Gel batteries are an advanced form of conventional Lead-acid batteries. It is a deep cycle battery with many modifications inside the battery compartment. But, the working principle of the Gel-batteries is quite similar to other forms of deep cycle batteries.
The Gel-filled batteries are sensitive to charging. A specific charging profile is required to charge the gel batteries. For this, it must know that, can you charge a gel battery with a regular charger. The regular chargers can charge the gel batteries. But it is not recommended. Regular chargers just push raw voltage which is harmful to deep cycle batteries.
Your gel-filled battery may require recharging occasionally as it gets discharged. You must know the correct procedure for recharging your battery without causing any damage. It is done to prevent discharging the battery. Most of the time, deeply discharging can damage the battery permanently.
Is it possible to charge a gel battery with a regular charger?
It is possible to charge the gel batteries using a conventional battery charger. But doing that must require constant supervision and data reading.
By constant supervision of the voltage
You can charge your gel batteries by constantly taking a reading off the input voltage. It is because the gel batteries require feeding of consistent voltage. Over fluctuation in the voltage may damage the cell of the batteries. As a result, the power developing capacity may degrade.
Maintaining the time of charging
You can use the data of the state of charge of the gel battery to charge it using the regular charger. Gel batteries require different times for charging the battery to 100%.
Since regular chargers are dumb and cannot detect any sort of real-time voltage. You have to take a reading of the state of charge of the battery firstly by using a multimeter or voltmeter. Then by calculating the time required for charging the battery will give you the upper hand to avoid overcharging the battery.
How to charge a gel battery with a regular charger
In this section, the safest way to charge the Gel battery using a regular charger is stated below.
Check for the state of charge of the battery
It is important to know how much your battery has been discharged before proceeding with the charging process. Since using the regular charger means charging Gel batteries manually you must know the current state of charge of the battery.
For this, you can use the voltmeter or the multimeter device. Disconnect all the appliances from the batter. Connect the battery terminals with the cables from the voltage reading device. Note down the reading from the voltmeter and convert it to the state of charge of the battery.
Charging the battery
For charging your Gel battery using a conventional charger, follow the given steps. Make sure the charging area is very well ventilated with air regulation.
- Firstly, disconnect the battery from all the electronic appliances.
- Clean up the connecting terminals using steel wool. It will remove the corrosion and prevent loss of charge and interruptions while charging is commenced.
- Connect the battery charger to the wall socket.
- Use the positive and negative cable from the battery charger to connect it to the terminals of the battery carefully.
- Attach a voltmeter or multimeter to the battery. It shall help you with constantly supervising the voltage reading from the battery.
- Change the mode in the battery charger from auto to manual. Auto mode will bypass top tapering the voltage and fluctuate it.
- Make sure your battery is getting 2 amps at 12 voltage input.
- Then switch on the charger. You have to keep track of the voltage as it shall not overcome the barrier of 14.7V which is the maximum limit for Gel batteries.
What happens if you charge an AGM battery with a normal charger?
There is a specific way of charging the AGM batteries with a normal battery charger. The AGM batteries are highly sensitive to overcharging at high voltage. Constant pushing of high voltage degraded the cell structure inside the battery.
Since the electrolyte inside the AGM battery remains in an absorbed form, over-voltage can damage the structure and inhibit the flow of the electrons. Moreover, AGM batteries are designed to get recharged very slowly. Sudden outrage of amperage in the AGM battery can cause damage or even explosion due to the pressure buildup by the Hydrogen gas.
Regular battery chargers fail to provide consistent voltage input at minimum amperage. There is no option to change the amp settings as well. Moreover, you can not track the voltage in real-time using the regular charger. For all these reasons, it is not recommended to use a regular charger to charge the AGM batteries.
What is the best way to charge a gel battery?
The best way to charge a gel battery is to use the gel-battery-specific charger. These batteries are automated smart battery chargers. There are several charging profiles for different deep cycle batteries. It allows you conveniently select the battery charging profile on demand.
Moreover, you can control the amp input as well. If you want to recharge the battery in a slow process then you can select the amp settings to 2-10 amps. On the other hand, if you want fast charging the 10-20 amps input should be selected. Under no circumstance, it is advisable to cross the 20 amp barrier.
For the Gel battery, it is recommended to keep the amp limited to 2-5 amps only. It will slowly and effectively charge the battery. Many smart battery chargers nowadays have digital displays to show you the real-time reading of the state of charge, voltage, the time elapsed, and other parameters. All these make sure you can recharge your gel battery without compromising safety.
What is the process to charge a marine gel battery?
There are several types of marine gel batteries available. It is imperative to know the specificity of the marine gel battery you have before proceeding to charge.
- First, remove the battery from the hood of your marine vehicle. Disconnect all the cables safely.
- Place the battery in a very well-ventilated area with constant airflow. It shall avoid the hazard of the gas build-up while the charging is done. Though marine gel batteries eject fewer fumes.
- Use a steel wool ball to scrub the corrosive material from the terminals of the battery.
- Select the best possible high-quality automated smart charger for your battery type.
- Connect the charger to the 120V wall socket.
- The terminals of the battery should be connected by the positive and negative ends of the charging cables.
- Carefully select the specific charging profile in the battery charger. Then adjust the amp input settings. It is better to keep the amp in between 2-10 amps only.
- Switch on the battery charger. Depending on the current state of charge of the battery, it shall get charged in a few to several hours.
How to charge a dead gel cell battery?
Dead gel batteries are hard to revive. Once the batteries get deeply discharged, gel-based electrolytes become dried. Therefore, the flow of electrons comes to halt. Because there remains no minimum to carry the electron movement.
