Lead Acid Battery Types: Full Guide

Lead Acid Battery Types: Full Guide

The two primary types of lead acid batteries are maintenance-free Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (SLA) and Flooded (or wet) Cells, which you can learn more about by reading this blog.

Lead Acid batteries come in a wide variety. Each one is built with particular discharge and charge characteristics for its own unique application. These battery types were created with a specific end use in mind.

There are two main types of lead acid batteries: Flooded (or wet) Cells and Maintenance Free Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (SLA). Now, let’s see what are they.

Flooded Lead Acid Batteries

Flooded batteries need more upkeep than sealed batteries because they permit fluid, such as hydrogen and oxygen gas, to escape while they are being charged. Similarly to sealed batteries, flooded batteries can be overcharged with a lower risk of deterioration.

Taking advantage of this feature, the flooded batteries can receive excessive charging periodically to better “equalize” the battery cells so that the cells that might not be doing well can be brought to a full state of charge on a regular basis. It is possible to extend the lifespan of flooded lead-acid batteries compared to sealed batteries by maintaining them. Learn Lead Acid Battery Care: How to Maintain Lead Acid Battery?

Lead Acid Battery Types: Full Guide

Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

The terms “sealed batteries” and “VRLA” are interchangeable because sealed batteries typically have valves that allow some gas to escape during charging or discharging if the pressure is high enough. AGM or Gel keeps the batteries from evaporating so they do not need water and are therefore also referred to as “maintenance-free.”

Additionally, the AGM and Gel prevent stratification by keeping the electrolyte and water mixed. Since the electrolyte and water in flooded batteries are mixed during equalization charging, this eliminates the need for vigorous equalization charging.

AGM (Absorbed Glass Matt) and Gel Cell (gelified electrolyte) are the two main types of Sealed Lead Acid Batteries (SLA) that are frequently used.

Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM)

These dry-cell batteries are adaptable, last longer, and are more stable in high vibration and chilly temperatures. Read More: Are AGM Batteries Better Than Lead-acid?

They are maintenance-free and leak-proof thanks to their sealed, airtight construction, which means there is little to no free-flowing battery acid to worry about. There is no way for battery acid to escape, even if the battery case is broken.

They are built to steadily supply power for even the most energy-demanding vehicles because the acid has better contact with the lead plates. A safety valve is additionally present in each battery cell of an AGM.

Lead Acid Battery Types: Full Guide

AGM batteries are created with little active material shedding in mind, extending their lifespan. The majority of luxury cars and vehicles with automatic stop-start systems have them installed because they satisfy the requirements of original equipment manufacturers, are compatible with delicate electronic equipment, and meet OEM standards.

Gel Batteries

Gel batteries and AGM batteries have some similarities, but the electrolyte is where they diverge most. While both types of batteries have their electrolyte suspended, technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell.

While the electrolytes in AGM batteries are absorbed in specialized glass mat separators, the electrolytes in gel batteries have a gel-like consistency.

Gel batteries are:

  • Maintenance-free
  • Spill-proof
  • Robust and rugged
  • Versatile
  • Vibration-resistant
  • Less corrosive
  • Low fumes
  • Safe

Gel batteries cost more initially than other types, but over time they can be more cost-effective. Read More: Gel Battery Vs Lead Acid Battery: Which is Better?

Deep Cycle Lead Acid Batteries

Deep cycle batteries

A deep-cycle battery is a lead-acid battery designed to be regularly deeply discharged using most of its capacity. Compared to their starting and cranking counterparts, these batteries have fewer plates, but the plates are much thicker. As a result, the amount of current that is available is decreased while the state of charge is capable of reaching a much deeper level. This decreases the surface area exposed to the electrolyte.

Deep cycle batteries are available in both wet and sealed.

Cranking Or Engine Starting Lead Acid Batteries

Cranking Battery

SLI (starting, lighting, and ignition) batteries are another name for them. The cranking/starting batteries have thinner plates than a deep cycle battery because the total current output from a battery is based on the surface area. They are made to deliver a powerful surge of current for a brief period of time. What we require to start the engines.

Cold-cranking amps (CCA), a measurement of the battery’s performance, are frequently used to rate starting batteries.

Standby Lead Acid Batteries

Standby Lead Acid Batteries

The most fundamental variety of Sealed Lead Acid batteries is called a standby model. As their name implies, they have only been created for standby applications, where they run on a float (extremely low) load to maintain UPS, alarm systems, telecommunications, and network systems.

These batteries are generally sealed types and are designed for long float charging with maintaining UPS, alarm systems, etc. Most are AGM.

Marine Specific Batteries

Lead Acid Battery Types: Full Guide

A marine battery may be a deep-cycle, cranking, or hybrid battery. The process used to build the battery is a key component that enables it to be used in marine applications.
A battery is subjected to a great deal of stress and excessive vibration in marine environments. In the short term, this application will yield typical outcomes when using a typical deep cycle and/or cranking battery.

However, over time, the harsh marine environment, excessive vibration, and wear will harm the delicate lead acid battery, leading to a battery that has outlived its manufacturer’s recommended lifespan. Batteries that are designed for marine will be specifically labeled as Marine Grade. Ask your retailer if the battery you are buying is designed to be used in marine conditions.

Here is more information about lead acid batteries:

Conclusion: Lead Acid Battery Types

Lead acid batteries come in a variety of forms. To make sure you are purchasing the appropriate technology battery, familiarize yourself with these various battery types (consult the catalog or website).

There are various quality levels available in each type. The cost of manufacturing, processing, and designing the product all affect the price. This includes the quantity and quality of lead used, as well as the lead’s purity, the techniques used to paste and cure the plates, the degree and kind of inter-plate insulation, the case’s quality, and the sealing technique. High quality usually comes at a higher price.


How Do I Know What Type of Lead Acid Battery I Have?

Check the Manufacturer’s Label on the Battery. Usually, all the batteries have labels and other information about the battery provided by the manufacturer. So, if the battery’s label is still legible and in good condition, you can quickly identify the type of battery.

Is Lead Acid Battery AGM Or STD?

A wet or flooded lead-acid battery is referred to as an STD. AGM is short for absorbent glass mat lead-acid battery. Gel denotes a lead-acid battery made of Gel-Cell technology. While all lead-acid batteries—wet/flooded, AGM, and gel-cell—use the same chemistry and share a similar end-charging voltage, they have different end-charging voltages.

How Do I Know If Battery is AGM?

If the label is still in good condition, see if it has “AGM” or “Absorbed Glass Mat” written on it. The label could also say “sealed” or “maintenance-free” to indicate that it’s an AGM. However, if the battery label displays “flooded” or “Wet” or has removable caps, it’s probably a flooded lead-acid (FLA) battery.

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