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post #1 of 30 Old Dec 29th, 2010, 1:27 am Thread Starter
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gel battery

I purchased a "new to me", 2002 LT. Just before transferring the bike over to me, the original owner replaced the battery.

Instead of a standard battery, the seller spent the extra bucks for a gel battery. He told me....it cannot be trickle-charged....so don't put it on the winter charger. This charger....delivers 1.5 amps...and then automatically shuts off when charged.

Is he spot on? Should I NOT use the, winter...battery keeper?

Is it a problem to use a winter, battery keeper on a gel battery?

Thanks,

John

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post #2 of 30 Old Dec 29th, 2010, 1:36 am
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Re: gel battery

Make sure the battery tender that you are using is rated for gel cell batteries. Almost all newer units are gel cell safe.

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post #3 of 30 Old Dec 29th, 2010, 10:40 am
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvguy
Make sure the battery tender that you are using is rated for gel cell batteries. Almost all newer units are gel cell safe.

From a 35 year in the business battery guy, ditto on what tvguy said.

Brett
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post #4 of 30 Old Dec 29th, 2010, 11:17 am
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkpr1998
From a 35 year in the business battery guy, ditto on what tvguy said.
I agree with both posts. Make sure your tender is rated for GEL and you should be good to go.. The charge voltage requirement for GELs is a bit lower than AGM or FLOODED batteries. Also GELs do not like being drastically deep cycled. They should be recharged at 60% capacity for longer life.

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post #5 of 30 Old Dec 29th, 2010, 12:28 pm
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Re: gel battery

The gel batteries hold a charge much longer, so you only need to plug it in for a day every two or three weeks. Just make sure it's fully charged before you try to start it in the spring or you will trigger the warning lamp with low voltage as the system looks at available voltage for the ABS. I think you'll like the gel battery. No corrosion and no maintenance.
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post #6 of 30 Old Dec 30th, 2010, 9:22 am
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
The gel batteries hold a charge much longer, so you only need to plug it in for a day every two or three weeks. Just make sure it's fully charged before you try to start it in the spring or you will trigger the warning lamp with low voltage as the system looks at available voltage for the ABS. I think you'll like the gel battery. No corrosion and no maintenance.
I disagree, I don't care for Gel batteries, they are too expensive (and you don't much extra for your money) and their charge profile differs from the AGM and Flooded batteries. I myself am a fan of the AGM when it comes to cycle batteries and other seasonal crafts.

Since you already have the gel battery as it came with the bike, I would ride it out and see how it does, and to recapitulate your questions regarding using a tender, you can as long as your charger has the gel setting for the proper charge profile.

With the AGM's, no corrosion no fuss no muss!

To respond to the Gel's 60% SOD (state of discharge), it depends on what each manufacturer says, in Motive Power batteries the Deka batteries made from East Penn Manufacturing, you could take to an 80% SOD; cheaply-built batteries you could only take to 50% SOD before the battery needed charging.

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post #7 of 30 Old Dec 30th, 2010, 10:44 am
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Re: gel battery

I am on the same page with you Brett. I have seen so many folks spend a lot of money on marine GEL batteries only to have to replace them due to improper charging. I always recommend AGMs for those applications and many times the boat owner is looking at several thousand dollar installations. GELs aren't worth it. AGMs are the way to go.

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post #8 of 30 Old Dec 30th, 2010, 4:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: gel battery

So....I really don't want to go to the expense of another tender/maintainer, as I own two. I have done web searches on both model numbers and can't determine if it is ok to use them on a gel battery.

I would love some advice, if anyone knows about these models or can find something to help me out. Can I use either of these models on my gel battery????

EverStart, Fully Automatic Battery Tender, Model: PP1.5A

Schumacher, Battery Maintainer, Fully Automatic with Float Mode Monitoring, Model:
SEM-1562A

Anyone know anything?????

