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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys-

Well, I now have the title to my converted '84 S10, and it should be
delivered in a week or two. I'm totally stoked.

But now my thoughts have turned to the near-dead battery pack, its
eventual replacement, and what if anything I can do to improve things in
the meantime.

The pack was 24 US-145 6v flooded golf cart batteries, but is now 22 of
them, as two are toast and were removed from the string by the previous
owner (he still included them so I can exchange the cores). The
remaining batts have somewhat less than half their original capacity it
seems; he says current range is around 15-20mi, down from the original
50-55 or so.

So then I start running across these "desulfator" devices. Do these
things work? A lot of people seem to think so. I have just started
reading the chemistry stuff, and I'm not sure whether I grok it or not,
so I just figured I'd ask. Also, I'd be interested to know what
brands/models people have used and their specific experiences. And
finally, has anybody built their own desulfator, like this:
http://www.shaka.com/~kalepa/desulf.htm ?? It doesn't look like too
complicated a circuit, and if it'll work well I think it's the way I'd
like to go.

Thanks in advance...

Hunter

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Discussion Starter #2
Hunter,

In a quick search of the archives I saw this reply that suggests battery
"desulfators"....."don't do anything that proper charging and
maintenance won't do."

Inset from archives here.....

When you charge a lead-acid battery, lead sulfate in the plates gets
converted to lead oxide in the plates, and sulfuric acid in the liquid
electrolyte.

When you discharge it, the sulfuric acid leaves the liquid electrolyte
and converts the lead oxide to lead sulfate in the plates. This
"sulfation" is perfectly normal and necessary.

But if the lead sulfate sits around for a long time, or you make too
much of it by deeply discharging the battery, it gradually changes from
many small crystals to a few large ones. This makes it more difficult to
convert it all back into lead oxide and sulfuric acid. Typically, some
of the lead sulfate falls off the plates and winds up as sludge in the
bottom of the battery.

Battery "desulfators" are right in there with snake oil and magnetic
bracelets and other junk science cures. They don't do anything that
proper charging and maintenance won't do.

--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

End of insert from archives........

Some on the list start with a very slow charge and see if the batteries
improve.
Good luck!

Alan


-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
Behalf Of Hunter Cook
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 11:20 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: [EVDL] Battery Desulfators

Hi guys-

Well, I now have the title to my converted '84 S10, and it should be
delivered in a week or two. I'm totally stoked.

But now my thoughts have turned to the near-dead battery pack, its
eventual replacement, and what if anything I can do to improve things in
the meantime.

The pack was 24 US-145 6v flooded golf cart batteries, but is now 22 of
them, as two are toast and were removed from the string by the previous
owner (he still included them so I can exchange the cores). The
remaining batts have somewhat less than half their original capacity it
seems; he says current range is around 15-20mi, down from the original
50-55 or so.

So then I start running across these "desulfator" devices. Do these
things work? A lot of people seem to think so. I have just started
reading the chemistry stuff, and I'm not sure whether I grok it or not,
so I just figured I'd ask. Also, I'd be interested to know what
brands/models people have used and their specific experiences. And
finally, has anybody built their own desulfator, like this:
http://www.shaka.com/~kalepa/desulf.htm ?? It doesn't look like too
complicated a circuit, and if it'll work well I think it's the way I'd
like to go.

Thanks in advance...

Hunter

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

_______________________________________________
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick and informative reply, Alan.

The one thing I'd ask, though, is whether you think this is total "snake
oil" as you say, or just something that well-cared-for batteries
shouldn't need? Your assertion that normal charging should desulfate the
batteries is basically shared by the desulfator guys...they just say
that frequently through undercharging/overdrawing that doesn't fully
happen and there's buildup, which the desulfator can take care of. Or at
least that's the story.

So in other words, do you see value in this device for batteries that
have been abused? If so, I think I'm still pretty interested in the
concept. First, I'm not sure about the history of the pack I'm
getting...it's already near dead with only 7500 miles on it, and two of
the batteries have dead cells, which to me sounds like the pack in
general had a hard life. But even more so, if I can find a golf course
or two that's not handling their batteries real well (and I've got a
couple in mind...) and strike up some sort of deal with them, it could
really lower my budget a ton.

Also note that I'm not so naive as to think I'm going to get
full-performance batteries out of something like this. But if I could
even take two dead golf-course batts and bring them up to par with the
others in my pack it would probably be worth it to me...

