Gel batteries: advantages, service life, features of operation
Gel batteries are autonomous power supplies for electric vehicles and special equipment. From the performance and reliability of the battery, the operation of the electric car is largely dependent. What is the difference between gel batteries and classic batteries and what should be considered when purchasing this model? Consider in our article.
Gel battery: definition and parameters
A gel battery is a battery with an electrolyte in the form of a gel (liquid condensed with silicone filler). This type of battery is fully sealed and maintenance free. In ordinary models, the electrolyte has the form of a liquid: a mixture of sulfuric acid + water.
The principle of operation of a gel-type battery is similar to that of acid batteries – the charge comes from a charged source, the electrolyte density and voltage decrease.
The maximum charging current is the maximum permissible characteristic of the charging current.
Capacity – the time during which the battery is able to give current energy of 1A.
Starting current – maximum permissible current for 30 seconds.
The operating voltage parameter measured at the terminals is 12 volts.
Weight depending on capacity (8.2-52 kg).
Marking. It is imperative to have a production date.
Gel batteries: advantages and disadvantages
Gel batteries have several advantages:
long working life of about 10 years;
a sufficient number of charge / discharge cycles;
up to 400 full discharges possible;
do not require emergency recharging when reaching a deep discharge;
minimum loss of capacity when the battery is not used (~ 20% per year);
increased efficiency with low internal resistance;
do not need maintenance;
have an impervious case.
Among the shortcomings of gel batteries it is worth noting:
the need to control the supplied voltage;
high sensitivity to high and low temperatures, as well as short circuit;
higher cost relative to standard models.
Gel models are characterized by prolonged service life, minimal loss of capacity during non-use and resistance to deep discharges.
Features of the operation of gel batteries
The period of operation of the Gel-battery under optimal operating conditions is about 10 years. It decreases during operation at extremely low (−30 ° C) and excessively high (over +50 ° C) temperatures. Also, an increase in temperature increases the corrosion of the plates. With constant undercharging, as well as excessive charge, the battery life is reduced.
In order for the battery to work as long as possible, deep discharges should be excluded, and operation and storage at extreme temperatures should be avoided.
When charging batteries, certain recommendations should be followed: devices for classic batteries cannot be used for Gel models. The current must correspond to 10% of the battery capacity. The voltage should be no more than 14.5 V, otherwise the gel will liquefy and lose its working properties. The charging parameters recommended by the manufacturer are indicated in the Cycle use line.
It is possible to charge gel batteries in a mode that saves energy. This option is optimal for recharging the battery. The mode parameters are written in the Standby use line.
Charging should be pulsed, protected from overheating and disconnected after completion of the process. Parameters (current, voltage) must be adjusted.
Abrupt voltage surges, an increase in temperature or amperage cause a battery breakdown.
Gel batteries are popular because do not require maintenance and serve for a long time without complaints about quality.