megaintro(type: gif)


battplategood(type: jpg)
A plate in good condition - no sulphation
battplatesulph(type: jpg)
A heavily sulphated battery plate
The grey-black colour is that of a battery plate in good condition.   This plate can store the battery's rated Ah and since its resistance is low, it can deliver a high current when required. The brown coloration is typical of a sulphated battery plate.   With less active material, this battery has reduced amp-hours, which result in it quickly running flat.   The sulphation crystals form an insulating jacket around the remaining active material, limiting the peak current that this battery can produce, resulting in a lack of power.

sulph1(type: jpg)
Figure 1 - new battery
This is an 500x magnification electron micrograph showing the active lead dioxide plate in a new battery.   Note the finely divided crystal structure.  

This plate works at full capacity and full efficiency as per the manufacturer's specification.

Unfortunately, the plate doesn't stay in this condition for long (unless Megapulse is connected of course!)   Long idle periods while partially discharged quickly leads to severe sulphation as shown in Figure 2.

sulph2(type: jpg)
Figure 2 - heavily sulphated battery
Note the large crystals under the surface particles.   This is typical of a sulphated battery.  

These large crystals of lead sulphate form an insulating layer around the plate that effectively reduces the amount of charge a battery can hold, and limits the maximum discharge current to values well below those of a new battery.

Unlike normal lead sulphate, these crystals cannot be converted back into the original plate material by any amount of charging.   They contribute nothing to the battery's operation and represent lost material of no value.

The heavily sulphated battery shown here would normally be considered 'dead' and ready for replacement.

sulph3(type: jpg)
Figure 3 - sulphation removed by Megapulse
Here the 'dead battery' in Figure 2 above has been connected to Megapulse for a few weeks.

The recovery of the plate can be seen quite clearly.   The large lead sulphate crystals have been reformed as spongy lead dioxide, producing sulphuric acid in the process.

As the battery revives, the increasing strength of the sulphuric acid shows up as a higher SG on a hydrometer.

Since the insulating crystalline structure has disappeared, the battery's much increased current capability may approach that of a new battery.   To a lesser extent, the battery's Ah capacity will have been increased.   Refer here for more on reviving batteries.