How to Charge a Gel Cell Batteryby 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)
Place the battery on the gel cell battery charger by following the manufacturer’s instructions for insertion.
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).
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).
Stop charging the battery in the fast charging mode or switch over to the float charging mode.
Float Charging (Standby Service)
Place the battery on the gel cell battery charger per the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
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.
Stop charging the battery when it is fully charged, and remove it from the gel cell battery charger.
- Try to avoid over-charging or under-charging your battery.
- Don’t use a car battery charger on your gel cell battery because the charger may not be properly voltage regulated.
- Don’t charge your battery near objects that may emit flames or sparks.
Items you will need
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