Battery Desulfate

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Battery Desulfate

Postby Cosmo » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:21 pm

Spinning off a new topic so as not to pollute the other thread.
Like Tony, I am using the NOCO Genius charger (model G7200).

I have used it to desulfate 2 functioning AGM batteries and it did improve charge absorption on both. Meaning the float charge was higher after desulfation – the batteries absorbed more energy and delivered more energy measured by the voltage in the morning after running the fridge all night. One web page I read said if your resting voltage after charging (and cooling a bit) is 12.6 or lower consider desulfating.

My refrigerator runs off a 115 amp hour battery and solar panels, the car alternator or shore power (whatever is available). I have to recharge daily. Solar is no problem on sunny days, I limp by on cloudy days and especially a week of heavy clouds. It’s a downward spiral. Some days the alternator looks tempting. But for a few years now I have successfully survived on solar. I like the excitement of living on the edge and hand wringing is a form of exercise…

Corrections appreciated:
My amateur understanding is – all lead acid batteries sulfate meaning Sulfur comes out of the Sulfuric acid and collects on the lead plates reducing the lead plates ability to contact the acid reducing capacity and in some cases making the battery useless. Good news – this is reversable. You can get the Sulfur off the plates and back into the acid where it belongs (desulfation) or something like that.
https://relionbattery.com/blog/lithium- ... ld-weather
http://www.batteryminders.com/avoid-battery-sulfation/

My understanding is a heavily used battery that is fully recharged immediately after use is ideal for keeping sulfation low.

Contributors are leaving an idle battery not fully charged, low charge, not recharging quickly, and partially charging. My teardrop has at least some of those going on continuously. I have it on a light switch in the garage in the winter so when I turn on the light – it partially charges (but not fully). Driving the car charges the battery with the alternator but not to 100%. Since I am on solar – cloudy days partially charge the battery, on and on. In the real world I get to charge my battery to 100% when the sun is shining for about 5 hours.

I desulfate when the battery appears to be lacking – maybe 4 times a year. If the voltage in the morning after running the fridge all night is drifting lower I give it a good desulfate when I get to shore power. It takes my battery about 4 to 6 hours to disulfate with the charger. Just press the button. Noco claims they use some sort of high frequency input to the battery to blast the sulfur off the plates. Reviews on Amazon showed many batteries were saved using this option. Of course not all batteries were saved. https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-G7200-Ultra ... merReviews

There are lots of opinions on how to desulfate. Some chargers do it. A friend says putting a load on will do it (a load on the battery of course). In days of old called this “burning the wisker’s off the plates”. I have done the load thing with the Harbor Freight battery tester and it does seem to help. I used the tester 3 times in a row for about 10 seconds. The tester gets quite hot. https://www.harborfreight.com/100-amp-6 ... 61747.html I think the Genius charger does a better job.

The take away here is if you have a battery or a bank of batteries and one is not up to par or considered dead as Tony pointed out it might be worth trying a desulfate to see if it revives.

I purchased an impedance meter which claims to bring science to predicting battery health by measuring internal resistance of the battery. Its a relative reading. You read the battery when its new and charged and look for higher impedance as it ages. I am testing it on Eneloop AA batteries and have no conclusion yet since its only a week old.

=Cosmo


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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:02 pm

i will be interested in other responses. I set up our system so that I can use jumper cables to charge the battery from the TV alternator in long dark periods (we rely on a 185W high voltage panel). Both our converter and solar controller proved a higher voltage period daily.
I do not know that desulfation is necessary https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/sulfation_and_how_to_prevent_it
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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby Aguyfromohio » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:44 am

My Aims Power inverter/charger has a desulphation setting. I have not used it yet. The manual includes this scary warning:

De-sulphation
The de-sulphation cycle (switch position 8 ) is a very dangerous setting if you do not know what you are
doing. Before attempting to use this cycle you must clearly understand what it does and when and how
you would use it.
What causes sulphation? This can occur with infrequent use of the batteries or if the batteries have been
discharged low enough that they will not accept a charge. This cycle is a very high voltage charge cycle
designed to try to break down the sulphated crust that is preventing the plates from taking a charge and
allowing the plates to clean up and accept a charge once again
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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby tony.latham » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:44 am

I have an ATV that we rely on for plowing snow. This winter the battery refused to hold a charge for more than three days so I replaced it. The old battery sat for a month in sub-freezing weather waiting for the next dump run. I decided that it might be handy to use for electrical testing with my coming build so I charged it up. While it was percolating away, I recalled Cosmo's Youtube video on desulfating his teardrop battery.

