What is a GEL battery?
A GEL battery is a lead-acid electric storage device that has the electrolyte (acid) immobilized by adding a silica additive that converts the electrolyte into a GEL-like material or consistency.
A GEL battery:
- Is a mature technology that has been in use since the early 1950s.
- Uses various grid thicknesses relative to application and cost requirements.
- Uses various Positive and Negative Active Material amounts and densities depending upon the application's needs.
- Thin grid + low active material ratios & low material density - used in general purpose float and light duty high cyclic use.
- Thick grid + high active material ratios & high material density - used in purpose-built Semi-Traction Industrial Deep Cycle and Long-Life Renewable Energy.
- Is sealed using special valve-regulated pressure valves and should never be opened.
- Quality GEL models use individual cell valves with built-in flame arrestors - IMPORTANT.
- Typically uses Lead Calcium-tin metal alloy grids.
- It is maintenance-free with proper charge controls
- Acid-to-active material ratios, along with acid-specific gravities, may vary according to application and market costing requirements. *** User/integrator should note and verify.
- It uses a recombination reaction to prevent the escape of hydrogen and oxygen gases typically lost in a flooded lead-acid battery (particularly in Deep Cycle applications).
- Is nonspillable.
- Is better than AGM in high-heat environments because of the thermal consistency of the GEL within the battery cell.
- It does not suffer as greatly from acid stratification compared to flooded battery technology because GEL technology completely absorbs and constrains the acid in a silicate GEL state, making it more difficult for the acid to diffuse from the water to accumulate at the bottom of the battery’s cells. This restrained diffusion has been proven to slow the stratifying effect of gravity on battery acid in GEL battery technology. Acid Stratification is the #1 killer of lead-acid batteries.