Types of Batteries and the Battery Life Saver
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is: Will the BLS work on my battery?
Our answer is good news. The Battery Life Saver electronic device is suited to work on all types of lead-acid batteries.
Simple or complex, they follow the same basic principles. Whatever industry you are involved with, there is a BLS market in your area for other applications, a myriad of other potential customers.
We do not endorse any particular type of batteries. The statements in this article are intended only to give a general briefing about types of lead-acid batteries and possible applications where the BLS can be used.
Types of Lead-Acid Batteries
There are two types of lead-acid batteries. There are starter (or cranking) batteries that can generate a high amount of energy in a short period of time.
These batteries are commonly used in vehicles to start the engine.
There are also deep cycle batteries. A deep cycle battery can generate a smaller amount of energy for a longer period of time. Deep cycle batteries are constructed with thicker plates and can withst and a deeper discharge, making them more prone to sulfate build-up. These batteries are commonly used in golf carts, forklifts, RV’s (for the house batteries), off grid solar systems, Uninterrupted Power Source (UPS) and electric chairs.
Besides the 2 types of lead-acid batteries, there are also different versions where the lead is mixed w ith other metals or it is used in a purer form. This alters a bit how the charge or discharge of the battery happens. There are also hybrid batteries that have properties of starter and deep batteries. Despite all complexities that can be found to increase or modify performance, a lead-acid battery is a lead-acid battery.
Common Battery Technologies
No matter if batteries are starter or deep cycle, the two most common technologies are Flooded and VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid), most commonly called Sealed lead-acid batteries, The VRLA is divided further into Gel and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM).
Wet cells or flooded batteries are the most popular. They are used on cars, boats, golf cars, solar and wind banks.
The marine type is not sealed so users can refill any water that was lost while charging. Special care should be taken while operating any non sealed batteries; first to prevent getting burned with the acid solution inside the battery (follow the safety instructions and use safety gear) and second to prevent the battery from getting contaminated with external agents (sea water, rain water, soil etc). Non-sealed batteries are not the strongest, mechanically speaking.
They crack easier than others.
Make sure to fully charge them before a long winter. Even better, charge them at least once a month during the winter months, as you run the risk of battery cracking due to freezing.
We will cover winter battery maintenance in the next issue.
VRLA (valve-regulated lead-acid) You can not refill these batteries.
They are designed against spills.
Gel Cells: The electrolyte is mixed up with a jellifying non-reactive agent like fumed silica that immobilizes the electrolyte.
If for any reason the battery cracks, the cell will continue operating. You cannot use just any charger to charge gel cell batteries as you can ruin them easily by overcharging.
These kinds of batteries require lower charging voltages compared to flooded batteries. Read the instructions on charging to get the most of these batteries.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM): This kind of battery uses a glass mat to contain the electrolyte. They are basically spill-proof compared to the flooded type. Mechanically speaking, AGMs are the strongest batteries on the market. Although very similar to the charging voltages of the flooded batteries, you still need to be careful while charging, as overcharging can shorten their useful life dramatically.
The AGM offers a long list of advantages like shorter charging time, resistance to vibration, continuous operation even if the container cracks or breaks, lower self discharge than other types (around 3% per month vs. 1% per day on flooded cells), low energy conversion into heat (around 4% vs. 15 to 20% on flooded or 10 to 16% of the Gel cells) and minimal fume production.
On the other hand, they are 2 to 4 times more expensive than the flooded batteries.
VRLAs are favored by owners of boats, electric scooters, golf car and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV). AGMs are particularly favored with off grid solar and wind systems as well by RVs, aviation and jet skis.
There is one more emerging market to be aware of; truckers are starting to use deep batteries to power their small refrigerators, AC/heat units or ovens, due to the recent anti-idling legislation.
In summary, you can use The Battery Life Saver electronic device with all applications mentioned.
Contact your customer service agent for more information.