About Gel Batteries

Gel batteries have been around for about 30 years now and wet cell lead acid batteries have been around for a much greater number of years.  They have served a variety of purposes in all kinds of industries but even today with all the advancements in technology, lead acid batteries are still the most often used battery in heavy machinery.

There are times however when a wet cell lead acid battery may be dangerous or inconvenient to use and in such situations the newer Gel batteries prove to be the ideal answer.  Here we will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of gel batteries.

Advantages of Gel Batteries

In a gel battery silicone is used to turn the sulphuric acid to a gel like substance.  This gel like substance gives gel batteries certain advantages over wet cell batteries.  Here are a few of those advantages:

  • Gel batteries won’t spill acid when turned on their side, or even if the battery breaks, making them safer to work with and decreasing the risk of getting sulphuric acid burns.
  • Gel batteries recycle their water making it unnecessary to check or maintain water levels, resulting in these batteries requiring less maintenance.
  • Because they do not give off hydrogen fumes, they can be recharged even in places with poor ventilation. In addition, since these batteries recycle their own water they can also be used in places where water for wet cells batteries may not be available.

Disadvantages of Gel Batteries

The benefits of gel batteries may make them seem like an excellent choice for full time use in all situations where you would usually use a traditional lead cell battery, however they do have disadvantages in that they are more expensive and they also generally have a shorter life span than wet cell batteries.

One of the main things that can and often shortens the life of a gel battery is hot temperatures.  In a gel battery the water is replaced with the gel that is soaked with sulphuric acid.  With heat it hardens and shrinks away from the plates and without the contact the reaction to create power does not occur.

Gel batteries serve some very important functions in a variety of today’s machines providing advantages over wet cell batteries especially in cases where there is insufficient ventilation or water to properly charge or maintain a wet cell battery, but they are expensive and this makes them a less attractive option under conditions where wet cell batteries can and have done the same job for years. It is therefore best to decide in each case whether you do actually need to use gel batteries or not.

Please feel free to contact Pb Batteries if you need advice on whether gel batteries are right for your particular needs.