Selecting the correct battery for your wheelchair is of critical importance if you do not want to suffer the inconvenience of being suddenly stranded. The batteries for wheelchair should provide longer and constant power supply and have enough power to be able to carry the wheelchair even on uneven surfaces.
Deep-cycle sealed lead-acid batteries are usually used in power and electric wheelchairs. They provide long term steady power supply and can be recharged without much hassle. Some of the important features of these kind of batteries are:
- They are constructed with the insertion of thick lead plates that cause steady and constant power supply
- They do not give away high surges of power
- Used to power machine that need constant surges of power
Two kinds of lead-acid batteries that are used for wheelchairs are wet-cell batteries and Valve Regulated batteries.
Wet Cell batteries
- Light in weight as compared to gel batteries
- Need to be regularly filled with distilled water and are high maintenance
- Less chances of damage due to overcharging
- Better performance but high maintenance
- Can lead to possible leakage and are hence an environmental and safety hazard
- Cannot be taken on flights
VRLA batteries (Gel or AGM)
- Better performance in cold climate as compared to wet batteries
- Releases lesser amount of gas while charging
- Heavier than wet batteries
- Do not leak and hence do not pose a health and safety hazard
- Possible problems due to overcharging
Manufactures usually recommend the use of Deep-Cycle VRLA batteries for use in electric wheelchairs or mobility scooters. These batteries are safer to use and provide adequate energy to power wheelchairs even through rough terrains.