Tech Talk – Here are the types of maintenance-free batteries you should know about

We have talked about different types of batteries based on their design and the new types that were created as a result. This time around we will talk about some special batteries. The topic of discussion is the two types of maintenance-free batteries –

AGM vs GEL Battery

A. Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) type

The Absorbed Glass Mat battery is a maintenance-free battery type that sports a glass mat between the battery plates dipped in the electrolyte. This results in the glass mat acting as a wick for the electrolyte. There is only enough electrolyte in the battery to keep the glass mat wet and in case the battery breaks or gets damaged, there is no liquid electrolyte that can leak out.

B.Gel type

In case of Gel batteries, the electrolyte has silica in it that turns the electrolyte into a paste-type gel. This gel allows the electrolyte to flow between battery plates. In case the battery gets damaged or breaks, the electrolyte does not leak out.

Both battery types seem similar, right? Well, the similarities end here as we tell you about the main differences between the two:

1.Energy Supply – An AGM battery is known to supply high intensity energy, which is required for cranking the car to life. A Gel battery is good for supplying low intensity current but at a steady rate.

2.Discharge rate – Since an AGM battery is capable of supplying high intensity current, it discharges pretty quickly too. In contrast, a Gel battery is able to supply current for long as it can maintain its low energy supply for long, leading to slow discharge rate.

3.Recharging – An AGM battery can be recharged with a standard charger or energy alternator mounted in the vehicle. However, a Gel battery needs specially-designed charger for its charging needs. If a standard alternator is used to recharge this type, a special regulator must be used with the alternator.

4.Operating temperature – An AGM battery does not offer any improvements over flooded type batteries in terms of operating temperature requirements. However, a gel battery offers the advantage of operating in slightly higher ambient temperature than others.

5.Life expectancy – When it comes to life expectancy, an AGM battery does not vary much from its advertised lifespan if its charge is maintained above 60 per cent at all times. Such is not the case for a gel battery. However, the restriction, in case of a gel battery, is using correct equipment and charging it in the way manufacturer specifies or it can fail prematurely.

These are the major differences between the two types of maintenance-free batteries. While gel batteries are not available for mass use in India, you can get the AGM-type batteries for your car in India from all major battery makers. Click here to find the right battery for your car.

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