Problems addressed by the use of Battery Equaliser include:
Towards the end of charging, the battery cell cannot absorb all of the energy from the charging current supply. Through electrolysis, excess energy breaks down the water through into its component gasses, hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is liberated at the positive plates and the hydrogen at the negative. When a battery is completely charged, all of the energy, except the ‘resisistance loss’, is consumed in this electrolysis. During a recharge, gassing is first noticed when the cell voltage reaches 2.15- 2.2 volts per cell and increases as the charge progresses. At full charge, when most of the excess energy is converted to gas, the amount of hydrogen liberated is about one cubic foot per cell for each 63 ampere hours input. A 4% content of hydrogen in the air may be hazardous. The above mentioned value may be used to relate the maximum amount from a given battery to the size of the room in which it is located.
This term is sometimes used to describe the possible deposition of a sponge like layer of lead on the negative plates or strap. This material was originally shed from the plates (predominantly the positive) in very fine particles and circulated throughout the cell during ‘gassing’ which:
- fills the porous separator
- falls towards the base of the cell
- attaches to both the positive and negative plates
When in contact with either plate, it is changed to the active material of that plate. On the positive plate, the particles are non cohesive and will fall away, this is not so towards the negative. Such material on the negative plate is quite cohesive and thus adheres to, and builds up on the top edge and the exposed spine of the negative plate grid. It will accumulate to such an extent that it will form a bridge through the separator and around thus causing the negative and the positive to partially ‘short circuit’. The accumulation of any appreciable amount of moss is usually an indication of overcharging.
There is a tendency for some of the active material on the surface of the plates to separate from the main body of the applicable plate paste and fall to the bottom of the cell jar. Through years of experience, we have identified batteries which are poorly serviced or used beyond their operational specification will not only shed vast volumes of red oxide, but also burst their retaining tubes in a short period of time. We have discovered that batteries which are regularly undercharged form large sediment crystals which also inhibit full charge potential. The battery charger current is wasted trying to convert these crystals into active material. It cannot be done through charging alone. A chemical means must be introduced to break them down, open the structure and dispose of the sediment crystals.
How these Problems are Addressed
Battery Equaliser contains elements which improve the cohesion of the materials used to formulate the battery paste. Transfer of the lost particles through natural fall-out is reduced. Thus, chocking of, and bridging of the battery separator is reduced. Battery Equaliser also affects the sulfation rate of the battery paste. A more even flow of current is achieved and less high current ‘spiking’ equals less rapid sulfation. This is also affects the development of both oxygen and hydrogen. Through the addition of the Battery Equaliser product, a slight voltage suppressant is introduced. This will reduce the normal gas release period as the voltage required for such would need to be higher. This is verified by the reduced topping up intervals for the electrolyte.
Because Battery Equaliser actively cleans away the ‘mossing’ and reduces its potential to adhere to the negative components within the battery, bridging around the plate grid spines is taken away. Charge current is now better transferred between the porous separators due to un-choking, the charge current is not being wasted through short circuit around the plate grids, the charge current is more focused towards the sulfation rate and not gas evolution, and Battery Equaliser opens the sediment crystal structure and eradicates it.
THE CURRENT IS NOT WASTED.
Remember: When all of these things are going wrong within the cell, current will transfer into heat. Heat is our enemy. Most micro porous separators will close when temperature reaches 40°C. This means that the current from the charger will take the easiest course. The easiest course will be directed to the exposed plate grid spines and the connecting strap. If the pores close, temperature will continue to escalate but NOT be transformed into usable power (active sulfation) from the mass of the lead as specified. Another important point to remember is that, if a battery is used in the correct manner and according to specification, It can achieve an indefinite life. What needs to be addressed is the importance of the separator. Even if the battery has been treated with Battery Equaliser, these do have a limitation. After a cell has passed a certain age, changing cells assures us that battery dumping will be reduced by a huge percentage over the years to come.
Author: John Willis-New, PhD
Inventor of Battery Equaliser formulation