AGM and lead batteries are both popular choices when it comes to selecting the power source for your equipment. Likewise, they both pose advantages and disadvantages which are to be taken into consideration.
But are AGM batteries better than lead acid batteries? AGM batteries are a modified version of lead-acid ones, providing better durability and performance. Moreover, they offer bonus safety features and can be charged quickly. However, they do cost more than lead-acid batteries.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide which one’s a better fit for you. Keep reading to know the pros and cons of both batteries.
What Are Lead Acid And AGM Batteries?
Lead Acid Battery
As the name suggests, lead-acid batteries are made of lead electrodes and sulphuric acid as electrolytes. Usually, they’re of two types- flooded and valve-regulated. Lead acid batteries have a wide range of applications, most commonly in automobiles.
AGM or Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are a modified version of the flooded lead acid battery. They are highly durable with advanced power. Moreover, they provide better resistance against vibration and acid spills.
Difference Between AGM Battery And Lead Acid Battery
We’ve charted a table with all the different features of both AGM and lead acid batteries to help you decide which one’s more suited to your needs.
|Feature||AGM Battery||Lead Acid Battery|
|Working procedure||The fiberglass mat present in between the plates seals the battery and prohibits the escape of any gases.||As the lead electrodes are submerged in acid, the gases produced after chemical reactions are released, causing substantial water loss.|
|Maintenance and storing||AGM batteries are very low maintenance and can be stored in any condition.||Lead acid batteries are high maintenance and must be stored in properly ventilated surroundings as it discharges frequently.|
|Durability||As AGM batteries are built harder; they provide better durability.||The components of lead-acid batteries aren’t as durable as AGM ones and are more susceptible to leaks and damage.|
|Vibration and Shock Resistance||The configuration of AGM batteries enables them to be more shock and vibration-resistant.||Whereas lead acid batteries can’t handle vibration well.|
|Spillage and mounting flexibility||AGM batteries’ glass mat feature makes it spillproof. So, it can be mounted in any position.||As lead acid batteries use a liquid Electrolyte, you can only mount them upright due to the risk of spilling.|
|Internal resistance||As low as 2%, which indicates more voltage output.||Higher than AGM batteries at 10-15%, so it provides lower voltage output.|
|Power supply||Can supply more power in the same amount of time.||In the same amount of time, it always delivers less power than AGM batteries|
|Time required for charging||Charges fast, so it takes less time.||Slow charging, thus, requires more time to charge.|
|Depth of discharge||At 80%||At 50%|
|Temperature tolerance||Can perform well in any temperature.||It can’t operate in cold and freezing conditions.|
|Overcharging||Dissipiates easily due to overcharging.||They’re more tolerant towards overcharging.|
|Lifespan||Usually, 7 years.||Up to 3-5 years.|
|Corrosiveness||More resistant to corrosion.||Due to risk of acid spillage, they’re more prone to corrosion.|
|Expenses||More costly than lead acid batteries.||A cheaper option than AGM batteries.|
Are AGM Batteries Better Than Lead Acid Batteries?
In this section, we’ll dive deeper into the pros and cons of both batteries, and hopefully, by the end of it, you can decide for yourself which one’s the superior battery.
Advantages of AGM Battery
The benefits of AGM battery includes-
The structure of AGM batteries enables them to store more energy. The amount of discharge is minimized. As a result, they can provide quality service for years.
AGM batteries hold 100 amp hours, so charging them for 6-9 hours will be perfect. This charging will last you a solid three months. So, there’s no beating AGM batteries when it comes to efficient charging.
Due to their design, AGM batteries can adapt to any thermal condition, hot or cold. Moreover, they can be minted in any configuration due to their glass mat feature.
As there’s no hassle of chemical leakage, the batteries can perform at full potential for a long time. Furthermore, the fiberglass present in AGM batteries makes them more durable.
Unlike other batteries, AGM batteries don’t pose the threat of leaking harmful chemicals out into the environment. Moreover, they can go for long periods without charging, contributing a lot to energy saving.
Better Power Output
As AGM batteries have low internal resistance, they’re able to process large amounts of currents resulting in higher voltage output.
Drawback of AGM Batteries
The main disadvantage of AGM batteries is, perhaps, their upfront cost. Usually, they start off at $200-$300, and the price only goes higher. This amount is twice as that of regular storage batteries found on the market.
Advantages of Lead Acid Batteries
Lead acid batteries have been around for decades. Surely, they have a few advantages. Let’s find out!
Lead acid batteries are easy to manufacture at a low cost.
As the manufacturing costs are low, lead acid batteries are cheap and affordable to consumers.
Can Handle Overcharging
Generally, lead acid batteries can withstand overcharging well. However, it isn’t advised to overcharge your batteries as it will damage them in the long run.
Drawbacks of Lead Acid Batteries
Unfortunately, the drawbacks of using lead acid batteries are many. So be warned before you invest in them.
In order for the lead acid battery to function smoothly, a charging period of at least ten hours is required. On top of that, it takes another 4-6 hours for the battery to cool down before you can actually use it. The whole process is highly time-consuming and one of the major drawbacks of lead-acid batteries.
Risk Of Leaking
Lead acid batteries use sulphuric acid as electrolytes. The batteries aren’t sealed, causing frequent leaking of toxic chemicals. This leakage also shortens the lifespan of the battery and may harm other equipment in which it’s used.
Frequent leaking combined with inefficient charging shortens the lifespan of a lead acid battery. Another reason is its high internal resistance.
Due to the continuous spilling and damaging of your batteries, you’ll need to either fix them or buy new ones entirely, which won’t come cheap. Even though lead acid batteries are cheap, the maintenance costs combined far exceed their initial cost.
Toxic to the Environment
The discharges left by lead acid batteries are detrimental to the environment. Moreover, the lead and sulfur discharges are equivalent to slow poisoning.
You can also read – Are AGM Batteries Good for RV Or Is It Just A Myth?
- Is AGM battery a type of lead acid battery?
AGM batteries are advanced versions of lead acid batteries, with enhanced power output, stronger durability, longer lifespan, and better safety features.
- Can I use AGM batteries instead of lead acid ones?
You can use AGM batteries as an alternative as long as the voltage requirement of your equipment and the battery is the same.
- How much do lead acid batteries cost?
The price of lead acid batteries varies depending on the manufacturing company and the purpose of use. Typically, you’ll find them starting at $70-$80. But top-tier batteries may cost you well over $100.
- Can I charge an AGM battery with a lead acid charger?
Technically, you can use a lead acid charger to charge your AGM battery, provided that their voltage profile is the same. However, it’s not advisable to do so, and you should charge batteries with their respective chargers.
- Can AGM batteries last for ten years?
Most AGM batteries can function properly for up to 7-8 years. But with extra care and cautiousness, you can stretch the longevity for a few more years.
So, Which Battery(AGM or Lead-Acid) is Suitable For You?
Objectively, it does seem like AGM has the upper hand. But in the end, it’s for you to decide are AGM batteries better than lead acid batteries.
If you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest much, lead acid batteries may be a better fit for you. But ultimately, you should switch to AGM batteries for better performance and safety measures.
Hopefully, after reading our article, you can now decide which battery is more suited to your needs.