I too have a Noco Genius charger with a desulfate setting. Since the charger claims it's a genius what did I have to lose with this old battery? So I let it sit overnight on the desulfate setting.

It's been two months and that battery is still holding at 12.6 volts.

I bought that ATV two years ago and the owner told me he was selling it because he seldom used it. I assume the battery would sit for several weeks or months without being charged and from what I've read, that's partly what causes sulfation.

Our teardrop battery –-which is a standard Group 27 marine–– is set to hit the road on a two or three-week escapade deep into the deserts of the southwest next week. I think its six years old and has generally had a solar panel juicing it up and has never dipped below about 12.3 volts.

For an old lead-acid battery, I think it's in good health but it'll be sorely needed on this trip --so as soon as the clouds part-- I'll put the Genius on it and run it through the desulfation cycle. :thumbsup:

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I'll report back if I note any performance change. :frightened:

T
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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby Cosmo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:01 am


Nice Photos! When I get out west I need some locations and I am willing to pay!

There are an infinite number of variables so take what fits and throw away the rest. If your not having a problem no need to fix anything.

My use pattern and storage etc may be the culprit in my case. I have a 115 amp hour AGM and 200 watts of solar panels with a controller. So we have similar configurations.
https://no.co/support/sulfation-and-battery-repair-mode
https://youtu.be/I2K__XnajnY?t=66

On my side this week I charged my 115 amp hour AGM for 24 hours. I then let it rest for 24 hours and the resting voltage was 12.48. That’s not good but its not time for the dumpster either.

I turned on the desulfate mode last night. The battery has not rested 24 hours yet but its now resting at 12.88 volts which is a measurable improvement by my standards. Once I get more measurements I am going to do another disulfate or maybe a few to see how the battery behaves.

This test is producing similar results to a test I did last summer. In that test the resting voltage and capacity were improved by desulfation (in my case). The problem could be me and my use pattern or this may not be a very good battery. I will continue to test.

I spoke to NOCO the charger maker (Valerie who knows her batteries). She was very helpful. The Recover mode on this charger can take much longer than the stated 4 hours. She said some batteries may need many more than one recover cycle. She saw little risk to this if the other choice is the dumpster for the battery. She said to ignore the amber light instead observe the solid green light as an indicator the recover is done. In my case the recover light continued to fash with the green light solid – meaning the recover is complete.

I agree.If you have a pure heart, and your resting voltage measurements are good and all areas of your life are are going well – you probably don’t need to desulfate.

But if you are experiencing persistent anxiety, hear voices no one else hears and your resting voltage is low or battery capacity is not what it used to be a desulfator may help improve your life.

There are arguments for and against on the Amazon reviews. With so many variables I can see why.

I'm either ambivalent or apathetic about desulfation.
I am not sure which and I don't care. Baw haw haw.

=Cosmo
Last edited by Cosmo on Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:23 am, edited 4 times in total.


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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby tony.latham » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:01 am

When I get out west I need some locations and I am willing to pay!


Cosmo:

Just PM me when you're in the planning stage.

Image

Thanks for further details on desulfating.

Tony
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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby featherliteCT1 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:59 pm

This is an interesting topic.
My Trimetric SC2030 charge controller user manual says:

"Equalization" (typically monthly) refers to a process of occasionally overcharging your batteries--which is usually recommended by manufacturers of "wet cell" lead acid batteries--but,

however is usually not recommended for "AGM" OR GEL sealed lead acid batteries, and overdoing it can damage these types. More recently some companies making AGM batteries occasionally recommend this. (Example: Concorde Battery Co.)

The Trojan battery company recommends that their wetcell batteries be equalized every 1-2 months. This helps to completely recharge the battery--which helps maintain the battery capacity. Some charge controllers, or battery chargers have an "equalize" mode which is controlled either manually or automatically. … Placing the charger in "equalize" mode involves extra charging after the batteries have reached the "charged" criteria which allows the voltage to rise extra high for a period of time--for example the Trojan Battery Co. recommends charging to 15.5 volts (for 12V systems--double this for 24V systems) and keeping the batteries at that level for 2 hours. Other manufacturers may have different recommendations. It is usually advisable to check water levels in the batteries after equalization, as it causes some water loss."
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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby bdosborn » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:37 pm

Here's what Rolls says about it.

