Automotive Battery Technology – Part 2
Part 2 of a 2 part series –
The next type of modern battery is the Gel Acid Battery. These batteries use a gel instead of a water / acid solution or glass mat media. The gel is mixed with a sulfuric acid that again reduces the fatigue of vibration and shock, keeping the plates stable inside the confines of the case. The gel cell battery is better suited to frequent deep cycles and draw-downs. You can expect a greater life span out of the gel cell.
Modern vehicles place a greater demand on the vehicle’s electric system and gel cell batteries can provide the extra power needed. They also operate better under a greater temperature range. As with anything, there are drawbacks to gel cell batteries. Plus, they are dramatically more expensive than traditional lead acid batteries. They also require Smart battery chargers that can charge them at the optimal rate and maintain the perfect voltage in the battery during the process. These chargers utilize a constant charging rate at the ideal rate.
AGM (absorbent glass mat) Batteries are a more modern type of battery that offers several advantages. The lead plates are suspended in a glass mat material and the electrolytes are in the glass mat as well. These batteries are less prone to shock, and hold up better to abuse. There is also no concern about venting and replacing water in the battery. Are there drawbacks to AGM batteries? Yes. High on that list is the price. These batteries are significantly more expensive. This cost will tend to even out over time as the AGM battery tends to last longer than traditional flooded batteries. AGM batteries require specialized battery chargers that can charge them at the optimal rate. These chargers are called Smart Chargers and again and generally more expensive than traditional battery chargers.
Deep Cycle Marine Batteries are another type of battery that is better suited to longer term, deeper draw downs and frequent recharging. These batteries can be constructed of AGM, Glass mat, and traditional flooded batteries. Charging these batteries is more complicated than traditional lead acid batteries and a specialized “Smart” battery charger should be employed to maintain optimum battery health.
We carry many different battery chargers, but the ideal battery charger for any battery type is our Pro-Logix line of battery chargers by Solar. They are fully automatic chargers that utilize a microprocessor to provide the perfect charging rate for each battery it happens to be hooked up to. You can move from one type of battery to the next in quick succession and not have to worry about the charging rates and conditions. It’s all taken care of for you.