We’ve often heard of the term gel battery but don’t know what the term really means. A gel battery basically is valve regulated; lead acid battery that is also maintenance free. These batteries are very versatile and robust in terms of performing power. These battery types can be used in places where there isn’t too much of ventilation and these batteries also produce less fumes.
The working of a gel battery
The best gel battery is a lead acid battery that is valve regulated, in which sulphuric acid is mixed with a given quantity of electrolyte and then is further mixed with silica fumes. The chemical reaction that occurs after this is a gel like substance that give these batteries the name they have.
The best thing about gel batteries is that they are maintenance free because they use open valves that allow all the gases that reside inside, to convert into water, thereby removing the requirement of checking on the distilled water or to monitor the water level. These batteries are very versatile and robust along with being extremely safe to install and you can do so even in your home.
Begin by selecting the correct charge controller for the gel batteries. When it comes to selecting chargers for these gel batteries, special considerations should be made so that these batteries get charged at less voltage. The more the voltage, the faster the reduction in the performance of the battery.
A lot of times, the term gel cell is referred to maintenance free batteries and is marked as a setting on the controllers. This is a confusing concept and may lead to a wrong selection of the chargers while charging. If you are using any other charging methods, for example, alternators, you must install proper regulators to keep a steady control over overcharging. When it comes to general charging, the voltage range of batteries can be 14.0 volts – 14.2 volts and the float voltage range of batteries is 13.1 – 13.3 volts.
Pros of using gel batteries.
The reason gel batteries have become so popular is because of the reasons given below:
- Their life is in the 500- 5000 cycles range.
- They are suited for numerous deep cycle applications
- They are spill proof
- They are very low maintenance
- The corrosion is very minimal and therefore it becomes very compatible with sensitive equipment.
- It is vibration resistant and rugged.
- The risk of sulphuric acid burns is very less, thus making it very safe.
- It is both low cost per month and low cost every cycle.
Cons of using gel batteries.
The initial cost is quite high
- If it’s overcharged by mistake, water cannot be refilled again.
- Regulators and special chargers are required for gel batteries.
- Hot temperatures can make the gel hard by affecting the acid and can further make it sink away from the plates.
- Many a times AGM batteries can often be mistaken as gel mat battery because of their innumerable similarities.
They are recombinant which means that the oxygen that is produced on a positive plate is further absorbed by the negative plate.