Equalization on page 18, EQUALIZATION-CORRECTIVE procedure on page 19.
http://www.rollsbattery.com/wp-content/uploads/manuals/Rolls_Battery_Manual.pdf

I have an Iota battery charger with a smart charger module that equalizes my golf cart batteries every 7 days . They also have an equalization module that sets the charger to bulk mode, which I bought after reading somewhere that you should equalize batteries for several hours every month or so. I plugged the equalization module in for a couple of hours and then plugged the regular module in. For some reason the battery stayed in bulk mode, never went down to float and charged the $h!t out of my batteries. I burned a half gallon of water off the batteries before I figured out something was wrong. I unplugged the charger for a coupe of days,thinking I had ruined the batteries. I filled the batteries with water, plugged the charger back in and WTF?, the battery goes to float mode and everything seems fine. I've discharged 80 amp-hrs off the batteries and they seem to have about the capacity I think they should. :?

So I don't know what happened and I've been too nervous to try it again. I think I'll follow what the Rolls manual says next time instead of just winging it. Or spend a crap ton of money on a LiFePO4 battery.

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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby tony.latham » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:18 pm

Here's what Rolls says about it.


I read through it and just had to run out and put my hand on the battery while it's under deep sedation. Or a lobotomy.

I put the meter on and it's cooking at 16.2 volts but cool to the touch. I'll be curious to read the voltage when it's done.

:frightened:

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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby ZColorado » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:03 am

Great info. I keep seeing "Dumpster" and "Dump run." Batteries are almost infinitely recyclable, thats why you get charged a "core" charge when you buy a new battery. Please recycle them!

ALSO, most all auto parts stores will give you a $5-10 store credit if you just walk in with a old battery. Buy some windshield wipers or something if you have an old battery sitting around.
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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby tony.latham » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:12 am

ZColorado wrote:Great info. I keep seeing "Dumpster" and "Dump run." Batteries are almost infinitely recyclable, thats why you get charged a "core" charge when you buy a new battery. Please recycle them!

ALSO, most all auto parts stores will give you a $5-10 store credit if you just walk in with a old battery. Buy some windshield wipers or something if you have an old battery sitting around.


I'm sure no-one in this thread had planned to improperly dispose of their batteries. It's just a colloquial use of the word dumpster.

:beer:

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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby Cosmo » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:18 am

Ya ya Thanks for pointing that out. I shortened Recycle Dumpster to Dumpster.
I am grateful for your comment and happy to see the mind set of other campers.

You bring up a fantastic idea for another thread. What are we doing to camp without impact to the environment? Can we share any green ideas that can improve our enjoyment as guests of nature and lower our impact on wildlife, noise, air, water, trash etc.

THANK YOU
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Re: Battery Desulfate Noco G3500 worked on my Forester's bat

Postby Esteban » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:17 pm

The battery of my Subaru Forester went "dead" probably from leaving an interior light on overnight or for a few days.

First I tried to jump start the Forester with a lithium jump stater I'd bought from Costco. It didn't work. That frustrated me.

Next I tried to charge up the battery with a Battery Tender charger I owned. The battery was not recharged after a full day on the Battery Tender, so the Forester still would not start. I tried to (re)charge the Forester's battery over another day. It still was a no go. My frustration increased.

My next step was to buy a Noco Genius G3500 battery charger for $59.90 from Amazon in Feb. 2017 that arrived quickly. I hooked it up to my Forester, using the repair mode, and left it on overnight. Yippee! The next day my car started successfully. The battery has continued to work well since then.
:thumbsup:

https://no.co/g3500





I intend to buy a Noco GB40 jump starter. https://no.co/gb40 The price is considerably lower when purchased from Amazon or Crutchfield.
Last edited by Esteban on Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby tony.latham » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:26 pm

The battery has continued to work well since then.


How long ago was that?

T
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Re: Battery Desulfate

Postby Esteban » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:10 pm

tony.latham wrote:
The battery has continued to work well since then.


How long ago was that?

T


:thumbsup: My battery has worked well for 2+ years since it was recharged and repaired by the Noco G3500. I (probably) should hook up the G3500 to test my battery and, if needed, give it a full charge (and possibly desulfate/repair it again?).

My battery was replaced under warranty by Subaru a little over 3 years ago. The replacement battery had a 3 year warranty. Now its out of warranty. Charging/Testing the battery with the G3500 may give me an indication of the battery's remaining "health".

I'm undecided if my next battery will/should be a $75 Interstate wet cell battery from Costco. Or a more costly AGM battery perhaps with higher amp hours than my current battery. The Interstate battery does have a higher AH rating than my current battery and would come with Costco's 3 year full replacement cost warranty. It would seem to be a good (enough) choice.

:thinking: An AGM battery costs 2 to 4 times more than a $75 wet cell battery from Costco. It might have a warranty that lasts as long as 5 years. Not sure if I need or want an AGM at that price point.
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