Please keep in mind that although that some of the inverter/chargers on the market offer an "equilization mode" they do not truly follow a valid textbook equalization
of a battery is fairly literal in that the goal of the method is to equalize the cell-to-cell internal specific gravity and, therefore, the cell-to-cell voltage (cell voltage is linearly related to specific gravity). In order to do that variations in sulphation across the plate areas must be removed and converted back into lead oxide. In order to do that a constant current
is forced through the plate areas between 3 and as much as 7 percent of the Amp-hour rating of the battery until sometimes more than 2.8 Volts per cell is reached at which time the process is terminated.
Who do you know with equipment
aboard capable of doing that? Right, almost no one ashore much less those afloat. That is one reason that AGM suppliers do not want to advertise that their batteries can or should be equalized...most people would use the wrong equipment
, like their inverter/chargers that can damage such batteries (although not necessarily so).
I have had occasion to try out a few of those "pulse-chargers" and so-called suphation removal
chargers. I have not found one that does what they claim and I have found none that does as good of a job as the decades old constant-current method of a "valid" equalization cycle. Keep in mind that you can to this day buy a breast enlarger yet can anyone verify with a medical
authority that one really works as claimed?
One caveat before applying an equalization mode is to first begin with a battery that has been subjected to a proper charging
cycle and left to stand on float for at least 24 hours. If one attempts to equalize an AGM battery that has not first been carefully observed to be properly charged then, most assuredly the battery will gas and possibly vent with a permanent loss of water
from the electrolyte.
With flooded-cell constructed batteries I have had to apply as much as three "valid" equalization cycles before the specific gravities of all of the cells really lined up. These were batteries which had cycle-by-cycle been heavily discharged and not properly "filled" in between.
Regardless, what I have observed is that ALL types of lead-acid batteries fair much better at not requiring equalization if they are cycle-by-cycle charged with a 3-step charger
that has the absorption mode set to the upper limit of voltage AND terminated into the float mode at the correct time (this implies the use of a proper battery monitor
that controls the charger
, like a LInk 1000 and the older Freedom series of inverter/chargers....the monitor
"knows" when it is time to go to float because it has measured the fact of just how many Watt-hours that have been removed from the battery and how many have been put back in, in addition to the usual Amp-hour measurements.
Furthermore, I've observed that ALL types of lead-acid batteries designed for heavy loads and deep-discharges when subjected to Amp-hour-law charging almost never need equalization. Recall
that the 3-step chargers approximate the Amp-hour-law charging regimen.
Hope that this helps clear up some conceptions and misconceptions.