Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries get to a point where they will not charge because they are below 8V - 5V, be that a Northstar, Odyssey, Optima, Deka, or any other brand of AGM battery.
AGM batteries differ from flooded lead acid batteries in that the electrolyte is held in the glass mats, as opposed to freely flooding the plates. Very thin glass fibers are woven into a mat to increase surface area enough to hold sufficient electrolyte on the cells for their lifetime. The fibers that compose the fine glass mat do not absorb nor are they affected by the acidic electrolyte. These mats are wrung out 2–5% after being soaked in acids, prior to manufacture completion and sealing.
The plates in an AGM battery may be any shape. Some are flat, others are bent or rolled. AGM batteries, both deep cycle and starting, are built in a rectangular case to BCI battery code specifications.
Many modern motorcycles and ATVs on the market use AGM batteries to reduce likelihood of acid spilling during cornering, vibration, or after accidents, and for packaging reasons. The lighter, smaller battery can be installed at an odd angle if needed for the design of the motorcycle. Due to the higher manufacturing costs compared with flooded lead–acid batteries, AGM batteries are currently used on premium vehicles. As vehicles become heavier and equipped with more electronic devices such as navigation, stability control, and premium stereos, AGM batteries are being employed to lower vehicle weight and provide better electrical reliability compared with flooded lead–acid batteries.
5 series BMWs from March 2007 incorporate AGM batteries in conjunction with devices for recovering brake energy using regenerative braking and computer control to ensure the alternator charges the battery when the car is decelerating. Vehicles used in auto racing may use AGM batteries due to their vibration resistance.
Deep-cycle AGMs are also commonly used in off grid solar power and wind power installations as an energy storage bank and in large-scale amateur robotics, such as the FIRST and IGVC competitions.
AGM batteries are routinely chosen for remote sensors such as ice monitoring stations in the Arctic. AGM batteries, due to their lack of free electrolyte, will not crack and leak in these cold environments.
VRLA batteries are used extensively in power wheelchairs, as the extremely low gas and acid output makes them much safer for indoor use. VRLA batteries are also used in the UPS (uninterruptible power supply) as a back up when the electrical power goes off.
VRLA batteries are also the standard power source in sailplanes, due to their ability to withstand a variety of flight attitudes and a relatively large ambient temperature range with no adverse effects. However, charging regimes must be adapted with varying temperature. Both AGM and Gel cells are commonly used in powered aerobatic aircraft, for the same reasons.
AGM and Gell-cell batteries are also used for recreational marine purposes, with AGM being more commonly available. AGM deep-cycle marine batteries are offered by a number of suppliers. They typically are favored for their low maintenance and spill-proof quality, although generally considered a less cost effective solution relative to traditional flooded cells.
Music by Randall Kent: As seen on NCIS
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