Commercial Vehicle SLI-Battery Life Enhancement through On-Board Dual-Pulsed Charging 2022-01-0710
An optimally functioning SLI (Starting Lighting and Ignition) battery is a primordial element in the unimpaired operation of an ICE vehicle. Designed to deliver the highest current momentarily during ignition, and not intended for deep discharge, these batteries have been observed to suffer from premature degradation, attributed to misuse and lack of maintenance. Focused on the cell chemistry, a wet-cell lead-acid battery’s degradation is initiated by the reduction of active electrode area through sulfation in each charge-discharge cycle. While the formation and dissolution of sulfate crystals is a normal phenomenon, in scenarios of deep discharge the formation and agglomeration of larger insoluble sulfate crystals reduce the cell capacity leading to overall poor reserve capacity and cold cranking ability of the battery. While these problems have been countered through the implementation of passive modifications in battery venting and advanced grid materials in the passenger car segment, the increased cost fails to be justified in the operational economics of the commercial vehicle segment. The present work elaborates on the analysis of service life improvement post-implementation of an onboard active battery life enhancement technology. Through the induction of 1 kHz pulsed current, the chemically inert sulfate crystals are dissolved back into the electrolyte allowing extended use of the battery pack. While the technology operates to expectations in static charging conditions, the variation of temperature and degree of battery sulphation makes an impact on the onboard system. This work clarifies the effectiveness of the pulse charging system with the variation of battery parameters allowing clarity on the benefits of its onboard implementation.