How to Charge Gel Cell Batteries

Written by j. taylor ludwig
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Gel cell batteries are often used in wheelchairs, motorcycles and radio communications. They are known to hold up in extreme heat and cold. The batteries never spill, so they are often called dry cell batteries, non-spillable batteries and maintenance free batteries. The batteries are considered deep cycle batteries because they contain a suspended electrolyte between the lead battery plates. You will need a gel cell battery charger to recharge a gel cell battery. One of the best charging methods is constant voltage charging, which you can accomplish in two different ways.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Gel cell battery charger

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    Fast Charging (Cyclic Charging)

  1. 1

    Insert your battery into the gel cell battery charger. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for correct insertion.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    Leave the battery on this voltage until the charge current lowers to 0.01 x C amps (considering C to be the battery's amp-hour rating).

  4. 4

    Stop the battery charger in the cyclic charging mode, or change over to the float charging mode.

    Float Charging (Standby Service)

  1. 1

    Put your battery in the gel cell battery charger by following the manufacturer's instructions for use of the charger.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    Stop charging your battery when it is completely charged. Remove it from the battery charger.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid undercharging or overcharging your battery.
  • Don't use an automobile battery charger on your battery because the charger may not be properly voltage-regulated for gel cell batteries.
  • Don't charge your battery near flames or sparks.
  • Continually charging your gel cell battery in the fast charge mode can overheat the battery and cause damage to it.

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