Powering something via a battery is the most common way to give a device an edge. The use of batteries has been in demand for a long time, and as technology has advanced, battery manufacturers have found new innovative ways to be resourceful to consumers. There are already many existing types of batteries in the market and the frontier to explore and expand has not been dampened in any way, so companies have developed new batteries and upgraded to something more useful like the gel battery, also known as the gel cell battery. So let us get to the bottom line of what a gel battery is.
What is a gel-cell battery?
As you can already see, it is implied in the name itself. In such batteries, a gel formula is used instead of the orthodox liquid electrolytes. Basically, the idea is that the gel is converted into the electrolytes, the gel form is created because silica vapors are used to convert the sulfuric acid into a jelly-like mass. This process does not mean that melting the gel instead of the liquid will cause any problems, it is a remarkable improvement to prevent the liquid from spilling out of the battery. As we all know, spilling and splashing is a common mishap of wet cell batteries, also known as flooded batteries. Gel batteries can be put to good use in vehicles and other applications, even in your home.
A breakdown of the three types of batteries
In short, inside a gel battery, sulfuric acid is formed into a jelly shape by silica and used as an electrolyte. Gel batteries are the strongest of them all and can be used fluidly in deep-cycle applications, to power a solar array to an electric wheelchair and more. The gel batteries also have some disadvantages, they cannot tolerate extreme current flow and cannot be used in fast charge and discharge situations. Aside from the negatives, gel batteries are very handy and durable for people who are looking for less maintenance and decent performance in powering their desired devices, keep in mind that this type of battery is not the jack of all trades, but a few doable ones.
The Wet Cell batteries use acid electrolytes and lead plates. Flooded batteries are not sealed units, so they vent gas, vapor, etc directly to the environment. This type of battery requires maintenance, unlike a gel cell battery, the acid electrolytes need to be catalyzed by topping up with water every so often. The good thing about wet cell batteries is that the charging speed is very fast compared to gel cell batteries, but they need to be well maintained to perform well.
Inside an AGM battery, the electrolytes are rooted together by a separator. This type of battery is specifically designed to operate at high temperatures and provide a high charge to low discharge rate, producing more cycles compared to a gel battery at a lower price. AGM batteries, like gel batteries, are fully sealed and offer high performance at a low price.
Maintenance of a gel battery
Maintaining a gel cell battery is absolutely effortless. Just make sure it is stored properly and you are good to go. Gel batteries are completely sealed and therefore require no additional maintenance, such as water removal and the like. These batteries are far more flexible and durable than wet batteries. Although they are a bit more expensive, it is inevitable that they will perform at full capacity. The fully sealed feature also makes them safer to use. So, if you want a power unit that is durable and lasts longer and does not need to be serviced every now and then, the gel cell batteries are the ones you should buy.
Advantages of Having Gel Cell battery
- This type of battery does not require maintenance, the battery is well designed and has features for self-maintenance.
- This battery does not leak, so it is always spotless.
- In terms of safety standards, it is very safe as it is a completely sealed unit.
- Easy to move and place in indifferent areas, unlike wet cell batteries that require a specific space.
- Gel batteries can easily withstand shocks and vibrations.
- Does not emit hydrogen vapours.
- Do not need to be placed in a ventilated area.
- Easily comes back to life even if not used for a long time.
- Can be used in solar panels, electric wheelchairs, electric cars, etc.
- Best use for deep cycle applications
Disadvantages of Having Gel Cell battery
- Requires special chargers for charging
- Slower charging speed compared to a lead-acid battery.
- Overcharging can cause internal damage and affect charging ability.
- Tends to deteriorate slightly when exposed to high temperatures.
- Highly priced compared to other battery options.
So, now we have a clear picture of what a gel battery is, but it is also important to know the difference between other battery types because people tend to confuse AGM batteries with gel batteries.
Knowing what a gel battery is is beneficial for any consumer looking to buy a battery for solar panels, electric wheelchairs, electric cars, etc. If you are looking for a unit that is best suited for deep cycling, the gel cell battery will do wonders in terms of power and output. You must keep in mind that gel cell batteries require special chargers that are designed for a specific purpose only, otherwise they will fail.
You can look out for smart 12V gel cell chargers in the market. Gel cell batteries are a great way to be environmentally conscious. When you use a gel cell battery, no fumes are released into the open air, unlike wet cell batteries. They are extremely durable and can withstand shock and vibration. This particular type of battery requires no maintenance and can serve as a deep-cycle battery for an extended period of time