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What NOT to do when cleaning the tops of the batteries

We interupt this web page to tell you about something really stupid.

The time to perform a cleaning of the batteries by dusting with baking soda is NOT until all connections are removed from the batteries. (don't do as shown below, with all connections in place)

Springfield 48v Battery Bank De-Sulfation

Starting from the beginning

Not too many weeks ago I had this great idea to experiment with two of the best battery banks.

Being slightly retarded I decided to experiment with my best battery banks.

It cannot be expressed how much you should NOT do this. When something is perfect, walk away and stay out of the mix!

Yawn. So waking up and feeling experimental (emphasis on mental), I decided it would be a great day to raise the voltages to the two battery banks to see their effects.

That, in-of-itself, is not a bad thing (if the batteries were stray batteries that are rated for the voltages increase.

In all honesty, I Know Better!

So the setup was that each of the battery banks WERE set to absorption rate of 14.40 volts with an absorption time of 180 minutes before settling into the float stage of 13.70 volts.

Along comes me and now the absorption rate was increased to 14.70 volts before settling into a float stage of 13.50 volts

What was the effect?


The batteries are probably totally fine (basically I gave them an extended equalize state is all), but the water levels went down due to boiling at the higher charge rate.

This was no big deal. Whereas I ordinarily need to water the batteries once every 3 or so months, now came an unexpected need for distilled water (and I don't drive).

My mom brought 3 gallons but that didn't cover the 22 batteries affected. So, I fired up the wood-burner and began making distilled water. As the water levels were brought up I couldn't help but to notice there was an unusual oily substance over the tops of the one battery bank that is not of great quality (Duracell knock-offs).

The oily substance made the batteries look older than they were. Each battery comes with a total of 4 terminals (as opposed to an automotive battery that possesses only two)and it was surprising to find that primarily the affected terminals were not even those that were being used at all. They had a strange evil color of sulfation build-up around them.

Battery Bank Sulfation

This NEVER happens.

So, in trouble-shooting (because I totally forgot about the experiment after having changed the voltages in the fist place), I went in the other direction.

I checked the loads, wasted time. I checked the orienation to the now-fall sun, they were all needing to be adjusted; more time lost

Orientation? If the reader of this wonders what I'm talking about, then you invariably live in a southerly State (I'm in Springfield Ohio where the sun is all over the place moving toward the end of the world during winter, and almost overhead during the summer).

But eventually I checked dip-switches, and noticed the outrageous settings.

I remember looking up into the mirror and feeling really bad for me.

Well one good idea deserves another and there I went with great idea $2.

I'll have to stop back here and finish this's just too depressing right now to finish this page.

In short, Baking soda is a great neutralizer.

Just don't pour the stuff all over your batteries (*that are under load and being charged and all connected in series and parallel)

Or bad things will happen and you'll be me


Jan 25 2020.

The mess is about half-cleaned up.

The replacement brass connectors took almost two months to arrive here.

The batteries in the photos shown below have been cleaned, reconditioned, and new cables and connectors installed.

Springfield 48v Battery Bank repairs De-Sulfation
Springfield 48v Battery Bank De-Sulfation

Seen are various stages of cleaning batteries (making sure to disconnect all parallel, series, load, and charging connections).

Baking soda dusting and clean water will remove all oily and other residues from the battery tops and termingals.

Springfield 48v Battery Bank De-Sulfation Baking Soda Application

Two more battery banks to go (what a waste of time and money this has been...and at the worst time of the seasons)

Lesson Learned

On a brighter note, January 27 2020 marks the day it has been decided to plan on building the prototype to the new and improved solar panel

Stay tuned, As a hint only one video barely came close to what I intend to do (however the youtube video was the inspiration....years later the idea was hatched).

As an additional hint, technology has advanced to improved charge controllers and grid-tie inverters but now it's time to find out the threshold of solar cells themselves.

I think this is a very do-able project that can be easily developed into production with a surprisingly small amount of investment on my part (hence, the consumer also)

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