What are AGM Batteries?
AGM batteries were first designed in the 80s by a company called Concorde Aircraft Battery in order to replace the NI-Cad batteries that were being used by helicopters and fighter jets at that time, while at the same time providing benefits such as warm weather vibration resistance.
AGM here stands for 'absorption glass mat' which gives us some indication as to how they work. Essentially the batteries are created using glass mats that have thin fibers of glass woven into them which increases the surfaces area. This then allows the AGM battery to work in the same way that a flooded lead acid battery does, except the electrolytes are stored in the glass mats. More surface area means more power.
The glass fibers used do not absorb electrolytes and are not affected by acid. However because they 'hold' the electrolytes, this way they prevent it from spilling out when the battery is tipped over. This then means that the batteries are safe for use in situations where the acid from a battery could otherwise spill out and damage electrical parts or even cause damage to the environment. This makes them a very safe option for military use, but also a safe and good to the environment. For a business using such AGM batteries in designs ensures that money won't be wasted on damaged parts and equipment.
There are other advantages of AGM batteries too. For instance they are very versatile and will come in any kind of shape or size meaning that they can fit a variety of applications. At the same time they also have very low amount of maintenance. Unlike some batteries they don't need 'watering' as such and this makes them useful for situations where it would be difficult to get hold of water or to maintain them on the go. At the same time they also give off a very low amount of by-products meaning no gas is produced and no ventilation is necessary. They can withstand very low temperatures and won't crack or freeze at the time (partly as they don't rely on liquid) and due to their sandwich construction they are as mentioned vibration resistant too. They also do not get too hot compared to some other forms of battery which ensures that they won't melt or damage crucial component. All this means that they are ideally suited to being used in a number of machines and mechanisms that would place them under a lot of stress and potentially cause damage to the device in other situations.
Today however the AGM battery is not used by the military and instead it is commercially available for use in a range of applications and situations. They are not highly attractive, but they are highly practical and so definitely worth consideration.
When using AGM batteries it is important to avoid overcharging. Overcharging the AGM battery can cause damage and this will shorten its lifespan and its effectiveness. This means that extra care must be taken when using them – though this goes for any battery to a certain extent.
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