John

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post #9 of 30 Old Dec 30th, 2010, 4:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnRider
So....I really don't want to go to the expense of another tender/maintainer, as I own two. I have done web searches on both model numbers and can't determine if it is ok to use them on a gel battery.

I would love some advice, if anyone knows about these models or can find something to help me out. Can I use either of these models on my gel battery????

EverStart, Fully Automatic Battery Tender, Model: PP1.5A

Schumacher, Battery Maintainer, Fully Automatic with Float Mode Monitoring, Model:
SEM-1562A

Anyone know anything?????
I just found this on the Schumacher.......(I wish I could find some info to indicate that the EverStart was fine to use with Gel's, as it has the special fit adapter that will plug in to the LT powerpoint outlet.)


Schumacher Battery Trickle Charger - SEM-1562A

Battery Companion For 6 and 12 volt lead-acid batteries. Automatic battery charger with reverse-polarity protection maintains both 6 and 12 volt batteries, keeping them at full charge using float-mode monitoring. Most starter, deep cycle and gel type batteries can be charged and maintained. Automatically switches from full charge to float-mode monitoring as needed. For charging small batteries and maintaining small and large batteries kept in storage.

1.5 AMP Charger and Maintainer.

LEDs indicate Charging, Fully Charged and Trouble with charging.

Automatically switches from full charge to float-mode monitoring.

Quick-Disconnect Harness - Snap either connector into place in seconds. Use the 50 AMP clamps or permanently attach the ring connectors!

This product is great for motorcycle batteries and other hard-to-reach batteri es.

Reverse-Hookup protection.

John

2007 Adv Equipped VStrom
1988 Honda NX650

Last edited by MtnRider; Dec 30th, 2010 at 5:00 pm.
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post #10 of 30 Old Dec 30th, 2010, 4:57 pm
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnRider
So....I really don't want to go to the expense of another tender/maintainer, as I own two. I have done web searches on both model numbers and can't determine if it is ok to use them on a gel battery.

I would love some advice, if anyone knows about these models or can find something to help me out. Can I use either of these models on my gel battery????

EverStart, Fully Automatic Battery Tender, Model: PP1.5A

Schumacher, Battery Maintainer, Fully Automatic with Float Mode Monitoring, Model:
SEM-1562A

Anyone know anything?????
Is there any sort of product info like OAV (overall voltage)? It it exceeds 14.4 volts then do not use the aforementioned chargers on your Gel battery (13.9 vdc is the most you want on a gel battery). I will throw this in, the Everstart is a piece of junk from ChinaMart, the Schumacher (depending on when it was made) used to be a good charger.

If you cannot find out any product info from the supplier (ChinaMart won't know crap about the crap that they sell so I wouldn't even bother calling them) then bite the bullet and go with a quality battery tender/maintainer that charges Flooded, AGM and Gel batteries.

My .01 worth!

Brett
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post #11 of 30 Old Dec 30th, 2010, 8:22 pm
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Re: gel battery

I got one of these http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender...3758078&sr=8-1 for the gel battery in my 2010 R1200GSA Adventure . I understand that it is the same one they build for BMW .

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post #12 of 30 Old Jan 1st, 2011, 4:12 pm
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Re: gel battery

my xmas gift charger says for "acid" batteries ONLY !! Is this a no go for the GEL in my '05...?

Does anyone make a compatible unit besides BMW ??

Thx,
Harold
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post #13 of 30 Old Jan 1st, 2011, 4:25 pm
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogfornow
my xmas gift charger says for "acid" batteries ONLY !! Is this a no go for the GEL in my '05...?

Does anyone make a compatible unit besides BMW ??

Thx,
Harold
Correct. The chargers rated for Gel use a different charging program.

Just Go
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post #14 of 30 Old Jan 1st, 2011, 4:46 pm
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Re: gel battery

What Michael says . But also, There are plenty of chargers that will charge GEL and AGM batteries. BMW doesn't make em. You can get them at Amazon as in the post above or Auto Zone or Advanced Auto Parts. Just make sure the charger is set up to charge the different kinds of batteries. Tell Santa he (or she) goofed and gave you the wrong thing. (but be careful how you present it )

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post #15 of 30 Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 7:05 am
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Smile Re: gel battery

Thx for the info....I hope they saved the receipt !
Will check the auto parts stores.

