AGM or GEL? Choosing best solar battery for solar power system. Agm battery inside

AGM or GEL? Choosing best solar battery for solar power system

In this article, We will introduce the battery characteristics, let us tell you a few basic advantages and disadvantages of parallel and series circuits; We will talk about what is AGM battery ? what is GEL battery ? How to choose solar battery for solar power system ? What is the battery over-discharge ? What is the battery series connection ? What is the battery parallel connection ? AGM or GEL ? How to choose solar battery for solar power system ?

What is AGM battery ?

VRLA AGM battery is valve-regulated lead-acid battery (VRLA ) Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) technology battery. This is one kind of lead-acid battery for energy storage.

The technical features of AGM battery technology :

  • Sealed with special compound epoxy and using pressure controlled vent valves.
  • Electrolyte acid is absorbed in special glass mat separators to prevent electrolyte acid leaking or evaporating.
  • No spilling. can be operated in any position. However, upside-down installation is not recommended.
  • Using a recombination reaction to prevent hydrogen and oxygen gases escaping and make this two gases into water, which can keep acid water in same level.
  • Maintenance free. No need to add water like flooded battery.

VRLA AGM battery uses recombinant technology. The oxygen produced from the positive plates of the battery is absorbed by the negative plates. This suppresses the generation of hydrogen at the negative plates. The recombination of oxygen and hydrogen leads to Water, retaining the electrolyte amount within the battery. Water re-filling is never required.

Compared to flooded battery, the advantages of AGM battery are :

  • Vibration resistance due to sandwich construction
  • Performance well in cold temperature
  • Spill-proof through acid liquid encapsulation in glass mat technology
  • High specific power, low internal resistance
  • Up to 5 times faster charge than flooded technology
  • Better cycle life than flooded systems
  • Water retention (oxygen and hydrogen combine to produce water)
  • Less sulfation because no need to open and add water

The advantage of AGM battery in application :

Maintenance free When battery is charging, hydrogen would be absorbed and reversed to electrolyte by plates. It doesn’t need to refill water and balanced charge, which makes maintenance free.

Flexible installation AGM separator keep electrolyte absorbed in glass mat and still. Battery can be used or positioned in any orientation.

Extremely safe When excessive gas production by inappropriate charging occurs, safety valves will automatically emit the gas to prevent battery cracked.

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Long standby life, Better cycle performance Anti-corrosion lead-calcium alloy plate provides longer float charging life. AGM separator can trap electrolyte and prevent active materials on positive plate dropping at the same time. over, it gives better deep discharge cycle performance.

Longer shelf life Special lead-calcium alloy plates make lower self-discharge for longer shelf life.

High rate performance Low inner resistance allows higher discharging and charging current for better performance in high rate application

What is GEL battery ?

VRLA GEL battery is valve-regulated lead-acid battery (VRLA ) Gel electrolyte cell technology battery. This is one kind of lead-acid battery for energy storage.

Gel battery is using gel as electrolyte instead of liquid acid. Gel is usually produced by homogeneous dispersion of pyrogenic silica in diluted sulfuric acid. Pyrogenic silica is a kind of powder of very well dispersed SiO, which absorb more than 10 times of its weight acid liquid to produce gel. Because of the thixotropic property of gel, the agglomerates are connecting themselves together as a network which keeps the liquid inside and become gel structure after a certain gelling time. The Gel battery has no liquid inside, the electrolytes is in gel form and stand solid between positive and negative plate inside battery.

The technical features of Gel battery technology :

  • Using gel as electrolyte
  • Plate thickness tolerance is not critical since the high compression of plates group assembly is not necessary
  • electrolytes for better contact with plates and active materials and container walls, it is good for releasing internal heat and cooling battery temperature.
  • Using the extra microporous separator which can: a/ reduce the depolarization of the negative electrode and avoid negative plate sulphation b/ without any liquid, significantly decreases thermal runaway c/ Help to prevent short circuits by dendrite growth between the positive and negative plates during deep discharge
  • Better vent valve design to lower gas leaking rate to extend battery lifetime.

