Updated: Jan 16, 2021
A battery regenerator is a device that restores capacity to lead-acid batteries, extending their lifespan. They are also sold as as desulphators, rejuvenators, reconditioners, pulse chargers or pulse conditioning devices.
All battery cells are composed of chemical parts that constantly interact with each other to produce charge. The electrolyte in most wet-cell batteries is sulphuric acid diluted with distilled water. Inverter batteries are mostly wet-cell batteries. The terminals are the pure lead at the negative side and the lead oxide rods on the positive side.
Sulfate crystals can accumulate around the terminal plates of a wet cell battery and harden over time. Otherwise called sulfation, this reduces the overall capacity of the battery and output of the inverter or solar system that uses them. All lead acid batteries will accumulate sulfation in their lifetime as it is part of the natural chemical process of a battery. But, sulfation builds up and causes problems mostly when;
A battery is overcharged
A battery is stored above 75 degrees
A battery is stored without a full charge
And a battery is not in use for a long time.
A sulfated battery has higher electrical resistance than an unsulfated battery of identical construction. This means that sulfated battery will have lower current flow. For users, this means that the battery has failed. Sulfation is the primary cause of battery failure. Extreme cases of sulphation can render a battery unserviceable and put financial strains on the users of the system.
How Battery Regenerators Work
The lead sulfate layer can be dissolved back into solution by applying much higher voltages. Normally, running high voltage into a battery will cause it to rapidly heat and potentially cause it to explode. Battery conditioners use short pulses of high voltage, too short to cause significant current flow, but long enough to melt the accumulated sufate layer and dissolve it back into the electrolyte.
However, long-term use of high-voltage pulses have been shown to cause damage to the battery. The latest developments in battery regeneration products use high frequency pulses as opposed to high voltages to dissolve the sulfate layer back into the electrolyte.
Depending on the size of the battery, the desulfation process can take from 48 hours to weeks to complete. During this period the battery is also trickle charged to continue reducing the amount of lead sulfur in solution. Commercial regenerators often support multiple batteries to provide parallel operation to improve throughput.
How They Are Operated
They are used by connecting the crocodile clips of the device to the battery. It will sense and select battery voltage automatically and 'pulse' the battery or reverse the sulfation process. They are automatic and require the clamping of their terminals to the battery. They can be used on all types of batteries. Some of them have indicators that show the condition of the battery.
Battery desulphators are for maintenance purposes only; they cannot repair a damaged battery. This makes the name 'rejuvenators' tricky. Their work is to reverse the sulfation at the terminals of a healthy battery.
Desulphonation can also be provided as a professional battery-maintenance service. SolarKobo provides rejuvenation services for users anywhere in Nigeria.