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In the case of renewable energies, batteries are usually referred to as deep cycle batteries. A lot of people believe that the normal car battery made of lead, is the same as deep cycle batteries.

This article will educate you more on what deep cycle batteries actually are and how they differ from the car lead battery. Also the importance of deep cycle batteries cannot be overemphasized.

WHAT DOES DEEP CYCLE BATTERY MEAN?

Deep cycle batteries are energy storage units, in which a chemical reaction develops voltage and in turn release electricity. This is an energy conversion process. These batteries are built to be able to cycle(i.e. to discharge and recharge) as many times as possible.

These deep cycle batteries are rated in 2 ways which are Volts and Amps.
Amp-hours means the rating capacity that can be found in chemical energy inside a battery, later it converts into electrical energy.

This can also be seen as the quantity of energy the battery can store. It can also mean the discharge rate, which measures the time taken to discharge a battery before it can be recharged.

If the battery gets discharged over a short period, the capacity of the battery reduces. The amp-hour capacity reduces by about 50% and so will the number of cycles. If the rate at which a battery discharges is constant, over a number of hours, it refers to as ‘C’ rating.

For instance, many small batteries deliver their amp-hour capacity over 20 hours if discharging, which means that they have a C 20 rate.

What is Difference Between Deep Cycle Battery and Regular?

Both car batteries and deep cycle batteries are lead-acid batteries that use exactly the same chemistry for their operation.

The structural difference between deep-cycle and lead-acid batteries is in the lead battery plates. Deep cycle battery plates have thicker active plates, with higher-density active paste material and thicker separators.

Alloys used for the plates in a deep cycle battery may contain more antimony than that of regular batteries.The thicker battery plates resist corrosion through extended charge and discharge cycles.

The difference can also be in the way that the batteries optimize their design:

CAR BATTERY

Car batteries are made for the sole purpose of providing short, sharp power burst in other to start the vehicle engine. This makes it most suitable for daily drivers. They have alternators that maintain power and recharge batteries.

Just a small part of the battery’s capacity is used, and it is restored by the vehicle alternator. Car batteries are able to deliver greater starting power because, they have thin lead grids and active materials, which will maximize the plate surface area.

A car battery typically has two ratings:

  • CA (Cold Cranking Amps) – The number of amps that the battery can produce at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) for 30 seconds
  • RC (Reserve Capacity) – The number of minutes that the battery can deliver 25 amps while keeping its voltage above 10.5 volts
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DEEP CYCLE BATTERIES

Deep cycle batteries are built to deliver long-lasting power with a low current drawn over a long period of time. They are designed using thick battery plates with materials that are denser. This enables it to withstand repeated charges and discharge cycles.

Deep cycle batteries are mainly for golf cars, forklifts, and large solar power systems (the sun produces power during the day and the batteries store some of the power for use at night).


Typically, a deep cycle battery will have two or three times the RC of a car battery but will deliver one-half or three-quarters of the CCAs.

In addition, a deep cycle battery can withstand several hundred total discharge/recharge cycles, while a car battery is not build to totally discharge.

Types of Deep Cycle Batteries

Deep-cycle lead-acid batteries generally fall into two distinct categories.There are so many deep cycle batteries, but the most common ones include:

Flooded Battery

Flooded batteries are the most long lasting. These are the traditional engine start, tractor and cycle batteries. It contains liquid electrolyte which moves freely in the cell compartment.

In this type of battery, the user can access the cells individually and as the battery dries out, they can add distilled water. These flooded deep cycle batteries are popularly used for starting engines and deep cycle designs. The batteries typical absorption rate is 14.4 to 14.9 and it’s typical float range is 13.1 to 13.4 volts.

Flooded batteries have free-flowing liquid acid inside the battery, and are the opposite of AGM or Gel style batteries. This method of construction is typically for automotive batteries, but it can also apply to deep cycle battery applications, however, these will not last nearly as long as their AGM or Gel counterparts.

These batteries are designed for automotive starting batteries, motorcycle batteries, ATV batteries, golf car batteries, and flood batteries for solar and emergency back up system.

They are the oldest batteries and has an affordable price. You can easily detect when there is a malfunction. They produce enough energy, so they are best used when there is a demanding application. Because they are sealed, they have to be placed in an upright position.

Sealed Battery

Sealed Batteries has the same internal composition with flooded batteries, but in sealed batteries, the user cannot access the cell compartment. They are known as sealed because, they are airtight.

For it to function properly, it must have a regulator valve. The essence of the regulator valve is to help in pressure reduction when it increases. This is why they are also known as Valve regulated lead-acid batteries(VRLA).

VRLA batteries normally makes use of nitrogen and oxygen. This is to enable the battery produce electricity. Some models include gel inside. This gel enables the user to be able to place the battery in an unstable position.

Because of its ability to stay in an unstable position, it can be easily used in off-grid locations. They are most commonly used by individuals or organizations that have a need to store a huge amount of energy.

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They don’t need conventional maintenances , but cleaning and testing is highly necessary.

