It is the act of returning all cells in a battery to their original charge state. As part of the equalization process, some battery types may require a full discharge. In simpler terms, equalization is the regulated overcharging of a battery.
It is used as a preventative maintenance and repair procedure for overflowing lead acid batteries. It is a stage in the charging procedure.
Sulfation occurs in lead acid batteries. This occurs when the sulfuric acid inside the battery cells forms tiny crystals on the lead battery plates, obstructing action and reducing battery capacity and performance.
Lead acid batteries can become much sulfated over time and under certain conditions of use, causing them to function at only a fraction of their rated capacity.
A flooded lead acid battery bank should be equalized on a regular basis to prevent this. This procedure will remove those crystals, reactivating the battery plate surface area.
The optimal frequency of equalization will vary depending on a variety of variables, but most seasonal cottages should be equalized a couple of times per year and full-time homes four times per year.
What is auto-equalize process?
Many solar charge controllers have the ability to auto-equalize; this is a viable choice, and they can be programmed to perform a short duration equalization (ie 1 hour) every 30 to 60 days. For more information, refer to your charge controller and battery instructions.
It is important to note that auto-equalizing is not a substitute for regular inspection of particular gravity levels and that excessive equalization, beyond what is required to maintain battery health, can reduce battery lifespan.
A well-designed system should be able to equalize solely with solar, but based on the season and other house loads, you may need to operate solar + generator to achieve adequate equalization.
When a battery bank becomes highly sulfated, aggressive equalization is required. This is referred to as ‘corrective balancing’. Corrective equalization entails charging the battery bank with a very high voltage, much higher than the typical operation or even routine equalization.
Also Read: What are Energy Levels?
The battery bank will heat up and must be constantly monitored to ensure it does not exceed the safe operating temperature. This could cause permanent harm to the batteries. A heavily sulfated bank may necessitate several corrective equalization rounds spread out over several weeks.
The generation of battery gases will accompany all equalization. To keep battery gasses from accumulating inside, a flooded lead acid battery bank should have active ventilation to the outside.
Over-equalization is conceivable. It will decrease battery lifespan because it can cause ageing of the lead plates inside the batteries.