Compared to flooded battery, the advantages of Gel battery are :

  • Maintenance free, no need to add water
  • Safe operation since no liquid inside
  • Can be installed sideways ( upside-down is not recommended )
  • Long cycle life
  • Low self-discharge makes shelf life longer.
  • Long standby life due to its ability to keep electrolyte inside and steady
  • Performance stays high and stable until the end of life
  • Tolerance to abuse and heat during operation, good for extreme weather
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The advantage of Gel battery in application :

Maintenance free When battery is charging, hydrogen would be absorbed and reversed to electrolyte by plates. It doesn’t need to refill water and balanced charge, which makes maintenance free.

Flexible installation AGM separator keep electrolyte absorbed in glass mat and still. Battery can be used or positioned in any orientation.

Longer lifespan in extreme weather Gel cell electrolyte prevent electrolyte being evaporated in high temperature or being frozen in low temperature, which keep battery in high performance in extreme weather. Extremely safe When excessive gas production by inappropriate charging occurs, safety valves will automatically emit the gas to prevent battery cracked.

choosing, best, solar, battery, power, system

Long standby life, Better cycle performance Anti-corrosion lead-calcium alloy plate provides longer float charging life. AGM separator can trap electrolyte and prevent active materials on positive plate dropping at the same time. over, it gives better deep discharge cycle performance.

Longer shelf life Special lead-calcium alloy plates make lower self-discharge for longer shelf life.

High rate performance Low inner resistance allows higher discharging and charging current for better performance in high rate application

What is the battery over-discharge ?

Over discharge may cause difficulties in recharging the cell by increasing the battery’s internal resistance. Also, over discharging may cause lead to be precipitated in the separator and cause a short in the cell or between cells.

See the photo, this battery already dead and there is no way to discharge, so we open it, and We can find that the battery terminals have been oxidized, white crystals adhere to the terminals of the battery, It can be judged that after a long period of use, the battery does not have maintenance and supplemental power, and causes the battery to have a low battery voltage for a long time

We do not recommend using battery voltage lower than 10.5V, it will make battery over-discharge. For a low voltage battery, the battery should be stopped immediately, and the battery should be supplemented by electricity immediately. Proper maintenance can extend battery life.

What is the battery series connection ?

a “series circuit” will share the voltage given from the supply evenly … however the current will remain the same across the entire circuit. When the battery is connected in series, the battery voltage increases, battery current does not change.

For example: 12V 100AH x4pcs in series connection:

The total capacity is 48V 100AH (12Volts 12Volts 12Volts 12Volts = 48Volts) When you connect the batteries in series, you are keeping the total capacity the same.

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What is the battery parallel connection ?

a parallel circuit in the same scenario will split the current evenly across all paths … however the voltage across the entire circuit and all paths will be same as supply.

When the battery is connected in parallel, the battery voltage does not change but battery capacity increases.

For example: 12V 100AH x4pcs in parallel connection: The total capacity is 12V 400AH (100AH 100AH 100AH 100AH = 400AH) When you connect the batteries in parallel, you are keeping the total voltage the same.

AGM or GEL ? How to choose solar battery for solar power system ?

We can easily understand the difference of AGM and GEL by the following chart : AGM and GEL’s deep cycle are suitable for solar However, if it is a more extreme climate or outdoor, Gel’s deep cycle will have a longer life span.

ITEM GEL/AGM COMPARE
Electrical performance The pores of the gel structure are narrow, so the ions are more clogged, and the internal group of colloidal sealed lead acid batteries is larger than AGM. Therefore AGM’s high-power discharge performance is better. AGM is better
Size GEL electrolyte is 20% more than AGM, and it adopts flooded process, so AGM energy density is high AGM is better
Ventilation requirements GEL is flooded battery, The cracks generated by the gel provide oxygen circulation. GEL must be well ventilated. AGM has 8% of the gap in the separator, and no electrolyte is filled. AGM is better
Thermal runaway The AGM sealed lead-acid battery adopts a liquid-lean design. In the separator plate, 8% of the porosity must be maintained and the electrolyte is not allowed to enter. Therefore, the internal heat of the battery is poor, and the oxygen generated during charging reaches the negative electrode, which generates heat.If you can’t dissipate heat immediately, the battery temperature will increase. GEL is better
Operating temperature GEL working temperature adaptability is better than AGM GEL is better
Cycle Life AGM battery cycle life is about 400 times; GEL battery cycle life is about 600.800 times GEL is better
Standby Life Both AGM and GEL can have a long life design. Both are good

AGM vs flooded battery. how to choose the right one?

