1.The origin of gel battery
The Early gel lead-acid batteries were developed by Sonnenschein in Germany in the 1950s and became popular in the 1970s. Mixing sulfuric acid with silica gel can convert liquid electrolyte into semi-hard paste, making the gel maintenance-free. The AGM that appeared in the early 1980s provided similar performance to gel, but each system provided slightly different characteristics to meet unique market needs. Gel batteries are widely used in large and small UPSs, while AGM has carved up the market with start-up and deep-cycle applications. There are two primary types of VRLA batteries, Gel and AGM batteries are part of the valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) family to make the traditional flooded lead acid maintenance free.
2.What is gel technology ?
Gel technology is a type of VRLA battery where the liquid electrolyte is suspended in a fumed silica gelling agent causing it to partially solidify. The gel agent offers superior resistance to leakage and enhance durability with little maintenance and no watering.The GEL battery is a highly robust energy-system with best-in-class deep cycle properties, allowing unmatched and safe depth of discharge. GEL also has the smallest volume and weight ratio for the amount of Watt hours supplied.
3.How does a gel battery work?
A gel battery is a valve regulated, lead acid battery in which a pre-determined quantity of an electrolyte, together with sulphuric acid is combined with silica fumes. This chemical reaction results in an immobile, gel like mass giving these batteries their name. The gel batteries are virtually maintenance free as they uses one-way open valves that allow the internal gasses to recombine into water, hence removing any need to check to top up distilled water or monitor water level. Gel batteries are extremely robust and versatile. They are safe to be installed in places where ventilation is limited, due to fact that they have a very low (virtually zero) gas/fumes production, which means you can even install the batteries inside your home.
4.The advantage of the gel battery
Gel Batteries are becoming increasingly popular for solar systems due to the following advantageous reasons:
(1 )Gel has longer service life span than AGM
Gel batteries generally has a longer life than AGM batteries; improving heat transfer to the outside world is one of the reasons. (The gel separator transports heat, and the absorbent glass mat of AGM acts as an insulator.)
(2). Another advantage of the gel is the dome-shaped performance curve, which allows the battery to remain in the high-performance range for most of the service life, and then quickly drop to the end of its life; in contrast, AGM gradually disappears .
(3)The gel has good performance in high temperature environment.
As we all know, gel has good performance in high temperature environment and is less prone to vulcanization than other systems, but it needs correct charging and floating pressure. In contrast, AGM has a better current output at low temperatures due to low internal resistance. It is said that the period of gel is larger than that of AGM. The secret is that its design can hold more acid. Due to the high internal resistance, gel batteries are not used for high current applications.
5.The disadvantage of the gel battery.
Though the gel battery has many advantages, it still has some disadvantages or limitations. Here just listed a few,Higher manufacturing cost than AGM;Sensitive to overcharging (gel is more tolerant than AGM);Must be stored in charged condition (less critical than flooded)
Maintenance free; can be mounted sideways; low self-discharge
Long lasting due to its ability to transfer heat to the outside
Performance stays high until the end of life, then drops rapidly
Higher manufacturing cost than AGM
Sensitive to overcharging (gel is more tolerant than AGM)
Must be stored in charged condition (less critical than flooded)
6.The application of gel battery
As a storage battery, GEL is the best choice for many demanding applications including solar system ，wind generation, water pumping, cathodic protection and electric powered vehicle. GEL batteries are also essential in the latest commercial vehicles with dual battery systems, or indeed in any vehicle with extensive electric power needs. The benefits of GEL make it popular in construction, mining, agriculture and industry. The technology is also used to provide remote power, everywhere from local highways to the countryside. VELA POWER is currently working on achieving higher performance levels through the introduction of carbon additives, re-designed negative electrodes and new grids to produce faster charging times and improved cycling performance, making GEL an even more effective supply battery.