It always seems that something goes wrong at the worst possible time. But how do you keep your battery powering through for that long without any issues?

The keys include proper storage, correct charging and good maintenance. For many professional racers and enthusiasts, storing your car is a seasonal routine. Even when your vehicle is turned off, there still may be a drain on the battery.

This is especially true of newer vehicles equipped with computers, alarms and satellite-based accessories that continue to run even when the vehicle is off. Over time, these can discharge a battery to voltage levels that are too low to start the vehicle. You can considerably extend the life of your battery and avoid permanent damage by following a few easy storage tips. OPTIMA chargers can charge batteries some other chargers cannot and are specifically designed not to overcharge your battery.

While in storage, we recommend using a battery maintainer to keep the battery at full power during the off-season. The OPTIMA Digital and will safely charge and maintain your battery even during long-term storage with automatic restart in the event of power disruption, temperature-compensated charging and several unique features that prevent overcharging even in the event of battery failure.

After your vehicle is stored, just hook up the battery maintainer—with the battery either in or out of the vehicle—plug it in, and walk away. When you bring it out again, make sure to the top the battery off with a battery charger not your alternator before putting your vehicle back into service.

An important key to maintaining a battery is charging it correctly. Newer chargers are equipped to handle the latest battery technology and are the best type to use with AGM batteries. Many newer battery chargers, like the OPTIMA Digital Performance Charger and Battery Maintainer are microprocessor-controlled, which helps adjust the charging profile and maximize efficiency and effectiveness in charging.

This is particularly important to help minimize sulfation in the battery. Sulfation can begin forming in any lead-acid battery once voltage drops below Likewise, maintaining a percent state of charge whenever possible is also best for the battery.

After charging is complete, the charger will enter into its auto-maintain mode, keeping your battery fully charged while minimizing sulfation. The best method for recharging a deeply discharged AGM battery is to use a good, modern charger, as previously mentioned, that can recover deeply discharged batteries.

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By following these overall tips and tricks, you will help extend the life of your battery and keep your vehicle starting up year after year. Want more best practices?While there are many battery chemistries today, and new types becoming commercially viable over time, we deal with the lead acid types, flooded, AGM, and true Gel, as they are widely used in the applications we specialize in. A typical lead acid battery cell has two plate types, one of lead and one of lead dioxide, both in contact with the sulfuric acid electrolyte as either a liquid, absorbed in a mat AGMor a gel.

The lead dioxide PbO 2 plate reacts with the sulfuric acid H 2 SO 4 electrolyte resulting in hydrogen ions and oxygen ions which make water and lead sulfate PbSO 4 on the plate. The lead plate reacts with the electrolyte sulfuric acid and leaves lead sulfate PbSO 4and a free electron. Discharge of the battery allowing electrons to leave the battery results in the build up of lead sulfate on the plates and water dilution of the acid.

The specific gravity of the electrolyte as measured with a hydrometer in flooded batteries, indicates its relative charge strengthor level of dilution discharge.

The 10 Best Battery Desulfators to Buy 2020

The reversibility of this reaction gives us the usefulness of a lead acid battery. Charging the battery is reversing the process above, and involves subjecting the battery to voltages higher than its existing voltage. The higher the voltage, the faster the charge rate, subject to some limitations.

There is a gassing point to consider, and true gel batteries have a lower peak charge voltage, because bubbles can occur in the gel which don't dissipate, and result in battery damage. More on this in the charging tutorial. The lead sulfate crystals are broken down more or less successfully in the charge cycle. Sometimes some crystals remain, or sometimes a battery is left partially discharged where the crystals of lead sulfate harden, and reduce the capacity of the battery to be charged.

This is what desulfation desulphation is about. Batteries are subject to an internal discharge, also called self-discharge. This rate is determined by the battery type, and the metallurgy of the lead used in its construction. Wet cells, with the cavities inside for electrolyte, use a lead-antimony alloy to increase mechanical strength. For this reason, wet cells should not be left unmaintained or uncharged for long periods.

The lead used in Gel and AGM battery construction does not require high mechanical strength since it is stabilized by the gel or mat material. Any battery discharge, including internal discharge, produces sulphation on the battery plates as part of the chemical cycle, and given enough time, this sulphation hardens, causing diminished battery capacity at best, or total loss of function.

Routine charging after use, or use of a "floating" charger for long periods of storage boat batteries, ATVs, etc. Lab and field tests by individuals, companies and government agencies around the world have proven that Pulse Technology works. It is literally the most effective method available for ensuring lead-acid battery performance, increasing battery efficiency and reducing battery-related costs.

