What Are Deep Cycle Batteries, How to Use Them and What Are Their Benefits?

Mon, 12 Jun 2017

When people think of batteries, they usually think of AA/AAA batteries that are used for torches, lithium ion cells that are found in mobile devices, or car batteries that power utes, trucks, and other vehicles. But there’s another option you need to consider: Deep Cycle Batteries.

Deep Cycle Batteries

They’re a type of lead-acid batteries that are designed to provide a steady rate of power using most of their capacity over a relatively long period of time. In comparison, ordinary car batteries are designed to provide short bursts of energy (just enough to crank up an engine) and discharge only a small portion of their capacity.

How They’re Categorised

Deep cycle cells can either be flooded lead acid (FLA) or valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA). FLAs, which are the oldest kind of rechargeable batteries that are still used today, is basically an unsealed container with a liquid in which chemical interactions occur. Because of their design, they have to be kept upright at all times, and they must be stored in a well-ventilated area to maintain safety.

VRLAs, meanwhile, can be further categorised into two: gel batteries and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. The former use a gel electrolyte instead of a liquid, which means they don’t need to be kept upright and are not easy to spill. They also limit electrolyte evaporation and are built to withstand vibrations, high impacts, and extreme temperatures.

AGMs, on the other hand, contain glass mat separators that absorb the electrolytes. These batteries are not prone to spilling since most of the electrolytes are contained in the mats and there’s nothing to spill. They can also withstand freezing temperatures since they don’t contain any liquid that would freeze and expand when exposed to the cold.

Common Usage and Proper Use

Based on their design, it’s clear that deep cycle cells are not meant to be used in ordinary vehicles. So what should they be used for, then?

Many people use these batteries for marine use, especially in smaller vessels as well as in sailboats that don’t have the power-generating equipment. They've also used to power the trolling motors that are used aboard recreational fishing boats.

Deep cycle cells are also popular in the renewable energy sector because of their ability to store large amounts of energy. They’re mostly used in off-grid systems that are powered by wind energy and solar energy and utilised in houses or motor homes. The batteries are also used in traffic lights, motorised wheelchairs, uninterruptible power supply units for computers, and forklifts and floor sweepers with electrical propelling systems.

No matter what the batteries are for, one thing you should do is to discharge them properly. Most deep cycle cells are built to discharge around 45 percent to 75 percent of their capacity, depending on their manufacturer and specific design. Never discharge your battery below 20 percent of its capacity; this can damage its internal components, affect its performance, and shorten its lifespan.

Deep cycle batteries are a great option if you need a reliable energy storage unit that can last for a long time. If you’re ready to purchase them, simply get in touch with Batteries WA. We offer a wide range of deep cycle battery options and can help you choose the right product that best suits your needs.

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