AGM marine battery and lead acid can be confusing when you don’t know the right battery to use.
When it comes to AGM Marine Battery vs Lead Acid, you should have some information about the batteries.
Table of Contents
Are AGM batteries better than lead acid?
aGM has very low internal resistance, maintenance free, provides good electrical reliability and is lighter than the flooded lead acid type.
What is the main disadvantage of an AGM battery?
The AGM battery is sensitive to overcharging and high voltages. It also needs full charging between uses.
Are AGM marine batteries worth the money?
The AGM marine battery can hold its charge. You can charge it and come to meet it 100% charged.
What is the difference between AGM and marine batteries?
Most times, the AGM batteries are usually confused with the Gel Cell Batteries although these two types of batteries have similarities. Some of these similarities include:
- They have low self discharge
- They are safe for use in areas that have limited ventilation
- These batteries can be transported via the ground or air without need for any special handling
- They are non spillable
- They are both deep cycle batteries
- They can be mounted in any position or orientation
Regardless of these similarities, there are still some distinct differences between these two types of batteries.
What are the differences between GEL and AGM Deep Cycle Batteries?
The following are the some difference between GEL and AGM Deep Cycle Batteries:
- AGM Batteries make use of an absorbed glass mat material to hold their electrolyte. These batteries are the most recommended choice for sealed deep cycle batteries in RV, Camping & Marine use
- The fact that leading brands such as Giant Power and Eclipse use AGM Battery Technology is testimony to the advantages of using an AGM Battery for power.
- Using the AGM Deep Cycle Batteries provide users with increased performance and more efficiency than the basic Lead Acid Batteries.
- Additionally, AGM Batteries have a lower internal resistance which offers them faster charging and increased performance even when subjected to heavy load conditions.
- In colder conditions, the AGM Batteries also perform better than the GEL batteries and they are an affordable option for getting power.
Basically, compared to other types of deep cycle batteries, the AGM batteries are much better in colder or icy conditions.
The major difference between the GEL batteries and the AGM batteries is that the GEL deep Cycle Batteries battery is made using a gel paste.
This gel paste contains the suspended electrolyte which is then kept inside the battery case. On the other hand, the electrolytes in the AGM battery are wound up internally into a glass mat. This prevents the electrolyte from spilling no matter its orientation.
Why do people prefer AGM batteries to GEL Deep Cycle Batteries?
Many boaters prefer AGM batteries because they often have the best battery prices. Moreso, the AGM and Lead Acid batteries also work perfectly well with higher voltage levels that are produced by the alternators. The GEL batteries are more sensitive.
Because of this stability, many boaters prefer the AGM Batteries as a much safer choice.
However, it is important to know that AGM batteries should also not be placed under-bonnet as a result of the battery case material and heat constraints. Ensure to make use of a Heat Shield at all times or consult a battery expert.
AGM Marine Battery vs Lead Acid
Flooded lead acid batteries have a higher internal resistance due to the fact that they are charge rate limited. As a result they cannot accept a charge rate and charge up unlike the AGM and GEL batteries
Unlike the free flowing liquid which is used by lead acid batteries, the GEL and the AGM batteries make use of electrolytes which are suspended in a medium. The GEL batteries use Gel Paste while the AGM batteries use Absorbed Glass Mat.
As such, AGM batteries are referred to as “Acid Starved” Batteries and this is due to the fact that they do not have free showing liquid acid. This, of course, makes them safer as they do not let off dangerous gases while they are being charged.
Compared to the standard lead acid batteries, the good quality GEL and AGM batteries have a significantly lower internal resistance. Hence, this makes them better when it comes to fast charging and they can also offer greater burst of power.
Are AGM batteries good for marine use?
Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) batteries were first manufactured for use in the military. These batteries were suitable and highly recommended for use in military operations, fields and bases for a very long time as they were highly efficient and very durable even under adverse and extreme conditions
As time went on, the AGM batteries were slowly adopted and used in RVs, racing cars and boats. Below are some of the reasons why the AGM batteries are more ideal for marine use:
AGM batteries are vibration resistant:
Being vibration resistant gives this battery the capacity to tolerate and also withstand waves that are very common and regularly experienced during marine operations. As such, the battery is not affected or damaged by these vibrations or their effects.
They have much better resilience to cycling than flooded batteries:
Cycling can be defined as the process whereby a battery is completely discharged. In boats while running pumps, lights and electronics, this is quite expected.
Although cycling has its negative impact on the battery by shortening the life cycle of most of the cells, the AGM batteries are built to withstand this more than other batteries.
AGM batteries are not flooded:
Since AGM batteries are not flooded, it simply means that even when the battery case is cracked or damaged, this battery does not leak any battery acid.
Thanks to this, the battery can be mounted in any orientation or position. Hence, you can mount the battery vertically, horizontally and even upside down without fear of the battery acid leaking.
AGM batteries are generally low maintenance:
As earlier stated, AGM batteries are not flooded. This means that the owner does not have to bother much about checking the levels of the electrolyte or even adding distilled water regularly.
In addition, the small size of this battery increases their efficiency.
Long service life:
Although AGM batteries are quite expensive, they are more advantageous in the long run as they offer a longer service life. These batteries are able to last for up to 11 years without breaking down or damaging in the process.
How to increase the lifespan of your AGM battery
In order to increase the durability or service life of your AGM battery, you must ensure that the battery is recharged as soon as you can after being discharged.
Even though this can be done with the boat’s charging system, a high quality battery charger is advised. The lifespan of the battery will be enhanced and increased by keeping the battery at 100% when it is not in use.