Nondestructive forensic pathology of Lead-Acid batteries

Ying Shi, Chris Ferone, Chinmay Rao, Christopher D. Rahn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Valve Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) batteries can degrade due to a variety of mechanisms, including corrosion, hard sulfation, water loss, shedding, and active mass degradation. VRLA batteries are designed to minimize these effects as much as possible but the operating environment, cell-to-cell and battery-to-battery manufacturing variations, and use can cause different degradation mechanisms to dominate capacity loss and/or impedance rise. With accurate State of Health monitoring, cell usage can be adjusted by the battery management system (BMS) to optimize the performance and life of the energy storage system. The BMS must be able to determine in real-time the predominant degradation mechanism for each cell and adjust use accordingly. In this paper, new and dead VRLA batteries are tested with constant, sinusoidal, and pulse charge/discharge current inputs while measuring the cell voltage and pressure to determine the cause of death of the cells. As expected, the new cells have fairly uniform performance with limited signs of degradation. The cells in the dead battery, however, have widely ranging performance, especially at the end of discharge and charge. Analysis of the charge/discharge data indicate that two cells died of water loss and a third cell died of sulfation. The remaining three cells were fairly healthy but will accompany their dead companions to the recycling center nonetheless. While the full charge/discharge data provided useful forensic pathology data, EIS and pulse charge/discharge data varied with aging mechanism but the correlation was unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 American Control Conference, ACC 2012
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 American Control Conference, ACC 2012 - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Jun 27 2012Jun 29 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Other2012 American Control Conference, ACC 2012
CityMontreal, QC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Nondestructive forensic pathology of Lead-Acid batteries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this