The AGM batteries use a newer version of lead-acid technology that can provide exact electricity power with sufficient storage. However, lead-acid batteries are infamous for exploding when they are overcharged. As AGM batteries use the same type of technology but with more power, a question can be asked, “Can AGM batteries explode?”
No, they don’t usually explode. These batteries have special ventilation valves that release internal pressure when the pressure excessively increases. Also, its sandwich-type building structure doesn’t allow its electrodes to touch one another.
Whether providing perfect electric power with stability or for a long life cycle without proper maintenance, AGM batteries are getting more popular day by day. They are being used in different high-tech industries like aircraft, racing bikes, or energy-efficient cars because of their perfect building structures and high-quality chemical compounds.
How do AGM batteries explode?
An AGM battery explodes when the gases inside it can’t escape. Like lithium-ion batteries, AGM batteries also have two electrodes. There is a sandwich layer of flammable organic solvent electrodes between them. In AGM batteries, flat electrodes are thin.
Because these electrodes are so slim, the gap between the wide case and if these electrodes are manufactured with defects by squashing or overcharging and allowing them to touch causes the battery to short circuit. This short circuit creates lots of heat.
Due to this excessive heat, the hydrogen gases, which are created inside the battery because of reactions, start to increase their volume. The new volume of H2 gas could be 1700 times greater than the previous volume.
Also, the short circuit can start burning the hydrogen gases. As a result, the hydrogen explodes and causes the explosion.
Why do batteries explode?
The reasons for battery explosions are described below.
Because of the overcharge
Most of the time, batteries explode because of overcharging. Charging a battery no more than 95% of the way is usually recommended. And when you charge a battery, it starts converting sponge lead on its negative mark electrode and lead oxide on its positive mark electrode.
Through these reactions, the chemical energy inside the batteries turns into heat energy. However, if you overcharge the batteries too much, the amount of hydrogen created by the reactions becomes enormous.
These hydrogen gases start pressuring the vent plugs so they can get out. But they can’t, and that’s why the explosions are caused.
Because of an improper charge
If you use a charger that is inaccurate for your battery, the battery can explode. Usually, 2.20 to 2.30 V per cell is required for float charging, and 2.4 to 2.5 V per cell is required for fast charging. But these limits can vary for different types of lead-acid batteries.
That’s why the battery’s life span gets reduced if you provide more or less voltage than the required voltage with a charger. It also damages the outer shell of the chemical and can cause internal shorts. As a consequence, heat, and explosions are caused.
As a result of the static electricity spark
The vicinity of the batteries can cause a spark while they are connected with their static electricity power sources and it can cause an explosion. Also, when you are charging a battery, the chemical reactions inside it create hydrogen.
If you use the battery for welding jobs and the sparks touch the hydrogen somehow, it will explode. As we know, hydrogen gas is infamous for its flammability. Its flaming power increases if it gets touched with oxygen.
And there is plenty of oxygen available in the atmosphere, which can start a reaction with hydrogen in the presence of the sparks and start exploding.
The battery must be charged in a place where there is proper ventilation. Without proper ventilation, it can explode because the inside chemical reactions of the battery create hydrogen and oxygen gases.
These gases can form water, but they cannot form properly because of the absence of proper conditions. As a result, they remain in gas form. But if you are charging for a long time, the battery creates a lot of gas which must be removed from the battery.
But without proper ventilation, they can’t escape. The battery can no longer hold the gases if the hydrogen gas concentration exceeds 4%. As a consequence, explosions are caused.
The lower capacity
The battery can cause an explosion because of its low electricity storage. The battery’s storage capacity is the multiplication of cell voltage number, cell voltage, and electricity.
This means if a 24-volt battery can provide 600Ah of electricity and it has 12 cells, it can store 14.4 units of electric power. Different batteries have different power storage capacities.
If you use a battery charger that provides more electric power than the battery’s capacity, the battery can explode. More power than storage will increase the temperature of the battery and start short circuits. If these short circuits come closer to that battery, it will explode.
When the battery terminals get in touch with each other
Every battery has two terminals. One is the positive electrode, and the other one is the negative electrode. The positive electrode is full of anions, whereas the negative electrode is full of cations. If these electrodes get touched by one another, short circuits are caused.
As a result, the temperature inside the battery increases, and the gases become heated. We know that gas can burst up to 1700 times its normal volume in a burst. And that is why a battery explosion causes.
Safety Guidelines for AGM Batteries
The safety guidelines for AGM batteries are described below.
Disconnecting the batteries’ cables properly
To avoid a battery explosion, you need to disconnect all the cables properly. If you don’t do it, the battery can get overcharged or the cables can cause short circuits. To disconnect the cables properly-
- First, hold the negative cable.
- Make sure to wear safety rubber gloves before holding the cable.
- Then detach the negative cable from the battery.
- After that, hold the positive cable.
- Detach it properly.
- Now unplug the battery.
Make sure not to put the cables any closer to the battery. Store them at a proper distance.
Check your battery once in a while and maintain it properly.
The battery needs to be checked and maintained adequately once in a while, or the chemical reaction can start sulfation and block the ventilation. To do it,
- Hold a multimeter in your hand.
- Use it to check all the cells in your battery for their voltage, electricity, power, etc.
- You can also go to a professional to get better stats.
- Also, make sure to clean the vent pipe areas of the battery every month.
Before going on any trip, check your battery properly. If you see any problems with the output, contact a professional immediately.
Detach the battery with proper care before storing it
The battery needs to be detached with proper care, or it can get damaged. Any damage to its surface area can cause a short circuit. To do it,
- Put on a pair of safety gloves for your hands.
- Hold the battery.
- First, detach the negative cable and then the positive cable.
- Then turn the battery upside down to carry it.
Store it in a place where there is enough ventilation and no chance of causing a short circuit.
Attaching the battery with proper care
You need to attach the battery with proper care. To do it,
- Hold the battery.
- Place it in its spot.
- First, attach the positive cable.
- After that, attach the negative cable.
- Then attach the other cables and power it up.
Do not charge for a long time.
You should change your battery for a long time. Charging a battery at more than 95% decreases its life span. Also, don’t charge a battery that has more than 60% charge.
While discharging, you shouldn’t completely discharge a battery. Make sure to charge it first if its charge is less than 30%.
Frequently Ask Questions about AGM Battery Safety
Check out the FAQ section below for better clarification about the topic.
Are AGM batteries dangerous?
Yes. AGM batteries are dangerous. It is harmful to human skin. It can cause death if you eat its chemical compounds mistakenly. Also, if they are overcharged, they can cause a fire. In the worst circumstances, it can explode.
Can AGM batteries be stored inside?
Yes, they can be stored inside. However, you need to store them in a place where there is proper ventilation. Don’t place any cables close to the battery. There must not be any objects that can cause a short circuit near the battery.
AGM batteries are being used in different power-efficient industries. These batteries can provide a lot of power and last a long time. But the, excessive power can also explode a battery. So the question can be asked, “Can AGM batteries explode?”
Usually, no. They don’t explode because of their building structure. However, it can explode if you overcharge the battery regularly or don’t charge it properly. You need to maintain it once in a while, or its ventilation system will get damaged. Sometimes the battery’s electrodes get touched by one another and cause an explosion.
That’s why you need to maintain it properly. Its ventilation valve needs cleaning once in a while. Also, attach and detach the cable properly while charging and discharging. Make sure to check the stats of the battery with the multimeter regularly, and if you see any problems, consult a professional immediately.