Selecting a best deep cycle battery is not an easy job. The battery itself is a complicated material, so are its features. Certain things should be kept in mind before going to purchase a deep cycle battery. Many facts, cons and pros are to be considered while selecting the best desired deep cycle battery. One can’t just go to the store and pick the best good looking battery. Just like a cover cannot decide the content of the book, the outer looks of the battery cannot decide its features and factors.
Here are some of the important factors to be considered and cross-examined before buying a deep cycle battery.
- Type of the battery and technology used
- Required storage
- Weight and size
- Plate thickness
- Deep cycle as starting
- Cost of lifetime
- Disposal and recycle
Best Deep Cycle Battery in the Market
Type of battery and technology used
- Sealed deep cycle batteries are a good choice in less spaced area and area with less ventilation system. Two types of sealed batteries are available, the AGM batteries and the gelled batteries. AGM and gelled are almost same in function. the difference between AGM and Gelled batteries is that, AGM batteries contain no liquid electrolyte in those, and contain Absorbed glass mat that are coiled with electrolyte soaked material, where as the gelled batteries are filled with liquid electrolyte but those are sealed with sulfate. AGM batteries are real costly, but these batteries are good in marine boats or areas where less maintenance is possible and leaking is not bearable. These batteries require mounting.
- Flooded deep cycle batteries are used in a good ventilated area. Possible maintenance is required, such as filling distilled water and routinely checking is necessary and can be maintained easily. The flooded type has the risk of liquid and gas leakage; also are vulnerable to corrosion. These batteries are available at very low cost and come in numerous sizes and types. Flooded also comes with removal caps, that cover filling holes. These standard flooded deep cycle batteries require lesser maintenance.
The amount of storage depends on the number of appliances one needs to run, during a power shortage. The capacity should always be two times the assumed power needed. The storage is calculated in amp-hours. So to calculate the approximate amp-hours, one can calculate through the kilo watts requirement. A 12 volt 100 AH battery produces 1200 watt-hours or 1.20 kWh so if one needs more power than the amp- hour should be more. Suppose one needs large amount of power, then the Amp-hour of the battery should be huge. So the storage requirement is a very important factor to be kept in the mind of the buyer.
Weight and sizes
Deep cycle batteries come in a wide range of weight and sizes. Depending on the amp-hours requirements, the sizes of the batteries must be determined. Batteries with more amp-hour are always larger in sizes. For example, group 24 gives away 70 to 85 amp-hours and group 31 gives away 95 to 125 amp-hours.
The weight of the battery should not be too heavy that it will be impossible to move it when required to. Especially if the battery is for marine use, weight is an important factor to consider as one would not want a heavy battery in their boats. Many companies manufacture deep cycle batteries with lighter weight.
The thickness of the plates of the deep cycle battery is very vital. The thickness decides the life of the battery. The ‘positive grid corrosion’ is one of the most noted factors that cause failure in the batteries. The (+) plates are corroded and degenerated with time, and one time comes when nothing of the plates remain. The (-) plates on the other hands expand, so are kept compressed by papers or the Glass mat. The thicker are the (+) plates, the longer is the life of the battery. So, one must select the deep cycle batteries with thickest plates.
Deep cycle as starting
A deep cycle battery can also be used as a starting battery. In case a deep cycle battery is to be used as a starting battery, then it is recommended that the size of the battery mush be at least 20 percent larger than the required size of a normal starting battery. For example, a deep cycle battery must be of group 31, if it is to be use as a starting battery of group 24.
For cranking amps, it requires a suitable amount of power, to start a particular appliance. It requires a great amount of power in case it is a true deep cycle battery to produce cranking. There is no side effect of using a deep cycle as a starting battery, but these are unable to create the required cranking amp as the same size as regular starting can produce. The batteries need to be a lot larger and it gets too expensive.
Life span of the deep cycle battery is one very important factor to remember. Different type of field has different type of deep cycle in use, so the life span differs a lot. The life span also depends on how the battery is used and maintained. Some batteries like L16’s die within a year because of heavy water loss and excess overcharging. Whereas some deep cycle batteries like the telephone batteries last as long as 35 years as and even more than that. Some gelled deep cycle batteries might even be dead within a day or two.
- Marine deep cycle battery lasts for 1-6 years depending on the use and maintenance.
- Starting deep cycle lasts only for 3- 12 months; it maintained properly, it could last even longer.
- AGM deep cycle has a good life span of 5-8 years, if not overcharged.
- Gelled deep cycle lasts for 2- 5 years, if not overcharged or kept sitting for long periods without used.
- The alkaline or the NiFe deep cycle has the longest lifespan of 5-35 years.
Maintenance is a very important factor one must reconsider before buying a deep cycle battery. As the battery is of different type, so some deep cycle batteries need a lot of care and maintaining, but some batteries need zero maintenance. If one has decided to buy a flooded deep cycle battery, then that person must also be ready to face the challenges. A flooded deep cycle needs a lot of care and routine check, from filling distilled water to cleanup of the leaking acids. One cannot just buy and relax all along after that.
A sealed deep cycle battery has no risk of spilling any liquid, hence decreasing the required maintenance to 50 percent and there is no need to fill any water, decreasing more of the remaining 50 percent and making the maintenance requirement to totally 0 percent. Only the top of the deep cycle battery must be cleaned at times to keep away corrosion and make sure that the battery doesn’t get overcharged as overcharging can lessen the life of the battery, sometimes making it dead.
Cost of Lifetime and initial
Cost is an important factor while buying a deep cycle battery. One can be easily confused and cheated by the deals. Sometimes the best deals turn out to have the smallest life span, so the cost must be determined by the output of the battery an also its lifespan. Initial cost is also somewhat dependent on the weight, say for the same cost, there are two 200 AH deep cycle batteries, the weight of one is 65 pounds and the other one is 69 pounds, the battery with the heavier weight must be selected as it may contain some extra internal materials making it last longer.
Along with the initial cost, the lifetime cost must also be calculated. If the battery is a deep cycle flooded battery, then an extra cost will be needed for maintaining the battery. The distilled water is needed to be bought, and if the battery needs regular filling in short periods of time, then it will turn out too expensive. One must not buy a battery with 30 years lifespan if the battery is needed only for 5 years; it will be a waste of money. The rule is simple and straight forward, the more expensive is the deep cycle battery, and the more will be its life.
Disposal and recycle
As most of the deep cycle batteries are of lead acids, 98 per of the deep cycle batteries can be recycled. The plates solder and the cases can be reused 100 percent. Only the paper separators needs to be disposed and cannot be recycled or reused. One must better select the battery that can be disposed or recycled easily. In some places, people has to pay the price for disposal, so it is necessary to select the deep cycle battery whose only few parts need to be disposed, as the more are the materials to be disposed, the higher will be the rate.
One must be satisfied with the bought product, as regretting won’t really work, so before buying a deep cycle battery, it is indeed necessary to know everything about a battery.