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Reply #9: You're thinking about sulfation [View All]

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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-05 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. You're thinking about sulfation
The batteries we're talking about are lead-acid. They use lead plates in tanks of sulfuric acid. In use, the battery converts the lead and the sulfuric acid to lead sulfate--this reaction releases electrons, and electron release is why you want a battery. When you charge the battery, the lead sulfate (which deposits itself on the plates) is converted back into lead and sulfuric acid.

The problem is that when you drive real short distances, the sulfate doesn't get a chance to react out, and after enough short hops you've got a plate that is so sulfated-up, no electricity will be produced.

For the cure we must look at forklifts. If you have an electric forklift, the company who made it wants you to put the battery on "equalization" charge once a week or so; this knocks all of the sulfation off the plates and makes your battery last longer and work better. (FWIW, forklift batteries are also designed so you can replace them one cell at a time instead of the whole $2000 battery at once.)
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