DESULFATER.COM :: Electronic Battery Desulfater, Conditioner and Reactivator :: Works with any type of Lead-Acid Batteries (Flooded, AGM, GEL, VRLA, Etc.)
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Electronic Battery Desulfater, Conditioner and Reactivator
Benefits all types of Lead-Acid Battery (Flooded, AGM, GEL, Sealed, VRLA, Etc.) > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
Please feel free to Contact Us if you can't find the answer to your question. Thanks for your interest.

Most Popular Questions

Q: Does it REALLY work? How does it work?
A: YES, it absolutely works... but only on good candidate batteries! (see also "REALITY CHECK TIME" section). In order to understand the very principle of operation of our desulfater, one needs to understand at a basic level how a battery operates. A battery is basically composed of metal plates (Lead) with insulators between them, and submerged in a bath (an electrolyte solution) of diluted Sulfuric Acid. When the battery is at a 100% state of charge, all the sulfate is dissolved in the acid, and the acid is at its strongest concentration. But when a battery is at any state of charge (or charge "level") lower than a 100%, and as part of the normal battery chemistry process, some of the sulfate in the acid will migrate to (bond with) the negative plates of the cells. This is what is called sulfation, and it is an unavoidable process that happens in ANY Lead-Acid battery. If the battery is fully recharged quickly, almost all of the sulfate will go back into solution. But otherwise the sulfate will keep accumulating on the plates as the battery is further discharged. On batteries that spend a lot of time in this state of partial charge, or the ones that see frequent deep discharges, the sulfate will start to form thicker layers and wider patches that will increasingly cover more surface areas on the plates, and eventually the buildup becomes increasingly irreversible by simply recharging the battery. Even in batteries that are properly serviced throughout their life, more and more of the sulfate crystals remain on the plates between the charge-discharge cycles. This is generally a very gradual but unavoidable process, and as time passes, and depending on the amount of time the battery spends on lower charge levels, this sulfate areas will progressively grow further in size. Sulfate is a natural insulator, so it prevents the acid from properly contacting the plates in the areas where it has build up, and consequently any part of the plate that is no longer in direct contact with the acid will no longer be active and able to contribute to the overall current capacity of the battery. The net effect is the that the effective plate area is reduced, and the internal resistance of the battery starts to raise, which becomes a determining factor that limits the maximum amount of Amps the battery can supply, and also generates internal heat. Once the sulfate has build up to a point where the battery can no longer satisfy the current needs of the connected loads, it needs to either be replaced (prematurely most of the time, because other that the sulfate buildup the battery is usually still in sound shape), or the sulfate buildup on the plates needs to be reversed. The high frequency pulses of the desulfater resonate with the sulfate crystals on the plates and slowly but surely help to dislodge them so they can be reabsorbed into the acid solution. This not only strengthens the acid concentration but at the same time also frees up active plate areas, and as the sulfate buildup is progressively removed the battery starts recovering its capacity. A measurement of the internal resistance of the battery throughout the desulfating process clearly shows a gradual drop, in accordance with the amount of sulfate that is being removed to expose once again active plate area that can get in contact with the acid and contribute to overall the battery current capacity. As the internal resistance of the battery drops, it becomes once again capable to deliver more and more Amps to the connected loads. A perfectly good battery that was ready to be dumped has now been restored!

Q: Will the pulses generated by the desulfater interfere with my onboard electronics? (GPS, Radar, VHF, Chartplotter, Navigational Instruments, Engine Management, Stereo, TV, Satellite Phones and TV, etc)
A: No, the frequency of pulses that our desulfater injects into the battery are very low in comparison to any navigational or radio equipment. Furthermore, the pulses will always follow the path of least resistance, which is directly into the battery. The inductance of the wiring itself will also block and prevent them from traveling from the battery to other circuits or equipment over distribuition branches.

Q: How do I determine if my battery is a good candidate for desulfation?
A: Please see the "REALITY CHECK" section (red rectangle). We will always gladly assist you to determine if your battery merits a desulfating treatment that will be effective. Please feel free to Contact Us anytime if you would like us to assist you.

