Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Battery Equalization

Ok, Battery equalization/maintenance , what is it and what does it do.
For a better understanding of batteries, maintenance, used, cleaning and equalization, please go to the link provided:

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Trojan Battery Manufacture provides a very good explanation on battery equalization.

Equalizing is an overcharge performed on flooded lead acid batteries after they have been fully charged.

It reverses the buildup of negative chemical effects like stratification, a condition where acid concentration is greater at the bottom of the battery than at the top. Equalizing also helps to remove sulfate crystals that might have built up on the plates. If left unchecked, this condition, called sulfation, will reduce the overall capacity of the battery.

Many experts recommend that batteries be equalized periodically, ranging anywhere from once a month to once or twice per year. However, Trojan only recommends equalizing when low or wide ranging specific gravity (+/- .015) are detected after fully charging a battery.

Step-By-Step Equalizing
1. Verify the battery(s) are flooded type.
2. Remove all loads from the batteries.
3. Connect battery charger.
4. Set charger for the equalizing voltage (See Table 2 in the Charging section). If your charger doesn’t have an equalization mode, you can unplug the charger and re-plug it back in. This also will conduct the equalization charge.
5. Start charging batteries.
6. Batteries will begin gassing and bubbling vigorously.
7. Take specific gravity readings every hour.
8. Equalization is complete when specific gravity values no longer rise during the gassing stage.

Next when checking your batteries, it is better to use a good Hydrometer.

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Article from Battery University on “How to Restore and Prolong Lead Acid Batteries”

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Good now you are familiar with equalization and the advantages of it. Now for a good example of equalization: DaGirls was heading to Canada and Alaska, our expectation was many nights of dry-camping along the way. Order of business was replacing our 6.5 year old batteries. Our selection was Costco at $84 each. That made it under $600 including tax. Usually we get a minimum of 6 years battery life before we think about replacing. That gives us a $100 per year or less on the batteries.

In mid Aug I notice that my Hydrometer reading was always in the white (1.250 – 1.265) never quite getting into the Green Zone of 1.277. Prior to equalizing the batteries, I turned off Circuit Breaker #8 (Left Breaker Box), and force the Inverter/Charger into the inverting mode. At the end of 4 hours, circuit breaker #8 was turned back on, allowing the batteries to be fully recharged.

Now by doing this, I ensured that battery were charged prior to starting the equalization mode. I repeated the Hydrometer test and verified that the battery cells hydrometer readings were not in the Green Zone of 1.277.
I starter the equalization process and once completed, I repeated the Hydrometer test. This time the test results of each cell were in the Green Zone with readings around 1.270 or higher. So you can see how good an equalization works.

The one issue we have not discussed is, is Equalization necessary if I do not Dry-Camp? Clarification, you always stay in an RV Campground with hookups and never dry camp. Then equalization is not for you. Why you might ask. The question you have to asked yourself are you willing to go thru the complete process of Discharging, Charging, Equalization, Testing, and refilling with Water? As whether you are in the campground or traveling on the road, your batteries are always being charged, even if they are not being charged to their fullest capacity.

“SeeYa, Safe and Happy Journeys”

"DaGirls Rv, Me, Della, Susan & Tilly"