Anything you want to know about AGM batteries

AGM Batteries for Renewable Energy Storage - A Sustainable Solution

The term “AGM battery” refers to a type of sealed lead acid battery that is also referred to as a “Valve Regulated Lead Acid” or “VRLA” battery.

AGM Batteries: What Is Their Process?

The ultra-thin glass mat, commonly referred to as the AGM separator, is the secret to an AGM battery’s enhanced performance. 

In AGM sealed batteries, the fiberglass mats serve as the electrolyte absorbers and are encased between a lead plate on either side. The battery acid is absorbed and held by it.The electrolyte is thus held in a “dry” state as opposed to the fluid form found in a traditional flooded battery. 

The glass mat increases the area where the electrolyte can contact with the battery plates. As a result, the battery acid and plate material might react quickly.

Keeping in mind that this battery is a VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid).

AGM Batteries for Renewable Energy Storage - A Sustainable Solution

What serves as the "valve"?

Typically, water and sulfuric acid are combined to make the electrolyte for AGM batteries. Hydrogen and oxygen are produced during the chemical reaction while charging. By keeping the gases from exiting, the battery valve stops water loss. The electrolyte absorbs these gases once more.

The valve releases the gases when there is an excessive amount of pressure, like when the battery is overcharged. This keeps the battery’s structural integrity and aids in pressure equalization.

Let’s now examine how the features of the battery are affected by AGM technology.

What Are AGM Batteries' Benefits And Drawbacks?

Numerous advantages come with AGM technology batteries. They do, however, have downsides and defects.

Let’s start by examining the benefits.

7 AGM Battery Benefits

Seven advantages of this glass mat battery are listed below:

1. Greater Lifespan

AGM batteries can live up to two times longer than ordinary batteries. Additionally, because of their extremely low self-discharge rate, these batteries perform better while not in use.

2. Produces Additional Starts

More than 60,000 car starts can be made with AGM batteries. That’s nearly three times what conventional batteries are capable of.

3. Lighter and Stronger

The electrolyte in AGM batteries doesn’t entirely saturate the glass mat, and it doesn’t expand as much as it would in flooded lead acid batteries.

Weight is reduced since there is less electrolyte (in comparison to a conventional flooded battery).

Because there is no liquid expansion, the AGM battery can endure cold as well.

A frozen battery won’t break or harm the plates, but you probably won’t get any power from it either.

4. Higher Power Output Correlates with Lower Internal Resistance

The AGM battery can quickly deliver power because of its extremely low internal resistance. A car battery’s ability to push short bursts of electricity to start the engine is crucial.

5. Improved Depth of Discharge and Quicker Recharge

Excellent charge acceptance capabilities of AGM batteries can increase their cycle life. In comparison to conventional batteries, the AGM battery may charge up to 5 times faster.

They have an additional 80% DOD, which allows them to discharge to 80% of their initial capacity without taking damage. A typical flooded battery has a 50% DoD maximum discharge rate.

The deep discharge capabilities of the AGM battery make it a good fit for a deep cycle application. As a result, deep cycle battery technology frequently incorporates AGM.UPS backup systems and maritime vessels both use deep cycle AGM batteries.

6. Resistance to shock and vibration

Between each lead plate, there are glass mats soaked with electrolyte that function as a damper. Movement and vibration are virtually completely eliminated because the plates are arranged pretty closely together. As a result, the battery becomes extremely vibration- and shock-resistant.

7. Maintenance-Free and Spill-Resistant

The AGM battery doesn’t need to be watered and is completely maintenance-free. The absorbent glass mat between the plates keeps the electrolyte attached and prevents it from spilling even when the battery is in unexpected circumstances. This enables more flexible mounting options.

AGM batteries are spill-proof, hence rules around their air or ground transportation are typically more permissive.

Let's discuss the disadvantages now that we've looked at the benefits.

The following are two typical drawbacks of utilizing AGM batteries:

1.Averse To Overcharging

Compared to flooded batteries, the AGM battery is less resilient to overcharging and high voltages.

2. More expensive

AGM batteries are more expensive than ordinary batteries because of their higher production costs. Conventional batteries typically cost between $65 and $130, whereas an AGM can cost over $200.

After discussing the advantages and disadvantages of AGM batteries, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions.

The Superior Performance of Lead-Acid Batteries: A More Reliable Choice

AGM Battery Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some responses to frequently asked queries about AGM batteries:

1.What distinguishes AGM from gel batteries?