In order to charge the dead gel batteries, you have to jump-start it at the first. It is a slow but effective process. You must get a similar battery with good battery health. For charging dead Gel batteries, the following steps can be followed.
- First of all, connect both the batteries in parallel circuit connection.
- For this connect the positive terminals of the batteries and then the negative terminals.
- Connect a high-end strong smart battery charger to a good battery.
- Choose the charging profile as Gel battery charging.
- Then select the amperage to 20 amps. This high amperage is used to bring mobility in the electrolytes.
- Check the reading of the voltage initially and determine the state of charge of the bad battery.
- After that, start charging the battery. After a few hours check the recent state of charge of the battery. If you notice an improvement in the voltage reading of the dead battery then it is getting charged.
- Disconnect the good battery and connect the dead battery directly to the charger. And start charging the battery at slower amperage. It can be between 2-10 amps only.
- It may take around 6-7 hours to reach around 95% charge in the dead battery. After completion of the charge perform several tests to confirm the battery endurance.
How to charge a gel battery with a solar panel?
Solar energy is the most eco-friendly and sustainable form of energy. It does not create any sort of negative impact on the environment or on the animal kingdom as well. You can charge your RV batteries such as Gel batteries using the solar panel on the go.
- Firstly, connect your battery with the jumper cables before connecting to the power source.
- You must have an approved powerful gel battery charger. Select the charging profile accordingly.
- Then connect the battery charger to the solar panel control box using the plug-in cable.
- Switch on the battery charger and allow the charger to complete the charging process.
- The amount of time required to charge the battery depends upon the intensity of the solar panel.
- For better results, it is better to place the solar panel on a stationary platform.
Can you charge a gel battery with an AGM charger?
- Most of the AGM battery chargers have a similar charging profile to the Gel battery.
- Gel batteries are designed to be charged slowly. This process is known as trickle charging.
- Fast charging at high voltage and amperage can potentially damage battery health.
- Moreover, both of these batteries have similar maintenance-free construction. Therefore you can use the AGM battery charger to charge the Gel battery.
- Make sure you discharge the Gel battery to the lowest before performing the charging process.
How to charge a gel battery with an AGM charger?
Follow the steps to charge the Gel battery using an AGM battery charger. An AGM battery charger is basically an Automated Smart battery charger. It has charge profiles available for the standard battery, Gel battery, and AGM battery.
- Initially, disconnect the battery from all the electronic appliances. If the battery is in the vehicle then pull out the clamps. And take out the battery to keep it in a well-ventilated area. Though it is a gel battery, batteries are fumeless.
- Connect the terminal of the AGM charger to the battery and connect the charger to the wall socket.
- Select the most suitable charging profile in the smart charger.
- It is important that you select lower amperage for the gel batteries. It shouldn’t cross 2- amps.
- Start the charging and allow the time required for charging the battery. It may take 7-8 hours to fully charge the gel battery. Moreover, the time required depends upon the state of the charge.
Can you charge a gel battery with a trickle charger?
A trickle charger normally charges the battery very slowly. It is due to the limit of amperage output in the trickle charger being very low. You can go a maximum of 1.5amps hours using the trickle charger. It takes a lot of time to charge the gel battery using a trickle charger. Therefore you can use a trickle charger to charge the gel battery.
- Most of the trickle chargers have a limiting capacity of the amp output.
- Gel batteries perform well if charged slowly for a long time
- It prevents overcharging and being exposed to high voltage. Therefore, the battery heals this.
- A trickle charger can be used to charge the battery for over 20 hours as well.
- If you are willing to give the battery a break then the trickle charger can be used to carry out the charging process.
Dangers when Charging GEL Batteries: How To Avoid Them
When charging GEL batteries, certain precautions must be taken to ensure safety. Overcharging the battery can cause a chemical reaction that results in excessive heat and positive electrode gassing, which creates hydrogen and oxygen gas. This is extremely dangerous as it can lead to an explosion or fire. It is also important to make sure you are using the correct charger for the battery to ensure proper charging and prevent overcharging. If a charger is not matched properly with the battery, it can cause an imbalanced charge that could lead to cell damage and decrease the life of the battery. Overcharging can also cause irreversible damage to the cells in the battery leading to decreased performance. To avoid the problem:
- It is important to never leave a charging battery unattended and make sure to keep it in a safe place away from flammable materials. Taking precautions when charging GEL batteries can ensure the safety of users and prevent damage to the battery. If proper care is taken when using this type of battery, it can be a reliable source of power for many years.
- Additionally, check the temperature of the battery while charging, as excessive heat can lead to dangerous situations. If the charger or battery gets too hot, disconnect them immediately and allow them to cool before continuing use.
- Make sure that all connections are secure and that there is no corrosion on the terminals before beginning to charge the battery. Corrosion can lead to a short circuit, which in turn will cause the battery and charger to overheat.
- Finally, never use an incompatible charger with a GEL battery as this can be very dangerous. Make sure to always purchase the correct charger for your specific type of battery, and only charge the battery when necessary. Taking these precautions will help keep you and your property safe.
Follow the tutorial video below, this tutorial is also applicable for GEL Battery.
Gel batteries are in some cases better than AGM batteries. This is also a maintenance-free battery. But regular inspection of the battery health is important to keep the battery healthy. Especially, while recharging the deep cycle marine batteries, the facts should be kept in mind.
Because heavy-duty smart chargers are quite expensive, many of you want to charge the gel battery using the regular charger. For this, you must have a clear conception and clarity about how you can charge a gel battery with a regular charger.
All gel batteries are sensitive to overcharging and high voltage. More importantly, fast charging is not suitable for gel batteries. It dries out the gel formation which holds the electrolyte. Therefore, it is not recommended to use a regular charger to charge the gel batteries.