In this article, you will learn what are VRLA batteries, the differences between VRLA and SLA, what are AGM and GEL batteries, and what are the benefits of VRLA batteries.
Lead acid batteries come in many sizes and shapes and have many types. VRLA is one of them.
VRLA batteries are specially designed for smaller applications that need a reliable and versatile power source that is immune to turbulence and wear and tear of the road.
The VRLA (valve-regulated lead acid) battery is one of the brilliant power designs because the electrolytes are sealed/captive, preventing it from spilling in case of turbulence even if the battery is harmed or punctured.
What are VRLA Batteries?
VRLA or valve-regulated lead acid batteries are leak-proof and maintenance-free equipped with a limited amount of electrolytes, and with a one-way pressure relief valve that prevents internal gases from escaping.
When you recharge the battery, these gases recombine with the water. The process is called oxygen combination. The electrolytes are absorbed into dividers across the plates or formed into a gel.
For decades, lead acid batteries have been the mains stored power source for small and large applications (100Wh). In recent times, a majority of o the traditional flooded battery design has been replaced by Valve-regulated design.
This new valve-regulated lead acid design doesn’t spill liquid, doesn’t need maintenance, and doesn’t need electrolyte replenishment.
What is the Difference between SLA, AGM, and VRLA?
SLA (sealed lead acid) or VRLA (valve-regulated lead acid) are two different names for the same battery. An SLA or VRLA is a type of maintenance-free and leak-proof battery where gases are trapped inside through a one-way pressure relief valve.
An AGM (absorbed glass mat) is a form or type of VRLA/SLA battery where a limited amount of electrolytes are absorbed in a series of fiberglass separators. These separators are suspended between the battery’s plates.
What are VRLA Batteries Used For?
AGM battery is a type of VRLA and it is mostly used in high-power applications such as starting batteries for travel trailers and other vehicles.
These VRLA batteries are also popular for marine usage and kayaking because they are spill-proof, and offer large power capacity and good starting power.
GEL VRLA batteries are most commonly used for trolling motors, wheelchairs, and RV (check out the list of RV batteries) homes because they discharge deeper than AGM batteries.
The problem with the gel problem is their declines faster than AGM in cold temperatures (below 32F).
What is the Lifespan of AGM Batteries?
The average lifespan of an AGM battery is 3 to 5 years. With proper care, these batteries can last up to 7 years. Caring involved not using in a high-temperature environment, charging it properly, and not draining it to zero over and over again.
Read this research if you want to know more about VRLA batteries.