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Differences between Wet Cell and AGM Batteries

Differences between Wet Cell and AGM Batteries

Lead acid batteries were invented in 1859 by Gaston Planté.  They are the oldest type of rechargeable battery.  They remain a good technology and the best option for many of our battery needs. While the basic chemistry has not changed, there have been a few improvements.

In the 1930’s someone thought to add silica to the acid to create a gel instead of liquid inside the battery. Then in the 1970’s, sealed versions of these batteries were produced. They were less dangerous and they could be installed in any orientation, not just upright. These are commonly referred to as gel batteries, or SLA for Sealed Lead Acid.

Another SLA improvement was introduced in the 1980’s called Absorbed Glass Mat batteries. Developed originally for military aircraft, they are nearly immune to vibrations, making them suitable for all types of power sports equipment.

Wet Cell (Flooded) Batteries

The wet cell battery is closest to the original lead acid battery design and is still used in some applications. Some of the advantages of this type of battery are:

  • that they have a long proven history of use
  • they are typically the best option for backup power for utilities and grid energy storage
  • they are more available worldwide
  • they have a longer deep cycle use than other batteries.

Some of the downsides of these batteries include:

  • that they must be used in an upright position because of the liquid inside
  • they are prone to damage from extreme weather conditions or from vibrations or forceful movement
  • they can be used only when ventilation is available
  • they are more dangerous due to the possibility of leaking the corrosive liquid that allows them to hold a charge.

There are two types of wet cell battery. The maintenance free version comes filled and ready to charge; the serviceable one comes dry and must be filled before you use it and serviced during its lifetime.

AGM Replacement Batteries

This newer battery technology is more popular today than flooded wet cell batteries. Because they are smaller and can withstand motion, they are used for applications where wet cell batteries just won’t work. Even though these batteries should be stored charged and are sensitive to being over charged, there are many benefits to using them.

Some of the benefits of AGM Replacement Batteries:

  • they are slower to discharge than wet cell batteries
  • they are maintenance free, and arrive charged and ready to use
  • they are safer due to being sealed at the factory
  • they don’t need to be installed in an upright position.

AGM batteries are the ideal battery for power sports vehicles and other applications like wheel chairs and scooters where vibrations and battery orientation could be issues.

If you need a replacement Sealed Lead Acid battery, BatteryClerk sells AGM batteries that will meet or exceed your vehicle’s requirements. Check out our Sealed Lead Acid batteries.  Keep it charged and ride on!

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