About batteries - batteries with gelled electrolyte

The development of a battery that would not spill electrolyte when damaged or falling over began shortly before the second world war in Germany. In 1957 Otto Jache filed on behalf of the battery factory Sonnenschein the patent for an immobilized electrolyte by the addition of fumed silica, which will thicken the electrolyte into a gelled substance, much like petrol jelly.

Gel batteries are produced with flat plates as well as tubular plates. Flat plates have microporous PVC separators that provide good protection against loss of active material, albeit increasing internal resistance. Addition of phosphoric acid in the electrolyte increases the cyclical ability, but at the expense of an initial loss of capacity of around 15%, which only will be restored after about 20 cycles respectively a year of float service.

Deep cycle?
To many a gel battery is automatically seen as a deep cycle battery, suitable for deep discharge applications. That's not necessarily the case. Just as with the flooded lead-acid batteries, the deep cycle performance is determined by the construction of the plates, not in any way by the electrolyte. The well-known Sonnenschein product range, for example, reflects the same subdivision we see in other battery technologies:

  • Dryfit Start (for Starting, Light and Ignition)
  • Dryfit Sportline ( Dual Purpose for Marine and R/V)
  • GF-Y (A500) (for Deep Cycle applications)
  • A200 –A400 (for UPS and other stationary applications)