HG
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post #16 of 30 Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 7:31 am
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by pkpr1998
Is there any sort of product info like OAV (overall voltage)? It it exceeds 14.4 volts then do not use the aforementioned chargers on your Gel battery (13.9 vdc is the most you want on a gel battery). I will throw this in, the Everstart is a piece of junk from ChinaMart, the Schumacher (depending on when it was made) used to be a good charger.

If you cannot find out any product info from the supplier (ChinaMart won't know crap about the crap that they sell so I wouldn't even bother calling them) then bite the bullet and go with a quality battery tender/maintainer that charges Flooded, AGM and Gel batteries.

My .01 worth!
Everstart batteries have been popular with the folks at Consumer Reports for the past several years, and I've switched over to them for my commercial vehicles with no issues.

I generally avoid Chinese stuff like the plague - but they seem to be holding up well.

I think that spending money for a quality charger is a great investment since so many batteries meet an early demise due to poor charging performance. I've been using individual YUASA brand intelligent chargers (about $45.00) hooked up to all my powersports equipment and they work just great.


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post #17 of 30 Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 10:08 am
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
my xmas gift charger says for "acid" batteries ONLY !! Is this a no go for the GEL in my '05...?
Gel is acid, so hard to say from that description. The general class of battery is lead-acid, with the options being flooded cell, gel, or Absorbed Glass Mat.

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post #18 of 30 Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 11:25 am
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Re: gel battery

Get yourself a Guest brand model 2606. It's three stage, waterproof, potted, and big enough to charge your car battery. It's fully automatic and will charge all types of 12 volt batteries so you can clip it to that gel, agm, or flooded battery and not have to worry about it. Mine's probably at least 10 years old. Best charger I've ever owned.


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post #19 of 30 Old Jan 3rd, 2011, 9:17 pm
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Re: gel battery

John,

From the data I've gathered on the various types of batteries the problem really only manifests itself with deep cycle applications, i.e. running trolling motors, camping refrigerators and using it for standby power through inverters. For normal automotive/motorcycle applications any modern charger that charges flooded lead-acid batteries will also charge AGM and GEL batteries. I bought a Schumacher Battery Maintainer for about $14 at Walmart three years ago and has been using it on three BMW GEL batteries, an AGM and two flooded lead-acid batteries since without issues. In winter I keep it on the three GEL batteries for a day a week.

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post #20 of 30 Old Jan 4th, 2011, 7:46 pm
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnRider
I purchased a "new to me", 2002 LT. Just before transferring the bike over to me, the original owner replaced the battery.

Instead of a standard battery, the seller spent the extra bucks for a gel battery. He told me....it cannot be trickle-charged....so don't put it on the winter charger. This charger....delivers 1.5 amps...and then automatically shuts off when charged.

Is he spot on? Should I NOT use the, winter...battery keeper?

Is it a problem to use a winter, battery keeper on a gel battery?

Thanks,
I have the original gel battery on my LT since I purchased the bike in 2006. I have used a trickle charger and other chargers (with no name on it), the battery went dead because of sitting too long several times, but after charging came back to life and worked perfectly fine ever since.
I'm not really sure if those precautions about "special" chargers are valid in this case. My battery is over 4 years old and still perfectly fine.
BJ

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post #21 of 30 Old Jan 5th, 2011, 1:49 am
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by andres
John,

From the data I've gathered on the various types of batteries the problem really only manifests itself with deep cycle applications, i.e. running trolling motors, camping refrigerators and using it for standby power through inverters. For normal automotive/motorcycle applications any modern charger that charges flooded lead-acid batteries will also charge AGM and GEL batteries. I bought a Schumacher Battery Maintainer for about $14 at Walmart three years ago and has been using it on three BMW GEL batteries, an AGM and two flooded lead-acid batteries since without issues. In winter I keep it on the three GEL batteries for a day a week.


