Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

Anima CenterAnima Center Registered Users Posts: 16
What is the consensus on the Pulse charging devices sold for use on banks to reduce or prefect sulfation? Science or scam?

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,373 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    I just installed a stand-alone pulser on my battery bank. no idea if it's going to do what it claims to be able to. Nobody has called them an outright fraud.
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  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 250 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    I have used one for many years, likewise, I have no idea if they work, but have heard no bad/rip off vibes.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    There is no consensus.

    If discussed the Mod's move the discussion to "Skeptics, Hype, & Scams Corner " I will mot post a discussion there as the title implies opinion.

    You will find at least one other discussion there.

    I've had 2 24V hooked up to my 4 Golf Cart Batteries, At very least they have done no harm (they have their own solar panels)

    My batteries still have quite good reserve even though they will turn 5 this fall and are regularly tortured in the summer, often being drawn down near 50% of capacity.

    It is hard to do a definitve study as there are so many variables, Home Power did an article finding them somewhat useful as I recall.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    In theory they should work but its really hard to ever tell. As the only way you could would be to get 2 identical battery and use systems and connect one to pulse charging the other to (normal?) charger and then wait a few years to see the differences.. Even then it may tell you nothing. as sulphation depends a lot on amount of charge (charging at 5% or 40% of the battery ah capacity)and depth of discharge..
    But I think if you get a well made one it probably worth using. I am using 4 on 4 small solar systems as aditional charge if no Mr Sun.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?
    What is the consensus on the Pulse charging devices sold for use on banks to reduce or prefect sulfation? Science or scam?

    I guess, I should say after reading your post and 'John P's what I think your asking about is a product to prevent sulfation, perhaps some of them charge as well but the ones I'm aware of just prevent (or try to prevent) sulfation. Like, Solargizer. PowerPulse, RediPulse (this one is trickle charges as well)

    Here's the one NAWS sells;

    http://store.solar-electric.com/badebysocoin.html
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    I have a pulse charger running on my electric car and it has definitely restored some capacity to the three year old abused 108v pack. The friend I bought it from was convinced about them when he let a RV sit for 5 years and never had trouble from the battery.
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 250 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    I should have noted that my rolls batteries are 10 YO.
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    yes there are some pulse chargers that do not much more than just attempt to remove sulphation, The ones im using are really pulse charging battery chargers..
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    There is some science published on the net which seems to indicate that they can and do work. BatteryMinder (I think) claims to use a higher frequency which they say does a better job.

    I seem to recall (and take that with a grain of salt) that the technology was originally developed for aviation use.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    There is merit to pulse charging to achieve higher current to keep negative plates from sulfating without too much of the negative side effects of continuous moderate-high average current charging has on positive plate oxidation.

    I don't believe in de-sulfating claims. Once hardened crystals form they are near impossible to get to recharge. You can break them off but not recharge them.
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    I had four of them installed on the battery banks.

    Before we built the system we did some research on pulse technology with mixed results. I decided to go ahead and do it as they represented a small investment compared to cost of 64 expensive batteries.

    I figured any sulfation protection they might offer was worth it but I don't have much confidence they really do anything.

    I'd like to see some credible engineering evidence to be convinced.
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • penjosephpenjoseph Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    I have used Digital Battery Pulsers (not charger) with great success. These are permanently connected in-line (12v) to the existing circuit. You might not believe me but after testing in UPS batteries (12v 200Ah) I was quite surprised with the results. After which I installed in Solar Batteries.

    Example 1 :
    The picture below is of an 48v DC bus installation consisting of 24x 2v 500Ah distill water type.Earlier every 6 months 1 or 2 of the batteries in the bank would fail, due to excessive sulphation. 4x 12v Battery Pulsers are used in series.

    Attachment not found.

    After connecting the pulsers the results are
    1.Reduction in the acidic odour inside battery room. Earlier it was difficult to enter the room without the exhaust fan kept on. Now there is no need of it & the odour is minimal.
    2.Distilled water consumption has reduced to 1/3 rd.
    3.Weaker batteries have a tendency of getting heated up. After connecting the pulsers, batteries which used to get heated up have become cool.
    4.Sulphation on the terminals have reduced significantly. Even the powder colour has changed from white to light brown. I can't explain how this happens but seeing is believing !
    5.Battery failure has become nil over past 1 1/2 years.

    Joseph Eapen
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,509 admin
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    Interesting--It sounds like your "gassing" and water issue problems may have been from batteries that were not equalized properly. Or individual cells were failing (shorted, sulfating, something).

    What kind of batteries are those, what is the charging voltage, etc...? Have you monitored specific gravity? (appear to be flooded cell and not VRLA, Gell, or AGM)?