Batteries are one of the most important parts of your devices. They provide power to your equipment and make it possible for you to work more productive and live more enjoyable. But choosing a suitable and durable battery is usually not easy, many factors need to be considered. First of all, it is necessary to understand the performance and function of the battery. This article will provide you with detailed information about AGM battery and flooded batter y in an all-round way, to help you in-depth understand the difference between AGM vs flooded battery, both of which are lead acid, which one should you buy for your appliance?

.Are AGM batteries sealed or flooded?

Absorbed glass mat batteries are sealed units and utilize woven glass fiber separators between each cell. The electrolytes in the battery stay close to the plates, making it an ideal solution for high-drain and low-maintenance usage. AGM batteries deliver a perfect discharge/charge rate. Because the liquid inside AGM batteries is sealed, you can position the battery in more flexible orientations than a standard battery.

.What is the main disadvantage of an AGM battery?

The disadvantages of AGM batteries are as follows:

  • AGM batteries can be susceptible to overcharging and high voltages. It means they may not be a good fit for all applications where there’s no way to charge them.
  • It’s important to use the correct charger for AGM batteries, which should be able to monitor amps, volts, and ambient temperatures.
  • The production of AGM batteries is expensive when AGM vs flooded battery, making them more costly to purchase.

.Is a lithium battery a flooded battery?

Lithium batteries are sealed, and they emit no dangerous gases such as hydrogen and oxygen, and there is no danger of exposure to corrosive electrolytes such as sulfuric acid or potassium hydroxide. A wet cell (flooded) battery has an electrolyte solution that generates electrons when it reacts and is considered a lead-acid, not a lithium battery. The sulfuric acid in flooded batteries can lead to serious burns and damage to equipment while causing long-term harm to the environment. When these batteries get exposed to an opposite current, they are recharged.

.What is a AGM flooded battery?

AGM vs flooded battery, they are two different options that people often consider when purchasing a new battery for their equipment. Flooded batteries are filled with acid electrolytes and are low maintenance. They are also cheaper to manufacture and less prone to failure. AGM batteries, however, are sealed and filled with a non-spillable gel that can last for years. These batteries also come with a guarantee of maximum durability. Nonetheless, the cycle life of both batteries is not as long as that of the best lithium batteries. and their average daily cost is higher than that of lithium batteries.

.What is the difference between a flooded battery and a AGM battery?

When focusing on the difference between AGM vs flooded battery, it is necessary to analyze the characteristics of the two separately. AGM batteries are maintenance-free, sealed and do not lose liquid over time. It gives the battery a longer life and increased power due to its more stable voltage than other types of batteries. AGM batteries are available in various voltages, capacities, shapes and sizes.

Flooded batteries consist of thick plates and large separations, it is an improved design of the internal structure of conventional lead-acid batteries. The design of this battery can prevent corrosion from occurring multiple times. It can withstand several recharging cycles in direct proportion to the amperage capacity of the charging source. The electrolyte fluid is distributed in a flooded battery that surrounds the plates in a contained space.

.How do I know if my battery is AGM or flooded ?

AGM vs flooded battery, how to distinguish between these two types of batteries? There are several ways to identify:

Most batteries have a label with the manufacturer’s information, you can read it for more information to identify the type of battery.

