Gel batteries are best suited to deep cycle applications and are fast becoming the favourite type of battery used for solar systems.
Gel batteries use one-way open valves that permit the internal gasses to recombine into water, and by doing so they remove the need to top up or the necessity to check on water levels. These batteries are robust and maintenance-free, plus they are extremely versatile.
The advantages of gel batteries are numerous. They can be safely installed in places where ventilation is limited, as they emit very low (almost zero) gasses and fumes, which means you can also install the batteries inside your home.
When selecting chargers for gel batteries, special consideration should be given as they get charged at lower voltages than other batteries.
Over-voltage can easily lead to reduced performance of your battery or even failure altogether. The term GEL cell commonly describes sealed, maintenance-free batteries and marked as a setting on charge controllers. This can be misleading and could lead to selecting the incorrect chargers or incorrect settings while charging.
The many advantages for using gel batteries for solar applications are listed below:
- Gel batteries, for the most part, are maintenance-free.
- Gel batteries are spill-proof.
- They are perfect for deep-cycle applications.
- They enjoy longevity – their life is usually in the 500 to 5 000 cycle range.
- Gel batteries enjoy lowest cost-per-month and lowest cost-per-cycle.
- These batteries are not only robust – they are also vibration-resistant.
- Gel batteries are safe as they cause fewer sulphuric acid burns.