Q: How do I determine if my battery bank will need one or more desulfaters in order to maximize the efficiency and balance of the restoration process?
A: This depends on several factors: how many batteries your bank has wired in series and/or parallel, individual voltage of each battery (6 or 12V), bank nominal output voltage (12 or 24V), physical layout of the batteries and wiring (harness) size and length, and above all the total combined capacity of your battery bank in Amps/hour. It is always desirable to have enough high frequency desulfating energy be available to all the batteries in the bank, so as to keep up the efficiency of process in general, and it to be well balanced so all batteries will be able to benefit from it as equally as possible. We will be happy to advise you to optimize a design for your specific needs if you can Contact Us to provide details of your battery bank.

Q: How soon will I notice an improvement on my battery performance?
A: It depends. For heavily sulfated batteries the process might take between several weeks to a few months. The more sulfation is present in the battery that needs to be reversed, the longer and slower the process will be. The reason is that sulfate that has had more time to solidify will have a more solid crystalline structure, whereas more recent sulfate buildup will have an amorphous characteristic that will be easier to be removed. I any case the recovery of the battery will seem to go quite slow at first and then as the process moves forward the pace of capacity restoration will seem to speed up to a point where no further improvements will be noticed. At this point the desulfater will mainly act as a sulfate buildup preventer, specially during conditions when the battery is at any point other that a full charge.

Q: How do I connect the desulfater to a 12V battery bank that uses 6V batteries?
A: Please refer to the specific installation instructions here.

Q: How do I connect the desulfater to a 24V battery bank that uses 12V batteries?
A: Please refer to the specific installation instructions here.

Q: Is the desulfater compatible with solar or wind generator charge controllers?
A: Yes, there will be absolutely no interaction or interference with such electronic equipment.

Q: What happens if I accidentally connect the desulfater to the battery with reversed polarity?
A: There is an internal 20Amp ATC type protection fuse inside of the desulfater Under most scenarios just replacing the fuse will bring back the unit into normal operation. But due to the very high amount of current that is available from a battery, there is always the possibility that some additional damage could occur. Please contact us for any service needs.

Q: Can the desulfater be permanently left connected to the battery?
A: Yes! It was designed just that way to maximize the efficiency of the desulfation process. At first it will gradually remove existing sulfate buildup, and once it has reached a point where no further improvement can be attained, it will prevent that new sulfate builds up on the plates when the battery state of charge is anywhere bellow a 100% full charge, condition that promotes sulfate migration to the negative plates as part of the normal battery chemistry. Furthermore our desulfater will never run a battery flat because it only requires a minimum amount of current (0.065Amp) to function, so it will be almost seen as an imperceptible load to a battery. But if for some reason the battery voltage drops to a critical level (around 12.1V), the desulfater will automatically shut off and stop drawing any current, so as to prevent it from running the battery flat. Once the desulfater has shut itself off, it will not turn back on until it detects that the battery voltage has risen outside of the low voltage condition, above around 12.5V. VERY FEW if any competing desulfaters in the market nowadays actually offer this battery protection feature.

Q: How can I optimize battery charging conditions to maximize battery service life?
A: Lead acid batteries should always be charged in three stages, which are [1] constant-current charge, [2] topping charge and [3] float charge. The constant-current charge applies the bulk of the charge and takes up roughly half of the required charge time; the topping charge continues at a lower charge current and provides saturation, and the float charge compensates for the loss caused by self-discharge. During the constant-current charge, depending on the total bank capacity, the batteries charge to about 70 percent in usually several hours; the remaining 30 percent is filled with the slower topping charge that lasts another couple of hours. The topping charge is essential for the well-being of the battery and can be compared to a little rest after a good meal. If continually deprived (cronic undercharging), the battery will eventually lose the ability to accept a full charge and the performance will decrease due to sulfation. The float charge in the third stage maintains the battery at full charge.

Q: Where are the desulfater units being manufactured?
A: Our desulfater is a Caribbean local product geared mostly towards the marine industry, but also among others, towards the ever growing local solar energy production sector that also relies on big Lead-Acid batteries to store the Sun's energy that is being produced. Each desulfater unit is individually hand assembled, adjusted and tested. Absolutely no cheap mass produced Chinese knockoffs, or look-a-likes of the real thing.