Thanks again

Hunter


Alan Brinkman wrote:
> Hunter,
>
> In a quick search of the archives I saw this reply that suggests battery
> "desulfators"....."don't do anything that proper charging and
> maintenance won't do."
>
> Inset from archives here.....
>
> When you charge a lead-acid battery, lead sulfate in the plates gets
> converted to lead oxide in the plates, and sulfuric acid in the liquid
> electrolyte.
>
> When you discharge it, the sulfuric acid leaves the liquid electrolyte
> and converts the lead oxide to lead sulfate in the plates. This
> "sulfation" is perfectly normal and necessary.
>
> But if the lead sulfate sits around for a long time, or you make too
> much of it by deeply discharging the battery, it gradually changes from
> many small crystals to a few large ones. This makes it more difficult to
> convert it all back into lead oxide and sulfuric acid. Typically, some
> of the lead sulfate falls off the plates and winds up as sludge in the
> bottom of the battery.
>
> Battery "desulfators" are right in there with snake oil and magnetic
> bracelets and other junk science cures. They don't do anything that
> proper charging and maintenance won't do.
>
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>
> End of insert from archives........
>
> Some on the list start with a very slow charge and see if the batteries
> improve.
> Good luck!
>
> Alan
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
> Behalf Of Hunter Cook
> Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 11:20 AM
> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
> Subject: [EVDL] Battery Desulfators
>
> Hi guys-
>
> Well, I now have the title to my converted '84 S10, and it should be
> delivered in a week or two. I'm totally stoked.
>
> But now my thoughts have turned to the near-dead battery pack, its
> eventual replacement, and what if anything I can do to improve things in
> the meantime.
>
> The pack was 24 US-145 6v flooded golf cart batteries, but is now 22 of
> them, as two are toast and were removed from the string by the previous
> owner (he still included them so I can exchange the cores). The
> remaining batts have somewhat less than half their original capacity it
> seems; he says current range is around 15-20mi, down from the original
> 50-55 or so.
>
> So then I start running across these "desulfator" devices. Do these
> things work? A lot of people seem to think so. I have just started
> reading the chemistry stuff, and I'm not sure whether I grok it or not,
> so I just figured I'd ask. Also, I'd be interested to know what
> brands/models people have used and their specific experiences. And
> finally, has anybody built their own desulfator, like this:
> http://www.shaka.com/~kalepa/desulf.htm ?? It doesn't look like too
> complicated a circuit, and if it'll work well I think it's the way I'd
> like to go.
>
> Thanks in advance...
>
> Hunter
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There are different technologies available and some work better than
others- I bought one that is an 8 amp charger as well, i used it on
some old batteries and it worked great! I'll send you the link when I
find it.
Hunter Cook wrote:

> Thanks for the quick and informative reply, Alan.
>
> The one thing I'd ask, though, is whether you think this is total
> "snake
> oil" as you say, or just something that well-cared-for batteries
> shouldn't need? Your assertion that normal charging should
> desulfate the
> batteries is basically shared by the desulfator guys...they just say
> that frequently through undercharging/overdrawing that doesn't fully
> happen and there's buildup, which the desulfator can take care of.
> Or at
> least that's the story.
>
> So in other words, do you see value in this device for batteries that
> have been abused? If so, I think I'm still pretty interested in the
> concept. First, I'm not sure about the history of the pack I'm
> getting...it's already near dead with only 7500 miles on it, and
> two of
> the batteries have dead cells, which to me sounds like the pack in
> general had a hard life. But even more so, if I can find a golf course
> or two that's not handling their batteries real well (and I've got a
> couple in mind...) and strike up some sort of deal with them, it could
> really lower my budget a ton.
>
> Also note that I'm not so naive as to think I'm going to get
> full-performance batteries out of something like this. But if I could
> even take two dead golf-course batts and bring them up to par with the
> others in my pack it would probably be worth it to me...
>
> Thanks again
>
> Hunter
>
>
> On Fri, 2007-09-21 at 11:42 -0700, Alan Brinkman wrote:
>> Hunter,
>>
>> In a quick search of the archives I saw this reply that suggests
>> battery
>> "desulfators"....."don't do anything that proper charging and
>> maintenance won't do."
>>
>> Inset from archives here.....
>>
>> When you charge a lead-acid battery, lead sulfate in the plates gets
>> converted to lead oxide in the plates, and sulfuric acid in the
>> liquid
>> electrolyte.
>>
>> When you discharge it, the sulfuric acid leaves the liquid
>> electrolyte
>> and converts the lead oxide to lead sulfate in the plates. This
>> "sulfation" is perfectly normal and necessary.
>>
>> But if the lead sulfate sits around for a long time, or you make too
>> much of it by deeply discharging the battery, it gradually changes
>> from
>> many small crystals to a few large ones. This makes it more
>> difficult to
>> convert it all back into lead oxide and sulfuric acid. Typically,
>> some
>> of the lead sulfate falls off the plates and winds up as sludge in
>> the
>> bottom of the battery.
>>
>> Battery "desulfators" are right in there with snake oil and magnetic
>> bracelets and other junk science cures. They don't do anything that
>> proper charging and maintenance won't do.
>>
>> --
>> Ring the bells that still can ring
>> Forget the perfect offering
>> There is a crack in everything
>> That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
>> --
>> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377,
>> leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>>
>> End of insert from archives........
>>
>> Some on the list start with a very slow charge and see if the
>> batteries
>> improve.
>> Good luck!
>>
>> Alan
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
>> Behalf Of Hunter Cook
>> Sent: Friday, September 21, 2007 11:20 AM
>> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
>> Subject: [EVDL] Battery Desulfators
>>
>> Hi guys-
>>
>> Well, I now have the title to my converted '84 S10, and it should be
>> delivered in a week or two. I'm totally stoked.
>>
>> But now my thoughts have turned to the near-dead battery pack, its
>> eventual replacement, and what if anything I can do to improve
>> things in
>> the meantime.
>>
>> The pack was 24 US-145 6v flooded golf cart batteries, but is now
>> 22 of
>> them, as two are toast and were removed from the string by the
>> previous
>> owner (he still included them so I can exchange the cores). The
>> remaining batts have somewhat less than half their original
>> capacity it
>> seems; he says current range is around 15-20mi, down from the
>> original
>> 50-55 or so.
>>
>> So then I start running across these "desulfator" devices. Do these
>> things work? A lot of people seem to think so. I have just started
>> reading the chemistry stuff, and I'm not sure whether I grok it or
>> not,
>> so I just figured I'd ask. Also, I'd be interested to know what
>> brands/models people have used and their specific experiences. And
>> finally, has anybody built their own desulfator, like this:
>> http://www.shaka.com/~kalepa/desulf.htm ?? It doesn't look like too
>> complicated a circuit, and if it'll work well I think it's the way
>> I'd
>> like to go.
>>
>> Thanks in advance...
>>
>> Hunter
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> For subscription options, see
>> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> For subscription options, see
>> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>

_______________________________________________
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Discussion Starter #5
On 21 Sep 2007 at 13:20, Hunter Cook wrote:

> So then I start running across these "desulfator" devices. Do these
> things work?

You already have a desulfator. It's called a battery charger. Sulfation is
reversed by charging a battery.

Despite the fact that a few fairly well educated battery people (and quite a
few who are not) swear by them, I've never seen any concrete evidence that
"pulse desulfators" do anything that a good charger won't do. I recommend
that you don't waste your money.

Once lead sulfate crystallizes and is shed from the grids, there is nothing
that can reverse the process. No gadget or magic elixir can help. Lead
sulfate shed from the electrodes of a battery is gone forever, along with
the capacity it represents. The only real cure for a sulfated battery is
replacement.

Besides, shed sulfation is rarely the cause of battery depreciation or
failure unless the battery has been chronically undercharged or allowed to
self-discharge for many months or years. There are other processes
operating that are more usual as causes of failure. They're all
irreversible.

Lead batteries are commodities. When they're worn out you can't fix them.
There are tricks but they never last. The only real fix is to lift the cell
caps and put a new battery under them.

On 21 Sep 2007 at 14:38, Hunter Cook wrote:

> Thanks for the quick and informative reply, Alan.
>
> The one thing I'd ask, though, is whether you think this is total "snake
> oil" as you say, or just something that well-cared-for batteries
> shouldn't need?

Please forgive me for being a bit cranky, but I think this needs to be said
:

If he didn't think it was snake oil, why would he have said so? What are
you suggesting with such a response? (Actually, it was a highly experienced
and well educated electrical engineer, Lee Hart, who wrote that.)

Sorry that you didn't get the response you hoped for. But if you contact
someone who manufactures "desulfators," I'm sure you can get the "right"
answer from him. :)

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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Discussion Starter #6
Hunter Cook wrote:
> The one thing I'd ask, though, is whether you think this is total
> "snake oil" as you say, or just something that well-cared-for
> batteries shouldn't need?

If living in this modern media-saturated world teaches us anything, it's
that advertising is full of BS (Baloney Sandwich filling :). A given
device may or may not work -- but the advertising for it is *totally
unreliable* as a source of information!

