While lead acid batteries have existed for decades and continue to be used today, they have recently presented problematic and sometime dangerous situations when used in advancing technology. Because of this, scientists have sought to create a safer, lighter, more effective battery that could meet the needs of the public and the demands of changing technology. They were successful when nearly 30 years ago gel batteries where discovered.
Benefits of Gel Batteries
Gel batteries are made by suspending the battery’s electrolyte in a silica type gel that allowed electrons to travel between two lead plates within the battery. Because of the substances and designs used to construction gel batteries, they provide the following benefits:
Unlike lead batteries which contain dangerous liquids that can spill, gel batteries will not spill acid when the battery is tipped or punctured. Because gel batteries are leak proof, this makes them significantly safer than lead batteries by preventing potential physical harm and property damage.
No Additional Safety Precautions
Because gel batteries are leak proof, no additional safety precautions are necessary when shipping, storing, or transporting a gel battery.
Because gel batteries no longer pose the risk of leaking acid, this allows for convenient positioning of the battery in tight and hard to reach areas within various transportation vehicles. Unlike lead batteries which must always remain in an upright position to prevent dangerous acid leaks.
Throughout the life of a lead acid battery it will emit electrolytes and loose the water inside the battery due to electrolysis. In order for the battery to work effectively, the lead battery must have its electrolyte levels check and its water contents maintained.
Gel batteries are designed to eliminate the emission of gases and recycle their water, thus the volume of electrolytes and water lost is minimal. Because of this, there is no need to check the level of electrolytes or maintain water contents making it free of any necessary maintenance.
Operates in Extreme Temperatures and Harsh Conditions
Gel batteries are very durable under both hot and cold temperatures as well as physical strain. Gel batteries can operate effectively between -40° and 140° Fahrenheit, a rare attribute most other batteries fail to exhibit. Not only can gel batteries withstand changing temperatures, but they are also resistant to corrosion, vibration, and shock.
While all batteries eventually fail due to the erosion of time and use, gel batteries deteriorate at a much slower rate when compared to lead acid batteries. On average, a lead acid battery will self-discharge 1 percent per day, while gel batteries self-discharge 1 to 3 percent each month. Making gel batteries a worthy investment and a long-lasting product.
Finally, gel batteries are significantly lighter than standard lead acid batteries making it more transportable, usable, and durable.
Disadvantages of Gel Batteries
While gel batteries present many advancements and benefits, those benefits naturally come with some disadvantages:
One of the major problems people face when purchasing a gel battery is the price. One gel battery can range anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the quality and machine you are purchasing the battery for.
Gel batteries do not offer the same power and charge capabilities that lead acid and various other batteries provide. Because of this, gel batteries cannot be used for some machinery or meet certain performance standards depending on the type of machine.
Gel Charge Profile
Another difficulty is charging the gel battery correctly. Gel batteries require a recharge device designed or adjustable for gel batteries specifically, otherwise significant damage to the battery will be done. If incorrectly charged, the battery will fail prematurely and become unusable.
What Should You Buy?
Buying a battery comes down to choosing what type of battery best fits the needs of your application. Every battery will have its benefits and downfalls so it is important to choose a battery with the benefits that promote and advance the performance standards of your equipment, machine, or vehicle.
Gel batteries are certainly worth the cost for applications with little ventilation or water and extreme temperatures. In addition, gel batteries are durable, safe, long-lasting, and maintenance free. Gel batteries are most often used in power wheelchairs, golf carts, sailplanes, motorcycles, ATV’s, and even some car models.
Discover the products, services, and batteries Powerstride Battery can offer you by calling or contacting us today!