The field of batteries is rapidly changing, and new types of cells are continually being released to the market. One of the latest battery technology is a deep cycle battery.
In this guide, we will provide basic information on what deep cycle battery is, how they work, their uses, and their different types.
What Is a Deep Cycle Battery?
A deep cycle cell is a type of lead battery that is designed to provide reliable power over a long period until it uses up to 80 percent discharged- the point at which it needs to be recharged. It is important to mention that although these batteries can provide sustained power until they are 80% discharged or more, most manufacturers recommend that you recharge them once they hit 45% discharge mark to extend their lifespan.
Deep cycle batteries are different from other types of cells which provide short bursts of power before they need to be recharged as they supply sustained power before they need to be recharged.
How They Work
These batteries differ from typical starter batteries in terms of the amount of power discharged and the way the energy is discharged.
For deep cycle batteries, they discharge large percentages of power in a sustained way in a process called ‘deep discharge.’ Most of them are designed to discharge up to 80% of their capacity without affecting their lifespan. However, the ‘ideal’ amount of energy to discharge depends on the manufacturer.
Some batteries can safely supply energy until 75% of their total capacity is exhausted without suffering any damage, while others are designed for a 45 percent discharge.
On the other hand, starter batteries discharge small amounts of power at any time.
Uses of Deep Cycle Batteries
Since these batteries are designed to discharge a sustained amount of energy over a long period, they are mainly used in motors and appliances that require a consistent supply of power.
For instance, a trolling motor- which requires electricity to power its propeller works great using a deep cycle battery. If you have more powerful trolling engines, you can connect several deep cycle batteries in series to act as a power source.
These batteries are also used to power electric wheelchairs, forklifts, golf carts, and other small vehicles. Most of the navigational devices and instruments inside a board are powered by a deep cycle battery when outboard or inboard motor is not powered.
Recently, these batteries are used as storage batteries for renewable energy systems such as solar systems.
Types of Deep Cycle Batteries
There are two major types of deep cycle batteries;
Flooded deep cycle batteries. These batteries have a vent that you remove when checking the specifics of the battery or when adding distilled water. Because it is not sealed, you must adequately vent it to the outside to prevent hydrogen and oxygen gas from igniting. The good thing with these batteries is that they are cheaper than sealed batteries, and last longer.
Sealed lead-acid batteries (Maintenance-free batteries). These batteries are sealed and do not require watering. They are safer since they don’t outgas as much as their flooded counterparts. On the downside, they tend to be pricey.
Are You In Need of a Reliable Power Source?
If you need to operate 12V appliances, power a trolling motor, or store energy generated by renewable energy systems, a deep cycle battery will be an ideal option.