Desulfation uses frequency pulse conditioning technology to break up and dislodge sulfation or more importantly to prevent it from building if used continuously. Before a battery chargers go into start phase of charging, they pulse in a charge, and remove the power quickly. This “pulse” style technology literally forces the rapid breakdown and removal of sulfation (sulfur crystals) from the electrolyte solution in the battery. A prolonged desulphation cycle may be necessary if crystals have formed on the lead grid plates. The desulphation process is a preliminary charging process given to the battery so it has the ability to receive its charge faster and more efficiently. This would technically be the first phase in a charge cycle. However, many battery chargers do not have this cycle. Desulfation can be both positive and negative voltages, varying explicitly by manufacturer.
Equalization is a deliberate overcharge intended to accomplish the same thing by raising the voltage and gassing the electrolyte. The “Equalize” regimen is run to remove deep sulphation from a battery, or to deep charge flooded batteries. A prolonged desulphation cycle may be necessary if crystals have formed on the lead grid plates, and as such, most equalize cycles are in excess of 12 hours. The equalization process is also a complete charging process so when your batteries make it through, they are ready to go. You don’t have to charge them again. *AGM batteries and GEL batteries don’t need or like this type of charge as it boils off Electrolyte, which shortens their lifespan. However, if an AGM battery is left alone too long in a shed, and would be dead anyway, an equalize charge may “SAVE” it for a while. Equalization voltages are usually 15.3 – 15.9 volts for a 12 volt battery bank.