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EarthEnergy Blog: Information to help "make your home wherever you go."

What & Why: Battery Maintenance

Anyone who has purchased a lead-acid battery recently, either for a car or a renewable energy system, knows battery prices have gone through the roof in the last couple of years. Battery maintenance used to be of interest mostly to people with fleets of vehicles, or large power storage systems, but now maximizing battery life has become a major money-saver for almost everyone.

Basic battery maintenance includes making sure your battery electrolyte is topped off (unless the battery is fully sealed, like most automotive batteries are these days), and making sure the battery stays charged. But even then, especially if you live in an extreme climate, you’ll still notice your batteries wearing down over time. Using a pulse charger or pulse conditioner takes your battery maintenance routine to the next level.

Battery pulse conditioners can triple the life of lead-acid batteries, as well as keep them performing like new. This means your power storage system is always operating at peak capacity, and your vehicle’s engine turns over and charges more easily (minimizing wear and tear on your starter and alternator).

To understand how pulse conditioning works, you need to know that batteries ‘wear out’ because the electrolyte inside them slowly crystallizes over time, building up lead sulfite deposits on the battery plates. These deposits effectively insulate the battery plates, making it harder and harder for the battery to create electrical current. Eventually, the battery will not hold enough of a charge to function properly.

battery plates showing lead sulfate build up

Sulfation build-up slowly decreases battery capacity and performance. Pulse conditioning can reverse it.

This sulfation can be minimized, and even reversed, by sending brief repeated high voltage ‘pulses’ of electricity through the battery. This breaks down the sulfate crystals, maintaining the correct chemical balance in the battery acid, and keeping the lead plates free of insulating buildup. An onboard pulse conditioner, like PulseTech’s PowerPulse line, uses a small amount of the battery’s own charge (<2%) to generate these electrical pulses. For batteries in a regularly-used vehicle, or connected to an external charging source, PowerPulse conditioners are the easiest way to maintain peak capacity and performance.

battery plates maintained with pulsetech pulse conditioning

These photos show how pulse conditioning can prevent battery plate sulfation over time. (Click to open larger image in new window.)

You can get a PowerPulse onboard battery conditioner for 12, 24, 36, or 48 bolt batteries from EarthEnergy. We also carry a full range of PulseTech’s battery pulse chargers and multi-battery pulse conditioners available! Want to use a PulseTech charger on a 6V battery? Visit this post to learn how: Charge a 6V Battery with 12V PulseTech Chargers