Battery Failure Part 2: Sulfation

In a previous article we discussed one of the causes of battery failure is the shedding of the active material. This shedding is inevitable with age and normal use. All batteries have a life expectancy so the more cycles on a battery, the shorter the battery life.

In the process of discharging a battery lead sulfate is formed in the battery plates. Lead sulfate when initially formed is soft and easily transformed into active material during the charging process. With time Lead sulfate forms into crystals, which are increasingly difficult to transform, thus reducing the overall capacity of the battery.

Understanding the above we can deduce that leaving a depleted battery for extended periods of time or chronically undercharging a battery will enable these hard crystals to form effectively reducing the batteries capacity.