AGM vs. GEL Batteries -Differences

In Electric by Magnus SellénLeave a Comment

When you are trying to decide on the right battery, it is important to look at AGM batteries vs GEL batteries. Both of these batteries have something to offer, but there are also major differences.

The more you learn about these options, the easier it will be to make the right decision. There are some people who will benefit more from one over the other. In this article, we will take a look at both types of batteries so you will have the necessary information going forward.

Design

Both AGM and GEL batteries have a sealed design and are regulated by a number of valves. This prevents leakage, which can be a real problem with a lot of other types of batteries on the market.

The pressure valves that are used with these batteries keep the toxic gases contained if they become flooded. This ultimately means no maintenance is required, which is always a good thing. These batteries are both fairly durable and stand up well to everyday use for long periods of time.

AGM batteries are usually made up of silicon and battery acid mixtures. This creates a thicker substance that cannot leak like traditional battery acid. The semi-solidified substance within the batteries has holes that are drilled in it to allow oxygen to flow freely between the positive and negative plates.

GEL batteries have an isolated membrane that keeps the electrolyte locked in a stationary position at all times.  It also has a fiberglass mat membrane that is usually extremely thin. This allows for high output power without the overall bulkiness of many other batteries. The acid that protects the plates gives them superior discharge capabilities. The fiberglass in these batteries prevents issues with air pockets, which can negatively impact performance.

Cycle Life

One of the more important things to consider when looking at different car batteries is the cycle life each one has. This is something that varies quite a bit depending on the company that makes the battery and the specific model. If you are planning on using a battery as a backup power source, this isn’t a very important factor. AGM batteries tend to have a longer cycle life, which can translate into more power and more use overall.

The slow discharge rates of GEL batteries translate into longer charging times. The faster discharger rates of AGM batteries means that you won’t be able to keep charging for quite as long.

AGM batteries should not be discharged under 50%, as you might not be able to get it back to its original capacity. Undercharging these batteries can be especially detrimental to their performance, so you have to keep that in mind. Overcharging is also never good, but it is not quite as much of a concern with these batteries.

Capacity

GEL batteries are typically lower capacity, which means that you will have to recharge them more frequently than their AGM counterparts. While this does vary depending on the model, it is a fairly consistent difference between the two technologies.

Temperature Performance

If you need a battery that is going to still perform well even in very cold weather, AGM batteries are recommended. The fact is that GEL batteries are not designed to function nearly as well when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Celsius. This could be a particularly important factor to consider if you live in an area that experiences very cold temperatures.

It is important to keep in mind that AGM batteries can experience some performance issues, particularly hot weather. If these batteries are exposed to extreme heat for long enough, they begin to quickly wear down. This shortens their lifespan considerably, which is why it is so important to be conscious of the ambient temperature.

Durability/Life Expectancy

You will find that GEL batteries offer incredible durability and are designed to stand the test of time. These batteries can be discharged up to 90% while still having a solid cycle life. With a GEL battery, you will get around 2,500 cycles at just thirty percent, while an AGM battery gives you about 1,200. Even with a 90% discharge, the average GEL battery is still going to provide you with at least 700 cycles.

AGM batteries are designed for resistance to vibration, which can be a major issue with some other modern batteries. GEL batteries are only capable of handling a moderate amount of vibration before they sustain significant damage.

Cost

While GEL batteries do offer a longer life than AGM batteries on average, they also tend to cost more. You definitely get what you pay for with GEL batteries, but they are not for the budget-conscious.

Charging

It is worth considering that GEL cell batteries do require special chargers. Using the wrong charger can significantly reduce these batteries’ performance over time. AGM batteries are a bit easier to recharge, as you will be able to use a variety of charger devices.

Applications

AGM batteries are great for a wide range of applications. They are a great choice for those who need a rechargeable power source in a remote and/or very cold location. These batteries are used in everything from robotics to motor homes.

GEL batteries are great for charging electronics, as they are less likely to cause harm to these devices due to their overall design. If you require a slow and deep discharge, this is the best option you have. They can also be great for powering both commercial and residential solar panel systems.

Final Thoughts

Because there are so many differences between AGM and GEL batteries, it is important that you weigh your options carefully. You should take a number of things into consideration, including what you plan on using the battery for. It is also a good idea to consider the temperatures that the battery will be exposed to. Both types of batteries have a lot to offer for different applications. It is also important to find a reputable brand before buying anything in particular.

Resource:

AGM Batteries | AGM Deep Cycle Batteries – BatteryWeb

Hello I'm Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I'm specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I'm here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.

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