Some tips from Interstate Battery!
The Secret to Prolong Your Interstate Lead -Acid Battery
The life of a lead acid battery can be broken down to its capacity over the # of cycles, or time. The primary reason for the relatively short cycle life of a lead acid battery is depletion of the active material. This aging is commonly accelerated by:
• elevated operating temperatures
• high discharge currents/strain
• corrosion by fast charging and/or overcharge
• sulfation from undercharge
Lead-Acid Batteries go through 1. Formatting 2. Peak 3. Decline
In the formatting phase, the plates are in a sponge-like condition surrounded by liquid electrolyte. Exercising the plates allows the absorption of electrolyte, much like squeezing and releasing a hardened sponge. As the electrodes activate, the capacity gradually increases.
Experts advise not to strain a new battery by giving it heavy duty discharges at first but gradually working it in with moderate discharges, like an athlete trains for weight lifting or long-distance running. For Starter batteries are less critical. The full cranking power is available from the beginning, although CCA will go up slightly with formatting in early use.
2.PEAK & 3. DECLINE
Plate/grid-related breakdown has increased in the past decade due to higher demands on the starter battery in modern cars that induce added stress.
Limiting the depth of discharge, reducing the cycle count, and controlling overcharge are preventive measures to keep corrosion in check.
Chargers like the CTEK 5.0 also adjust the charge voltage to the temperature. Reducing the float charge when the ambient temperature is higher and increasing it when colder lowers corrosion.Applying an overcharge is another contributor to grid corrosion. A smart charger that will pulse and float a battery once charged is a great way to ensure this doesn’t happen.
The battery must always be stored at full state-of-charge. Low charge causes sulfation.
Sulfation occurs when a lead acid battery is deprived of a full charge. Lead sulfate converts to a stable crystalline and deposits on the negative plates. This leads to the development of large crystals that reduce the battery’s active material, which is responsible for the performance. This is common with starter batteries in cars driven in the city with load-hungry accessories. A motor in idle or at low speed cannot charge the battery sufficiently. If continually deprived, the sulfated battery will eventually lose the ability to accept a full charge and the performance will decline.
There are two types of sulfation: reversible (or soft sulfation), and permanent (or hard sulfation). Reversible sulfation can often be corrected by using a CTEK battery Charger. Permanent sulfation sets in when the battery has been in a low state-of-charge for weeks or months. At this stage restoring a battery is no longer possible.
It is best to minimize sulfation on a healthy battery, as you cannot reverse the condition once present