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Charge, or Re-Charge


The reaction that occurs in discharging the cell can be reversed, and it can be restored to its former charged condition by sending direct current through it in an opposite direction to the current flow on discharge. The active materials are restored to their respective conditions, and the electrolyte again becomes a more concentrated sulfuric acid solution. Cell voltage rises as the two plates become increasingly different in composition and the specific gravity of the electrolyte increases. As an operating guide, to obtain the best performance and life from an R-E storage battery, the depth of discharge must not exceed 80% of the battery’s rated capacity in ampere hours. It should be charged after each cycle or whenever the specific gravity of the electrolyte falls below 1.230. It is very important that proper ventilation be provided during charging to make certain that (1) the hydrogen gas given off toward the end of the charging process is dissipated, and (2) that individual cell electrolyte temperatures during normal operations do not exceed 115° F.



Poor charging practice is responsible for shortening the life of a battery more than any other cause. Charging may be accomplished by various methods, but the objective of driving current through the battery in the opposite direction of discharge remains the same. The most important aspect of charging is matching the charger to the battery application. When choosing a charger, it is necessary to consider the type of battery, the way in which the battery will be discharged, the time available for charge, the temperature extremes the battery will experience, and the number of cells in the battery (output voltage). It is important to consult the battery manufacturer at the time of purchase to determine the appropriate charging method.

In general, lead-acid batteries may be recharged at any rate that does not produce excessive gassing, overcharge, or high temperatures. Discharged batteries may be recharged at a high current initially. However, once the battery approaches its full charge the current must be decreased to reduce gassing and excessive overcharging.





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Last Updated: Monday, December 03, 2007 - 6:02 AM Eastern Time.