Today, they offer over 60 products designed to help you reduce battery-related problems and costs. To get an idea of exactly how important pulse technology is to the performance of all your vehicles, consider this: The main cause of vehicle failure is battery failure due to sulfation buildup on the battery plates. And Pulse Technology prevents sulfation buildup.

In most cases, your battery is still good. You just can't reach the energy inside. That means you have to buy another battery even though the one you have may still be usable. PulseTech products help prevent this problem.

PulseTech products connect directly to the battery. They emit a pulsating dc current that removes the sulfate deposits from the plates and returns them to the battery acid as active electrolyte.

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When installed permanently, these products also help keep sulfates from building up again so your battery is in peak condition all the time. In most cases, some of these products even help renew dead batteries already suffering from sulfation buildup and help bring them back to life. Here's how it works : Figure A: Lead-acid batteries work by releasing energy through an interaction that occurs between the positive and negative lead plates and the lead sulfates in the electrolyte.

During this process, some of the sulfates enlarge to the point where they won't accept energy so they stay on the plate.

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Over time, these sulfates can build up until they reduce efficiency and the battery dies.In normal use, battery plates are getting sulfated all the time. When a battery is being discharged the lead active material on the plates will react with the sulfate from the electrolyte forming a lead sulfate on the plates.

When there is no lead active material and or sulfate from the electrolyte remaining the battery then is completely discharged. After a battery reaches this state, it must be recharged.

During recharge, the lead sulfate is reconverted into lead active material and the sulfate returned to the electrolyte. When the sulfate is removed from the electrolyte the specific gravity is reduced and the reverse takes place when the sulfate is returned to the electrolyte.

This is why the state of charge can be determined with the use of a hydrometer or refractometer. If a battery is left in a discharged condition the lead sulfate will harden and have a high electrical resistance.

This is what is normally called a sulfated battery. The lead sulfate may become so hard that normal recharging will not break it down.

Avoid Battery Sulfation

Most charging sources, engine alternators and battery chargers, are voltage regulated. Their charging current is controlled by the battery's state of charge. During charging, battery voltage rises until it meets the charger's regulated voltage, lowering the current output along the way.

When hard sulfate is present, the battery shows a false voltage, higher than it's true voltage, fooling the voltage regulator into thinking that the battery is fully charged. This causes the charger to prematurely lower it's current output, leaving the battery discharged.

Charging at a higher than normal voltage and low current may be necessary to break down the hardened sulfate. Over time, a portion of the plate's active materials turns into hard sulfate. If the battery is continually cycled in this manner, it will lose more and more of its capacity until it no longer has enough capacity to perform the task for which it was intended. An equalizing charge, applied routinely every three to four weeks, should prevent the sulfate from hardening.

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In both cases, the fact that the battery "won't take a charge" is a result of improper charging procedures which allowed the sulfate to harden. In most instances, it is possible to salvage a battery with hardened sulfate. The battery should be charged from an outside source at 2. This indicates that the sulfate is breaking down. If it does, turn the charger off and let the battery cool. Then, continue charging until each cell in the battery is brought up to full charge nominal 1.

This time needed to complete this recharge depends on how long the battery has been discharged and how hard the sulfate has become. The next time your batteries don't seem to be taking or holding a charge, check the specific gravity with a hydrometer. If all cells are low even after a long time on charge, chances are you've got some hardened sulfate that has accumulated on the plates. By following the instructions outlined above, the problem may be corrected.

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Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback. Related Articles.Advanced Search Search Tips. The following, if done correctly, will tell you more about the condition of your battery than any "anecdotal" history ever would.

Testing with a Temperature Compensated Hydrometer Tester. These batteries have no filler caps or manifold-type covers. Because you cannot gain access to the interior of your battery you cannot test it with a hydrometer.

Note: Do not expect to completely dissolve sulfate in a day. Long established sulfate will require a longer period to be fully dissolved. Be patient and you will rewarded with a "sulfate-free" battery.

Do Desulfators Restore Amp-Hours? Lead Acid Battery experiment

All prices are in USD. Copyright VDC Electronics. Stay Charged! Please wait Registration FAQ Contact. Search Advanced Search Search Tips. Check the water-liquid electrolyte level. If the level is low or has ever been below top of plates, severe lead plate sulfation has taken place.