Due to the fact that both the AGM and gel batteries are “dry cell” lead acid batteries, they are frequently confused for one another.

Although the gel cell is likewise a VRLA battery, it keeps its electrolyte solution very differently.

As opposed to the absorbent glass mat employed by the AGM battery, the gel cell battery stops the electrolyte in a gel form utilizing a chemical agent that is comparable to silica. Since the gel makes movement more difficult, the battery is spill-proof.

You’re less likely to discover gel batteries acting as starter batteries in cars because they don’t work as well as AGM starter batteries.

2.What's The Difference Between Sealed Flooded Lead Acid Batteries?

In a flooded type lead acid battery), a freely flowing liquid electrolyte holds the lead plates in place. It is a wet cell battery, hence regular electrolyte management is required. 

The flooded lead acid battery is frequently referred to as a normal flooded battery.

The chemistry used in sealed lead acid batteries (SLA batteries) is identical. However, unlike conventional batteries, the electrolyte in a SLA battery is held by a glass mat (for AGM batteries) or suspended in a gel form (for gel cell batteries).

3. How Are Lithium Batteries Distinct From AGM Batteries?

AGM batteries and lithium batteries both have benefits and drawbacks. The lithium ion battery outperforms the AGM battery in terms of weight, cycle life, and charging speed.

Additionally, lithium ion batteries have a flat discharge curve, which means that if you use one to power a torchlight, the light won’t decrease as the battery power depletes—it will simply turn off.

On the other hand, AGM batteries are less expensive to produce, have a higher CCA rating, and are vibration-proof.

It’s crucial to understand that you can’t simply replace your car’s AGM starting battery with a lithium ion battery because your charging system probably isn’t configured to do so.

Advice: If you’re confused about the type of battery to use, always see a mechanic.

4. Can I Charge An AGM Battery With A Regular Battery Charger?

No.

Because AGM batteries are prone to overcharging, a regulated battery charger or battery maintainer is one of the most important AGM battery accessories you should employ.

Microprocessors in the best AGM battery maintainer often control the current and voltage given to the battery to prevent overcharging.

5.Can AGM batteries be used with solar panels?

Yes.

AGM batteries can function as solar batteries. One can be charged by a solar panel, and they work well for tasks requiring little energy.

But bear in mind that:

The AGM battery should be able to be charged by the solar panels’ voltage (V).

It needs to be utilized along with a solar charge controller. To prevent battery damage, the solar charge controller controls the charge.

AGM batteries are less expensive up front than lithium ion batteries, which are ideal for high energy demands in residential solar panels.

6.How Do Start-Stop Cars Operate?

In cars with start-stop technology, the engine automatically shuts off when the vehicle comes to a halt (such as at a stop sign or in stop-and-go traffic).

All of the car’s electrical systems, from the audio to the GPS navigation, are powered only by the car battery when the engine is turned off. As soon as the clutch is engaged or the brake pedal is released, the automobile restarts quickly and silently.

For these start-stop applications, AGM batteries are appropriate.

7. What Is Internal Resistance in Batteries?

A battery’s internal resistance indicates how well it can deliver large currents without suffering a substantial voltage drop.

During a rigorous charge, the batteries become warm because any current that isn’t utilised for charging is transferred to heat. Occasionally, a thermal runaway can happen.

A gel battery has about 12–16% internal resistance, compared to 10-15% for new flooded lead acid batteries. AGM batteries feature some of the lowest internal resistance of any commercial batteries; some brand-new batteries have internal resistance as low as 2%.

8. What exactly is thermal runaway?

It occurs when a battery produces excessive heat that cannot be properly vented. The battery cells will eventually dry up and the container will become soft and melt if this situation persists.

Thermal runaway destruction can result in the discharge of poisonous substances, electrical fires, or battery explosions.

Thermal runaway occurs most frequently in VRLA batteries.  

9. How Can I Fix My AGM Battery Quickly?

The simplest course of action if something is wrong with your AGM battery is to have a mechanic examine it. Your best option in this situation is a mobile mechanic who can visit rather than attempting a jump-start.

Simply get in touch with Spaceflight, then!

Final Reflections

Battery technology had to advance in order to keep up with the development of automobiles and their increasing power requirements. And of all lead acid battery options, the AGM battery is currently the finest one for addressing advanced power needs.

You may always turn to Spaceflight for assistance if you’re having problems with your current battery or any other issues related to automobile batteries.

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