How to charge a gel cell battery

Written by j. taylor ludwig
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Gel cell batteries are deep cycle batteries that contain an electrolyte which is suspended in a gel solution between lead plates. Since gel batteries never spill, they are sometimes referred to as non-spillable batteries, dry cell batteries or maintenance-free gel batteries. The batteries are often used in motorcycles, wheelchairs and radio communications.

You can recharge a gel cell battery with a gel cell battery charger. Constant voltage charging is one of the best charging methods, which you can accomplish in one of two ways.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Gel cell battery charger

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    Fast Charging (Cyclic Charging)

  1. 1

    Place the battery on the gel cell battery charger by following the manufacturer's instructions for insertion.

  2. 2

    Turn on the charger, and charge the battery until the voltage on the terminal reaches 2.40 to 2.45 volts per battery cell (14.4 to 14.7 volts on a 12-volt battery) at 14.4 degrees Celsius (20 degrees Celsius).

  3. 3

    Keep the battery at this voltage until the charging current drops down to 0.01 x C amps (with C being the battery's amp-hour rating).

  4. 4

    Stop charging the battery in the fast charging mode or switch over to the float charging mode.

    Float Charging (Standby Service)

  1. 1

    Place the battery on the gel cell battery charger per the manufacturer's instructions for use.

  2. 2

    Turn on the charger, and charge the battery at a constant voltage of 2.25 to 2.30 volts per cell (13.5 to 13.8 volts on a 12-volt battery at 14.4 degrees Celsius (20 degrees Celsius). At this voltage, the battery should regulate its own level of current.

  3. 3

    Stop charging the battery when it is fully charged, and remove it from the gel cell battery charger.

Tips and warnings

  • Try to avoid overcharging or undercharging your battery.
  • Don't use a car battery charger on your gel cell battery because the charger may not be properly voltage regulated.
  • Don't charge your battery near objects that may emit flames or sparks.

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