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9 September 2014

Important Information on Starter And Deep Cycle Batteries

The starter batteries are designed specifically to crank any engine with a momentary high power bust. On the other hand, deep cycle batteries can provide continuous power to certain vehicles, such as golf cart or a wheelchair. From the outside, both these batteries look alike, but there are many fundamental differences in their design. All starter batteries are built for providing high peak power, and does not offer deep cycling. A deep-cycle battery has a moderate power output, but also offers cycling.

On all starter batteries, the CCA (cold cranking amps) rating is imprinted in amperes. This represents the amount of current a particular battery can deliver at a cold temperature. Society of Automotive Engineers has specified around 32 seconds of battery discharge at precisely –19C at the rated CCA ampere without dropping it below 6.3 volts.

Starter battery also has a substantially low resistance, and this is achieved by adding extra plates to ensure maximum surface area. These plates are thin and lead is applied on them in a sponge like form, which appears like a fine foam. This extends the surface area of the battery plates, achieving low resistance and maximum power. Here plate thickness is less important because the discharge is short and battery is again recharged while driving, so the emphasis here is on power rather than capacity. The starter battery does not allow deep cycling.

Deep Cycle Batteries

Deep cycle batteries (also called deep cell batteries) are specifically designed to provide steady current for a long duration of time. These batteries are also designed to easily stand up to being drained over and over which would be enough to ruin a regular car battery.

Almost all recreational vehicles (golf carts, scooters, or boats) tend to use some kind of deep cycle batteries. Both regular and deep-cycle batteries are lead-acid and also have the same chemistry behind them to produce energy. However, their design is different and they’re intended to be used in different ways.

Deep-cycle lead acid batteries provide high cycle count and maximum capacity. This is achieved by making lead plates thick. It improves their cycling abilities. Generally, a deep-cycle battery allows up to 300 cycles. Though deep-cycle batteries are built for cycling, full discharge can still induce lot of stress, and the cycle count will depend on the depth-of-the-discharge. These batteries are marked in minute of run time or Ah.

So, is any of these batteries more energy efficient? Well, it actually depends upon the usage, therefore, it shows ho important it is to choose the right tools for the job. While any deep cycle battery can retain sufficient charge for a long period of time, it would still have insufficient cold cranking amps to start many cars. It’s also unlikely to lose any charge due to lack of use. When we finally make a switch to electric or hybrid cars, they all will most probably use deep cell batteries.

Lastly, you cannot swap a deep-cycle battery with a starter batter, and vice versa. While a person might be tempted to install an inexpensive starter battery instead of a more expensive deep cycle battery on his wheelchair to save some money, but it won’t last long mainly because it has very thin sponge like plates that would quickly dissolve with repetitive deep cycling. Today there are some combination starter/deep-cycle lead-acid batteries available for buses, trucks, military and public safety vehicles, but these unites are heavy and big. As a simple guideline, the heavier the battery is, the more is the amount of lead it contains, and the longer it will last.

If you need a new starter battery or deep cycle battery then please give us a call on 1300 468 931 and ask us for our best price for your vehicle.


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