There is the answer. I believe that the problem with damaging batteries occures when a charger is left connected all the time. Charging conditions for GEL batteries are different than AGM or FLOODED. But, if you only connect a charger 1 day a week you won't have a problem. One caveat however, is a tender or maintainer (low current) will not bring back a deeply discharged battery. For that you need a much higher current charger and you need to watch the amount time that the charger is connected.

Bill
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post #22 of 30 Old Jan 6th, 2011, 9:36 pm
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatzo
[/COLOR]

There is the answer. I believe that the problem with damaging batteries occures when a charger is left connected all the time. Charging conditions for GEL batteries are different than AGM or FLOODED. But, if you only connect a charger 1 day a week you won't have a problem. One caveat however, is a tender or maintainer (low current) will not bring back a deeply discharged battery. For that you need a much higher current charger and you need to watch the amount time that the charger is connected.

My Deltran was on my bike anytime it was parked, including 24 hrs/day all winter. 5 years and never had a problem with the original BMW battery. I changed out the battery (PC-680) this fall, not because of any problem, only because I didnt want to risk getting caught with a bad battery this year. I figured 5 years might be long enough. I still have the original battery and will see how it holds up.

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post #23 of 30 Old Jan 7th, 2011, 3:58 pm
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Re: gel battery

Boatzo, that is a good observation but actually not why the batteries are giving such good life. I agree that with a trickle charger one should not leave the charger on the battery for long periods, once the battery has been fully charged. I have lost more than one flooded lead-acid battery resulting from a trickle charger “boiling” the battery to destruction. However, the modern floating chargers are not supposed to allow this condition. .To satisfy my own mind I did some further testing with the Schumacher Battery Maintainer. I allowed the battery on the 2004 R1100S to run down to the point where it barely started the motorcycle, and then connected the charger. This battery is nearly 7 years old. The battery voltage started out at 13.32V with a charging current of 2.01A. As the battery increased its charge, the charging current reduced and the voltage increased to 14.55V at which point the charger switched to float mode. The voltage dropped to 13.33V and after about 10 minutes the charging current was down to only 0.083A. I did a quick verification on the other R1100S and the LT, and both confirmed these results. In fact, the charging current within minutes dropped to below 0.050A on both these machines, presumably due to the batteries being newer and in slightly better condition. At these charging currents I am pretty sure the charger can be left connected to the battery indefinitely.

If one would prefer to use a charger optimized for GEL type batteries, there is only one model of the Deltran range capable of this, the Battery Tender 021-0156. The following is stated on the Deltran instructions:

“All Deltran battery chargers will charge all types of lead acid batteries: either flooded (standard STD), sealed maintenance free Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), or sealed maintenance free gelled electrolyte (GEL) batteries. However, for optimum battery performance in deep cycle applications (for example, running a trolling motor), it is best to chose the Deltran charger that has the charging software specifically designed for the battery type. Fortunately, since the technical staff at Deltran has developed charging software that works equally well for both STD & AGM batteries, the only choice to be made is between 2 models: either STD & AGM or GEL software.”

So, back to MtnRider's question, the take-away for me is that for about $20 the Schumacher Model 1562A is adequate for maintaining flooded, AGM and GEL batteries. It may not be optimized for GEL type batteries, but then so are none except one model of the Deltran range. Both the Deltran and the Schumacher chargers have temperature compensation and reverse polarity protection, so no difference there. But the newer Schumacher also has a desulfation mode for restoring sulfated batteries. Seeing that both units come from the East my preference was for the cheaper unit with the 2-year warranty! Hope this helps!

André Strydom
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post #24 of 30 Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 4:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: gel battery

Well.....I am further frustrated.....

This BMW Gel Battery is 7 months old, won't charge and won't turn the motor over. The bike starts up fine with one of those little 400 amp jumpers.

