What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of battery designs?

GELLED ELECTROLYTEFIAAM


Advantages

  • Totally maintenance free
  • Superior deep cycle life when compared to AGM
  • Air transportable
  • Spill proof/leak proof
  • Minimal corrosion thus physically compatible with sensitive electronic equipment
  • Installs upright or on side
  • Very low to no gassing (unless overcharged)
  • Superior shelf life when compared to Wet Cell
  • No recharge current limitation @ 13.8 volts
  • Rugged and vibration-resistant
  • Very safe at sea with no chlorine gas in bilge (due to sulfuric acid and salt water mixing)
  • Most versatile: Starting. Deep Cycle, Stationary
  • Lowest cost-per-month (cost / months of life)
  • Lowest cost-per-cycle (cost / life cycles)

Disadvantages

  • Higher initial cost
  • Water cannot be replaced if continually overcharged
  • Voltage-regulated chargers must be used
  • Charge voltage must be limited to extend life (13.5 to 13.8 volts maximum at 68°F)

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(AGM) ABSORBED ELECTROLYTElead-acid-battery_diagram wet battery

Advantages

  • Ideal for standby or back-up applications
  • Higher charge and discharge currents
  • Totally maintenance-free
  • Air transportable
  • Spill proof/ Leak proof
  • Minimal corrosion thus physically compatible with sensitive electronic equipment
  • Installs upright or on side
  • Lower cost than gel cell batteries
  • Very low to no gassing (unless overcharged)
  • Excellent for starting and stationary applications
  • Superior for shorter duration/higher discharges

Disadvantages

  • ½ the cycle life of Gel or flooded Wet Cell in deep cycle applications
  • Charge voltage must be limited (14.1 to 14.4 volts maximum at 68°F )
  • Voltage-regulated chargers must be used
  • Water cannot be replaced if continually overcharged

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WET CELL (FLOODED ELECTROLYTE) wet cell battery

Advantages

  • Lowest initial cost
  • Water can be added (if accessible)
  • Excellent for higher current applications
  • Certain designs are good for deep cycle applications
  • Replacements readily available

Disadvantages

  • Spillable
  • Operates upright only
  • Emits corrosive Gases and thus cannot be installed near sensitive electronic equipment
  • Cannot be installed near sensitive electronic equipment
  • Maintenance required (if accessible)

There is not one single battery that is suited for all applications or weather conditions. Instead an evaluation will help determine the battery that is best suited for the site conditions and application. Consult with Caprica Solar to ensure your system’s integrity and the safety of those who operate them.

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