Battery reconditioning does work and saves you money

Sun, 25/08/2019 - 11:21 -- energicplus
Battery regenerator

There is now an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative to disposing of lead-acid batteries when they reach their end of life.
(published in Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International - October 2014)

Read the interview here in PDF format

Established in 2003 and based near Ghent, Belgium, Energic Plus is part of the TVH Group, a global leader in the area of material handling and industrial vehicle aftermarkets. Among the company’s numerous engineering activities, Energic Plus is addressing a trend that’s taking place across several different industries that sees the replacement of lead-acid batteries as they reach the end of their lifespan. 

One of the main causes of the degeneration of these batteries is sulfation, the accumulation of extremely hard lead sulfate crystals that cannot be loosened with a normal charger. Lead sulfate becomes attached to the lead plates as sulfate crystals and acts as an insulating layer. As a result, fewer and fewer of the lead plates come into contact with the battery acid, leading to a decreased amount of electrical energy that’s converted into chemical energy, meaning that the battery unit needs to be charged more frequently, ultimately resulting in aging that reduces battery capacity and efficiency, and eventually reducing the overall battery lifespan.

When a battery seemingly reaches the end of its usable life, there are two options: the most common is to replace it by purchasing a new battery, which is costly, is not environmentally friendly, and is often not the sensible option because the actual end of lifespan of the original battery may not have been reached; or by using the Energic Plus Battery Regenerator, it is possible to reconvert the lead sulfate crystals into active material, giving the battery a second lease of life by restoring its capacity to the original level. 

Lode Baert, head of sales for battery regenerators and analysis equipment at Energic Plus, expands upon how his company is meeting such battery needs: “In actual practice, most companies, when faced with a capacity loss of their lead-acid batteries, immediately proceed to purchase a new battery set. This is, in fact, a shocking find as it’s possible to save more than 80% of these
batteries with effective analysis and the correct equipment, restoring them to their original capacities. The truth very often is that these batteries are not dead yet, can be rescued, and can therefore save companies from going to the costly expense of purchasing replacement batteries.”

Regeneration capability

The Battery Regenerator process lasts a maximum of 42 hours and consists of six simple steps. It begins with a controlled discharge of the battery while monitoring the voltage of each cell through its BMS. “This enables the system to establish the exact capacity that remains in, and the condition of, each individual cell,” explains Baert. “After the discharge comes the charge and equalization process, during which we restore the sulfated and weaker cells. These three steps are repeated twice in total.”

In addition to discharging and recharging the battery, during the entire process, highfrequency pulses are continuously sent to the battery (150 pulses of 150Hz per second). These have been specially developed to convert the sulfate crystals back into active material.

The Energic Plus Battery Regenerator comes with free diagnostics software that enables the user to generate an accurate analysis of the batteries and a prognosis about whether or not they need to be replaced, as well as to assess the condition before and after regeneration, and to download detailed regeneration reports, a process that is fast, accurate and user-friendly. “As a result,” adds Baert, “we are actually offering customers more options. And by using our technology, they can cut costs drastically while keeping the batteries in perfect condition.” 

The Battery Regenerator can be used for different voltages and capacities; is compatible with battery monitoring systems (BMS) for wireless detection of bad cells; enables data transfer to be completed either wirelessly or wired; and can be used as a discharger or a regenerator only.

Since its launch at the CEMAT exhibition in Hanover in 2011, the battery reconditioning technology has been adopted by more than 500 companies in the airline, off-highway/industrial vehicle, telecom business and retail markets, and its benefits are now available to the marine sector as well.

While Energic Plus’ Battery Regenerator does not mean the end of purchasing new batteries, it will result in users being able to extend battery life and gain substantially more working hours from their battery packs. “Unfortunately, this is not a miracle cure,” states Baert, “but what we can guarantee is that by means of our Battery Regenerator, we can completely disulfate batteries and, if these are linked to our diagnostics equipment, we can make a perfect analysis of exactly what the problem is in a battery pack. 

“It is not possible to restore batteries that have an internal mechanical defect, or where the lead paste is corroding, so in these instances replacements will need to be sought out, but we do guarantee that at least 80% of batteries can be restored and will last 50% longer as a direct result of intervention from our Battery Regenerator.”

Upon installation of products from Energic Plus, on-site training is provided, during which the entire process, as well as basic principles of lead-acid batteries, are explained in detail, thus facilitating ease of use of the Battery Regenerator. “While prior knowledge is definitely a benefit, it is not a requirement, since our products are also very easy to operate,” concludes Baert. “In addition, we guarantee an excellent aftersales service, and continue to follow up with customers to ensure our products are used optimally.”

(published in Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International - October 2014)

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