All you need to know about AGM and Gel batteries

Are you searching high-quality lithium batteries for sale online from the best manufacturers, Then we enter the vast world of maintenance-free lead-acid batteries, the first decision we must make is whether we want an AGM battery or a Gel battery. In our article today we will know the characteristics of each of these batteries and why they are different from other types that we can get in the market, so that we can clarify a little the panorama around our final choice.

Basically these types of batteries are those that belong to the sealed group, which are the same as the aerated ones considering the active materials and charge and discharge reactions. In spite of it, there are certain characteristics that make them different.

One of these differences is that although it is true that the sealed accumulators have the same electrolyte as the aerated lead acid batteries, the great difference lies in the fact that this electrolyte does not appear in liquid form, but rather it is immobilized. Considering this particular difference, we could affirm that two types of sealed batteries exist, contemplating only the method used to immobilize the electrolyte. Now we are going to explain the operation of agm battery and gel battery.

AGM battery

AGM batteries are valve-regulated lead acid batteries VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) which are sealed, hermetic, maintenance-free and with immobilized electrolyte.

AGM batteries are literally the evolution of gel batteries. Better known as absorbed electrolyte accumulators, or in electrolyte in absorbent material or dry batteries, the AGM (Absortion Glass Material) use plates that are properly sandwiched between absorbent fiberglass meshes, 90% saturated with the electrolyte, thus being confined and diffusing in them by capillary action.

Moreover, these fiberglass meshes that compose it provide a quite firm support to the plates, which makes it one of the most vibration shock resistant batteries.

This type of constructive characteristics of the AGM batteries gives it a series of qualities that stands out from the rest of the solar batteries. For example, its internal resistance, which is located at the lowest point, translates into a greater capacity to deliver and absorb current. Its characteristics also give AGM batteries the ability to be somewhat more resistant to deep discharges than GEL batteries.

Gel Batteries

Gel batteries are also valve-regulated lead acid batteries VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) which are sealed, hermetic, maintenance-free and with immobilized electrolyte.

In their case, they are manufactured from cells similar to those of liquid electrolyte batteries and the container that contains them is usually opaque. This electrolyte that composes them is a solution of sulfuric acid present in gel form, consequence of the addition of a special silica.

When these batteries are charged, tiny cracks occur in the gel, opening the way for the recombination of gases released during gassing. Unrecombined gases could cause an increase in the pressure inside the battery, for this reason, each of the cells has a pressure regulating valve, allowing to relieve the pressure generated by an excessive charge.

Its hermetic design and immobilization of the electrolyte in the gel structure make it possible for this battery to be placed in almost any position without risk of electrolyte loss. This makes them ideal to take advantage of spaces destined to service batteries in caravans, boats and other vehicles that incorporate one or several service batteries.

Advantages of Gel and Agm batteries over traditional open lead acid batteries

  • They charge faster
  • They keep the charge longer being stored.
  • Very low sulfation, better withstand partial states of charge (PSOC).
  • Better performance at low temperatures.
  • Higher current delivery capacity.
  • Which one has a longer life? A Gel battery normally has a superior duration to an Agm battery, depending on marks and models we can say that a 30% more of life in cycles regime. In very intensive uses like wheelchairs, golf carts, electric vehicles

And now… agm or gel battery?

Undoubtedly, everything will depend on our project and, of course, on our budget. Our choice should always be based on our needs for the proper functioning of our solar energy system. As you have already seen the differences between the two types of batteries are not so many and therefore in many occasions the decision of the battery to install between AGM and GEL will be more than anything by capacity (Ah) and price, since to equal qualities of batteries, the results that we will obtain with one or another battery will be very similar. Of course, there are many different qualities of batteries in the market and a better quality will always give us a longer life of the battery, so there are times that investing a little more in a quality battery, will make it much more economical in the long run.

You can take a look at our section of solar battery and see the AGM and GEL that we have. You can also contact directly with our customer service department of Renogy to advise you and we will guide you in everything you need, Especially, At Renogy we are experts in solar panels, inverter, charge controller, batteries and other complete components needed for off-grid solar systems, offers a wide selection of solar panel for sale.  We have managed to stand out for the service we offer to the client, accompanying them in each phase of the purchase process, granting free advice on their needs.