Suppose the label can’t tell you anything about the type of battery. If it’s worn off or unhelpful, you can figure out what kind of battery it is by looking at how it’s built. There is a difference on the top of the battery between AGM vs flooded battery. The top of the flooded battery has a cover that can ventilate and prevent liquid splashing. Due to the evaporation and decomposition of water during use, the cover should be opened regularly to add distilled water and adjust the density of the electrolyte. Therefore, the flooded battery is also called an open battery.

First, remove the battery from your device and shake it. If you feel any liquid wiggling inside the battery, you know it is a wet cell or flooded type of battery. An AGM battery wouldn’t have any wiggle because it contains acid trapped in the fiberglass mats.

.Do AGM batteries last longer than flooded?

Comparing AGM vs flooded battery, AGM batteries are tended to last longer than conventional lead acid batteries. They also hold up better when not in use because of their low self-discharge rate.But lithium-ion batteries have a lower self-discharge rate of only 3.5% per month. Proper maintenance is essential for the AGM to keep functioning properly, and with proper use it canast up to 7 years. A flooded battery has a life of around 3-5 years only. As mentioned above, lithium batteries have a longer life and can be cycled 4000 times on the premise of one charge and discharge per day, that is, 10 years (4000/365≈10.96).

.Can you use a flooded battery with AGM?

AGM batteries are made to charge differently from flooded batteries and should never be mixed. When you create a new battery pack, ensure all of the batteries in it are AGM, and all have been manufactured at about the same age and rating. If you put a flooded battery in an AGM charger, it will still be fully charged, but doing so could shorten your battery life.

.Do AGM batteries charge faster than flooded?

For comparison of charging speed between AGM vs flooded battery, AGM batteries charge five times faster than a flooded battery. They also have a longer lifespan and higher depth of discharge, making them more efficient. They can sustain 80% of their charge, while the flooded battery is 50% DOD.

.Which is better, AGM or flooded battery? Can you use a flooded battery in place of a AGM?

You may be wondering AGM vs flooded battery, which is better between the two? The battery plate of the flooded battery is completely immersed in the sulfuric acid electrolyte, and its instantaneous discharge current is large, but it cannot be continuously discharged in this way, nor can it be deeply discharged. At present, it is mainly used as forklift batteries for traction forklifts. Although AGM batteries are more expensive than flooded batteries, they have higher capacity stability over the life cycle and do not require as frequent maintenance as flooded batteries.

In addition, the acid solution inside the AGM battery is 100% sealed, which can reduce the risk of accidents and reduce the risk of environmental pollution. Therefore, it is not recommended to use flooded batteries instead of AGM batteries. In fact, out of the two, lithium-ion batteries may be a better choice. Lithium batteries are also maintenance-free, and their average cycle life is usually longer. In addition, lithium batteries have a greater energy density, which is lighter and has a higher capacity than flooded or AGM batteries in similar applications.

How to Store Solar Batteries

Deep-cycle solar batteries must be protected from the elements. If freezing temperatures are expected, the batteries can be buried below the frost line in a water-tight enclosure or in a building where the temperature will remain above freezing. If the batteries are buried, a well-drained location should be selected and a drain hole provided in the battery enclosure. Batteries should not be set directly on concrete surfaces as self discharge will be increased, particularly if the surface gets damp. Adequate venting must be provided to minimize explosion hazard if open-cell batteries are used. Consider using battery fan which will not ignite the hydrogen and oxygen gas that is naturally produced during the charging process. Any battery should be stored in a location where access is limited to knowledgeable personnel. Never allow unsupervised children or pets near batteries.

How to Store Lithium Solar Batteries

Lithium deep-cycle batteries can be stored and used indoors, providing an easy way to give them shelter and insulation. If using outside where freezing temperatures are a possibility, always remember that lithium batteries should never be charged in temperatures below freezing (32°F or 0°C) – even though they be safely discharged in temps down to 0°F (-18°C).

Most lithium solar batteries available today feature some kind of onboard BMS (battery management system) that can be used to activate an external heating source in freezing weather. Some of the more advanced lithium solar batteries – like the KiloVault CHLX cold-rated lithium batteries – actually have an internal heating element managed by their BMS, so thermal regulation is automated and you don’t need to provide an external heat source.

