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A Closer Look at the Types of Lead Acid Batteries

October 18, 2023 8:28 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Best Practices

A Closer Look at the Types of Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries were invented more than 150 years ago, and it's safe to say that many improvements have been made since that first model was conceived. And as batteries are the key cog that powers floor cleaning machines, it makes sense to know the different types of batteries and which ones might best suit your cleaning equipment. So what are the different types of lead-acid batteries? In this post, we'll take a closer look at the two main types of lead acid batteries - wet and sealed - and the various types of batteries within them. Read on to learn more:

Wet batteries

Wet batteries are the most conventional type of rechargeable battery, commonly found in a variety of electronics and equipment. The battery in your vehicle is probably a wet cell battery. Wet batteries consist of an electrolyte fluid - hence the "wet" in "wet batteries." The wet flooded lead acid battery offers many ideal characteristics, which make them a good fit for cleaning equipment. These include:

  • A lower comparable cost compared to other types of batteries.
  • They deliver consistent and reliable power, something that good cleaning equipment requires to be effective.
  • They're ideal for applications where long runtimes are needed.

One drawback of wet batteries is that they tend to be a bit more maintenance-intensive. For instance, for best results, it's recommended that batteries be watered after a full charge. Watering a battery is when the water level within the component is essentially topped off.

Sealed batteries

The main counterpart to wet batteries are sealed batteries. These types of batteries tend to be safer and more maintenance friendly. Because they're sealed, they're less likely to leak acid or present other health or safety hazards. Sealed batteries also don't need routine battery watering like wet batteries do. There are various different types of sealed batteries, including:

Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM)

Absorbent Glass Mat, or AGM, batteries are ideal for applications that only require a limited runtime. Their short battery life doesn't make them applicable for all cleaning applications, but they can serve a purpose in some equipment. AGM batteries also tend to come with a moderate price tag.

Gel Lead Acid

Similar to AGM batteries, Gel Lead Acid batteries are ideal in applications when only a short run time is necessary. And like AGM sealed batteries, this characteristic means that they may not apply to all types of cleaning equipment. Unlike AGM batteries, however, they do tend to last for a bit longer before a recharge is necessary. Plus, they tend to have a longer lifecycle than standard AGM sealed batteries. One downside is that they tend to come with a higher price tag than conventional wet batteries.

Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL)

Thin Plate Pure Lead, or TPPL, batteries have a longer cycle than both AGM and Gel Lead Acid batteries. They're also the most expensive type of lead acid battery. Another key benefit to TPPL batteries is that they offer the fastest recharge of all sealed batteries.

For more information on some of the most popular types of wet and sealed batteries and whether they're right for your cleaning equipment, contact us today.


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