For the better part of 2006 I've been deeply involved with two colleagues in an experimental testing program of desulfating devices. The Nanopulser is one of 10 such devices we're testing. We have had three Nanopulser units and a number of others for testing.
Our original goal in undertaking the test was to determine: "Do these things actually work, or is this all snakeoil?"
After many months of testing, it's still too early to answer this question with confidence. We have used a number of both sophisticated and elementary tests, some pretty expensive test equipment
, and about half of the available devices.
A couple of things we CAN say:
(1) Rick, you can put aside your fears about RFI. We're practicing hams, and have tested the devices for RFI on the HF marine
and amateur bands. Our testing shows this is NOT a problem.
(2) The measure of what "works" and what doesn't work is an EXTRAORDINARLY COMPLEX task, given the many variables to try to account for. We're still poring over the data collected thus far, and trying to puzzle out what it really means.
While we asked a simple question, we've found that obtaining the answer in any meaningful way is not simple at all.
There is a whole CULT of pulsator affectionados which has grown up around the idea that electronic pulsing can be used to desulfate lead-acid batteries. There are many, many devices on the market. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence, some "scientific" evidence from university tests, and a lot of people who'd really like these things to do what they claim to do.
One manufacturer has recently introduced a guarantee: if you use one of their products with new batteries, they GUARANTEE that your batteries will not sulfate. Unconditionally. This is pretty strong stuff, but as yet unverified by wide experience.
With regard to the Nanopulser (Japanese manufacture....most others are Chinese or U.S.), what we've seen so far is a marked early improvement in the measured CA of 10-year old gel cell golf-cart size batteries, and very little further improvement for months thereafter. We've also seen no improvement with T-105s which had been abused. However, we "shocked" these puppies recently with a big equalization
cycle, and noted some improvement. So, we're about to repeat the cycle a few times, then try the Nanopulsers on them to see if any further improvement occurs.
In short, there is no easy answer. This is VERY complicated stuff, given the many variables involved. Consider, for example, that each pusating device we looked at using a HP digital oscilliscope had a different pulse profile. They were often VERY different in terms of frequency, amplitude, amperage, pulse width, pulse duration, etc. They can't ALL be right, can they???
One device even claims to be microprocessor controlled, and to actually tailor its pulsing characteristics to the lead sulfate crystals (PbSO4) resonant frequency, ensuring that they are effectively broken up and returned to solution. I had a long telephone conversation with the designer/producer of this device, but we don't have one available for testing and they're selling for over $100. The manufacturer claims to be off to bigger and better things, however, like nanocoating of everything that moves, and ultra-efficient solar panels
which will do away with fossil fuels. Real soon, now :-)
Bottom line: some or all of these devices might have some beneficial effect, given the right circumstances, but we've yet to be able to collect data which provides conclusive proof of this. On the other hand, we're not (yet) prepared to write them off as snakeoil, and one of our test group has already decided to use them on his boat.
More later, when we have something useful to say....
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!