GEL vs AGM – Which type of battery should you choose?
GEL and AGM batteries are both considered SLA- sealed lead acid batteries , also known as VRLA-valve regulated lead acid. They are Non Spillable, non-hazardaous, and Maintenance-Free and can be safely used in any position. They can also be transported without special handling.
These two technologies are the two most commonly known on the market, with each having certain distinctions that allow them to perform effectively per the purpose they were designed. There are some who wonder which of these two batteries is the best to use. The answer to that is that there is no unanimous agreement, because each battery is designed to excel in an area in which the other is not, hence their performance will depend on the manner in which they are used.
The AGM Battery
AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat. The glass mat technology is used to absorb the battery electrolyte between the lead plates. This allows for less resistance within the battery which in turn provides a higher discharge. AGM batteries are generally less expensive but can have more power capacity compared to the same size GEL batteries. However, this design doesn’t allow the battery to cycle as many times as the GEL.
The AGM type is typically preferred for applications that require high burst of power such as UPS units.
The GEL Battery
GEL batteries, which are also known as gelled electrolyte or gel cell batteries, are specifically designed for a deep discharge/deep cycle. The GEL battery contains a silica type gel that the electrolyte is suspended in. GEL batteries normally cost more but have superior cycle life compared to AGM batteries, due to the GEL like substance, protecting the plates and providing higher internal resistance. However, the disadvantage here is that GEL technology gives off a lower discharge- less power than the AGM. The price per cycle of the two types are comparable. Another worthy mention is that GEL performs better in slightly higher ambient temperatures.
When talking about GEL batteries there is one issue worth noting. They must be recharged correctly or may suffer premature failure. You must use a charger designed specifically for GEL batteries.
Check out the BatterySharks Infographic about AGM vs Gel Batteries below.
If you have questions about which battery is best for you, please contact our Customer Service department at 1 (800) 657-1303 or email us.