Whether AGM batteries compared to their flooded counterparts are better or not is one of the most common questions about car batteries. There are some uses of products developed on lithium for batteries, however, the vast majority of such products that vehicles use are either flooded or simply, AGM lead-acid batteries. For some people, it is possible to mix up between gel and AGM batteries in case of automotive applications, but they have very different technologies. Here we discuss clearly Why AGM Batteries are better.
AGM Batteries are known as the technology marvel for its lead-acid battery system. Being the peak of engineering, they are a perfect bridge to the transition of the world into lithium-ion. And with that reputation, AGM tends to offer way more than what gel batteries have to offer.
The Science of AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) Battery Type
AGM (or Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are spill-proof lead-acid batteries with very low internal resistance. The glass mat is specially made up of thin glass fibers soaked in the solution of sulfuric acid. They are directed in between the plates of the battery so electrolytes are absorbed. The battery plates are made of lead which expresses the sandwich construction to be vibration resistance. With the aim of high electrical reliability achievement, AGM batteries are designed to have specific power which makes it very responsive to the load. They are lighter, maintenance-free, have a low self-discharge of 80% DoD and delivers 5 times faster charge with high currents on demand than with flood technology. They can be deep-cycled and have a long cycle of life as it can resist low temperatures.
These AGM lead-acid car batteries are commonly used in automotive applications, such as cars, trucks, etc. In comparison to the flooded counterparts, the AGM batteries are more resistant because the glass mats absorb the electrolytes. It is part of the reason why matting is called as Absorbed Glass Mat. The fiberglass mats also keep the acid solutions from spilling from the batteries and protect the sensitive electrical components and paints of the vehicles. AGM battery in structure and function are dissimilar to gel batteries and traditional flooded batteries.
Modern automobile vehicles have a start/stop technology these days, for which AGM batteries are more suitable as they can handle the increased starting demand of the vehicles. The pattern allows this technology to perform in impossible temperature ranges while the vehicle roars with better performance and can last for a longer period. Battery locations are moved to the trunk or in the interior to maintain a better performance that makes the batteries hard to access. For this, automakers look for batteries that do not need change often. So it can be said AGM batteries can guarantee both safety and performance benefits. Many automobiles have the system for external venting in case of excessive pressure and overcharging.
Why AGM Batteries are Better
Due to the same deep-cycle process, gel batteries and AGM batteries often seem confusing. They both are called Valve Regulated Lead-Acid batteries where the negative plate absorbs the oxygen produced on the positive plates of lead-acid batteries and creates water. It reduces the step of watering the batteries making it maintenance-free. Moreover, silica gels in gel batteries substitute glass mat for holding the electrolytes while making the electrons to free flow. They lose power faster especially at lower temperatures than the AGM batteries because of the gelled composition. For AGM batteries, glass mats can work in any temperature, have high-level usage, and are cheaper with longer life span.
Flooded lead-acid batteries are cheaper than AGM batteries but they are not long-lasting. It is the mainstream battery type that inputs a combination of liquid electrolytes. Battery plates in the Flooded Lead-acid batteries are submerged fully and creates oxygen and hydrogen gases. Water is chemically broken down in the battery so they often require replacement of water. The acid (liquid electrolyte) inspection must be regularly done where a professional should measure it. High/cold temperatures input a shock on the performance as the electrolytes are caused to accordingly be evaporating/freezing.
Check this article if you want to know How to charge the AGM battery step by step.
The Pros/Cons of AGM Batteries
When discussing all pros regarding these battery type, it must be said that you can expect a zero maintenance for these batteries where watering service is not at all necessary. AGM batteries are built on the technology free of any liquid alongside minimal gassing for it to perform well than other competitive batteries used in complex applications; meaning performing maintenance is rather difficult.
When discussing all cons for these batteries, firstly its users are addressed for times when charging the battery. Over/undercharging in this aspect can hugely affect the life and the performance of these types of batteries. AGM batteries, nonetheless, execute a reliable function with its usage being limited in only 50% of battery capacity discharge.
Often, the application of AGM battery type technologies lies a part of off-grid power systems. These systems sometimes also include environmentally friendly (wind and solar power) systems of renewable energy. However, the function is not limited to such and expands in systems of uninterrupted power supply and electric vehicle service besides robotics as well as a few ATVs and motorcycles.