All About the Battery Life Saver

The purpose of this article is to describe how Battery Life Saver works and what makes it different than other products on the market. To understand how Battery Life Saver works, it is first necessary to understand how batteries work. The beginning of this paper is a non-technical description of the workings of a battery and of Battery Life Saver. The second half of this paper describes the chemistry, mathematics and physics of batteries and Battery Life Saver. I have assumed that the person reading the second half has a technical background.

 NON TECHNICAL EXPLANATION OF BATTERY LIFE SAVER

 What is a battery, anyway? A battery is a device that stores electricity by means of chemical changes inside the battery.

 How do you use a battery to produce an electrical current? A battery has two poles, one plus and one minus, with a chemical solution between them. When you charge the battery, you put electrons into the battery through the negative terminal and take them out through the positive terminal. This causes a chemical reaction which stores the electricity. When you use or discharge the battery, electrons are drawn from the battery through the negative terminal and flow back into the battery through the positive terminal. This causes a chemical reaction which frees up the electrons that were stored earlier. The positive pole has a shortage of electrons; the negative pole has a surplus of electrons. The electrons flow from negative to positive. That is what produces the current.

What makes a battery slow down, become weak and die? The chemical reaction which stores the electricity in the battery involves creating lead sulfate from lead on the negative plate and lead oxide on the positive plate. These reactions release electricity from the battery. Conversely, storage of electricity (when you charge your battery) converts lead sulfate to lead oxide and lead. Both of these reactions are reversible.

It should all continue that way, except for one tragic flaw! Lead can combine with sulfate in two different ways. The first way discussed above is beneficial. The second form of lead sulfate results in a crystal which does not conduct electricity and cannot be converted back to lead or lead oxide.

It forms a layer on the plates which blocks the beneficial reaction from taking place. As more area of the plate is covered with this lead sulfate crystal, the battery losses power.

 How does the usual battery maintenance help batteries? Usual battery maintenance consists of:

1) Keeping the battery clean – This removes or prevents the formation of discharge paths (accumulations of dirt and battery acid) on top of the battery.

2) Putting water in the battery to replace water that evaporates during charging and discharging.

3) Keeping the battery charged as much as possible – charging the battery after every use. That prevents to some extent the second kind of sulfate from forming.

 Even if the above is done, what does the usual battery maintenance leave out? There is no usual battery maintenance procedure for dissolving detrimental lead sulfate buildup. Lead sulfate crystals can actually build up while the battery sits on the store shelf! This is so true that few have ever experienced a completely “new” battery. No amount of charging and no voltage, no matter how high, will remove the second type of lead sulfate.

 What can be done to help this problem? There is help for handling the second type of lead sulfate. It is called Battery Life Saver, an electronic device that uses a square wave (a powerful, variable wave) that excites the crystals and causes them to dissolve. With Battery Life Saver, the battery will not slow down or die because of lead sulfate, the most common reason for battery failure. Chuck Van Breemen invented it with the user in mind. All one has to do is clip the Battery Life Saver onto the battery or battery bank and it will prevent detrimental lead sulfate from forming. It can also be used to renew a sulfate ridden battery and save one the cost of having to buy new batteries.

 

TECHNICAL EXPLANATION OF BATTERY LIFE SAVER

Chemistry of a Lead Acid Battery

There are many chemical reactions that take place in the battery. The basic reaction that generates electricity is an oxidation-reduction reaction. During discharge, lead oxide on the positive plate, PBO2, is reduced to lead sulfate, Pb(SO4) and pure lead on the negative plate is oxidized to Pb(SO4). When the battery is then charged, the Pb(SO4) on the positive plate is oxidized to PBO2 and the Pb(SO4) on the negative plate is reduced to pure lead.

This reversible reaction can be repeated many times.

