Understanding Healthy Battery Maintenance & Why It Is Important
Good battery maintenance is unquestionably important, but why? Why is it that a battery left in an unused car becomes dead in a few months time? In order to understand why battery maintenance is important to the longevity of your battery, it is important to understand the basics of discharging and charging a battery.
In short, when a battery is discharging, the chemical reaction between the sulfuric acid and the lead plates produce electricity which gives the energy to the application.
This chemical reaction begins to coat the positive and negative plates with a lead sulfate, which is commonly referred to as sulfation. The accumulation of lead-sulfate is expected and normal during the discharging process. As the battery continues to lose voltage, the lead sulfate begins to coat more and more of the plates, until eventually the sulfation completely covers the plates and the battery is completely discharged.
Sulfation can be reconverted into active material again if a proper charge is applied soon after the battery becomes discharged. If the ‘soft sulfation’ is left for any period of time, it can become permanent ‘hard sulfation,’ and will cause your battery to loose capacity and power. While charging your battery, the lead sulfate returns to the electrolyte becoming active material again.
Providing the correct charge after the battery is discharged is key to keeping your battery healthy and in great working condition. With that said, charging your battery properly can easily become more involved than discharging it.
Battery chargers with fixed outputs are incapable of providing the correct charge cycle simply because your battery requires changes in amperage and voltage to reach a complete full charge.
Proper charging and maintenance requires an intelligent charging system that has the capability to adjust the charging voltage and amperage based on the needs of your lead-acid battery. Selecting the correct smart charger and using the proper charging mode will provide an optimal charge for your battery and thus increase the lifespan of your battery.
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