Q: Why is the internal fuse of the desulfater rated at 20Amp if the unit only requires a very small amount of current to operate?
A: In order to minimize the amount of resistance that will be connected between the battery and the desulfater pulses we chose a 20Amp fuse because it provides a solid margin of safety, and will only add a minimum amount of resistance to the connection path, where even a difference of only a few milliohms can affect the efficiency of the desulfating process. The way fuses are build, the lower its Amp value, the higher will be its own resistance. For example, a 15Amp fuse has about 30% higher resistance than a 20A, and a 10Amp has about 80% higher resistance than a 20Amp fuse. Due to the fact that the battery presents a very low impedance load to the desulfater, any additional resistance in the connection path will increase losses and therefore lower the efficiency of the desulfating process. So a 20Amp fuse was calculated as having a still acceptable resistance compromise with the required safety margin. The fuse's main function is to protect from a possible fire hazard in case of a catastrophic failure, like in the case of a reversed polarity connection, or a heavy continued over-voltage condition.

Q: What is the maximum overvoltage condition that the desulfater can tolerate?
Our desulfater was designed to operate on 12V nominal systems. These can usually swing all the way up to almost 14.5V during battery charging cycles, or while the engine is running and the alternator is sending a charge to the battery. Our desulfater has a build in automatic overvoltage protection that will kick in at 15V, and it allows it to function with derated operation on voltages of up to 20V without suffering any permanent damage. So this means that our desulfater will be able to survive an overvoltage condition much better that the batteries itself, as they would almost immediately start to "boil away" electrolyte if the voltage reaches a point higher than 15V for a 12V system, or about 30V for a 24V system. This would be an extremely dangerous situation, as explosive Hydrogen and Oxygen will be escaping from the batteries, and any spark could have disastrous results and potentially life treating consequences.

Q: Why is it important to keep the wires between the desulfater and the battery as short as possible?
A: Wire acts as a high frequency resistance (called reactance, or AC resistance) in the path of the desulfating pulses. The longer the wire, the more resistance is introduced, which attenuates the desulfating pulses and reduces the efficiency of the restoration process, so it will be slower. In order to minimize the amount of resistance that will be connected between the battery and the desulfater pulses we limit the length of the connecting wires to 30 cms (1 ft), which still gives enough flexibility for almost any installation and only introduces a relatively small amount of resistance. Should your specific needs require longer cables, we can provide our desulfater with 60 cms (2 ft) wires without any additional cost. Please make sure to select the appropriate option at your shopping cart checkout, or Contact Us to request this option.

Q: Is it possible for the desulfater pulses to damage a battery?
A: There is never enough energy in the desulfating pulses to affect any of the mechanical or electrical parts of the battery (plates, grids, insulators, etc), nor will the pulses ever cause any cell overcharge or electrolyte bubbling. The pulses are only able to interact with the sulfate crystals by way of electrical resonance.

Q: I want to restore a battery that has been left discharged for a long time, but is otherwise in sound condition. The battery will not maintain a voltage high enough for the desulfater to operate. Can I connect a charger to the battery to start the desulfating process?
A: Yes, if a battery will not maintain at least a voltage of 12.1V it is perfectly acceptable to use a TRICKLE CHARGER to feed voltage to the battery so it will also power the desulfater. Once the desulfating process advances, there will be a point where the battery will start to accept more and more charge due to the lowering of its internal resistance thanks to the desulfating process, getting to a point where the constant connection of the charger is no longer required to sustain the operation of the desulfater. World of Caution: NEVER use any high current charger for this operation as it might overheat the battery and even "boil away" the electrolyte which might cause an explosion due to the venting of Hydrogen and Oxygen from the battery.

Q: What happens if my batteries are unattended and running low, can the desulfater ultimately run a battery flat?
A: The desulfater itself only requires a minimum amount of current (0.065Amp) to function, so it will be almost seen as an imperceptible load to a battery. But if for some reason the battery voltage drops to a critical level (around 12.1V), the desulfater will automatically shut off and stop drawing any current, so as to prevent it from running the battery flat. This will of course have no effect on any other loads connected to the same battery, and that would be more likely the cause of it starting to run low in the first place. Once the desulfater has shut itself off, it will not turn back on until it detects that the battery voltage has risen outside of the low voltage condition, above around 12.5V. VERY FEW if any competing desulfaters in the market nowadays actually offer this battery protection feature.

Common Battery Related Technical Questions And Answers



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