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Old 28-01-2010, 05:15   #1
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Anyone Tried Battery Lifesaver, Desulphator?

Hi,
I´m in the process of replacing my battery bank in my Grand Soleil 52 for the comming season.
Looking at different Battery retailers I did stumble over a thing that claims it will double or tripple the life of a normal lead acid batery.
It is called the Battery Life Saver and claims that it will prevent/ remove the sulphating process that eventually kills our batteries. It has a U.S patent (US-7374839 ) and claims to dissolve the crystals wit high energy radio pulses. It even claims that it can bring totally dead batteries back to 80-90% capacity!

I´m curious if this works and can be verified by anyone here on the forum.

If this is a reallity I can safely put my thoughts on perhaps using the new LiFePo batteries in the boat instead of the traditional lead acid batteries.
The LiFePo batteries are initially much more expensive but with a really high cycle life could from a total cost perspective be really interesting with some 4000 cycles as compared to perhaps 900 for good lead acid batteries.

Rgds

Kristian
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Old 28-01-2010, 05:23   #2
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You can see a picture on the device on this adress.

Battery desulfator, renovering, avsulfatering | Göteborg | Blocket

( the text is in Swedish sorry...)

Rgds

Kristian
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Old 28-01-2010, 05:57   #3
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Quote:
It is called the Battery Life Saver and claims that it will prevent/ remove the sulphating process that eventually kills our batteries. It has a U.S patent (US-7374839 ) and claims to dissolve the crystals wit high energy radio pulses.
This comes around often. There are 5 of 6 vendors making similar claims. As best I can gather they don't do anything, but they probably don't damage anything either. Sort of a perfect product composed of 100% marketing. I like the radio pulse part the best. Magic battery savers are up there with magic fuel additives.

LiFePO batteries are another matter. Making them cost effective requires a detailed understanding of how you use power aboard. Batteries are only half the equation. How how you recharge is where the real numbers start to come in. You can't make LiFePO batteries justify until you factor everything. That would include the interest on the money you spend up front and the total cost to recharge over the full life of the batteries and the required equipment to make it all work.

The theoretical spreadsheet I saw has it working out a bit better but in the end it's going to depend on how you use and make power. Lead acid batteries in their various forms are easy to get any place. The systems to charge them are common. That can have an advantage. Abusing batteries is also common. Were you to abuse LiFePO batteries you would have a financial disaster as the payback requires perfect use patterns. That isn't easy to get even with lead acid batteries.
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Old 28-01-2010, 06:38   #4
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LiFePo

Hi ,
Thanks for your comments on the LiFePo.

From what I personally can calculate the batteries are interesting but will have to drop a bit more in price to be really economical for use in a boat.
If you have the speadsheets you mentioned it would be really interesting to see the variables

My approach right now is to be going with Golf car batteries since they seem to be overall the best option if treated well.

Rgds

Kristian
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Old 28-01-2010, 07:12   #5
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Kristian,

Good choice.

BTW, I agree 100% with Paul on this.

Bill
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Old 28-01-2010, 07:15   #6
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If you go to post #251 on page 7 of this thread you can see a spreadsheet posted by Fastcat435 comparing AGM vs Li batteries. Some of it is arguable but the idea of what goes into the spreadsheet is very worthwhile. This was for an alternative powered cat so there are quite a few more batteries..

Alternative Propulsion Thread


The key to it may not be very obvious. You need a good handle on how much battery capacity you actually will need and use or any comparison is not going to be right. Too many batteries gets you nothing but trouble and expense and not enough capacity discharges too deeply and you pay more for replacement batteries over time. Li has an advantage as far as recharging and being maint free. Just consider you need all the power you really need so it has to come from some place. The batteries are just a storage device along the way. Making power costs time and money.

I like AGM's too but current boat does not have the charging system to treat them right. Done right, you can charge them quicker and that means less engine time. You don't take a flood battery setup and just swap the batteries or you won't get good results. I'm back to golf carts too. I'm going add the Hydro caps this year to save on the water loss. They want your time and energy to be happy.
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Old 28-01-2010, 07:16   #7
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I use a nanopulser on my 2 8D AGM battery house bank for last 3 months. Batteries were approximately 3 years old when I bought boat. Batteries now charge faster and give me approximately 20 more amp hours before being drawn down to 50% charge. I have met other users at my marina who have experienced similar results.

Not earthshaking, but enough gain that I am happy.

michael
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Old 28-01-2010, 10:54   #8
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Those pulsers are snake oil and any perceived effects are not caused by these devices. When you want to test it for real, you must use the double-blind testing procedure (so you test with and without at the same time on two equal batteries without you knowing which one has the pulser on etc.) Google or Wikipedia for the procedure.

But at least, you are helping the economy so that is good, isn't it? ;-)

ciao!
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Old 28-01-2010, 12:53   #9
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I have used the Nanopulser with very good results on the same batteries which have been in the boat for 7 years.

Nanopulser Testimonials
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Old 28-01-2010, 14:00   #10
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Wow, some guy knows what double blind means, I am impressed. I can't remember, is it 7th grade or 8th grade where you learn about double blind testing, been 45 years, I forget. Flick.

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Old 28-01-2010, 17:21   #11
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michael,

I'm sure you didn't mean to make light of the concept of double-blind studies. That would be unfortunate.

