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Battery Glossary – Gel Battery

Lead Acid batteries are categorized as follows:

The Gel Battery has its’ acid electrolyte mixed with silicon creating a gel like substance and therefore reducing the risk of spillage that is to be found in traditional flooded batteries. It also makes them better at handling temperature extremes and resistant to shock from dropping or collision and vibration. In the latter two cases this is due to the coating on the plates being held in place by the gel.

Gel Batteries are used in Emergency Lighting and PLC backup systems but are less popular than their Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) counterparts due to higher costs and a slightly higher risk of leakage. Should the case be cracked, for example, gel may seep out causing corrosion whereas in an AGM unit the acid is held in place by the glass mat.

Gel batteries are however, better at absorbing shocks and jars which gives them a longer life span in power sports applications such as Jet Skis, Snowmobiles, off road biking, etc. Here the higher costs represent a good investment versus more frequent replacements that are required from AGM batteries.

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