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Sealed Batteries

Gel Batteries

A gel battery is constructed from gelified electrolyte. It is nearly impossible to spill the acid in these batteries. This type of battery works best in deep cycle applications and warmer temperatures. Slow rate charging is required to charge this type of battery. As is the case, these batteries work great in most small off-grid applications. For example, charging batteries for use in lighting a small cabin at night. These batteries can also be used in grid-tied systems for battery backup in case of power outages. While very similar to the absorbed glass mat batteries, these tend to have more cycles. (Cycles are the amount of times a battery can be charged and discharged.) Gel batteries can be shipped using UPS so the shipping charges are less.

Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)

Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are constructed from saturated absorbent glass mats. They are impossible to spill as all the acid is stored in the glass mats. These batteries work well in cold temperatures since there is no liquid in them. The AGM batteries can be used in almost any application and offer a non maintenance way to provide energy in many applications. The AGM tend to have fewer cycles than comparable gel batteries. They will however hold a charge longer without being used because their low self-discharge rate. These batteries can also be shipped using UPS saving money on shipping charges. Keep in mind, sealed batteries are more expensive than flooded batteries.

High Rate

There is a special type of battery constructed from AGM that produces a high amount of energy very quickly. It is a high rate battery. These are similar to the battery used in a car. However, this type of battery is designed for deep cycles. The usage of these batteries is limited to certain applications. The best application is in un-interruptible-power-supplies. Also, these batteries can come with flame retardant casing. The high rate batteries should not be used as a normal battery with a large amount of cycles.

Wet Cell (Flooded)

The wet cell battery is the most common. It provides a high number of deep cycles and has a long life, if maintained properly. It is called wet cell because the battery has a liquid electrolyte. The battery is also referred to as “flooded” because all the internal parts are in a liquid. These batteries require regular maintenance. They do have to be shipped by freight since they can spill so shipping will cost more. Also these batteries require climate controlled storage since the liquid inside can freeze or evaporate easily. The cost on this type of battery is less than all of the battery types.