Deep Cycle vs. Dual PurposeMonday 20th of August 2012
One question asked regularly is what type of battery should be purchased for the Encore pedal electric boat or Electric boat models. There are so many different types of batteries out there and there are even some battery salespeople who don't realize the benefits and downfalls of what is available. Its always best to get the information needed to make an educated decision in such matters, so here goes!
There are 2 battery types, cranking and deep cycle. Cranking batteries are like car batteries as they are used to start a gas powered engine and are recharged by the alternator, and are used exactly the same in gas powered boat engines. Deep cycle batteries are rechargeable by a charger plugged into AC current and are used to power items which use DC current, like fish finders and trolling motors.
Nauticraft electric boats do not need the capabilities of a cranking battery as there is no engine to start or alternator to recharge. If you use a cranking battery to power your trolling motor the battery will soon overheat and fail, leaving you without power and requiring you to buy a new battery.
A Dual Purpose battery is a battery which allows for both uses, but most dual-purpose batteries won't start an engine quite as well as a true cranking battery and won't endure as many deep discharge/recharge cycles as a dedicated deep-cycle model.
Trolling motors and other accessories sip power at a slower rate for extended periods. Batteries that power them usually aren't recharged until the end of the day. These deep discharges are hard on battery plates, so deep-cycle batteries have fewer yet thicker lead plates than cranking batteries and are built to withstand deep cycling.
So we know we need a true Deep Cycle Battery, now do we chose a Wet Cell, AGM or Gel Cell?
Although Wet cell batteries are less expensive initially, they require maintenance, emit dangerous hydrogen gases, have a higher rate of self discharge, and leak acid. The Gel Cell and AGM are both sealed and maintenance free. They are more costly than a wet cell, but have a lower rate of self discharge, do not emit dangerous gases, can be stored at any angle, are submersible and do not leak. The AGM is easier to charge than the Gel and is slightly less costly.
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