    Are they cycled often (deeply, heavy current vs AH capacity, etc.)--Or mostly sitting unused?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • penjosephpenjoseph Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    As said before these batteries are 2V 500Ah connected in series. 24 are in series to give 48v DC.

    The batteries are distilled water / flooded cell type not VRLA. On top of the orange cap is a float which shows the level of battery acid in the container. Distilled water has to be topped up every month & recharged through 230V mains (Grid Charging) using a 3KVA 230VAC / 48VDC Lighting inverter.

    It is used everyday from 2-3 hours in the night to power 230v 1500W of street lights

    The batteries were failing inconsistently irrespective of maintaining specific gravity. Also is a difficult exercise since 24no.s are connected in series. We have 3 rooms, hence a total of 24 x 3 = 72 batteries.

    Joseph Eapen
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,142 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    What brand of pulser are you using? Nothing came up on a Google of "Digital Battery Pulsers ''
     
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  • penjosephpenjoseph Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    westbranch - I dont feel comfortable in divulging the details of a product which is in the skeptic's shadow. Moreover in a commercially supported forum, this subject would incur moderation. All I can say is the product costs USD 50 for 12v batteries \ battery bank circuits upto 500 Ah with customized wiring length & water resistance filling.

    We have used this product in numerous sites for Electric Buggies, 230V 5KVA Online/Offline UPS, >200KVA Generator Batteries & it has helped save on battery costs.

    Example 2:
    The below pictured Electric Buggy uses 'Trojan' http://www.trojanbattery.com/ 8v 150Ah high-density batteries.
    Attachment not found.

    We have 8 of these Electric Buggies which are used everyday to transport guests in a resort hotel. The DC bank is 48v. 6 batteries of 8V 150Ah are used in series.
    The batteries were failing after every year of use. After connecting the pulsers we could extend the life more than 2 years. Here the pulsers used were 24v model. 8v x 3no.s = 24v. Another issue we identified here was few external chargers were overcharging the batteries. The pulsers have bi-LED (GREEN/RED) indication in them & if the safe limit of charging voltage is crossed it turns RED. We have had the Buggy company to reduce the charging voltage.

    Attachment not found.

    Example 3:
    Attachment not found.

    The above batteries (12v 200Ah x6) were purchased in 2006 for a Line-interactive Offline 230VAC 72VDC 5KVA UPS. During summer time (March to May) power failures are severe totaling 4 - 6 hours a day. Towards the end of 2009 these batteries were giving only 2 hours of backup from the initial 4-5 hours. After 2 months of the pulsers being connected, the backup time has increased back to 4 hours. The acidic odour & distilled water consumption as said before have reduced. We are still using these batteries without a problem.
  • penjosephpenjoseph Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    Example 4:
    As a remote study not to bias battery pulser findings, I send 2 no.s to my parents who stays 600 Kms away from me in a remote town.

    There the 230V Mains power fails almost every day from 1 - 2 hours. Summers are terrible with sometimes totalling 8 - 9 hours of blackout. My mother who uses 230V AC 1.5KVA 24VDC Inverter with 2x 12v 150Ah Batteries wanted to replace the batteries since it was giving less than an hour's back after 2 years of use.

    After connecting the pulsers with the help of a local electrician, the batteries are performing as good as new over 2 months giving more than 4 hours of backup.

    Pulsing technology works provided the waveform & parameters are correct and which is not detrimental to the functioning of batteries or the equipment to which it is connected to.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    penjoseph,
    i must be overlooking it, but did you state at all how (charge rate and for how long as opposed to ah depleted) the batteries were being charged before you went to the switcher? it sounds that you may not have been getting a proper charge to the batteries beforehand. btw, pwm controllers are pulsers as well.
  • penjosephpenjoseph Registered Users Posts: 12
    Re: Pulse Chargers to Prevent Battery Sulfation?

    niel - to answer your questions:

    "how the batteries were being charged before you went to the switcher" -

    In relation to the 3rd example which I have direct hands-on access to - DC Bus voltage is 72v. The UPS internal charger is rated 82v 10A. If a current draw of < 600mA is sensed, a float voltage of 75v is maintained. Hence on a depletion of battery charge on 5 hours of continuous use to 65v (the inverter switch off voltage) would put a maximum load on the internal charger of less than 20 hours to fully charge the 200Ah batteries.

    In this location power does not fail much in non-summer months (July - Feb). if you consider as of now, we have had an accumulated power failure of only 1 hour the past one month.


    "pwm controllers are pulsers as well" -

    In relation to the 1st example I quoted - regardless of the Solar Charge controller being PWM the 2v 500Ah batteries were sulphating.

    PWM controllers work within the range of 30Hz to 100Hz. The Digital Battery pulser is designed with proprietary pulse waveform between 100KHz to 1MHz using 100mA on operation. Moreover the pulses do not affect the connected equipment.

    Joseph Eapen
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