When a Lead-Acid Flooded Deep Cycle Battery Is Essential: A Guide to Emergencies

Your power went off in the storm last night, and it’s not due back until tomorrow. Here in South Africa, staying warm is not a problem. Pumping water out of the well is.

Thankfully, you stocked up. You have a Lead Acid flooded deep cycle battery charged up and ready to go out in the carport just for emergencies. Using it to power up an inverter and running the pump for the well is simple.

Throughout Asia, Africa, and the Middle East people are relying on dependable, affordable flooded deep cycle batteries as an emergency power source.

Lead-acid batteries – deep cycle and starting – have been around for ages – since 1859, to be precise.

Advances in battery technology are coming up with newer types of batteries – AGMs, Gel, and Lithium – but a 12v flooded deep cycle battery is still the primary go-to for emergency use.

Let’s look at the batteries and some emergency situations where having a deep cycle battery power reserve might be critical.

Closer Look: Lead-Acid Flooded Deep Cycle Battery

What is a lead-acid flooded deep cycle battery? These batteries use a sulfuric electrolyte solution. Working with the lead and antimony cell walls, the electrolyte produces electricity.

With their thicker cell walls, flooded deep cycle batteries are capable of discharging power slowly. On the other hand, starting batteries are designed for putting out large surges of power instantaneously.

Flooded deep cycle batteries can be repeatedly discharged to 50 to 80% of their amp-hour capacity, making them ideal for storage.

And because they are ruggedly built, they are robust and suited for conditions that would damage other batteries.

Flooded batteries construction is largely lead and plastic, making them among the most recyclable on the market. Recycling up to 80% of the materials used is a win-win for the environment.

Emergency Use Applications

The benefits of the lead-acid flooded deep cycle batteries in emergency situations are practically unlimited. Here are a few of the most common.

Backup Generator Electrical Storage

Many hospitals rely on generators as a backup during a power outage. Backups are essential in parts of Africa, Asia, and India, where the infrastructure grid is unreliable.

Storing the excess electricity produced by the generators in banks of flooded deep cycle batteries assures the capacity to power lights, refrigeration, and medical equipment is available.

Solar and Wind Power Storage and Backup

With solar and wind power increasingly prevalent throughout the Southern Hemisphere, reliable storage and backup capacity are vital. Solar arrays collect sunlight, converting it into electricity stored in deep cycle batteries.

On sunny days, solar and wind will be producing more energy than is being used for normal use. Storing that excess electricity in a bank of flooded deep cycle batteries keeps a reserve on hand in the event of long periods of rainy, overcast weather.

Emergency Home Use

Deep cycle flooded batteries can provide life-saving reserve electricity for homes where consistent power is questionable and a source of emergency power is necessary.

With one or more charged batteries ready to go, powering any 12-volt appliance in an emergency is straightforward.

Connecting the battery leads to a cigarette lighter socket or USB plug means anything from cell phones to VHF radios, pumps to laptop computers can be powered.

Coupled with an inverter converting the battery’s 12 volt DC power to AC power, normal household appliances like refrigeration and lights can be kept running in the event of emergencies.

Care and Feeding of Flooded Deep Cycle Batteries

As rugged and dependable as they are, flooded deep cycle batteries do need to be taken care of and maintained. Here are a few of the key points.

Typically, flooded deep cycles shouldn’t be discharged below 50 – 80% of their stated capacity on a regular basis. Significantly over-discharging flooded deep cycle batteries shorten their life expectancy.

For example, RB Batteries’ EBZ 110, with a rated 110 Amp Hour capacity, should only be discharged regularly to 50 Amps. Staying within this range will maximize the battery’s life.

Because flooded deep cycle batteries are wet-cell, lead-acid batteries, they can discharge potentially explosive gasses. Keeping them in a well-ventilated area is a major safety factor.

And while more heat-tolerant than other battery types, flooded deep cycle batteries will always last longer and perform better if they are kept cool. As temps rise towards 30° Centigrade, they can lose up to 25% of their capacity.

You’ll get better performance and longer battery life by keeping the top of the battery clean and corrosion-free by periodically removing any corrosion from the battery posts and lugs (use emery paper or a soft wire brush).

Applying a thin coat of high-temperature grease or even regular petroleum jelly to the terminals helps keep corrosion at bay.

Check the electrolyte levels when your battery is fully charged (and only then). Add distilled water to bring the levels up so that the cell plates are fully submerged.

Keep the batteries fully charged unless using them.

Number One in Emergency Situations

Adding up all of their advantages clarifies why a flooded deep cycle battery is the number one choice for reserve electricity in emergencies.

Flooded deep cycle batteries are simple, robust, and rugged. They have been proving themselves repeatedly in the harshest conditions for years.

Giving them simple maintenance means your flooded deep cycles will provide hundreds of cycles of charge and discharge.

The benefits of flooded deep cycle batteries, plus their affordability compared to alternatives like lithium, are making them far and away the most relied on – and trusted – storage battery.

More consumers throughout Asia, Africa, and the Mid-East are depending on flooded deep cycle batteries for daily use and as an emergency backup than any other battery type.

The Proven Choice

Whether it’s electrical storage for solar and wind, for use in emergency health and communications situations, or home use, flooded deep cycle batteries are earning their place.

When your electricity goes out, don’t be powerless. Make sure you have at least one dependable flooded deep cycle battery on hand.

You’ll still be getting power to the necessities – your water pump, the refrigerator, your cell phone!