Unfortunately, lead is bi-valent and can combine as Pb2 forming Pb2(SO4) and Pb4 forming

Pb4(SO4)2. Lead has four valence electrons, two in the P subshell, which can combine with other ions to form Pb2 compounds, and two more valence electrons in the S subshell which combine to form Pb4 compounds. The two electrons in the P subshell, being in the outer subshell, combine more freely than the two electrons in the S subshell. Pb2 compounds form what is called a metallic bond, because there are two additional electrons in the P subshell, which are free to facilitate electrical and heat conductivity. In Pb4 compounds, the additional two electrons in the S subshell are also combined to form a covalent bond. These are the lowest energy compounds of lead. They are very stable, do not conduct electricity and generally do not enter into chemical reactions, because all of the electrons are bonded. Both Lead-2 and Lead-4 sulfate are crystalline in form. In the battery, if lead-2 sulfate, formed when the battery is discharged, is allowed to remain on the plate any length of time, and if the temperature is high (above 70 degrees Fahrenheit), It convert to lead-4 sulfate. Lead-2 sulfate is easily converted to lead oxide and pure lead by applying sufficient voltage to the battery, whereas no amount of voltage will convert lead-4 sulfate.

Dissolving Lead-4 Sulfate

There are some chemicals which are claimed to dissolve or remove lead-4 sulfate crystals in batteries.

However, the best way to dissolve the crystals is to use an electronic signal to excite the resonant frequency of the individual crystals. When the individual crystal is excited by a signal with sufficient power at its resonant frequency, the energy level of the crystal is raised sufficiently to break the covalent bond and allow the lead-4 sulfate to convert back to lead-2 sulfate.

Each of the individual lead-4 sulfate crystals is a radio receiver, most operating at frequencies in the A.M. band. This can be illustrated by the fact that when Marconi/Tesla invented the radio, they used a galena crystal as a receiver. (Galena is an impure form of lead sulfate crystal.) The A.M. band that was originally established by the F.C.C. was chosen because that is the predominant band of the galena crystal.

Since lead sulfate crystals that form in a battery are many different sizes, corresponding to many different frequencies, a method must be found to excite as many of these crystals as possible with sufficient power to cause them to dissolve.

Mathematical Considerations

The Fourier theorem states that any regular repeating signal can be represented as a sum of many sinusoidal frequencies. The Fourier series consists of the summation of an infinite number of frequencies. For example, the Fourier Series for a square wave with a period of 2Pi is:

4k/Pi (sin x +1/3 sin 3x + 1/5 sin 5x +…)

The Fourier series can be used to find a function that will excite the largest number of frequencies possible. A sine wave excites even harmonic frequencies above the natural frequency. This will not work very well to dissolve the lead sulfate crystals. A mathematical fictional function called the Dirac delta will excite all harmonic frequencies above the natural frequency. A Dirac delta is a function with infinite voltage and zero time. It cannot be achieved in the physical universe. To the degree that it can be approximated, it should work to dissolve the lead crystal sulfates, except it is difficult or impossible to supply enough power in the signal to be effective at dissolving crystals.

Battery Life Saver, on the other hand, uses a square wave at ten kilohertz to achieve optimum excitation and sufficient power to cause the maximum number of lead sulfate crystals to dissolve. The Fourier transform for a square wave also includes all harmonic frequencies above the natural frequency. The square wave will deliver plenty of power to the battery — power is defined as the area under the curve.

How Battery Life Saver Is Different

There are a number of other electronic products available on the Internet which claim to be

desulfators. The ones known to me are “Pulse-Tech,” “De-500,” “Nano-tech,” “BES Technologies,” and home-made circuits as described by Alister Couper. All of these products are best described as pulsers and are based on an approximation of a Dirac delta function. (See section on mathematical considerations) These have a serious short-coming in that it is impossible to produce a Dirac delta in the physical universe. It is approximated by a very rapid rise of voltage in the leading edge of the pulse and generation of a high voltage pulse. To the degree that these products can produce a rapidly rising high voltage spike, they can be only somewhat effective at exciting natural frequencies of crystals. However, the pulses are of such short durations that very little power can be delivered to the crystal to cause it to dissolve — again power is the area under the curve.

Battery Life Saver’s square wave signal can excite all of the frequencies above it and is easy to produce, in that it is a real function, meaning it exists in the physical universe. The square wave signal is generally a low voltage signal, usually less than one volt with most batteries, and delivers enough power to cause the crystals to dissolve.

