Not all batteries are created equal. Often, batteries are specialised for highly particular uses and with specific situations in mind. One type of specialised battery configuration is the leak-proof AGM battery.
AGM, or Absorbent Glass Mat type batteries are similar to wet cell batteries, but instead of having a free-floating electrolyte, this type is bound in a specialised glass fibre separator. This formation ensures that even if the battery case is damaged, no battery acid will escape.
Besides being leak-proof, AGM batteries are versatile, high performance and specifically designed for high demands. Because of this, cars with high energy consumption usually benefit most from AGM batteries.
AGM batteries can withstand up to three times more cycle life than a conventional starter battery and are best suited for vehicles with an automatic start-stop system. Conventional starter batteries are not built to handle the high-power demands of these systems so AGM batteries must be used.
If a car with an advanced automatic start-stop system comes equipped with an AGM battery, only an AGM battery can be used as a replacement.
AGM battery use while driving.
AGM batteries provide the technology appropriate for recuperation. With braking energy recovery or recuperation, the energy produced from braking is not completely lost. Part of the recovered energy from the braking process is fed into the battery of the vehicle.
Traditionally, a conventional wet battery (SLI) starts the engine only once, at the start of a journey. The charge of an SLI typically only reduces once when starting and is charged by the alternator throughout the journey.
In comparison, an engine restarts several times within an automatic start-stop system. As a result, the charge level of the battery falls several times and electrical consumers need to be supplied with power during the standstill period. This puts a much larger load on the battery. Due to the recovery of braking energy during stops, additional charge capacity needs to be available to store and use the regenerative braking energy produced during the journey.
AGM batteries are operated in the partial charge range and only attain a full 100% charge during recuperation. In a stop phase, the charge is reduced, creating enough space to store energy from the next braking phase.
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