Saturday, March 3, 2007
The Great Desulfation Experiment
Can one revive a mostly dead battery? Several internet sources say yes. Above is a picture of a heavily sulfated 8-volt golf-cart battery I acquired yesterday. It had a floating voltage of 7.85 when I got it and needed half a gallon of distilled water to fill it back up. Just off to the right of the battery I've attached the $250 "Cadillac of Desulfators" and it's merrily buzzing away along with a 1-amp trickle charger. At the end of today, I measured a charging voltage of 8.36 volts which should go up over time if the battery desulfates.
Don Denhardt, the national desulfation mastermind claims that this desulfation unit will restore one pound of sulfated battery per day. With the battery weighing in at about 70 pounds, this will take awhile, but I think it's worth trying to see if desulfators are worth it. Of course, the battery could have shorted plates and other problems that desulfation won't fix, but I'm going to give it a shot.
I still have two other 8-volt batteries (top picture) that I cleaned up today that also needed about half a gallon of water to fill each. They also started around 7.65 or 7.70 floating voltage so maybe I'll try to revive those too if this one shows promise. I suspect that I won't actually use these batteries in the 914 EV, but this research will help me understand battery technology better and perhaps give me some backup batteries in case one or two original cells go out. Who knows, I might even be able to revive bad cells in the battery pack if this works. Let's cross our fingers.