How to Store Flooded Lead Acid Solar Batteries

Flooded lead acid solar batteries can charge at lower temps than lithium-ion batteries (as low as.4°F or.20°C), but they require more attention and care than lithium batteries. Flooded lead acid batteries must not be used inside your house (due to the release of highly explosive hydrogen gas while in use), so instead they should be kept in a vented enclosure or battery box.

This enclosure/box can be inside an insulated shed or garage for warmth if there is adequate ventilation for the off-gassing. If the enclosure/box will be outside, then it will need to be insulated if temperatures approaching 0°F are a possibility at any point. Simple rigid foam insulation from a hardware store is adequate (flooded batteries generate some heat while charging, so insulation warms up the enclosure). When choosing insulation, make sure you get the right R-value (determined by the geographic location on the enclosure) and be sure to use insulation rated for below-grade use (because of its moisture resistance).

How to Store AGM/Sealed Lead Acid Solar Batteries

Like lithium solar batteries, sealed lead acid batteries like AGMs are safe to use indoors. Sealed cells also freeze at lower temperatures than flooded cells do – but if they’ll be exposed to temperatures lower than the minimum temperatures recommended by the manufacturers, you can follow the same techniques listed above for other battery types to keep your sealed-cell batteries warm enough for safe storage and use (insulated enclosure and a BMS/heater).

Separating AGM Battery Facts From The Myths

Have you noticed more batteries are moving into the trunks and under the seats of some vehicles? Chances are, if the battery is not under the hood, it is an absorbent glass mat (AGM) or gel cell battery. AGM eliminates acid spilling in an accident because it is sealed. They can be installed at odd angles.

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These batteries pack a lot of power for their size and weight, which allows manufacturers to shave off a few pounds from the vehicle. That’s a big reason why they are being found more and more on late-model vehicles. Also, these batteries have a greater reserve capacity to support stop/start systems and key-off functions.

Here are the four AGM myths that you may have heard.

You can use your regular battery charger on AGM or gel cell batteries.

False. These batteries like to be charged slow and low due to differences in internal resistance.

Many AGM battery chargers have microprocessors that collect information from the battery and adjust the current and voltage accordingly. Some have different settings for charging flooded or AGM batteries. Overcharging can kill these batteries. Also, alternators are not chargers. Don’t rely on an alternator to do the work of a charger. If a battery is discharged to the point that it cannot start the vehicle, use a charger as soon as possible to make sure the battery gets fully charged.

AGMs and gel cells can be tested the same way as conventional batteries.

False. These types of batteries have lower internal resistance than flooded batteries. Older capacitance battery testers/analyzers may not be able to accurately read these batteries. Most new battery analyzers have a special mode for AGM/gel cell batteries. Old-school load testers might not provide conclusive results.

Using a multimeter to measure the state of charge is not the same as with a conventional flooded battery. After the surface charge is removed, the voltage of an AGM with 100% state of charge might be 13.0-volts. A flooded battery might have only 12.6-volts.

AGM or gel cell battery replacement is the same as flooded battery replacement.

True and False. While the installation of the battery may be the same for the two battery styles, some vehicles require an extra step to tell the vehicle that the battery has been replaced.

Newer GM vehicles have a Battery Sensor Module on the negative battery cable. Ford has the Battery Monitoring System (BMS). Other manufacturers have similar systems. These systems require recalibration with a scan tool if the battery is replaced. If the system is not recalibrated, the alternator might overcharge the new battery and cause the battery to fail soon after replacement.

Some vehicles can perform a self-learn for the battery by measuring the internal resistance of the battery. But often a scan tool can force the procedure so you know there will be no issues with the battery.

You can’t upgrade a customer to an AGM battery if the vehicle originally came with a flooded battery.

False. You can install an AGM battery into a flooded battery application. An AGM battery will give the vehicle more cold cranking power and greater resistance to heat and vibration. However, you never want to downgrade a vehicle that came with an AGM battery to a flooded battery.

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