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John Deere Tractors Discussion Forum
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Re: battery tender?

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Lee B

02-19-2013 15:47:10
64.37.30.36



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Other brands don't always claim to de-sulfate or even have that mode, but if you are asking if it's a real problem the answer is YES. Does their system work? YES again, but how well will always be an opinion.

It seems to be a slam dunk, maintainers work. How much better would a de-sulfating one work would then be pretty hard to tell, I would think. But I don't think it's just a case of the warm and fuzzy feelings you get thinking about your batteries being sulfate free at 3 AM when you can't get back to sleep. It should actually help the life of the battery and more than just a normal maintainer. This technology supposedly works by sending a voltage spike into the cell followed by a normal charging voltage/amperage burst. The high voltage spike is supposed to bridge the gap between disconnected chunks of sulfate that have formed and separated, but have not yet fallen to the bottom of the cell. Once electrically connected again, the sulfate chunk begins to charge and re-joins the battery system as a whole.

How high the voltage spike is or how often would be proprietary information of which I know little. Just the theory.

The most positive cell in a battery is usually the one that goes dead first and this is due to sulphate formation. The sulphate then drops off the positive plate in chunks or flakes to the bottom of the cell eventually and no longer supports any battery functions again. If you will perform a biopsy on your dead batteries you will find that the rest of the battery can look quite good but the positive plates of the most positive cell will be found to be lacking a great deal of material within it's pure lead grid system that actually holds the lead oxide/sponge lead which are the working parts of the battery. Just exactly how the most positive cell knows it's the most positive cell and then behaves in this manner beats the heck out of me. It would seem they all should do it and to the same amount - but it's not like that in the real world.

IF (big if there) one were to use up half the life of a battery and then be able to use the negative post for the positive, then one could in essence start over with that battery's life clock after using it 3 years let's say. And that would get you 8 years instead of the average 5. That's a sizable increase and I used to do exactly that. But it's such a hassle I won't recommend it to anyone, and that's the only reason I don't do it anymore myself. I guess you could say I proved my point a couple of times and then I got lazy and tired of the debate.

You just turn your lights on and drain the battery down to NOTHING (2 or better 3 days). Hook it up backwards and charge it back up backwards using a 4 amp battery charger (2 days). Lead acid batteries can be reversed people, it's a simple case of physics even if it's not a commonly known one.

The very first lead acid battery was just two lead plates in sulfuric acid. The guy got better and better results each time he charged it back up backwards until it started to carry quite a charge. Replacement batteries at Niagara holding New York's first street light power during the day had to be 'cycled' like this for weeks before they would hold enough charge to join the grid. Since the 20s or so they now build plates with the oxide as a paste and as well as the sponge lead - but they still need a real good first charge, and battery makers won't take the time to do a good job of that anymore. They charge them, but it's quick and hot - it's not a through overnight 4 amp charge. So you might get a little more life out of yours if you supply the gentle overnight charge a new battery should have.

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dan_41jdh

02-20-2013 04:40:23
24.149.8.64



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 Re: battery tender? in reply to Lee B, 02-19-2013 15:47:10  
Lee, very interesting information. I'd never thought about the possibility of reversing the polarity of a lead-acid battery, but there is no reason it can't happen. I had to go back to my old chemistry texts to refresh my memory of the details of the process.

When fully discharged, the "positive" and "negative" plates are actually lead sulphate (PbSO4) and the electrolyte is mostly water. So, when charging occurs, electrons are forced from the positive plate which is converted from PbSO4 to PbO2, and the negative plate gains the electrons and is converted from PbSO4 to Pb (pure lead). And, the SO2 ions from this process create more sulphuric acid in the electrolyte, so the specific gravity (and acidity) increases.

Accordingly, when completely discharged, the battery doesn't care which plates are forced to be positive or negative. The polarity is established upon charging (assuming the battery is COMPLETELY discharged prior to charging).

Neat information. Thanks for the insight.

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