Understanding Battery Types

Some of the major types of lead acid batteries:

Batteries are mainly divided in two ways.

  1. By what they are used for. (The application)
  2. By how they are constructed. (What makes up the battery)

The most common applications for batteries are:

  • Automotive (Cars, Bikes & Trucks)

  • Marine (Boats)

  • Deep Cycle (Backup power, Solar electric & Motor Homes)

 The most common constructed types are:

  • Wet cell (Also known as “Flooded” batteries)

  • VRLA (Valve Regulated LEad Acid)

  • AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)

  • Gel Cell

Types of Batteries:

What is a Deep Cycle Battery?

A Deep Cycle battery is a battery which is designed  to be greatly discharged using most of its capacity before recharging. Some typical application of this would be in Marine use, Electric cars and motorised wheelchairs.

What is a Wet Cell “Flooded” Battery?

Wet cell batteries come in two types, Serviceable and maintenance free.

  • Serviceable means the battery has caps which can be removed to allow the water level in the battery be topped up with distilled water as part of battery maintenance. This type of battery must be handled with extreme care as there is the possibility of leaking from the caps if the battery is turned upside down or on its side. Care must be taken when doing this as the water inside the battery contains acid which can cause severe injury if it comes into contact with skin.
  • Maintenance free means the battery has no caps to allow access to the battery to top up the water level with distilled water. Care must also be taken with these batteries when handling, leaking is less likely to occur due to there being no caps on the battery but it is still possible.

What is VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) or Sealed Lead Acid (SLA):

A VRLA battery can be either AGM or GEL Cell construction. These batteries will have a pressure relief valve but the liquid in the battery is less likely to come out of the battery suitable for the desired use. These batteries are also known as Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries.

What is an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) Battery:

Absorbed Glass Mat batteries consist of a specially designed glass mat which is designed to absorb the liquid in the battery whilst staying moist to wick the battery electrolyte between the battery plates. These batteries contain only enough liquid to keep the mat wet. This has the benefit of reducing the likelihood of leaking if the battery was to be damaged.

battery-diagram

Pros:

  • Spill Proof

  • High Power Output

  • Longer Life Span

  • Reliable & Sturdy

Cons:

  • Cost of manufacturing

  • Overcharging Issues

  • Declining Capacity

2017-04-07T13:53:17+00:00