Refill each cell with distilled water only to the liquid level indicator found in each cell. Before proceeding further you must be thoroughly familiar with the safety and operating instructions. Recharge the battery with the BatteryMINDer battery charger desulfator to ensure that it is slowly and completely charged before you determine its condition.

Allow battery to " REST " overnight for a minimum of 12 hours. See the Specific Gravity - Capacity chart below for more information. Allow battery to remain in maintenance mode for a minimum of 72 hours, before re-test.

Use a temperature compensated hydrometer tester for the most accurate results see table. If you see an increase in the Specific Gravity SG or voltage indicating that there is an improvement in the battery's condition, continue desulfating for an additional 72 hours and retest the battery. Continue this process until the SG or voltage readings no longer increase.

Testing with a Temperature Compensated Hydrometer Tester Read the tester instructions carefully for most accurate readings. Use caution when testing Specific Gravity SG with a hydrometer. If not done properly, acid can spill, which can burn skin or clothing. This will soak the balls in the hydrometer in order to give you more accurate readings. Failure to do so will give you false readings indicating a battery that may not be in as good a condition as you may have thought.

After inserting the tester in a cell, gently tap the tester several times against the inside wall of each cell to dislodge air bubbles that will cause more balls to float than should. Failure to do so will yield false readings that indicate a battery that is not fully desulfated or does not qualify for desulfation. If no balls float in any cell, the cell is shorted. This means your battery is beyond the point of being properly recharged or reconditioned-desulfated.Sulfation is a natural chemical process that takes place, if lead-acid battery plates are exposed to air, or the specific gravity goes below 1.

Sulfation occurs when soft lead sulfate, which is a combination of lead and sulfur, cystalizes into hard lead sulphate. It results in the battery cells being unable to retain an electrical charge so the battery goes dead. If the sulfation is too advanced, then you can't remove it from the lead plates, but if it has only just started to occur, you can remove it by gently recharging the cells.

Check the fluid level in the lead-acid battery cells. Remove the cell covers by unscrewing them with your fingers or a flat-head screwdriver.

Check if the fluid level is below the minimum marker on the side of the cell. You can probably see the lead plates are exposed. Sulfation is apparent when you can see hard lumps of crystals on the plates and around the cell walls. Provided the cystalization isn't covering the walls, and the plates only have small deposits, you may be able to remove sulfation during a slow recharge. Fill the lead-acid battery cells up to the maximum marker using distilled water.

Leave the cell covers off. You will heat the plates during the recharge process, which will help dissolve the sulfation. Connect the two battery-cable clamps from the battery charger to the lead-acid battery terminals. Set your battery charger to the lowest rate of charge. The slower and longer you charge your lead-acid battery the more likely it is that the sulfation will be removed. Turn on your battery charger. Charge your lead-acid battery for 6 hours then take a look inside the battery cells.

Don't turn off your charger. If you see tiny bubbles rising to the surface in each cell, that is a good sign and means your battery cells are charging. The charging process starts to dissolve the sulfation. If you can't see bubbles rising in a particular cell, it may mean the cell cannot recharge, but wait until the full charge time is complete.

Continue charging the battery for at least another 18 hours. Look in the cells again, but don't turn off the charger. The cells should be producing rapid bubbles, if they are taking a charge. If any of the cells is not producing bubbles by this time, the cell can't recover.Do AGM batteries get sulfated? The sulfuric acid is absorbed by a very fine fiberglass mat, making the battery spill-proof. While regular lead acid batteries need a topping charge every six months to prevent the buildup of sulfationAGM batteries are less prone to sulfation and can sit in storage for longer before a charge becomes necessary.

See Full Answer. What causes sulfated plates to occur in a battery? In addition, the sulfate portion of the lead sulfate is not returned to the electrolyte as sulfuric acid. It is believed that large crystals physically block the electrolyte from entering the pores of the plates. Sulfation can be avoided if the battery is fully recharged immediately after a discharge cycle. The electrodes in the battery contain atoms of certain conducting materials.

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For instance, in an alkaline battery, the anode is typically made of zincand manganese dioxide acts as the cathode. And the electrolyte between and inside those electrodes contains ions. Battery stratification is caused when the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte mixture separates from the water and begins to concentrate at the bottom of the battery. This increased concentration of acid increases the formation of lead sulfate sulfation. Sulfation occurs when a lead acid battery is deprived of a full charge.

This is common with starter batteries in cars driven in the city with load-hungry accessories. A motor in idle or at low speed cannot charge the battery sufficiently. What does it mean to Desulfate a battery? The lead sulfate crystals are broken down more or less successfully in the charge cycle.

