You have probably heard about both AGM and GEL batteries before. But what are the differences, and which one is better?
The more you learn about these options, the easier it will be for you to make the right decision.
Some people will benefit more from one than the other. In this article, I will look at both types of batteries so that you have the information you need in the future.
AGM vs GEL Differences
The main difference between the AGM vs. GEL batteries is the material inside of them. AGM uses an absorbed glass mat and battery acid, while GEL batteries use a silica-type gel. The AGM is better used for a high burst of AMPs, while GEL is better for slow discharge.
- AGM batteries can output a high burst of amps, while GEL batteries are better at slow discharge applications.
- AGM batteries work much better in colder climates, and GEL batteries work better in warmer climates.
- AGM batteries have a lower internal resistance to output a higher burst of amps than GEL batteries.
- AGM batteries are a little bit cheaper than GEL batteries. This partly because AGM batteries are much more common and are at more than ten times the rate of GEL batteries.
- AGM batteries recharge much faster than GEL Batteries. You also need a special charger to charge GEL batteries, and if you do it wrong, you will destroy the battery.
What are AGM batteries better for?
- If you need a high burst of amps at once
- Better in colder climates
- Longer lifetime
- Low internal resistance
- Cheaper than GEL batteries
- Recharge much faster
- Doesn’t need a special charger like GEL batteries
What are GEL Batteries better for?
- Better than AGM for slow discharge applications
- Better for deep cycling
- Does well in warm climates
AGM batteries contain an Absorbed Glass Matte, which is why they are named AGM. The Absorbed Glass Matte is a fine fiberglass mat that is capable of absorbing sulfuric acid. They contain only enough liquid to keep the fiberglass wet.
The AGM batteries are often very powerful and are perfect for vehicle applications. They are also relatively cheap, which is why they are used for most modern cars.
GEL batteries are quite similar to AGM batteries, but GELs are still considered wet cell batteries. GEL batteries contain a mix of sulfuric acid and fumed silica, which together create a gel-like substance that is immobile.
GEL batteries are mostly used for slow-discharge applications in warmer climates – like solar-power, for example.
Similarities between AGM & GEL Batteries
Both AGM and GEL batteries have a sealed design and are regulated by a series of valves. This prevents leakage, which can be a real problem with many other types of batteries available on the market.
The pressure valves used in these batteries retain toxic gases when they are flooded. This ultimately means that no maintenance is required, which is always a good thing. These batteries are both quite durable and suitable for everyday use, and can withstand daily use for long periods of time.
Should I Choose a GEL or AGM battery?
It all depends on what you are going to use it for. AGM batteries are better for almost everything regarding cars, so if you are looking for a starting battery for your car, you should definitely choose an AGM battery.
GEL batteries are used for slow discharge applications – like solar power in warmer climates, for example.
If you are looking for a car battery, you should definitely choose an AGM battery, because they are cheaper, much more powerful while starting, easier to charge, faster recharging, and boast much longer lifetime in colder climates.
Which battery is better GEL or AGM?
That really depends on the application. AGM batteries are the better option when a lot of instantaneous power is needed, especially at low temperatures. For instance, if you have a truck with a diesel engine and live in a cold climate, AGM batteries are the way to go. But gel batteries have their upsides, as well. They withstand deep discharging much better than their AGM counterparts, which makes them more suitable for slow-discharge applications. In addition, they work great in warm climates. A gel battery is a better option if your vehicle needs a lot of electricity while the engine is off.
What is the main disadvantage of an AGM battery?
Well, for one, AGM batteries are more expensive than other variants, which is their main disadvantage. They are also not suitable for slow-discharge applications, although that’s not a problem when being used in cars. Lastly, AGM batteries are more sensitive to overcharging than flooded ones. So, for instance, if the voltage generated by the alternator is too high, it may damage the battery and shorten its lifespan.
Do AGM batteries last longer than GEL batteries?
Yes. AGM batteries will, in most cases, last much longer than those filled with gel. There are several reasons for this, and their internal structure is one of them. AGM batteries have a fine fiberglass mat soaked in sulfuric acid. This configuration is much more robust than those of wet-cell or gel batteries. Moreover, a gel battery, which requires a special charger, may get damaged or destroyed if not charged correctly.
Is it worth getting an AGM battery?
Getting an AGM battery for your car is definitely a good investment. They are more powerful than traditional wet-cell batteries and offer a high burst of amps at once. This is what you need in a modern car, as they usually have a start-stop system, which is demanding for the battery. In addition, when compared to gel batteries, they are less expensive, charge up much faster, and don’t require a special charger.
All car batteries on the market today can be divided into two main categories. One of them is the flooded battery, which comes in several types, with one filled with silica-type gel being the most advanced. Their biggest upside is the ability to be slowly discharged for a long time without getting damaged.
There are also so-called dry, or AGM batteries, which are increasingly popular in the automotive world. Instead of being filled with liquid or gel, these have a fine fiberglass mat soaked in sulfuric acid. Besides being spill-free, AGM batteries offer several key advantages.
This includes instantaneous high bursts of amps and much shorter charging times. As such, they are ideal for application in cold climates or cars with start/stop systems.