You might also be interested to know that over an 18-month period three of us conducted a study of the effects of the little pulsers, including several examples of yours. About 10-12 in all from several manufacturers were tested. Ours wasn't a carefully delineated double-blind study, but we did make an honest attempt, using a written protocol based on known concepts and practices. We also used some of the best test instruments available, recorded our data, and tried to draw conclusions.

The main goal was to determine whether or not these things worked at all, or whether they are merely "snake oil". Over the course of the study we learned a lot, made some mistakes, discussed our findings, and tried honestly to give these little devices a chance.

First significant finding was that the pulses ALL differed significantly, one from the other. In frequency, duration, amplitude, bandwidth, rise times, amperage, etc. That raised the obvious question: if they're all different, how can they be effective?

We surveyed the literature as well, and found a veritable cult following for these devices. Circuits all over the Internet, home-built models, chat groups, low-powered, high-powered, etc., etc. One fellow claimed to have a very powerful home-built pulser which "tore up the TV" every time he used. it!!

Unfortunately, after a year and a half we were unable to discern any significant positive effect from the use of these devices that could not be attributable to other factors. A respected national scientific laboratory came to a similar conclusion. I regret that I am not at liberty to disclose the details of that study since it was privately commissioned.

I have a bunch of pulsers in my shop right now. And, before tossing some of the test batteries which have been charged but idle for a year or so, decided a few weeks ago to put a couple of the pulsers on two banks of golf-cart size gelled batteries, and measure any changes in capacity with a Midtronics MDX-650 tester. After several weeks of charging/pulsing there was no measurable benefit.

However, what we did find was that the equalization process (15.5-17.0 volts for several hours) had much greater benefit on restoring battery capacity than did months and months of pulsing and exercising. Further, the pulsing and exercising AFTER the equalizing did nothing to restore additional capacity. This was true for flooded, AGM and, yes, even gelled batteries.

Bottom line is that it's very hard to say for sure that these pulsers really work, notwithstanding the voluminous anecdotal information supporting their "benefits".

Interesting that Jedi mentioned double-blind studies, because one of our conclusions was that the real truth cannot be found without large-scale, longitudinal, and expensive laboratory testing -- funded by some government agency. This is because the variables are too many for even experienced and interested electronics types -- like ourselves -- to fully and completely control for. Wish it weren't so...I'd love to have a little device which could so easily extend the life of my batteries significantly. But, alas, I don't think it now exists.

Bill
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Old 28-01-2010, 17:50   #12
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
....
Unfortunately, after a year and a half we were unable to discern any significant positive effect from the use of these devices that could not be attributable to other factors. ...
Bill,
Did you deliberately use could not in this sentence instead of was not? It seems like you are saying that there were improvements and it was possible to attribute the cause somewhere else?

I put a nanopulser on my new AGMs as the dealer was pushing them, said it had done-good on the batts he sold into cruising boats, the cost was so small as compared to the batteries and the install, I figured why not. Of course I guess the only way I'll know anything definitive is if the batteries fail very early - then it didn't work. If they live a long time, then who knows what you attribute that to.

Paul L
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Old 28-01-2010, 18:22   #13
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Paul,

I think you've got the right idea. If they fail early, it didn't work; if they last 10 years, then who's to say? :-)

What I meant to say was that there are simply too many variables, including those related to the tester, the accuracy of test instruments themselves, the repeatability of "observations", and dozens of others pertaining to battery design, chemical properties, treatment over time, stratification, plate corrosion, sulfation, contamination, charging protocols, discharging protocols, etc., etc.

There were relatively small changes in discharge curves and measured AH delivered before reaching 10.5V, and these were in both directions over time. They could well have been a function of the measurement and testing process. And, they tended to disappear or reverse in subsequent cycles.

Only with equalization did a remarkable positive effect on capacity appear, and it's magnitude was much greater than any of the slight positive changes which were noted during the many charging/pulsing/discharging cycles which preceded the equalization treatment.

What can be expected of flooded batteries which are NOT subjected to pulsing? I recently tested 10 T-105s. Eight of them are on my boat (6 house batteries plus 2 windlass batteries), and two of them are in my home radio shack to power my radios.

The first eight were purchased new in June 2006 so they are 3.6 years old. The two radio batteries were purchased new in June 2004, so they are 5.6 years old. All have been kept on charge 24/7 (the boat's when at dockside which has been most of the time during this period). All have been equalized, though infrequently. All have WaterMiser caps, but I sometimes don't check them as often as I should. Here's the take.

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The windlass batteries are maintained by an Iota DLS-55/IQ4 charger. The house batteries are maintained by a Victron MuliPlus inverter/charger.

During one very busy period last year, I let the windlass batteries run low on water. Just a teensy bit, but evidently enough to do some damage, as you can see from the graph that they are not as healthy as they should be. Will try exercising and equalizing them this spring to see what happens.

Will I use a pulser? After all, I've got a bunch.

No, not really. I'm convinced that at least the ones I have don't really do anything good.

Bill
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Old 28-01-2010, 18:25   #14
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Sounds like this is an issue for practical sailor mag. They have the know how and perhaps a good reason to test this gizmo
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Old 28-01-2010, 18:28   #15
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Unfortunately, I think the job is much too big for Practical Sailor. Given the number of variables, and the types and conditions of batteries, a reliable answer would require a large testing program, well-financed by a "disinterested party".

B.
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