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White Paper | Charger Ripple Current Effect

Description

Although noise & ripple currents occur in many standby battery systems, there is a certain amount of controversy about their effects on lead-acid cells; some believing it has virtually no effect and some claiming it shortens the service life of the battery. It can be shown however that even where the ripple current is very low, the cell can be affected and the service life reduced.

The effect ripple has on the battery depends on the size and frequency; if the frequency is high, over 5kHz for example, and the battery voltage response cannot follow the ripple current i.e., there is little or no ripple voltage visible to a measuring device, then it would seem there is little deleterious effect. On the other hand, lower frequency currents produce oscillations in the cell voltages and this can be shown to be damaging to the cells.

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