How does the battery regeneration process work?
Specialist in battery regeneration, Batterie Plus offers the most powerful regenerators on the market. Robust and efficient, our battery regenerators offer more advantages than those of our competitors. More powerful, they offer deeper processing for maximum productivity and a better return on investment. How does the battery regeneration process work? Here are some explanations.
Lead-acid battery regenerators
Lead-acid batteries are used to store electricity. They are used throughout industry, the automotive and railway sectors, as well as in networks and installations requiring immediate access to electrical energy in the event of a power failure, such as telecoms, hospitals and banks.
Batteries are also at the heart of electricity production systems in isolated unconnected sites (solar, wind, mixed) since they store and redistribute electricity day and night.
The operating principle of a lead-acid battery can be summarized as follows:
• When the battery is discharged, both polarities are sulphated, the electrolyte is used. The oxygen from the positive electrode mixes with the H+ ions in solution to form water, while the sulphide ions combine with the lead from the electrodes to form lead sulphate. When the battery is completely discharged, the electrolyte will be composed solely of distilled water and the plates will be sulphated.
• When the battery is recharged, both polarities are desulphated and the electrolyte is reconstituted. The positive plate oxidizes to the highest degree, through the formation of PbO2, and sulphide ions are released. The electrodes are chemically reconstituted and the acidity of the electrolyte is recovered.
When charged, the lead-acid battery consists of plates of spongy lead and sulfuric acid. When it is discharged, the plates are transformed into lead sulphate in its amorphous form and into weak sulfuric acid, almost like water.
The charging of a lead-acid battery consists of reprocessing the cells, i.e. amorphous lead sulphate becomes sulphuric acid again and the plates are reconstituted.
What is a sulphated battery?
When in its amorphous state, lead sulphate crystallizes over time and settles on the battery plates. Once crystallized, it can no longer be transformed into sulfuric acid when the battery is charged; the expression commonly used is "sulphated battery". A traditional battery charger will not be able to charge a sulphated battery. The process leading to a sulphated battery can be extremely fast with, for example, the formation of crystals after 36 hours on a starter battery that is left discharged. On a well-maintained lead-acid battery, however, amorphous lead sulphate crystallizes much more slowly (5 to 10 years depending on models and usage).
The oxidation of lead plates is also an element that explains the phenomenon of battery capacity degradation. Naturally, it is the age of the battery that is at stake, as well as a chronic lack of electrolyte. It is therefore not possible to regenerate an oxidized battery and that is why, after about fifteen or twenty years, a well-maintained battery reaches the end of its life.
What is battery regeneration?
Battery regeneration is a process that consists of sending high-powered electrical pulses that break down the crystalline layer formed by amorphous lead sulphate. A traditional charger cannot allow this process, while a specially designed device produces convincing results. At the end of the process, the lead sulphate from the electrolysis process is converted back into sulphuric acid and the plates are reconstituted. The battery returns to its original condition.
For a car battery, the battery reconstitution takes about 24 hours. It takes longer for large industrial batteries (2 to 4 days). Regardless of the battery size, the battery regeneration process gives the battery a new life. The bigger the battery, the easier it is and the better the results. The purchase of a new battery is therefore no longer necessary and the cost of regeneration is significantly lower. This results in a significant and interesting return on investment for the company. The cost is indeed about a quarter of the price of a new battery in the case of industrial batteries. In addition, the process limits the production of waste, leading to a more environmentally-friendly solution.
The choice of lead-acid batteries
A responsible company must choose its lead-acid batteries with care. Almost all of the batteries used worldwide are lead-acid batteries. Individuals and professionals use them, whatever the field concerned. The industry, for its part, uses lead-acid batteries through many substations: forklifts in warehousing activities, solutions against power outages, energy storage, etc.
Today, it is mainly thanks to the recycling of used batteries that the recovered lead allows the production of new batteries. For this reason, but also for the protection of the environment, it is forbidden to dispose of a lead-acid battery as one would normal waste and even more so to dispose of it in nature.
The lead-acid battery still has a bright future ahead of it. While researchers are working on developing new technologies that will eventually replace lead-acid batteries, we are only at the beginning of this process... Lithium batteries are significantly more toxic and expensive than lead batteries and do not provide an immediate alternative.
Which batteries can benefit from battery regeneration?
Three sets of batteries can benefit from the battery regeneration process:
• Starter batteries, capable of providing high current intensity in a minimum of time, characterized by a large number of very thin lead plates. These starter batteries cannot be discharged by more than 20% without having an impact on their service life. They must therefore be recharged as soon as possible after use.
• Slow discharge batteries, or "traction batteries". Equipped with thick and water-intensive lead plates, these batteries accept a high discharge (up to 80%) before being recharged. Described as "cyclable", they can be charged and recharged many times (from 500 to 1500 cycles).
• Stationary batteries, similar to the previous ones, but designed for limited maintenance, therefore not very demanding in terms of water. They are used in situations of high emergency power requirements in a short time.
The regenerators provided by Batterie Plus are also suitable for nickel technology batteries.
The BRT10 regenerator regenerates Toyota Prius NiMH batteries.
Batterie Plus regenerators are capable of handling all types of batteries.
Which technologies are suitable for battery regeneration?
The following three technologies can benefit from battery regeneration:
• Lead-acid open, leaving access to compensate for water loss by adding liquid. Open batteries are available in the three types of batteries mentioned above: starter battery, slow discharge battery, stationary battery.
•AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) in which a layer of glass fibre absorbs the electrolyte. This technology is mainly used in the context of starter batteries.
• The gel electrolyte battery, from which the acid does not flow, considered as a technique related to a deep-discharge battery, suitable for uses of this type.