Gel Battery: No Breakdowns, No Power Loss
Nowadays, gel batteries are used in a wide range of applications like solar systems, marine trolling, electric vehicles, sailboats, UPS (Uninterrupted Power Systems), emergency lighting, and others. This is why the gel battery market is rapidly growing worldwide. In addition, due to the numerous benefits of gel batteries such as easy maintenance, long service life, flexible designs, spill-proof, vibration-resistant, and minimal corrosion, these batteries are suitable for a variety of applications. Hence, there are high demands of gel batteries in the market. However, these batteries should be charged at a slower rate and they must be taken out immediately after charging to stop overheating and enhance their life span.
With the increasing population and limited resources of energy, there is a rise in the dependency of human life on batteries. In the past few years, a variety of batteries were evolved, thus making the life easier and convenient. Currently, the increasing rates of crude oil is a major concern for many countries. This has fueled the need for the invention of electric vehicles that run on batteries. In this blog, we will discuss gel batteries, their pros, and their cons.
What is a Gel battery?
Gel battery is a valve-regulated lead-acid battery that requires zero maintenance. These batteries are extremely robust and versatile. They are made with flat or tubular positive plates.
In a gel battery, there exists a predetermined quantity of an electrolyte which is combined together with sulfuric acid and silica. This chemical reaction results in an immobile mass-like substance, which we commonly call a gel. Therefore, these batteries are called gel batteries.
How does a Gel Battery Work?
The stationary gel substance allows the gel battery to utilize the electrolyte and acid in the same way as in a traditional lead-acid battery. Additionally, these batteries use one-way open valves that permit the internal gases to recombine with the water. This reduces the extra effort of monitoring the water level on the top. These batteries are safe to be installed in limited ventilation places, even in residential spaces, as they produce very less amount of gas or fumes, which are not harmful as sulfur dioxide (a flammable hydrogen gas).
Uses of Gel Batteries
- Commonly, gel batteries are used in cell phones, camcorders, electric vehicles, and marine equipment. As their batteries are spill-proof, they are mostly used in electric cars.
- For their longer discharging power, gel batteries are used in RV (Recreational vehicle) applications, golf carts, floor scrubbers, etc.
- Due to an increase in awareness about the use of renewable sources of energy, governments of many countries are looking forward to an off-grid setup. Here, gel batteries come into the role. These batteries can be used to store energy for a longer period.
- Gel batteries are used in solar systems to store energy as an emergency backup power. These batteries are reliable and used as an affordable method of powering rooms, cabins, etc. at the time of need.
Advantages of Gel Batteries
- Deep Cycle Applications- Gel batteries are best suited for deep cycle applications because they can discharge more and can be recharged to a new one.
- Maintenance Free- As the battery comprises of gel-like substance than that of liquid, there is no need of taking care of the batteries to work well.
- Flexible Designs- Gel batteries can be installed in both vertical and horizontal manner, as there is no leaking out.
- Rugged Construction- The outer layer of gel batteries is made up of non-conductive plastics, which are resistant to shock, vibration, chemicals, and heat.
- Vibration Resistant- One of the major drawbacks of wet cell batteries is that they are subjected to extreme vibration and other impacts. However, gel batteries absorb the vibrations and impacts, that’s why they are used in four-wheelers.
- No Fumes- Gel batteries release minimal fumes which are not at all harmful. Therefore, they are potentially used in many applications in a limited ventilated place, and also can be charged anywhere.
The Disadvantage of Gel Batteries
Challenging Charging Procedure- The biggest issue of gel batteries is their charging process. There is a slow rate of charging in gel batteries. Nonetheless, you cannot leave them alone while charging, because you have to take the charger away as soon as the charging is completed. As it has gel inside, instead of liquid, overcharging can cause voids with the electrolytes, which may cause irreversible damage, and also reduce the life of the battery.
Impact of Covid-19 on Gel Battery Market
Due to stringent lockdowns in several countries, the economic activities related to goods and services are restricted. This has adversely affected the demand and supply chain of raw materials used in the production of gel batteries. The covid-19 outbreak has had a negative impact on the market of gel batteries, as it has decreased industrial activities all across the world, and is thereby reducing the demand for energy storage essentials.
Growth of Global Gel Battery Market
The gel battery market is envisioned to grow due to numerous factors such as ease of recyclability, cost-effectiveness, and others. The global gel battery market is anticipated to grow with a CAGR of 4.0% by generating revenue of $2,776.9 million by 2028. However, the availability of alternatives, sensitivity of overcharging, and requirement of specific chargers are some key components restraining the growth of the global gel battery market .
The Bottom Line
By adopting new charging techniques and bringing a new chemical revolution, the use of gel batteries can be enhanced. Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness of gel batteries and their possibility of recycling can increase their utility on a large scale. For future generations, gel batteries can be a great source of saving resources of energy.