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Can these batteries be salvaged? Answered

I was given these two Gel batteries but they are not taking a charge. Is there some way to recondition them so they can be usable again?

These were installed in a solar cell  and wind generator remote radio relay tower. They were new when put in. The wind charger was at first hooked up wrong (Not me who did that) and the batteries kept going flat until it was corrected. They did freeze once but after being pulled and brought inside they took a charge and worked just fine. They only had a few months of operation when the tower was blown down and the project was scrapped. The batteries and all the other stuff went into a store basement. Now, 2 years later, I am given these batteries but they will not charge. I don't know what might have happened to them in storage. Physically they are in perfect shape. I left one on a battery charger for 1 1/2 days and its still dead. My meter does show it has 10.3 volts across the terminals but there is no real amperage. The other one I put on a better charger and set it to recondition the battery. It ran for 24 hours and that one is also still dead.  These are sealed, non spillable, maintenance free batteries. Is there any way to bring them back from the dead and get them working again?



Best Answer 8 years ago

Some people say yes. in general lead acid batteries suffer from sulphation of the lead plates when left discharged or when deeply discharged.

this lead sulphate is an insulating layer and so stops the battery working.

There are numerous de-sulphator circuits out there that claim to restore the battery to working.

Do they work? No personal experience. So you may need to invest and experiment.


Or Diy



Answer 7 years ago

I looked up a lot on this, some, the sites you mentioned, and a lot of others and it appears to be a real possibility. I am wondering if it is perhaps possible to even reclaim some of the UPS batteries that I have that have gone dead.
I will buy a unit as soon as I figure out which appears to be a good model and give it a try. I might even make an instructable on it if its successful.


8 years ago

If you mean reconditioned, if they've been lying about for an appreciable period of time, probably not.

However, all is not lost. When purchasing a new battery, you get a chunk of changes removed from the bill for turning in your old battery. So...if you need to purchase a battery, then hold onto at least one to use for its swap value.

I have one in a plastic lined box on my porch for that very purpose, so when I go buy a battery pack for my uber cool green-energy gizmo, I'll be clipping off 25-30% of the cost by being sensible.

I wish mine was a deep discharge pack though. Much better than my scuzzy regular car pack.

FWIW and for future reference, Lead acid batteries need to be fully charged (that is, they need to be topped off at all times) to prevent lead-sulfate from being generated.


8 years ago

The history of these deep discharge batteries is grim for the delicate lead
fine mesh plates to increase working electric surface area.
All batteries flake lead from this mesh as time goes by. The flakes sink to
the bottom of a battery eventually shorting it out. The torture history these batteries experienced especially freezing accelerated the flaking process.

I made and drove an electric car which I drove daily to work 30mi RT using
the best deep discharge lead acid batteries and got lots of experience.
Deep discharge batteries have a bottom space with no plate support
structure such that falling lead flakes do not short out the plates for
some time.
But you say they do not accept large current. So, it is not a flake short.

This suggests the bottom may be nearly full of unconnected lead flakes.
Or sulfated, in which case the there are some marginal electric repair

Being tipped on a side could have done some strange things to the batteries.

I think one is toast for sure. The other is a ?

Maybe some one more experienced with these specific batteries can help.