AGM vs Flooded Batteries

Which of these make a better deep cycle battery?

There are many different types of batteries that power different aspects of our daily lives – right from the devices, machines and appliances we use to the vehicles we drive. The bulk of these would fall under the category of rechargeable batteries, which contribute to a significant percentage of all the batteries sold globally. But not all rechargeable batteries are the same, and in this post, we will take a closer look at the deep cycle battery, and its subtypes – the Flooded / Wet Cell battery and the AGM battery.

What is a deep cycle battery?

Based on the lead acid chemistry, deep cycle batteries are designed to provide a steady power output for a long period of time, making them a preferred choice for those who need high performance batteries. As their name suggests, these batteries can be deeply discharged, i.e. they can use up most of their capacity and can offer the same power output and performance before needing to be recharged. This also implies that they would be able to provide less instant energy like starting batteries, but can be trusted to provide sustained long term power.

Moreover, these can also be cycled (discharged and recharged) many times over, making them perfect battery for a range of commercial and recreational applications, such as golf carts, forklifts, caravans, marine applications and more.

Flooded (Wet Cell) and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) Batteries – A brief overview

Both Flooded and AGM Batteries contain a sulphuric acid electrolyte solution, which causes chemical reactions that deliver the desired power output. The key differences between both of these lie in their design, and in the way this electrolyte solution is managed. Flooded batteries have lead plates that need to always be submerged in the electrolyte solution, whereas AGM batteries have separate glass mat separators between the battery plates, so as to store the electrolyte in a dry, suspended state instead of a liquid state.

While the AGM battery is generally considered to be a more advanced version of the flooded battery, the fact of the matter is that both subtypes have their own pros and cons, depending on how you intend to use them. We’ll take a look at some important parameters:

1. Maintenance

Flooded batteries require regular inspection and care, by ensuring that the liquid levels within the battery are maintained by adding more water. If this isn’t done, the internal lead plates could begin to corrode on exposure to air, and this can impact the life and performance of the battery.

Compared to this, AGM batteries are extremely low maintenance, as there is no need to replenish the electrolyte solution and there is no risk of leakage in the event of damage. Having said this, there is a possibility of overcharging or undercharging these batteries, both of which could affect their life and performance.

2. Applications

Flooded batteries have been around since over a century, and are among the most commonly used battery type today. Their availability in different shapes and sizes makes them a versatile choice across multiple industries and applications. Given their design, they make a good choice for backup power, grid based energy storage and other utility applications.

AGM Batteries, on the other hand, work better in situations where regular maintenance is not possible, such as in marine applications, electric vehicles and some types of ATVs and motorbikes, renewable energy systems and robotics.

3. Cost

Flooded batteries are known to deliver the lowest cost per watt-hour, and also have the lowest cost per discharge cycle. This makes them pocket friendly, especially in applications with heavy usage. They also have a high recycling rate making them much more environmentally friendly than other types of batteries. Flooded battery has exceptional durability in extreme temperatures, which makes it perfect for under the bonnet applications.

AGM batteries are comparatively more expensive than their flooded counterparts. They try to make up for it by saving on maintenance costs, and even for long term storage.

So there is no easy way to really make a verdict. The best choice of battery would really depend on how you intend to use them, and the possibility of regular maintenance.

Battery Guru is one of the leading online retailers for deep cycle batteries in Australia. We also stock 12V AGM Deep Cycle Batteries, which are suitable for a range of applications, across different price points. If you are looking for a 12V AGM Deep Cycle Battery, you can reach out to us to help you select the best model for your needs.

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