How to Charge a Gel Cell Battery

by J. Taylor Ludwig

Gel cell batteries are deep cycle batteries that contain an electrolyte which is suspended in a gel solution between lead plates. Since gel batteries never spill, they are sometimes referred to as non-spillable batteries, dry cell batteries or maintenance-free gel batteries. The batteries are often used in motorcycles, wheelchairs and radio communications.

You can recharge a gel cell battery with a gel cell battery charger. Constant voltage charging is one of the best charging methods, which you can accomplish in one of two ways.

Fast Charging (Cyclic Charging)

1

Place the battery on the gel cell battery charger by following the manufacturer’s instructions for insertion.

2

Turn on the charger, and charge the battery until the voltage on the terminal reaches 2.40 to 2.45 volts per battery cell (14.4 to 14.7 volts on a 12-volt battery) at 58 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).

3

Keep the battery at this voltage until the charging current drops down to 0.01 x C amps (with C being the battery’s amp-hour rating).

4

Stop charging the battery in the fast charging mode or switch over to the float charging mode.

Float Charging (Standby Service)

1

Place the battery on the gel cell battery charger per the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

2

Turn on the charger, and charge the battery at a constant voltage of 2.25 to 2.30 volts per cell (13.5 to 13.8 volts on a 12-volt battery at 58 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). At this voltage, the battery should regulate its own level of current.

3

Stop charging the battery when it is fully charged, and remove it from the gel cell battery charger.

Tip

  • check Try to avoid over-charging or under-charging your battery.

Warnings

  • close Don’t use a car battery charger on your gel cell battery because the charger may not be properly voltage regulated.
  • close Don’t charge your battery near objects that may emit flames or sparks.

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About the Author

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