Sulfation is a natural chemical process that occurs in all batteries. The speed of this phenomenon depends on the correct operation of the battery.
The process itself is characterized by the accumulation on the surface of the plates of lead salts – sulfate. Fouling of the electrodes leads to a drop in capacitance. As a result, the ability to store and hold a charge may be so degraded that the battery will no longer function.
To clean the electrodes from lead salts, the car battery is desulfated. But before we talk more about this procedure, let’s figure out what causes sulfation.
Causes of battery sulfation
- Deep discharge – leads to the formation of a thick layer of sulfate. After charging, up to 15% of salt crystals may remain on the plates. With the subsequent deep discharge, the percentage of salt will increase by a factor of two. After five such discharges, the battery may not recover.
- Low temperatures – accelerate the formation of sulfate. This is due to the fact that in cold weather the battery drains faster.
- Elevated temperatures are no less harmful to the battery than low ones. If the power supply is discharged, then at high temperatures the process of formation of sulfuric acid salts is accelerated.
Storing the battery in a discharged state also has a bad effect on the condition of the plates. The electrodes sulfate slowly, but the lead crystals become heavy-duty on the walls of the plates.
Which batteries can be desulfated with their own hands?
Before carrying out desulfation, you need to make sure that the problem is really only in the deposition of lead salts on the surface of the plates, and not in their destruction or short circuit of the cans.
Signs of sulfation include the following:
- Fast discharging/charging of the battery.
- Fast boiling during recharging.
- Traces of white plaque are visible on the electrodes.
- Decreased capacity from the original by 30-50%.
However, if several of the listed signs coincide at once, restoring the capacity of the power source will be a futile exercise. It is also impossible to restore a battery with crumbled electrodes and a short circuit. In this case, it is better to replace the battery with a new one. A reliable battery at an adequate price can be bought in the online store 1AK.BY. The old battery can be returned for a cash reward for safe disposal.
For modern batteries, you can use the following battery recovery methods:
The method involves the use of special tools: powders, solutions. Trilon B powder is considered a popular chemical substance, which is suitable for batteries with an unstarted degree of sulfation.
What should be done:
- Prepare a solution. Dissolve 100 g of powder in 1000 ml of water.
- Pour out the electrolyte.
- Pour in prepared liquid. Screw plugs. Leave the battery for 50-60 minutes.
- Drain the solution.
- Rinse the plates with distilled water.
- Pour fresh electrolyte into the jars.
- Check the density of the filled liquid.
If the plates have already crumbled, this method will not help.
Using special recharge
For the procedure, you need a special Z / U. How is desulfation performed?
- The battery is connected to the device with the correct polarity.
- On recharging, the desulfation option is selected.
- Upon completion of the procedure, the charger is disconnected from the network, disconnected from the battery.
Here, desulfation is based on cycling. The battery is energized for charging and then for discharging. When the charge cycle lasts, the current is 1 ampere, and during the discharge – 1/10 of the previously set value.
Battery desulfation with a standard charger
Batteries are restored with a conventional charger with the option of adjusting the main technical parameters. The algorithm is the following:
- Check the condition of the electrolyte. If the level is low, top up with distilled water (serviced batteries only). Also check the fluid density. Norm – 1.27-1.28 g / cm3.
- Set the charge voltage at 14.0–14.3 V. The current is 1 A. In this mode, charge for eight hours. At the end of this step, the voltage should increase. The battery is disconnected, leaving it at rest for a day.
- In the second step, put the battery back on charge for eight hours, increasing the current to 2.0 A. This will increase the density of the liquid and the voltage will increase.
- At the third stage, discharge the battery for 8 hours to a minimum voltage value of 10.5 volts, not lower. To discharge, turn on a regular car lamp.
At the last stage, the algorithm is repeated until the electrolyte density increases to 1.17 g/cm3.
The disadvantage of the method is that it takes a lot of time. Sometimes it takes 7-10 days. But you can restore the capacity to almost 90%.
Recommendations for the prevention of sulfation
- Periodically recharge the battery from the generator, at least once every seven days, when going on trips lasting up to an hour. It is recommended to recharge the battery before the start of the winter season, before long-term storage.
- In serviced batteries, monitor the level and density of the electrolyte. Top up with distilled water if the level drops. The electrodes must be completely covered with liquid.
- In maintenance-free batteries, make sure that the electrolyte does not boil away. Avoid overcharging. Charge the power source according to the algorithm in several stages.
- If the car is equipped with a diesel engine or additional electronics, choose a battery with a capacity slightly larger than that recommended by the car manufacturer. However, consider the allowable dimensions of the landing area.
- Avoid discharges to zero. Do not use fully discharged batteries.
- Charge the battery before installing it in the car if it has been stored for a long time.
Depending on the production technology and operating conditions, a lead-acid battery with a liquid electrolyte will last 2-5 years. AGM-, GEL-, EFB-batteries can last 5-10 years.
In conclusion, we note that do-it-yourself battery desulfation is a simple process. The usual Z / U, which is found in almost every driver, helps to get rid of lead salts. The main thing is to follow the algorithm.
Also keep in mind that not all power sources can be revived. It depends on the condition of the battery and its “age”.