Winters is one of those times where the chances of your car battery giving up are higher than in normal warmer weather. Batteries are essential in powering up your car. They are required to turn on the lights, play music, run wipers, etc. They can be termed as a powerhouse of the car. While your engine runs, it recharges the battery, but this does not necessarily mean it will run forever. At some point in your life, you will have to replace the battery, and for that, one needs to understand the type of batteries available.
Types of Batteries:
There are different kinds of batteries, and one needs to determine the best one for their car. These are as follows:
Deep cycle batteries:
This kind of batteries provides sustained power over a long period of time. This makes them ideal for marine vehicles, small recreational vehicles, and golf carts. These are also used to store solar and wind power. Having thicker plates inside them increases their charge capacity. As these have high discharge rates, they cannot be used in cars because they will run out very quickly. If you do not drive your vehicle for a long time, then you will not be able to charge your battery sufficiently. These are also very expensive.
Starting, lightning and ignition batteries:
Also known as SLI batteries, these not only help in starting up the car but also provide power to turn on lights, radio, etc. They have shallow charge cycles, i.e., the time taken to discharge and recharge the battery and only provide power in short bursts.
Wet cell/flooded batteries:
They have liquid (a combination of lead, sulfuric acid, and water) that makes it electrolyte. Being cheap, these are the most popular types of batteries. These use suspended plates which are insulated from each other as the negative plates are completely sealed in a separator case. Wet cells or flooded batteries are available both as serviceable and maintenance free. In serviceable batteries, you need to keep an eye on the acid level and keep topping it up whenever it drops whereas maintenance free batteries do not require such checkup. They come as a sealed unit. The case has a valve to regulate gases.
Lithium ion batteries:
These are mostly used in high-performance vehicles and electric cars. These are lighter and provide a more fuel efficient drive. But these are also extremely expensive and have a very short lifespan, typically about three years irrespective of use. They are also incompatible with the majority of vehicles.
Silver calcium battery:
It has a calcium alloy that is on a different charged plate. This reduces the fluid loss and hence slows down the rate of discharge. The bubbles moving through the fluid are important as they are responsible for mixing the different acid densities. However, the battery gets seriously damaged once overcharged.
Valve regulated lead acid batteries:
The name describes safety valves present on the battery casing which are pressurized. This is one of those maintenance free batteries as mentioned above. These are designed in a way that they require less to no maintenance and no addition of water to the battery cells. As they are sealed, by containing the gas in the battery it will mix and form water, so you stop any fluid loss and so it does not spill. Hence they cannot be serviced and can only be replaced.
The VRLA batteries are further divided into two types:
Absorption glass mat (AGM) batteries –
They deliver a higher rate of power in short bursts compared to other sealed batteries thanks to a fast reaction between the electrolyte and the thin fiberglass surface mat.
Gel cell batteries – (called so because of their silica-based electrolyte)
These typically work best for deep-cycle applications (like marine vehicles and golf carts), but are less effective in extreme cold or hot temperatures. This type of battery is very good but is not the best for a starter battery.
We hope you have learned something new today, until next time, happy motoring!