Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are constructed differently than the traditional flooded battery.
In AGM batteries (also called starved electrolyte), there is a thin ultra-fine fiberglass mat sandwiched between the plates that are saturated with battery acid to about 95% of what they can hold. This mat is then packed in between the plates and slightly compressed, then welded/soldered in place. Because the plates and mats are packed fairly tight, they are almost immune to vibration.
AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) sealed battery technology was originally invented in 1980, and developed and introduced in 1985 for military aircraft where power, weight, safety, and reliability were paramount considerations. Our VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead-Acid) AGM batteries are used to develop for commercial use.
Battery Internal Resistance Losses:
Losses from internal resistance shows up as heat, which is why batteries tend to get warm when heavily charged or discharged for a while.
Internal resistance losses in standard flooded Lead-Acid batteries is usually around 10% to 15% for a new battery, and can be as high as 25%+ for older batteries. This can vary considerably, depending mainly on the age and quality of the battery. In general, you get what you pay for - cheaper batteries with thinner plates and internal connections tend to be less efficient.
Gel batteries are better at approximately 12% to 16% internal resistance so would require around 115 amp-hours of charge for every 100 amp-hours used.
Heat: Better efficiency means much less heat is produced in the batteries - any current that does not actually go to charging a battery turns into heat. That is why some batteries, especially older flooded batteries (and even some non-deep cycle AGM), can get very warm or even hot. In extreme cases, you can get "thermal runaway", which can be dangerous. If you have ever felt the side of a battery under heavy charge, you have probably noticed that they can get very warm.
AGM Batteries Are Not Gelled Batteries:
AGM batteries are not the best choice for all applications - they are rather expensive compared to flooded batteries. However, their safety and design features make them the battery of choice for many applications, such as:
· Where you cannot have fumes or hydrogen, such as in poorly ventilated areas, or where fumes may cause corrosion to electronics, such as repeater and cell phone sites.
· Where resistance to shock and vibration is important.
· Where spilled acid from leaking, tipped, or broken batteries cannot be tolerated.
· When installed in a location where maintenance would be difficult or expensive, such as remote communications sites.
· Where the batteries may be subject to freezing (-40 degrees F or lower).
Anyplace where you need a reliable totally sealed battery for safety or environmental reasons - wheelchairs, medical standby power, inside RV's, computer room UPS systems, or in enclosed spaces in boats.
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