Deep cycle marine batteries are a common power source for many boats and recreational vehicles. They can be used in different configurations to create an electrical system that will work best for your needs, but they all have one thing in common.
These batteries should never be discharged below 50% of their total charge capacity. This blog post will go over the basics of deep cycle battery systems, how to maintain them properly, and what you need to do when it comes time for a replacement.
1. How Deep Cycle Marine Batteries Work
A deep cycle marine battery is a specific lead-acid battery that can discharge fully up to 100%, which other regular batteries cannot. Therefore, it can be used in many different applications, including powering electric boats, trolling motors, and even solar panels while also being able to recharge multiple times without any damage occurring. This means you can get a lot more out of one deep cycle marine battery than you would with any other regular lead-acid battery.
There are some basic things that you should know about how deep cycle marine batteries work so that you understand them better and can use the right type for your boat or application.
Anyone who has ever owned an ATV, car, motorbike, or other similar vehicle knows that the battery begins to lose its charge faster when you use it more often and for more extended periods. These types of lead-acid batteries cannot discharge fully without being damaged, so they need a lot more charging than deep cycle marine batteries do, which can be discharged 100% without losing much capacity.
2. The Difference Between Gel Cell & AGM Batteries
The primary difference between gel cells and AGM batteries is the electrolyte. While both types of lead-acid battery use sulfuric acid, it’s mixed with water in a flooded lead-acid battery, while a marine AGM battery uses glass fiber mats soaked with that mixture instead. This makes them safer to handle but also increases performance by 20% over flooded lead-acid batteries.
The main benefit of gel cells is that they can be mounted in any position, while other types require upright mounting only for safety reasons. In addition, due to the lack of need for watering and ventilation (and the lower output voltage), gel cell deep cycle marine batteries are also preferred by many boaters as well.
While the actual battery cell is the same, there are some differences between gel-cell and absorbed glass mat batteries. These include:
- Gel-cells are not as susceptible to vibration damage
- Gel cells can be used in any orientation, while AGM batteries should only be used upright.
- Since gel cell batteries do not release explosive gases like other lead-acid batteries, they are safer for use in an enclosed environment (such as a boat). However, if the battery is damaged, the gel cells can release sulfuric acid, which must be cleaned up appropriately.
- Gel cell batteries cannot supply as high current (amps) as AGM or flooded lead-acid batteries.
- Gel cells are generally more expensive than other types of batteries.
- Gel cell batteries have a higher self-discharge rate (around five percent) when compared to flooded lead-acid or AGM batteries, which can lose approximately 20% per month under no use conditions.
3. What You Need to Do When Your Battery Needs Replacing?
If you use your battery for something quite demanding, it will eventually need to be replaced after a certain amount of time. While this may not sound like the end of the world, many things can go wrong if you do not replace your battery correctly or immediately enough. Replacing deep cycle marine batteries, on-time can ensure that you are not putting yourself in danger by continuing to use your boat or other vehicle and that you won’t be having any electrical problems with it in the future.
In conclusion, having good knowledge about deep cycle marine batteries is necessary when you are in charge of buying new ones for your boat or other vehicles. Knowing the basic facts outlined above will make it much easier to select the right type for whatever you need them for and hopefully avoid any future problems with running your vehicle smoothly.