Sometimes some crystals remain, or sometimes a battery is left partially discharged where the crystals of lead sulfate harden, and reduce the capacity of the battery to be charged. This is what desulfation desulphation is about. The active components of a rechargeable NiCd battery in the charged state consist of nickel hydroxide NiOOH in the positive electrode and cadmium Cd in the negative electrode.

For the electrolyte, usually caustic potash solution potassium hydroxide is used. The chemical reaction at the positive electrode is similar to that of the nickel—cadmium cell NiCdwith both using nickel oxide hydroxide NiOOH.

agm battery sulfation

Hitachi, Makita, Panasonic, and Worx are sold primarily online, though Makita products are also available at local specialty retailers and Home Depot. What is a battery Desulfator? A battery regenerator is a device that restores capacity to lead-acid batteriesextending their effective lifespan.

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They are also known as desulphators, reconditioners or pulse conditioning devices. Your battery energy capacity is 12 volts x 40 amp-hours, for a total of watt -hours.

Divide this by 50 wattsand you get 9. This is a car battery, not a deep-discharge marine battery. Convert mAh to Watt hours. AAA batteries can be measured using voltage for the most part. They are rated at 1.

It seems on average that AAA batteries have a measurement of a bit less than 2 watts per battery. How long do glass mat batteries last? Sealed AGM batteries typically last 3 to 5 years on average.Absorbent glass mat batteries AGM have been a market favorite for the past few decades. At the time, they were designed to be a viable alternative to the Ni-Cad batteries, which were very costly.

Though they were mainly used in military vehicles as a source of back up power and heavy vehicles such as long-distance trucks, nowadays, they have more diversified uses. In principle, the AGM batteries work like any other lead battery.

However, the AGM batteries, compared to flooded batteries, have several significant improvements that make them more efficient. Additionally, just like other types of batteries in the market, they have their advantages and disadvantages. Unlike the traditional lead-acid batteries that freely flood their electrodes, AGM batteries have glass mats that prevent this. Additionally, it is the function of these glass mats to avoid spillage.

Rather than absorbing the electrolyte, the glass mats work by holding the electrolyte in place, preventing it from spilling over, even when the battery is placed in odd positions. Because of the way that they are designed, the AGM batteries have minimal internal resistance. This, therefore, enables them to provide sufficient bursts of power when necessary, such as when one needs to start a battery. Due to this feature, these batteries respond better to loading than any other battery on the market.

AGM batteries, compared to flooded batteries, charge quickly. When compared to flooded batteries of a similar capacity, the charging rate can reach five times faster with the same power source.

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AGM batteries have a longer lifespan than traditional flooded batteries. Moreover, not only do they serve for a more extended period when they perform the same tasks, but they also last longer when they are not in active use.

This is because self-discharging is minimized in these batteries, unlike other types of batteries, which is a huge problem.

How to Remove Sulfation From Lead Acid Batteries

This ensures that one does not have to keep charging them after an extended period of inactivity. These AGM batteries were originally designed to serve the aircraft industry.

This means that they have a sturdy design, one that can handle conditions of intense vibrations, just like those in military and commercial aircraft. Because of this property, they are a favorite for high-end motorcycle riders and race car drivers. The sandwich construction method adopted in their design ensures that their internal components do not fall apart. Moreover, they are invulnerable to the subsequent wear and tear that may result from frequent and continuous vibrations.

Furthermore, they can withstand extreme temperature variations. Sulfation is the property of lead-acid batteries, where there is a gradual accumulation of lead sulfate crystals in the cells. In most cases, it is the cause of failure in lead-acid batteries. Sulfation mostly occurs when the battery is not fully charged, and thus the crystals continuously build up on the plates. When this process goes out of hand, it prevents the efficient conversion of chemical to electrical energy.

Therefore, for other types of lead-acid batteries, it is essential to charge them every six months to prevent sulfation. However, in AGM batteries, sulfation is significantly reduced. Therefore, they can be stored for extended periods without needing a recharge.

Despite their many advantages, AGM batteries, just like other lead-acid batteries, also have their disadvantages. These include:. Unlike the flooded batteries, AGM batteries have a higher production and manufacturing cost. However, they are still cheaper to produce than gel type batteries.

Even though the cost of manufacturing these batteries has reduced since their introduction into the market in the 80s, it is still generally higher when compared to other battery types in the market.

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