Automobile

AGM vs. GEL battery Things you need to know

AGM batteries are frequently mistaken for gel cell batteries. Both AGM and GEL batteries may be mounted in any position, have low self-discharge, are safe to use in regions with limited airflow, and can be transported via air or ground safely and without special treatment. These are just a few of the similarities between the two types of batteries. It’s hardly news that AGM batteries provide more benefits than gel batteries. AGM batteries outsell gel batteries by a ratio of roughly 100 to 1.

agm vs. gel battery

The cost difference is the primary cause of this. AGM batteries cost less than gel batteries. Furthermore, AGM batteries are the best option because they also have several beneficial features. High-quality AGM batteries perform well across a wide range of temperatures. They are excellent for all high amp applications and have a very slow self-discharge rate, thus leaving one plugged in will not result in significant energy loss.

Thus, in this article, we’ll be looking at AGM vs. GEL battery. We’ll also be looking at AGM vs. lead acid. Nevertheless, we’ll get to discuss the answers to the following questions:

  • What are AGM and GEL batteries?
  • What are the differences between AGM and GEL batteries?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of AGM and GEL batteries?
  • Which is better, AGM or GEL battery?

Read more: Lists of best car battery

Alright then, let’s dive in!

Contents

What are AGM and GEL batteries?

AGM battery

AGM (absorbed glass mat) uses a special type of glass mat that is intended to wick the battery electrolyte between the battery plates. The liquid in AGM batteries is only enough to keep the mat moist with electrolytes, and if the battery breaks, no free liquid can escape. This advanced lead-acid battery known as AGM, or absorbent glass mat, offers superior power to satisfy the greater electrical demands of contemporary automobiles and start-stop applications. AGM batteries are completely sealed, spill-proof, and vibration-resistant in addition to being maintenance-free. When compared to traditional lead-acid batteries, AGM delivers superior cycling performance, less gassing, and less acid leakage. Superior life performance is the result of all the attributes of AGM technology.

GEL battery

A gel battery is a valve-regulated, maintenance-free lead acid battery. Gel batteries are incredibly durable and adaptable. These batteries can be utilized in locations with limited ventilation because they emit fewer emissions. A gel battery is a valve-regulated, lead-acid battery that combines silica fumes with an electrolyte in a predetermined amount of sulfuric acid. The immobile, gel-like mass produced by this chemical reaction is what gives these batteries their name. The battery electrolyte is suspended in a silica-type gel that is found in gel cell batteries; this thick paste-like substance allows electrons to move between plates but won’t leak from the battery if the case is cracked.

What are the differences between AGM and GEL batteries?

The main difference between GEL and AGM batteries is how they are made; GEL deep cycle batteries use a gel paste in which the electrolyte is suspended inside the battery case. AGM batteries have the significant safety advantage of having the electrolyte whipped up into a glass matt interior, where it can never leak.

Vibration

  • The thick AGM separator’s precision assembly is vibration-resistant because it has a book of plates that is securely compressed.
  • Glass mats soaked with electrolytes that are sandwiched between the lead plates serve as a damper.
  • It also cycles more and recharges more quickly.
  • Gel batteries, on the other hand, provide excellent vibration resistance. It is still less expensive than AGM batteries, though.

Capacity

  • The AGM batteries can function at their best throughout a wide variety of temperatures.
  • Additionally, this kind has a very slow self-discharge rate and can perform well for any high amp applications. As a result, leaving your plugin won’t result in significant energy loss.
  • These batteries are around 3 times more powerful than conventional batteries and can start a car’s engine more than 60,000 times.
  • Gel batteries, on the other hand, have a lesser power capacity. This battery can handle a brief amp surge of relatively low intensity.

Charging

  • AGM batteries keep their charge quite well and charge up very quickly. Most importantly, it outperforms other batteries in demanding situations in terms of longevity.
  • There is no requirement for any specific modifications, and there are no issues with incompatible chargers or charge controls because the charging voltages are the same as for any conventional battery.
  • Additionally, despite having high charge and discharge currents, the battery nearly never heats up because of the exceptionally low internal resistance.
  • Batteries, on the other hand, are sensitive. Additionally, if you charge the battery incorrectly, the battery will be completely destroyed.
  • They must be charged more slowly (C/20) to keep the cells from being harmed by too much gas. The gel batteries cannot be quickly charged using a standard automobile charger.

Read more: Alternator not charging the battery: Causes and what to do

Battery lifespan

AGM batteries have a lifespan of about 4 to 8 years, while gelled deep cycle batteries have a lifespan of about 2 to 5 years, depending on temperature, maintenance, frequency, and depth of discharge. In reality, depending on how it is used, how it is charged, and other things, the lifespan varies greatly.

