Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery: a Complete Guide

Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery: a Complete Guide

To help you understand this battery type better, we’ll go over the various deep cycle lead acid battery types that are frequently used and address some frequently asked questions.

If you’ve driven a regular car for most of your life, then you likely haven’t had to use a deep cycle lead acid battery. But chances are, you’ve heard of it. Now tell us what a deep cycle battery is and how it works. Designed to be regularly discharged and then recharged, a deep cycle battery is a lead-acid battery. A battery goes through one cycle for each discharge and recharge.

Reading this blog will teach you more about deep cycle lead acid batteries.

What is a Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery?

Although it may seem obvious, a deep cycle lead acid battery is one that has been built to continuously withstand deep discharges of between 80 and 100 percent DoD. Does this imply that high-rate batteries cannot be utilized for a deep discharge? Yes and no.

One or two deep cycles won’t harm the battery (as long as maximum discharge and charge rates are strictly followed), but this is where the battery’s design is important because a high-rate battery would degrade significantly over time if it were continuously cycled in deep manner.

Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery: a Complete Guide

What Are Some Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery Features to Consider?

Here are some additional characteristics of a deep cycle lead acid battery to think about in addition to amp hour, discharge cycle life, and depth of discharge.

  • Size and weight: Smaller batteries are lighter and easier to transport for the whole vehicle.
  • Voltage rating: For heavier loads, higher voltage batteries should be utilized. Here is a Lead Acid Battery Voltage Chart (6V, 12V, 24V & 48V)
  • Charging time: The battery charges more quickly as the number decreases.
  • Durability: Batteries are susceptible to high temperatures, vibrations, and shocks. Choose the best one for you.
  • Shelf life: Before losing all of its maximum capacity, a deep cycle lead acid battery should have a shelf life of 10 years.
  • Charging method: Take note of the battery’s charging process. A smart charger can frequently be used to assist in adjusting voltage and current.
  • Temperature tolerance: If you live in a very hot or very cold climate, especially, make sure it can deliver power at various temperatures.

Types of Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery

Deep cycle batteries can be divided into two groups: flooded and valve-regulated (VRLA). There are benefits and drawbacks to each. Here’s a brief overview of each:

Flooded Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery

Wet cell batteries, also referred to as flooded deep cycle batteries differ from other types of lead acid batteries in that they contain a liquid electrolyte made of distilled water and sulfuric acid. Users should regularly open the battery and perform routine maintenance, which includes cleaning and “watering,” or adding distilled water to replace the liquid that evaporates during operation.

Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery: a Complete Guide

All deep cycle batteries have thick plates made of the active material, which in lead acid batteries is lead, to enable long-term power generation and deep discharge.

Valve-Regulated Lead Acid Battery

In order to provide a maintenance-free option for deep cycle applications, valve-regulated batteries were developed. Absorbent glass mats (AGM) and gel batteries are the two main categories of VRLA batteries. Each uses a different type of electrolyte; for AGM, a fine boron-silicate mat is immersed in the electrolyte to a saturation level of about 95%, and evaporated gases are then captured to remove the need for watering.

To create a thick, nearly stiff substance for use in gel batteries, sulfuric acid is combined with a gelling agent. Both types of VRLA batteries are attractive for applications where the battery will be exposed to harsh conditions because neither type will leak electrolytes if the casing is cracked or punctured.

Further Reading:

How Long Will a Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery Last?

The lifespan of a deep cycle lead acid battery will vary considerably with how it is used, how it is maintained and charged, temperature, and other factors. Extremes can occur: we have witnessed L-16s being killed in less than a year by severe overcharging and water loss, and we recently replaced a sizable set of surplus telephone batteries that have been in use for more than 35 years but only occasionally receive heavy use (10–15 times annually).

When overcharged with a big car charger, we’ve seen gelled cells completely destroyed in a day. Because they were left unused in a warm garage or warehouse, golf cart batteries have been destroyed in less than a year without ever being used. Even the so-called “dry charged” (where you add acid when you need them) have a shelf life of 18 months at most.

