Lead Acid Batteries and Sulphation

Lead acid batteries are used for storage in electrical power systems. These may not have the best energy density of available batteries, but they are low cost, robust and easy to manage.

These pages are intended to review a number of issues relevant to these batteries. The initial focus will be the recovery of batteries that have apparently become sulphated; a condition where the lead sulphate normally formed during discharge and removed during charging, has hardened to a crystalline form. This reduces the battery capacity and cannot be reversed by normal charging of the battery. There is a great deal of information available on the Internet, but this turned out to be a major problem since much of it is mythology without sound scientific basis. It is intended here to attempt to extract useful information that shows at least some scientific validity.

  1. Chemical basis of battery operation.

  2. Techniques proposed for repair of sulphated batteries.

  3. Discharge and restoration tests with sulphated batteries.

  4. Review of literature on sulphation and its amelioration.

A useful resource on the Internet is Battery University in which an extensive collection of information on all battery types has been assembled. Information on lead acid batteries is rather scattered but easily found.

First created
30 October 2017
Last Modified 20 November 2017
Ken Sarkies 2017