Testing

Don Plisco is an experimenter located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who has done considerable testing of

desulfators. He has experience in the radio field. He said “Battery Life saver is the only commercially available desulfator that can actually dissolve lead sulfate. The other units can best be described as sulfate preventers. (See Don Plisco’s report in the appendix)

Some of the above mentioned pulse type desulfators claim to have test results proving their

effectiveness. Upon examination, the testing was not done in accordance with any recognized

specifications such as SAEJ2185, but rather testing similar to what was done by Don Plisco. The test consisted of selecting scrap batteries that can be charged to at least 11 volts, then demonstrating that the battery can then be charged to 12.7 volts using their particular device. Usually included in this test is some type of load test to verify performance improvement.

With Battery Life Saver, we consistently recover batteries that are below four volts and many that are at zero volts. This demonstrates that Battery Life Saver is a very powerful, effective desulfator.

All of the tests done on Battery Life Saver to this date have been of the same informal type as described above, except the tests started with batteries in far worse condition.

 

Don Plisco’s Report

On the idiot-proof, commercial side, I have to give credit to the “Chubby Dutchman”, Chuck Van Breemen . His “Battery Lifesaver” does a good job on removing sulfates (compared to other commercial models). As I mentioned, most commercial models are good to fair for preventing sulfates, but since the signal shapes and output are not as high as the custom built models, they are not my first choice in rehabilitation badly sulfated batteries.. His Battery Life Saver, BLS-12/24B churned out a square wave (with some almost hidden spikes) that would grind away at the sulfates. Reverse polarity was not a problem with his models…This is a good model for the inattentive or carefree. His model was epoxy potted into a giant heat sink (they used a lot of juice to product the signal and needed the huge heat sink to cool). I’m not crazy about the epoxy potting since you can’t repair it if it fails, unlike the models with the open circuit boards. It could, in my opinion, also use much shorter and heavier gauge copper wires for the battery leads. Heavier wires conduct the signal better, so that more of the signal gets to the plates, where it counts. The BLS signal did not interfere with AM radio signals, like the custom built models. It is well built, overall. I trust my wife with it. Note: A really good, hi-output custom hotrod pulser will interfere with your neighbor’s AM radio signal reception on a weak station (you test these pulsers by tuning an AM radio off station and listening to the nomally 1 khz signal merrily singing away, if it is working). You can even hear them audibly singing from a few feet away. You won’t have to worry about the FCC tracking you down for radio signal interference, if you go with the Chubby Dutchman….That a good point with some people. Some custom hot rods will broadcast like crazy. I wonder about them and a cardiac pacemaker……..

I would heartedly recommend the B-12/24B (spring clamps) or the BLS-12/24C (brass ring terminal) for the average consumer…It works! He makes a BLS12A model (not tested) for sulfate prevention, but it supposedly doesn’t have the output of the other models. I would prefer the more powerful models, BLS-12/24-”B” and “C”. They work either on 12 or 24 volt batteries.

He has a 48 volt model, not tested…My guess is that it will be on par with his other models. Most hi freq pulsers use the battery own stored electricity to power the signal and send it back into the battery.

pps: I’m not involved with the sale or commission of these various desulfators; Other than receiving some free components directly involved in the tests, I don’t get a plug nickel for it…..The above is my stated opinion, but I’ve put a lot of sweat and hours into coming to those unbiased opinions. I literally spent thousands on testing equipment and candidate batteries.

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1) Berndt, Dietrich. Maintenance-Free Batteries: A Handbook of Battery Technology, Third Edition.

Baldock, Hertfordshire, England: Research Studies Press LTD, 2003

2) Kreyszig, Erwin. Advanced Engineering Mathematics: Third Edition. New York: John Wiley and

Sons, Inc. 1972

3) Van Vlack, Lawrence H. Elements of Material Science: second edition. Reading, Massachusetts,

U.S.A.: Addison Wesley, 1966

4) Moeller, Therald. Qualitative Analysis: An Introduction to Equilibrium and Solution Chemistry,

First Edition., New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1958

5) Schetgen, Robert, editor. The ARRL Handbook for Radio Amatures: 17 Edition. Newington,

Connecticut: The American Radio Relay League. 1993

6) “Dirac Delta Function.” Wikipedia. 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirac_delta_function

Testimonials

"I am an RV owner. I want to tell you that the Battery Life Saver brought back my $225 battery that was in very bad shape. It took a while but it’s still working great. It makes me very happy."

T.B. Bend

BLS Customer

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