These are some typical (minimum-maximum) expectations for batteries if used in deep cycle service. There are numerous factors to consider, including temperature, frequency of operation, depth of discharge, maintenance, and others. that it is almost impossible to give a fixed number.

Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery: a Complete Guide
  • Starting: 3-12 months
  • Marine: 1-6 years
  • Golf cart: 2-7 years
  • AGM deep cycle: 4-8 years
  • Gelled deep cycle: 2-5 years
  • Deep cycle (L-16 type etc): 4-8 years
  • Rolls-Surrette premium deep cycle: 7-15 years
  • Industrial deep cycle: 10–20+ years (Crown and Rolls 4KS series).
  • Two to twenty years for telephones. These are usually special purpose “float services”, but often appear on the surplus market as a “deep cycle”. Depending on their age, usage, care, and type, they can vary greatly.
  • NiFe (alkaline): 5-35 years. See the Differences Between the Alkaline Battery and Lead Acid Battery.
  • NiCad: 1-20 years

Tips for Maintaining the Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery

Here are a couple of pointers to keep your deep cycle lead acid battery in optimal condition:

  • Monitor charge levels: Make sure to keep the charge above 20% and start charging at 50%.
  • Charge even when not in use: Sulfation will be avoided, and battery life will be preserved. If you won’t be using your flooded, gel, or AGM batteries for an extended period of time, trickle-charge them (lithium batteries don’t need this. See Lead Acid Battery Vs Lithium-ion).
  • Rest the battery: After continuous use, let the battery cool down to prevent grid corrosion.
  • Clean battery extremities: Keep the battery terminal and covers free of dust and corrosion.

Applications of Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery

The purpose for which you intend to use a deep cycle lead acid battery may be the most crucial factor to take into account. Here are some situations that make a difference in the type of deep-cycle battery you choose:

Further Reading:

Stationary Or Level Equipment

Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery: a Complete Guide

A flooded deep cycle lead acid battery might be your best option if you need a deep cycle lead acid battery for a stationary vehicle or other application. The most prevalent kind of deep cycle lead acid battery is a flooded battery, which makes it easier to find and more affordable than other kinds of batteries.

But they can only be used standing up because they use a liquid electrolyte. Additionally, they ought to be utilized in situations where charging, watering, and other maintenance tasks are simple to access.

Examples: forklifts, renewable energy storage

Variable Conditions

A VRLA battery, such as an AGM battery, may be the best choice in applications where factors like temperature and the necessary power draw vary. Because VRLA batteries are sealed, there is less possibility of damage or weathering of the internal components, enhancing longevity and performance.

VRLA batteries are the best choice for situations where they might frequently tip over or are installed sideways because they can operate in any orientation, unlike flooded batteries, which can only operate upright.

Examples: boats, RVs

Maintenance Capabilities

In addition, VRLA batteries may be better suited in situations where regular maintenance is difficult. Although some maintenance is always necessary because all deep cycle batteries must be charged in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, you should think about purchasing a VRLA if you find it difficult to water your battery frequently for any reason.

Closing Words: Deep Cycle Lead Acid Battery

Selecting a deep cycle lead acid battery can be challenging. You’ll be on the right track if you start by comprehending the various battery types and which are best suited for your intended applications.

While you won’t need a deep cycle lead acid battery to start your internal combustion engine, they make great RV batteries or battery banks for your solar panel system. Just be sure to choose the proper deep cycle lead acid battery for your requirements, and you can run motors and appliances without worrying!

Read More: Lead Acid Solar Battery


What is the Difference Between Lead-acid Battery and Deep Cycle Battery?

A deep cycle lithium battery can achieve more than 10 times as many cycles at 2000+ than a lead acid battery can at 200 (based on 100% DOD, to 80% capacity).

What is the Difference Between a Deep Cycle Battery and a Regular One?

Deep cycle batteries have thicker lead plates compared to traditional lead-acid batteries, allowing the battery to provide longer sustained amounts of electricity but less power compared to traditional batteries.

How Can You Tell If a Battery is Deep Cycle?

In lead acid batteries, the main difference between a deep cycle and a starter battery is structural. Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates with more dense active material and thicker separators. During prolonged charging cycles, the thicker battery plates withstand corrosion.

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