A gel battery is a valve regulated, maintenance free, lead acid battery. It is typically a modification of the standard lead-acid automotive or marine battery. Gel is usually produced by homogeneous dispersion of pyrogenic silica in diluted sulfuric acid. Pyrogenic silica is a kind of powder of very well dispersed SiO, which absorb more than 10 times of its weight acid liquid to produce gel. Gel batteries are extremely robust and versatile.
It is called gel because they use silica (or sand) to turn the acid inside the battery into a thick liquid. This liquid does make it spill-proof,like our AGM batteries, but the gel is fragile, and can be easily burned if used in high amperage situations.
how to charge a gel battery?
There are several methods for charging gel cell batteries with a gel cell battery charger, however, constant voltage charging is the best way. For this type of charging, a fixed, regulated voltage source is used to charge the battery. Special attention must be paid to the exact charging voltage and the initial charging current.
What is the advantage of a gel battery?
- Maintenance free, no need to add water
- Can be installed sideways ( upside-down is not recommended )
- Long cycle life
- Long standby life due to its ability to keep electrolyte inside and steady
- Performance stays high and stable until the end of life
- Tolerance to abuse and heat during operation, good for extreme weather
Gel battery disadvantages
- High initial cost.
- Charging at a slower rate as compared to a lead acid battery
Is gel battery better than AGM?
Generally, Gel-cell batteries are better deep cycle performers than AGM batteries, and AGM batteries are often able to crank larger currents than Gel-cell batteries.Also, Gel-cell batteries are able to withstand more charging/discharging cycles than AGM, although this may differ from the brand to the brand.
Gel battery application
Gel batteries are best used in VERY DEEP cycle application and may last a bit longer in hot weather applications.
The electric car is the most common example where a gel battery is used. These batteries have also been approved and are being used in public transportation and airlines.
Are gel batteries good for motorcycles?
Yes, gel cell batteries have many merits which explain their popularity amongst motorcyclists, for example:Low Self-Discharge,Spill-Proof,Fast Recharge Time,High Capacity, etc.
Gel cell batteries also have a much higher cycle life than the average wet cell battery, gel cell batteries use lead-acid as their power source. However, unlike in a wet cell battery, the acid is not flowing freely. It is instead gelled together thanks to silica.