12v Batteries on Cars

There are many lead acid battery types the purpose of this article is to brief on the lead acid battery types used in automotive & EV applications.
12v Battery of EV s too are very very important for the functionality of a EV. And it’s a part to be checked in the periodical maintenance too.
5 lead acid battery types. And there are two key uses – Deep Cycle & Cranking on these batteries.

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  • Flooded Lead Acid Batteries..
  • VRLA Batteries
  • Sealed Lead Acid Batteries.
  • AGM Sealed Lead Acid Battery.
  • Gel Sealed Lead Acid Types.

Each has its own particular application with specific discharge and charge styles and set designated end application.

It is important to pick the right lead acid battery, if not it’ll reduce performance and even damage the battery.

Flooded Batteries

This is the typical engine start or deep cycle-style battery. The liquid electrolyte is free to move in the cell compartment. The user has access to the individual cells and can add distilled water as the battery dries out.

Two key uses : Engine starting – use for ICE vehicles with engine starting, CCA matters

Deep cycle designs.- For EVs where the battery gets discharged and charged in deep cycles

Typical absorption voltage range 14.4 to 14.9 volts; typical float voltage range 13.1 to 13.4 volts.

Flooded batteries are common and found for solar and emergency backup systems as well.

Sealed Batteries

Many designs but only a slight modification to the flooded style. The internal structure is still basically the same as a flooded battery. The only difference is that the manufacturer has ensured that a sufficient amount of acid is in the battery to sustain the chemical reaction under normal use throughout the battery warranty period. Other types of lead acid batteries are also sealed, as explained below.

Very popular uses are engine starting and limited starting/deep cycle applications.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.2 to 14.7 volts; typical float voltage range 13.1 to 13.4 volts.

VRLA

This stands for Valve Regulated Lead Acid battery. Also a sealed battery. The valve regulating mechanism allows for a safe escape of hydrogen and oxygen gasses during charging.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.2 to 14.5 volts; typical float voltage range 13.2 to 13.5 volts.

VRLA batteries are common and found in many applications, such as medical mobility scooters batteries and toy and alarm batteries.

AGM

The Absorbed Glass Mat construction allows the electrolyte to be suspended in close proximity with the plates active material. In theory, this enhances both the discharge and recharge efficiency. Actually, the AGM batteries are a variant of Sealed VRLA batteries, just a more advanced design. Popular usage includes high performance engine starting, power sports, deep cycle, solar and storage batteries.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.4 to 15.0 volts; typical float voltage range 13.2 to 13.8 volts.

AGM batteries are common and found in many applications such as RV batteries, boat batteries, motorcycle batteries, ATV batteries, and UPS & Telecom batteries for generators.

GEL

The Gel Cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell.

The electrolyte in a Gel Cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen. The recharge voltages on this type of cell are lower than the other styles of lead acid battery. This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging. Gel batteries are best used in VERY DEEP cycle application and may last a bit longer in hot weather applications. If the incorrect battery charger is used on a Gel Cell battery, poor performance and premature failure is certain. Battery chargers with gel profile will have information either on the unit, or in the manual, about gel compatibility.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.0 to 14.2 volts; typical float voltage range 13.1 to 13.3 volts.

Gel batteries are not as common as AGM batteries, but are often found in deep discharge situations such as wheelchair and medical mobility batteries, trolling motor batteries, and RV deep cycle batteries.

NEXT!

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