Types of Batteries for Alternative Energy Storage

Types of Batteries

Flooded (wet), gelled, and AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) are the most common used to store energy for backup power, RV and boat "house" and off grid electrical needs.
Deep cycle batteries differ from car batteries in that they are designed to be charged and discharges up to 80% with out causing damage to the battery. All batteries lose a bit of life with each discharge but deep cycle is designed with thicker plates to endure a greater amount of charges and discharges.
Car batteries are designed for a very minimum amount of charges and discharges. After just a few full discharges a car battery is rendered useless. This is due to the fact that their plates are very thin.


What is a Battery? A battery, in concept, can be any device that stores energy for later use. A rock, pushed to the top of a hill, can be considered a kind of battery, since the energy used to push it up the hill (chemical energy, from muscles or combustion engines) is converted and stored as potential kinetic energy at the top of the hill. Later, that energy is released as kinetic and thermal energy when the rock rolls down the hill. Not real practical for everyday use though.

Common use of the word, "battery" in electrical terms, is limited to an electrochemical device that converts chemical energy into electricity, by a galvanic cell. A galvanic cell is a fairly simple device consisting of two electrodes of different metals or metal compounds (an anode and a cathode) and an electrolyte (usually acid, but some are alkaline) solution. A "Battery" is two or more of those cells in series, although many types of single cells are usually referred to as batteries - such as flashlight batteries.

As noted above, a battery is an electrical storage device. Batteries do not make electricity, they store it, just as a water tank stores water for future use. As chemicals in the battery change, electrical energy is stored or released. In rechargeable batteries this process can be repeated many times. Batteries are not 100% efficient - some energy is lost as heat and chemical reactions when charging and discharging. If you use 1000 watts from a battery, it might take 1050 or 1250 watts or more to fully recharge it.

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