Diagnoses and Desulfates Batteries
batteries that have been left in a discharged state tend to sulfate and quickly
build up resistance to conventional charging. This is more evident during extreme
temperature conditions. Most of the electrolyte in the battery turns into water
when the battery is completely discharged and this has three effects:
- without acid the build up of sulfate crystals on the battery plates occurs rapidly; as the buildup of crystals increase so does resistance to charging
- water freezes which physically damages the battery plates or casing (water expands by 6 / 5 when freezing)
- in hot conditions water evaporates, impeding the chemical process required to re-energize the plates.
‘smart’ chargers cannot overcome high resistance caused by sulfation,
but OptiMate3’s desulfation program can. (One of the main reasons why
our competitors claim that once a battery is sulfated, it is only good for dumping.)
The truth of the matter is, both filler cap and “MF” VRLA starter batteries can be recovered if done right & soon enough, confirmed in the technical report “Service manual for sealed MF Battery” published by Yuasa Battery Co. Ltd. Japan, with similar text included in the latest technical manual of Yuasa Battery Inc. (USA) : In charging an over discharged battery having terminal voltage of 11,5V or lower, its internal resistance may be too high to be charged at normal voltage. Therefore, raise the voltage initially (25V as max.) and charge. Adjust the voltage as often as possible to keep current at standard value.
TecMate took this principal and designed a circuit that does this all automatically. Here’s how, it applies a high voltage at controlled current to breathe life into the battery and does this for a maximum period of two hours. Once it senses recovery OptiMate shifts to two step constant current charging, then checks if the battery can hold power before switching to safe long term storage charge.
For best results the battery must be removed from the vehicle if over-discharged & sulfated. OptiMate will not start the desulfation mode if it senses vehicle circuitry and automatically lowers the maximum charging voltage to 14,3V to protect sensitive electronic circuitry against damage.
One must bear in mind that not all batteries are of the same design nor are they of the same quality, especially the ‘clone’ / pirate part batteries based on OEM product. Such factors all have a bearing on how successful a particular battery’s recovery from sulfation is. Some battery types may not recover at all from sulfation, what-ever you do. Even those that do may not recover to 100% rated capacity and will retain some effect of the sulfation event, such as a higher self discharge characteristic.
The good news is that from our experience almost all batteries used in the power sport industry are recoverable, especially sealed AGM VRLA types such as manufactured by Yuasa, Hawker Batteries, GS and East Penn. And the sooner the battery is recovered the better the result.
is always better than cure. Leave the OptiMate3 connected when the vehicle is
not in use and it will protect against sulfation, excessive self discharge or
current draw from connected devices.