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Dr. Jack Scott, CEO of Canadus Power Systems, is a metallurgy and electro-chemical expert who has developed a patented vehicle battery desulfator that can reduce electrical system failures, emergency road repairs and vehicle downtime by up to 75%.
Operators can sample a battery device next month that could save thousands of dollars in maintenance costs based on fleet size.
A new industry vendor, Canadus Power Systems, plans to demo its HD-1224 desulfator during LCT-NLA Show East in Atlantic City, N.J., Nov. 8-10. The desulfator extends the life of batteries, and by extension, alternators, starters and headlights. It can reduce by up to 75% electrical system failures and emergency road repairs. As a result, fleet operators see fewer breakdowns, towing charges, and downtime while gaining productivity per driver and vehicle. For single batteries in a luxury limousines, the savings could average several hundred dollars per year per vehicle. For buses with multiple batteries, savings could reach $500-plus per year per bus.
“For an industry that prides itself on customer service, being able to significantly reduce luxury bus and limo downtime improves vehicle reliability, thereby keeping customers happy,” says Dr. Jack Scott, CEO and founder of Canadus Power Systems.
Cost savings can be noticed in as short as three-months, but typically takes three to six months. Exact savings depends on the number of batteries, and the sizes and ratings of alternators and starters.
How It Works
The desulfator has black and red leads; the black goes to the negative of the battery, the red goes to the positive. No special tools are required for installation. Fleet operators can use a wire tie or two-sided tape to secure the 2.5-3 ounce unit.
About four-fifths of batteries eventually fail because of sulfation, in which hardened lead sulfate crystals form that a normal charging current can’t break down. Batteries then lose capacity over time.
HD-1224 stands for “Heavy Duty” 12- and 24-volt systems. The desulfator is compatible with all lead-acid batteries, such as flooded cell, maintenance-free, and AGM. Its versatile technology can be adapted to a wide range of battery types, from a two-volt battery on a coal mining helmet to a 250-volt, 20,000 pound battery on an underground coal hauler. One desulfator can handle up to six vehicle batteries on a 12-V or 24-V circuit, as it senses voltage and runs accordingly.
The desulfators apply electrical pulsation technology whereby a small amount of energy produced by the alternator is reconfigured to give voltage pulses at a level far higher (> 2x) than what the alternator can put out. This occurs in short, high frequency bursts. These pulses attack sulfation and keep the battery plates clean. A sulfated battery takes longer to charge, and often misses the “disengagement” voltage of the alternator. So the alternator runs until it finally breaks down.
The HD-1224 prevents or reverses sulfation so that batteries accept a charge and reach the alternator’s “rest” voltage, extending the life of the alternator and its drive belt. For alternators and alternator belts, a weak battery cannot turnover a diesel engine quickly enough for starting. Extended cranking at low voltage (and resulting higher current) wears on the starter motor, which generates heat and breaks the starter. By maintaining batteries at peak voltage, the HD-1224 maximizes cranking power and boosts starter life expectancy.
Scott, who has an engineering science degree in metallurgy, developed expertise in electro chemistry during his career, working in the primary and secondary metals industries. In 2000, he learned from a former co-worker of a company called Solar Tech Products in Winnipeg, Manitoba, that had developed the first battery desulfator. The company invented the desulfator in response to a need for batteries with longer lifecycles that can endure extreme cold. Scott and his partners acquired the U.S. marketing rights from Solar Tech in mid-2000, and in 2002, formed a company called Canadus Power Systems that bought the assets of Solar Tech Products. Since then, Scott and Canadus have improved the desulfator by investing $6 million in R&D and arranging nine more patents. Canadus has two patents pending, plans to file three more, and has patented the desulfator in several countries.
“Our product is state of the art,” Scott says. “There’s nothing like it because of patent protection. While it might seem like a simple device, there are certain things about other products that don’t function as well in a vehicle’s electrical system. They might be cheaper, but you won’t get the battery longevity and the longevity of the electrical system and electrical system performance.”
While the desulfator attaches to a battery, it affects the performance of the alternator, starter, lights and electrical system. That “duty cycle” varies depending on the type of vehicles, such as a truck, forklift, motorhome or limousine. “You have to look at all the components and make sure the battery is getting a full charge and not taking more energy out of it than putting back in so the desulfator works optimally.”