Gel Battery

Gel batteries are good batteries, owing to the fact that it is simple and less complicated. These batteries contain acid, but the acid is turned into a gooey gel form by the addition of silica gel. This means that the batteries won’t leak acid even in broken.

Therefore in terms of placement, it can be both upright or in any other position. when you want the battery to last longer. This is a unique feature in comparison to other batteries.

Gel batteries are mostly for automotive industries because they are appropriate for heavy-duty applications. They are similar to AGMs.

Though the maintenance is more complicated than other types. This is because it is filled with gel. When the gel level is low, it requires trained personnel to fill it due to the acid inside the gooey gel.

This battery functions well at low temperatures, so it is mostly in use in areas where the temperature might drop below zero. In addition to that, they are also in use in aircraft industries because they withstand high temperatures as well.

Tubular Gel

Unlike standard flat plate gel batteries, tubular gel batteries use special tubular plate design that provides a large increase in performance. These batteries are typically in use for long life power storage solutions due to extremely high service life and cyclic life.

Tubular gel battery

Unlike standard 12V batteries that contain 6 individual cells within a single battery, tubular gel usually only contain a single 2V cell in each battery, which further increases reliability.

Lithium-ion Battery

These batteries are great in terms of energy-saving and output. They are long-lasting and have a capability of withstanding high temperatures and vibration. There the weight is usually light.

They are so very expensive, and can’t be gotten in any market compared to other types. It is advisable for users of lithium-ion batteries to manage it well because replacing them can be well tasking.

100Ah 12v lifePO4 deep cycle battery

This is build for use in an RV, boat, or off-grid power system. These can be in a 12,24,36,48 volt system. They are built with Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo4) technology.

This battery has twice the power, half the weight, and lasts 4 times longer than a sealed lead acid battery – providing exceptional lifetime value. 100 Amp-hours of capacity provides a full day of power for high amp draw trolling motors or for long days on the open road in your RV.

Features and details

  • It has a built-in BMS- BMS means a battery management system. This protects the battery from most causes of battery failure.
  • They are made with Lithium-ion technology- the monitoring capability of this, is limitless. It also has a long life span and it is also cost-effective.
  • Green energy batteries- made from 100% safe non-toxic renewable energy. This lasts for more cycles and can be charged and discharged repeatedly.
  • It also has lightweight and is very much versatile.

Applications and Maintenance of Deep Cycle Batteries

Marine Deep Cycle Batteries.

The deep cycle marine batteries are different from other types of batteries because they are build to withstand rough usages. For deep cycle marine batteries, flood batteries are frequently in use, and they are quite common.

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The disadvantage of using flood batteries here is that they are prone to leakages, which may damage the battery or even the boat.

For the maintenance, it has to be regular because of their short life span. The terminals should be cleaned at least once a year. Store properly especially in garages or boatyard.

Gel batteries appear to be a better option because it is leak-proof, which makes them safer and more durable.

Recreational vehicles

The batteries needed in this case are very special. This is because they are continually in use, and are required to deliver their energy over and over again.

For recreational vehicles, I advise the use of 2 deep cycle batteries. This will increase the amp by 100% because with one deep cycle battery, you have 85AH, so two make it 170AH.

In terms of maintenance, you should avoid overcharging, as this is likely to cause damage.

Golf cars and Wheel chair Batteries

The deep cycle batteries for golf cars and wheelchair batteries are smaller and lighter because golf cars require low weight to be able to provide battery range. Compared to the normal 8 cells, they have 3, which means that they will store less energy.

wheel chair battery image
Photo Credit: Alibaba

Deep cycle batteries for wheelchairs are very much specific. Just get a battery that will suit your wheelchair and you are good to go. The recharging time is 8 and 16 hours. So it is good that you have two batteries.

For the maintenance, the batteries are not greatly resistant to vibrations and damages. This is because they are lightweight. So it is advised that you handle them with care. They can last for a year if frequently used and 16 months if not frequently used.

Solar panels

While solar panels are used to produce more energy, deep cycle batteries are needed for solar storage bank. This makes room for proper usage. The most recommended deep cycle battery for solar panels is a sealed battery.

This is because there is no room for leakages thereby keeping your home or office safe from harmful toxins. Flooded batteries are long-lasting and are much affordable.


Another important way of maintaining a deep cycle battery is through the use of equalizing charge.

What is an equalizing charge and why we need it?

An equalizing charge is a deliberate action to overcharge a battery in other to eliminate sulfate crystals that build upon the plate over time.

Accumulation of sulfate on the battery can reduce its overall capacity and make it hard for the battery to be serviced. Sometimes, acids accumulate more at the bottom of the battery compared to the top.

So equalizing charge also helps in reversing this effect known as acid stratification. We recommend equalizing charge at least once a year.

I have done a great job of informing you about deep cycle batteries, telling you why you should consider getting a deep cycle battery and things to look out for. Deep cycle batteries are powerful energy storage units with little or no risk involved in their usage. Feel free to ask your questions on this topic as I am here to guide you through.

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