PB-Batteries

Gel vs AGM Batteries

Gel and AGM batteries have a lot in common and sometimes they are confused with one another. We look at both the similarities and differences between the two.

In gel batteries silicone is used to turn the sulphuric acid to a gel like substance, which is what gives them certain advantages over wet cell batteries.

AGM batteries, on the other hand, are made up of mats in which thin glass fibers are woven to increase the surface area (AGM stands for absorption glass mat). Because of this the electrolyte doesn’t flood the plates but is held within the glass mats.

Similarities between gel and AGM batteries

Gel and AGM batteries both have the following advantages:

  • They are both non spill
  • Neither requires watering so they are both low maintenance
  • Both can be mounted in any position
  • They both have a low self discharge rate
  • Both are safe for use in areas without much ventilation
  • Both can be easily transported without any special handling

Advantages of AGM batteries over gel

A lot more AGM batteries are sold than gel batteries, primarily due to cost. They are less expensive than gel batteries and offer more power than a gel battery of the same physical size. They also have an excellent life expectancy as long as they are not over discharged (no more than 50-60%). AGM batteries can easily suffer premature failure if they are not charged correctly.

AGM batteries are ideal for standby such as fire alarms, emergency lighting applications.

Advantages of gel batteries over AGM

The main advantages of gel batteries over AGM are that they excel in slow discharge rates as well as having slightly higher ambient operating temperatures.

They also have an excellent life expectancy as well as deeper discharge compared to AGM as long as they are not over discharged (no more than 70-80%). Gel batteries can easily suffer premature failure if they are not charged correctly. You can find out more about gel battery applications here.

If you are unsure whether a gel or AGM battery would be best suited to your application, or even whether you would be better off with an ordinary wet lead acid battery, please feel free to give us a call at Pb Batteries. We are more than happy to advise you regarding the best battery for your purposes and stock a wide range of makes so can offer impartial advice on the best brand for your requirements too.