Battery
The first maintenance-less battery was manufactured in the 1970s with sealed acid so that there won’t be any loss in the capacity easily. The battery designers started adding a valve to control the gases which are venting out during a charge and discharge cycle. Instead of dipping the plates in an electrolyte, the electrolyte is inserted in a sealed and moistened separator that avoids the leakage. The sealed battery is known to contain less amount of electrolyte than the regular flooded type, and it can combine both hydrogen and oxygen on its own to create water.
Deep Cycle Battery
The deep cycle battery is created to provide power continuously. Both the starter battery and the deep cycle battery look ver much alike from the outer side but they have many fundamental differences when it comes to the design. While the starter battery is mainly designed to produce high power, the deep cycle battery offers moderate power but can be cycled a number of times.
How to Recondition a Lead Acid Battery?
How to Revive a Lead Acid Battery?
To start the process, there are a couple or more things that you will need a Multimeter, Distilled Water (Which is not demineralized), Adjustable PSU, Rubber Gloves, Taper Charger, Screwdriver, Paper towel, Flashlight, SuperGlue, Syringe, etc.
Initially, measure the voltage of the battery. Connect a multimeter to the battery to do this and make sure that the voltage is not more than 11.8v in the open circuit. If the voltage is higher, adjust the charge and lower, revive the voltage.
Proceed with inspection of the cells. Place the towels in the working area. Now if you have a sealed lead acid battery, you will have to break it open using a screwdriver. Wear the gloves and start removing the caps.
Wipe the leakage and wet spots during the removal with the towel and make sure that you are reconditioning the battery in a ventilated area.
After opening the lid, check inside to see if there is any dry white fabric. If you don’t have any; you battery is not yet completely sulphated. However, if you check for a brown fabric with minute lumps, your battery is being sulphated and based on the number of lumps, you can estimate the change of revival.
Add water to the battery and shake it. Rest the battery for around 10 minutes or so. Now connect the multimeter again and set the current to 10A. Start charging the battery and leave it for 1 hour. Check the voltage again in order to check the battery and you can see it revived.
How to Prolong a Lead Acid Battery?
A Lead Acid Battery usually contains three phases in its life; known as the formatting phase, the peak phase and the decline phase. In the first stage, the plates are dipped and surrounded by the electrolyte allowing the absorption and the release. This phase is very important for the deep-cycle batteries as they require at least 50 cycles to reach the peak phase.
During the peak phase, the battery delivers full performance. A deep cycle battery usually delivers 200 cycles before the decline phase beings. The replacement of a battery should occur when the battery capacity has dropped to 80%. Make sure that the lowest threshold is never below 50% during the ageing.
Starting with the prolongation procedure, apply a charge for 16 hours. If your charge cycle is not allowing this, give full saturated charge once in a week and start operating the battery at a moderate room temperature to avoid discharges.
The main reason for shortened life cycle of lead acid batteries is the depletion of lead and the grid corrosion. Therefore, keep adding water at regular intervals and maintain a check on the voltage and current of the battery.
It is also important to know about the sulfation of your battery and take adequate measures while you repeat the saturation charge and discharge cycles to prolong the battery.
How to De-Sulfate a Lead Acid Battery?
Sulfation of a Lead Acid Battery happens in two types: Reversible and Permanent. If your battery is being serviced at regular intervals, the reversible sulfation can be reduced by overcharging the battery on an application of 200mA current.
The voltage can be rised to 2.66V/cell for a day or more at a temperature of 60°C to dissolve the sulphur crystals. Permanent sulfation, on the other hand, can’t be desulfated because the sulfation happens over a gradual period at a low charge.
At this particular stage, the recovery process is chaotic and can’t be clearly defined. The new batteries that are produced in the contemporary era can be restored fully over the weeks.
Also, the Lead Acid Batteries, these days indicate whether the battery can be recovered or not on the discharge curve. If there is stability in discharge profile of a fully charged battery, the chances of desulfation are better.
Many companies offer anti-sulfation solutions which apply certain pulses to the terminals to reverse the solutions. Though you can try DIY desulfation techniques, there might be many complications, and therefore, it is recommended to go for a sophisticated technology that gives you a healthy battery.
The reason why desulfation at home is not recommended is that it can blindly overcharge the battery and create grid corrosion from which there won’t be a recovery at all. As there are no chargers or methods available for desulfation effectively, it is safe to go for a corrective sulfation service.
However, some manufacturers do not recommend desulfation treatment as it has the potential to create short circuits which increase the self-discharging pace. Moreover, the pulses can rip the voltage due to the heat induced.
How to recondition a Lead Acid Battery with Epsom Salt?
You just need Distilled water and Epsom Salt to recondition the battery using the DIY trick. This method is best used for the Sealed Lead Acid Battery that is completely dead or in dying condition and most of the times; you can add life to them.
Initially, shake the batteries to see if there is any water left in the battery. If you can’t hear any, your batteries are completely dried, and they wouldn’t charge in any way.
Open the battery by removing the rubber plugs followed by the caps of the Sealed Lead Acid Battery. Add around half a cup of distilled water inside the battery and then heat the battery.
After making sure that the battery is heated up enough, add around 1.5 Oz of Epsom Salt. Shake the battery in order to mix the solution up and allow it to dissolve in each of the cell.
As the dead battery contains low charge, you can’t use a normal charger to charge the battery. Therefore, connect the battery to the bench power at 12V and allow it to charge for an hour.
Wait till the battery gains enough resistance and repeat the charging process again and again for three different times so that the sulphate lumps inside the battery are also dissolved. Epsom Salt helps all kind of Lead Acid Batteries even if they are deeply-cycled and gives a double folded capacity.
Safety in Reconditioning a Lead Acid Battery
When you’re going with the DIY reconditioning of a Lead Acid Battery, it is important to know about the messing involved with dangerous electrolytes and acids present in the battery. Most of the steps involved in the restoration of the battery involve pretty common techniques. So make sure that you keep the safety goggles, rubber gloves and the paper towels to avoid any contact with your body or skin with the lead acid inside the battery.
To conclude, make sure you’re careful while dealing with these batteries. In many cases, the cells inside the battery are damaged, and you won’t be able to retrieve the 100% capacity of the battery. The most you can get is 70% battery, and any of these methods can be followed to provide enough power. Learning the DIY reconditioning of the batteries is good not only in financial aspect but also environmentally. Comment in the below section if you face any hassle so that we can help you clear it.
A quick note about the reviews on this site: I am an affiliate for every product I review. The vendors of these products give me them without charge in order for me to test them. However all my reviews are done as honestly as possible and I make no promises to the vendor prior to writing my review. Should you click a link on this site that takes you to a paid product this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to purchase that product.