Discharge

There are no charge or discharge current restrictions on AGM batteries. Most notably, AGMs self-discharge between 1% and 3% per month, which is quite low. They may therefore be stored without being charged for far longer than ordinary batteries. Due to their greater acid starvation, gel batteries are better suited for deep discharge.

Note: It’s important to keep in mind that depending on the brand and model, certain features of AGM and GEL batteries may vary.

Here are some other major differences between AGM and GEL batteries in tabular form:

AGM batteryGEL battery
AGM stands for Absorbed Glass MatGEL stands for Gel electrolyte
Faster charging rateSlower charging rate
Widely used in automotive and marine industriesWidely used in backup power and renewable energy systems
The acid electrolyte is absorbed by a fiberglass matThe electrolyte is mixed with silica to form a gel-like substance
Slightly less expensiveSlightly more expensive than AGM
Longer lifespan in warmer temperaturesLonger lifespan in cooler temperatures
Can handle higher discharge ratesLower discharge rates than AGM

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of AGM and GEL batteries?

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of the AGM and GEL batteries;

AGM batteries

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of AGM  batteries;

Advantages

  • AGM batteries are more suited for applications requiring a high discharge rate than gel batteries because they can be depleted more quickly.
  • AGM batteries don’t require as much care as gel batteries because they don’t require frequent watering.
  • Generally speaking, AGM batteries are less expensive than gel batteries.
  • Generally speaking, AGM batteries are lighter than gel batteries, making them simpler to install and move.
  • Unlike gel batteries, AGM batteries may be utilized in a wider range of temperatures.

Disadvantages

  • Due to their thinner plate construction, AGM batteries have a shorter lifespan than gel batteries.
  • AGM batteries can’t be used in standby power systems or other applications that need a lengthy lifespan.
  • Extreme temperatures can have an impact on the performance of AGM batteries because they are more temperature-sensitive than gel batteries.
  • Because the electrolyte is not as tightly sealed in AGM batteries as it is in gel batteries, leakage is more likely.

GEL batteries

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of gel batteries:

Advantages

  • Due to the larger plates used in their construction, gel batteries last longer than AGM batteries.
  • Gel batteries can be employed in applications like standby power systems where a long lifespan is required.
  • Extreme temperatures have less of an impact on the functioning of gel batteries than they do on AGM batteries.
  • Because the electrolyte is more sealed in gel batteries than it is in AGM batteries, leakage is less likely.
  • Compared to AGM batteries, gel batteries often have longer warranties.

Disadvantages

  • Gel batteries are less suitable for applications requiring a high discharge rate since they can discharge at a lower rate than AGM batteries.
  • Compared to AGM batteries, gel batteries require more maintenance since they must be frequently hydrated.
  • AGM batteries tend to be less expensive than gel batteries.
  • Gel batteries can be more difficult to move and install because they are often heavier than AGM batteries.
  • Extreme temperatures can harm gel batteries, hence they can only be used in a narrow range of temperatures.

Which is better, AGM or GEL battery?

The selection of an AGM or GEL battery relies on the particular application and needs, hence there is no universally applicable response to this query. There are benefits and drawbacks to both battery types. AGM batteries are appropriate for applications like the automotive and marine industries since they are often cheaper and capable of handling higher discharge rates. In addition, they may be charged more quickly in warmer climates and have a longer lifespan.

The deep discharge tolerance of GEL batteries, on the other hand, makes them appropriate for backup power and renewable energy systems. Moreover, they are more suitable for low discharge rates and have a longer lifespan in lower temperatures. The particular application and needs will ultimately determine whether AGM or GEL batteries are best. To choose the finest battery for your requirements, it is best to speak with a professional.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the inside layout and properties of AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) and Gel batteries are what differentiate them from one another. AGM batteries provide a higher power output and quicker recharge speeds because they use a fiberglass mat to absorb and immobilize the electrolyte. In contrast, gel batteries use a thickening chemical to transform the electrolyte into a gel-like substance, improving deep-cycle performance and vibration resistance.

The choice between AGM and Gel batteries relies on the requirements of the particular application. AGM batteries are excellent for various deep-cycle applications as well as high-power usage like starter batteries. Gel batteries perform exceptionally well in systems like mobility devices or renewable energy systems that need for deep discharges and long-term dependability.

To maximize performance and guarantee the longevity of your battery-powered equipment or systems, it is essential to know the differences and choose the appropriate battery type based on your needs. Both AGM and Gel batteries offer special benefits, so picking the right one can help with effective and dependable power supply or storage.

That is all for this article, where we looked at AGM vs. GEL battery. Furthermore, we get to discuss the answers to the following questions:

  • What are AGM and GEL batteries?
  • What are the differences between AGM and GEL batteries?
  • Which is better, AGM or GEL battery?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!