Originally Posted by camaraderie
Richard ...I believe you may have normal 3 stage charging confused with EQ'ing a battery. The three stage process is BULK, ABSORBTION/Acceptance and FLOAT
Cam, having had chance to read a little more on the subject, I agree there is technically a difference between the absorbtion cycle and equalise. However it seems a large number of power equipment
manufacturers confuse/blur this issue.
My Victron Combi for example only has boost, equalise & float modes described in their manual and displayed by mode indicating LED's i.e. it assumes to equalise at their quoted nominal 14.5 volts as part of the normal three stage IUU charge process.
Sterling mentions that equalisation happens during the absorbtion phase, and that sulphation can be minimized by cycling the charger into absorbtion mode at least once a week if on continuous shore power
It seems there is further confusion over equalise and de-sulphation modes. The former is to compensate for the inevitable difference in charge requirements from one cell to another even when new. The battery as a whole is deliberately "overcharged" such that cells not fully charged become so whilst the others dissipate the excess charge in heat/gassing.
The latter is to remove the sulphation which can build up as a coating on the plates due to lack of use, extended periods at low charge etc. thus reducing efficiency. As this requires over 15 volts to be applied for a limited time it should be done with caution & maybe a process not all batteries are suited to.
Reading between the lines whilst these modes are technically different, it seems there is a large degree of overlap i.e. your batteries will remain well charged and sulphate free if they are regularly connected to a smart charger set to match your battery type.