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Assault on Batteries – Knowledge is Power When Going Green

Are you looking for a way to store the power generated by your off-grid solar energy system, wind turbine system or are you just looking to replace the battery in your car? Getting the right battery for the right job is about more than finding out what the wattage and amps are.

There are, in actuality, a couple different types of batteries, and each one was designed for a specific application. So, it’s time to assault your own misconceptions and replace them with powerful green knowledge that will help clean up the environment and lower your energy bills.

Starting Batteries: These batteries are usually used to start and run engines. They were designed to provide an initial, powerful charge to initiate a reaction. When you start up your engine, it needs this kind of powerful blast of energy to start the internal combustion process. They are only meant to deliver these small but powerful charges so they don’t deplete capacity each time they are used. This is why they can last for thousands of cycles of normal starting use.

Deep Cycle Batteries: These batteries were designed for use when power is needed over a longer period of time. Deep cycle batteries are designed to discharge most of their capacity on a regular basis and then be recharged. They are most often used to store power from wind or solar power systems, though you can also find them in electrically powered industrial equipment, golf cars, traffic signals, and similar, long-running devices. If you have a battery backups system of any kind, deep cycle batteries will be the most effective choice.

All automotive, marine, and deep cycle batteries are constructed in one of three types: wet, gelled, or AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat).

Wet-Cell Batteries: These were designed to work effectively for deep cycle applications. They will, however, require some extra maintenance because water loss can occur, and because the charging process can give off some gasses, it is important that they are used in a well-ventilated area.

Gel Batteries: Instead of a liquid, these batteries use a gelified electrolyte to make the resulting mass completely immobile. This means that the batteries don’t need to be kept upright when they are used and they will have less evaporation than wet-celled batteries.

AGM Batteries: These batteries hold the electrolyte in the glass mat separator through a capillary action. This can be beneficial because there is nothing to be spilled, there is never a need to refill the water, and the acid is fully encapsulated in the matting. They will, of course, be a little more expensive than the other types.

Getting the right batteries isn’t hard – you simply have to understand some of these differences to choose the one that will perform the optimally in your situation. Linking a bunch of car batteries to your solar system or wind generators is only going to lead to problems, so make sure you get the right equipment when you decide to convert to green energy.

About Kevin


Kevin is both an environmentalist and a tech guy and has been writing, editing and publishing this blog since 2007. He answers questions related to how you can use tech to go greener.

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