If you work with a lot of heavy machinery, you’ve probably heard of AGM batteries.
They’re one of the most commonly used batteries in many industries, from NASCAR to the military. AGM batteries have a lot of advantages over other battery types, from a sturdier build to faster charging times.
But what is an AGM battery exactly? What makes it so much better? Keep reading to find out.
What Is an AGM Battery?
An absorbed glass mat battery, or AGM battery, is a type of lead-acid battery. It contains an electrolyte solution that produces electrons via a chemical reaction.
AGM batteries are typically used in machinery.
Many motorcyclists prefer AGM batteries. AGM batteries spill acid much less frequently in the case of an accident. They also lower the weight of the motorcycle compared to other batteries and can be installed in more versatile ways.
AGM batteries perform great in the cold. This makes them ideal for use in marine technologies. They’re also used in motor homes and robotics.
AGM batteries rose to prominence in the 80s. They were used in military aircrafts and vehicles to increase reliability and reduce weight.
AGM batteries are much easier to ship as they’re spill-proof. They can skirt many hazardous material restrictions because of this.
Typically, AGM batteries range from about 30 to 100Ah but can be built to size for many vehicles and machines.
What Are AGM Batteries Used In?
As stated above, AGM batteries are preferred for motorcycles, especially high-end ones. They’re also used in military vehicles and equipment. But there are plenty more uses for AGM batteries.
Many cars use AGM batteries to run heated seats, mirrors, and steering wheels. NASCAR uses them for the vibration resistance, and marine-based professions use them for their cold resistance. They’re frequently found in motor homes, robotics companies,
How Does an AGM Battery Work?
AGM batteries contain an absorbent glass mat made of thin glass fibres. This glass mat absorbs and holds battery acid, keeping it from flowing around inside of the battery. The electrolyte solution inside is kept between the glass plates.
In this way, the electrolytes are stored in a suspended state. When the battery is in use, the electrolyte is transferred as needed.
AGM batteries have low internal resistance and deliver high currents fast. This gives them a major up over many deep cycle batteries.
The Benefits of AGM Batteries
AGM batteries are considered “maintenance free” batteries. They do not require any watering services like other batteries. The lack of free-moving liquid means they’re much easier to maintain.
The life expectancy of AGM batteries is hard to beat. An AGM battery will last you three to five years if properly used. That means recharging it before 60% use in most cases.
One of the biggest benefits is the reduced spillage. Battery acid spillage can be very dangerous, and can not only destroy the battery but the device the battery is charging. AGM batteries are also lightweight, a major reason why they’re used.
AGM batteries also have a very high power output. They release very strong bursts of power in an instant. They’re great for starting batteries.
AGM batteries charge up to five times faster than flooded technology batteries and have a more efficient cycle life. They’re vibration resistant, making them great for use in vehicles.
It doesn’t get much sturdier than an AGM battery, either. Since they’re built for heavy machinery, including military machines, they need to be very resistant. Their “sandwich construction” method ensures they’ll hold up to a lot of force, including weather-related wear and tear.
Finally, AGM batteries are much less likely to succumb to sulfation. Sulfation happens when crystals build up on the battery’s plates due to discharge. It can lead to lead to a much weaker battery over time.
With AGM batteries, a lot of your typical battery worries go right out the door.
Caring for Your AGM Battery
There are a few care tips to keep in mind considering AGM batteries.
First off, AGM batteries are heat sensitive. It’s generally agreed upon that you should stop charging the battery if it goes over 49°C.
AGM batteries should always be charged before they’re stored. They’re also sensitive to overcharging. If you overcharge an AGM battery regularly, you’re going to wear it out and notice a reduction in function.
You can also undercharge AGM batteries pretty easily. If you want to keep your AGM battery working the best, don’t let it fall below 50% charge.
Some people think you can use a regular battery charger for AGM batteries, but this is false. AGM batteries should be charged slowly. You should use a reliable VRLA battery charger to charge up an AGM.
Are AGM Batteries Worth It?
Depending on your industry, AGM batteries could definitely be worth it.
If you work in cold temperatures, such as in the marine industry, AGM batteries are very worth it. They’re resistant to the cold, and won’t leak. Where other batteries might lose functionality in the cold, AGM batteries thrive.
If you’re a motorcycle rider, an AGM battery could potentially save your life in the case of a crash. It’ll also offer you weight reduction, and more installation options. If you’re a NASCAR driver, you’re probably going to have to use an AGM battery.
AGM batteries are a little more expensive than other battery types, but they offer some great benefits. If the listed benefits above sound like they work with your needs, try an AGM battery.
Should You Get an AGM Battery?
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “what is an AGM battery?” now you know the answer! Whether an AGM battery is right for you, however, is up to you.
Consider your options and try out an AGM battery if you never have before. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
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