Frequently asked questions about our services and car batteries
The major difference is that in the AGM, the electrolyte is fully soaked into a special absorbed glass mat separator which immobilizes the acid, whereas in the GEL batteries, the acid is mixed with Silica to form a GEL also immobilizing the acid. The benefits of AGM over GEL are that with the use of an absorbed glass mat, the battery pack can be operated under greater operating pressure so improving cyclic durability. With GEL, similar pack pressure cannot be used so durability is usually provided by increased paste density which is good for life but not as good for high-rate start-ability performance as required for automotive applications.
The sealing vent used in the design ensures that positive internal pressure is maintained to ensure the recombination of the gasses occurs and does not allow the cell to dry out and fail. A game-changing technology indeed.
In addition, the valve must safely release any excess pressure that may be produced during overcharging (such as an alternator rectifier fault), otherwise, the cell would be irreversibly damaged. The excessive pressure that the valve is releasing is both hydrogen and oxygen which cannot recombined within the battery so breaks the cycle, net result is that battery would eventually dry out.
It must be noted that an AGM battery must never be opened once it leaves the factory, as sulphation could occur on the plates leading to an irreversible loss in performance.
Gel batteries are more critical to correct charging as overcharge can lead to the gel being irreversibly damaged, AGM are not subject to this failure mode and hence are more suitable for automotive use.
Modern batteries are in hard plastic cases, concrete is generally an excellent surface on which to store a battery.