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Lead Purity: The mother of all VRLA problems

Harold Vanasse

Will Jones

VRLA batteries seem to have a multitude of problems leading to low capacity and short life, including dryout, plate growth, high float current, high hydrogen evolution and negative plate discharge, to name a few. This paper shows that all these are related and stem from a single source problem - the fundamental problem of VRLA batteries. That problem, which was not recognized by the industry for many years, was the use of slightly impure lead in the plates. Given that improving lead purity is not feasible, the best solution to the problem must fit the given circumstances of the current environment. How this problem can be corrected is explained, both for new production cells and for reclaiming older cells in service.

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