These battery desulfators are particularly bad in this regard. Their
descriptions of how they work are junk science. They give testimonials
from unknown or anonymous users instead of verifiable test data.

The device may be a good charger, or a bad one -- but you sure can't
tell from their advertising!

> So in other words, do you see value in this device for batteries that
> have been abused?

Frankly, there is no way to know except to test it. And to do a proper
test, you need to measure what it ACTUALLY does.

I've done this a number of times on various battery chargers and other
devices that claim to desulfate or rejuvenate a battery. Some of them
actually work -- basically, because they are a perfectly normal battery
charger, recharging a perfectly normal battery. The "desulfation" claims
are just marketing nonsense to get you to buy the product. All they
actually do is what is more properly called "equalization" -- a long
slow charge that provides enough total amphours to fully recharge all
the cells, without overdoing it to the point where it causes further damage.

The worst of the devices do nothing at all. But, the instructions for
using them tell you to do a normal charge and discharge cycle to "test"
the rejuvenated battery. It is this normal charge/discharge cycle that
actually does the work!

--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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Discussion Starter #7
Sometime ago, I bought a Schumacher Smart charger Model WM-1000A to be use
as a charger for regular automotive lead-acid, AGM, gel cells, deep cycle,
and use as a maintainer which has digital read outs. I use one on board to
maintain the on board 12 volt battery. It can be use on 12, 8 or 6 volt
batteries.

I have tap off leads to a chassis board panel receptacle where I can plug in
battery leads to balance charge the 6 volt batteries as required.

I have another out board one I use for the shop. One day I brought out a
high performance engine I had in storage, which the battery from 1973 was
still store with it, but was disconnected and was planning to replace it
with a new one. The battery which is a Sears deep cycle Diehard, still turn
over the engine, but quickly slow down, so I turn off the ignition.

I place one of these smart chargers on this battery, and the digital display
a voltage of about 10.2 volts. Turn the switch to the charge for a deep
cycle and it commence to charge. The voltage readings quickly climb to 13.5
volts and then it increase to 15 volts, it then drops back down to about 14
volts and then goes up to 15.5 volts and repeat this cycle many times, and
then it took the voltage to 18.2 volts and then drop the voltage to 14.5 and
held it there for awhile and repeat that voltage increase to 18.2 volts many
times.

I was alarm at that high voltage, so I went and read the manual more
closely, it states:

The Schumacher SpeedCharger high frequency charger allows for faster
charging by putting more amperage/current into a lead acid battery in a
shorter period of time.

The charger starts with the appropriate rate safety providing as much
current as the battery will take, while automatically monitoring the
charging conditions, avoiding gassing or overheating that may damage the
battery.

Then, it constantly adjusts the rate to effectively complete the charge. If
necessary, the charger will desulphate/recondition the battery plates for
better charge absorption.

So when the voltage cycles from 18.2 volts to 14.5 volts several times and
it waits, this must be the desulphation cycle they are talking about. I do
not know.

But the battery is still cranking over this engine which is very hard
starting at times if everything is not tune right.

My onboard 12 volt deep cycle battery in the EV which is use to run a DC-AC
inverter, four fans and 2 pumps during the start up which could pull up to
100 amps starting. When the main motor reaches about 300 rpm, then the
alternator-inverter kicks in providing the DC and AC current. One day I
found that the on board battery went through this 14.5 to 18.2 volt cycle.
This battery has about 8 years on it.

Roland

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee Hart" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Saturday, September 22, 2007 1:23 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Battery Desulfators

> Frankly, there is no way to know except to test it. And to do a proper
> test, you need to measure what it ACTUALLY does.
>
> I've done this a number of times on various battery chargers and other
> devices that claim to desulfate or rejuvenate a battery. Some of them
> actually work -- basically, because they are a perfectly normal battery
> charger, recharging a perfectly normal battery. The "desulfation" claims
> are just marketing nonsense to get you to buy the product. All they
> actually do is what is more properly called "equalization" -- a long
> slow charge that provides enough total amphours to fully recharge all
> the cells, without overdoing it to the point where it causes further
> damage.
>
> The worst of the devices do nothing at all. But, the instructions for
> using them tell you to do a normal charge and discharge cycle to "test"
> the rejuvenated battery. It is this normal charge/discharge cycle that
> actually does the work!
>
> --
> Ring the bells that still can ring
> Forget the perfect offering
> There is a crack in everything
> That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
> --
> Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>

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