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Lead-acid batteries are the oldest form of rechargeable battery. They can produce a large current, and when not in use self discharge at a very slow rate. They are also relatively cheap to produce. all these factors make them an ideal automotive or starting battery. Over time however their performance will decrease and eventually they will need replacing.
However if you learn how to recondition rechargeable batteries, and take a few steps that will help you to begin reducing sulfation in lead-acid batteries, you can extend their useful life quite dramatically.
How they work:
Lead-acid batteries work by immersing a plate of lead and lead oxide in a solution of sulfuric acid. Inside the battery a chemical reaction occurs, and the lead is transformed into lead sulfate, whilst the acid becomes water. As this takes place an electric current is produced.
Once the transformation is completed the current stops, and the battery is flat. Applying a current reverses this reaction, and charges the battery for further use.
During this cycle over time not all of the lead sulfate is transformed back to lead and lead oxide, this causes a build up of sulfate crystals on the plate. This is called sulfation, and it is this that will eventually kill the battery.
Fortunately this process can be kept to minimum, and even reversed by following a few simple guidelines.
Store them Fully Charged:
If you are not using your battery for a period of time it will self discharge. It is important to not let the battery go flat and reach a fully discharged state, as this can lead to accelerated sulfation, and damage. Stop this from happening by keeping stored batteries charged. Do this by periodically connect them to a charging circuit to top up their charge.
Never Fully Discharge:
In normal use you should avoid letting the battery fully discharge, or becoming deeply discharged. Allowing it to semi discharge, and recharge often, and thus avoiding full charges from empty to full, will reduce the sulfation rate to the minimum. If deep discharge occurs in normal usage, then you should consider using a bigger battery to prevent this happening.
High Current Pulse:
You can reverse sulfation by using a specialized battery charger that produces a high current pulse. This breaks-down the lead sulfate crystals, and turns more of the plate back to lead, and the electrolyte fluid back to acid.
Learning how to recondition rechargeable batteries, and following these guidelines to minimize sulfation, will give your lead-acid batteries a longer and more useful life. Doing this will not only save you money, but will keep them out of landfill and help save the planet too.
If you want to to discover more about how to restore or recondition old batteries that you thought were dead, and were going to throw away. Go to the recondition old batteries guide. Take a look at www.reconditionoldbatteries.blogspot.com for more information.
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