The Schumacher 1.5 amp Maintainer, will begin to charge when plugged in, but quickly flicks over to "charged".

After riding the bike for up to an hour.....the battery appears to be, ever so slightly charged, but still doesn't have the juice to turn over the starter.....except maybe one turn.

What do you think I should do? I could purchase a full blown battery charger and try to give this Gel a full charge.....but if the battery is dead, I don't want to waste my money on the charger.

I would also like to assume that this battery has some sort of warranty, especially for the $175.95 price tag.

Thoughts, opinions comments????

John

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post #25 of 30 Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 4:50 pm
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnRider
Well.....I am further frustrated.....

This BMW Gel Battery is 7 months old, won't charge and won't turn the motor over. The bike starts up fine with one of those little 400 amp jumpers.

The Schumacher 1.5 amp Maintainer, will begin to charge when plugged in, but quickly flicks over to "charged".

After riding the bike for up to an hour.....the battery appears to be, ever so slightly charged, but still doesn't have the juice to turn over the starter.....except maybe one turn.

What do you think I should do? I could purchase a full blown battery charger and try to give this Gel a full charge.....but if the battery is dead, I don't want to waste my money on the charger.

I would also like to assume that this battery has some sort of warranty, especially for the $175.95 price tag.

Thoughts, opinions comments????
Do you have a voltmeter - or can borrow one? What is the battery voltage when the charger is connected and when not connected? Could be the battery or charger. Need more info.

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post #26 of 30 Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 5:56 pm
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Re: gel battery

If your connections are clean and tight, it sounds like a bad battery.


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post #27 of 30 Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 6:09 pm
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Re: gel battery

Let's assume the battery connections are clean and secure. Since the motorcycle easily starts when being jumped, we can rule out a starter problem. If the battery is good and the motorcycle's charging system is also good, an hour's ride should be sufficient to charge the battery to a state where it would easily start the engine several times. Without further data it sounds like one of two things. Either the Schumacher charger and your motorcycle's charging systems are both faulty, or the battery is gone. I would suspect the latter.

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post #28 of 30 Old Jan 23rd, 2011, 7:14 pm
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Re: gel battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjedruszczak
I have the original gel battery on my LT since I purchased the bike in 2006. I have used a trickle charger and other chargers (with no name on it), the battery went dead because of sitting too long several times, but after charging came back to life and worked perfectly fine ever since.
I'm not really sure if those precautions about "special" chargers are valid in this case. My battery is over 4 years old and still perfectly fine.
BJ
May I suggest you start looking for a sale on a new AGM like an Oddessy before yours craps out? 4 years is a good amount of time, she may leave you stranded when in real cold or hot weather, you may notice weird abs or other warning lights...

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post #29 of 30 Old Jan 25th, 2011, 12:40 am
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Re: gel battery

@MtnRider

I'm pretty novice in the maintenance areas, but I did a lot of my research regarding gel batteries from this website:http://www.batterystuff.com/tutorial...y_gel_agm.html

They do a pretty good job of explaining batteries and care on this site.

I use a Deltran Battery Tender Jr. which I keep on 24/7 in the winter and haven't experienced any problems to date.

Ohh and I got the adapter that plugs into the power ports.
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post #30 of 30 Old Jan 25th, 2011, 7:08 pm
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Re: gel battery

Gel battery

A gel battery (also known as a "gel cell") is a VRLA battery with a gelified electrolyte; the sulfuric acid is mixed with silica fume, which makes the resulting mass gel-like and immobile. Unlike a flooded wet-cell lead-acid battery, these batteries do not need to be kept upright. Gel batteries reduce the electrolyte evaporation, spillage (and subsequent corrosion issues) common to the wet-cell battery, and boast greater resistance to extreme temperatures, shock, and vibration. Chemically they are the same as wet (non-sealed) batteries except that the antimony in the lead plates is replaced by calcium.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VRLA_battery

BJ
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