Deep cycle batteries

Deep cycle batteries are lead-acid batteries designed to be discharged deeply, anywhere from 50% to 80%, using up most of the batteries' capacities. This is obviously dependent on the type of battery used, who it is manufactured by and its level of construction. However, to get the most out of the battery's lifespan versus cost method is to make sure that the average cycle stays at about 50% discharge.

Deep cycle batteries are made up of very thick active plates and the separators are quite thick as well. The advantage of these thicker battery plates is that they keep corrosion at bay via longer charge cycles and also by the extended discharge cycles.

Deep cycle batteries have countless uses in everyday life. They are readily used for renewable energy applications such as solar panels and wind-powered turbines and also in traffic signals and UPSs. Deep cycle batteries are also made use of in electrically propelled devices like motorized wheelchairs, golf carts, floor sweepers and forklifts. Solar deep cycle batteries and also the ones used in RVs usually have a lifespan of between 4-8 years.

Also sometimes referred to as marine batteries, deep cycle batteries are commonly used for marine use, like on boats and trolling motors, due to their very deep discharge level and the capacity of storing large quantities of power. Deep cycle batteries used for marine purposes usually last from 1 to 6 years on average.

Deep cycle batteries are also used as back-up for other batteries. In this case, the deep cycle battery can either be used to start or crank up the engine in case of any main battery failure or it will provide extra current required to crank up the engine as a secondary back-up battery. Depending on usage and conditions, a deep cycle back-up power battery can last anywhere from 4-8 years.

Proper use and good maintenance can help deep cycle batteries perform more efficiently and for an extended period of time. To keep deep cycle batteries from misuse and damage, a few factors need to be taken into consideration. As the battery ages, the acid level drops hence it should be checked to ensure that the battery doesn't corrode.

Corroded terminals are the major reason for battery failure and they should be checked often and any visible corrosion can be easily removed from the terminals with the help of a metal brush.

If individual deep cycle batteries make up a battery bank, it is a good idea to keep checking each batter for corrosion. In case of any damage to even one battery, that affected battery should be removed and replaced immediately to keep it from corrupting the other batteries which are working well.

Deep cycle batteries, like all lead-acid batteries, release hydrogen on charging. In order to prevent gas build-up which can be toxic and dangerous, never store deep cycle batteries in confined spaces or sealed containers. Always make sure that deep cycle batteries are stored in a non-confined and well-ventilated area.