- by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 9/9/2021
Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries are used to power a large assortment of commercial applications, including fire and security systems, UPS backups, industrial scrubbers and even solar power. What many people don't realize is that there are several different types of SLA batteries, each designed with a different set of performance capabilities. By learning the differences between general purpose, deep cycle, gel and high rate UPS batteries, you can make the most of your energy dollars by ensuring that you're using the best battery for the job.
As their name implies, general purpose SLA batteries are the most versatile of the four types and are used in a variety of applications. They offer an affordable, reliable option for backup and cycling operations. Batteries Plus offers a number of general purpose batteries designed with AGM technology, which allows them to perform in a wide range of temperatures.
Best Uses: Fire and security systems, UPS battery backups and emergency lighting.
Deep cycle batteries are specially designed to provide a constant power flow over a sustained period of time. They have thicker lead plates than general purpose batteries, which allows them to discharge down to a charge as low as 20% and still perform. This allows a deep cycle battery to perform much longer than a general purpose type before it needs to be recharged.
They also have a significantly longer lifespan than general purpose batteries. In general, a deep cycle battery will offer 40% more cycles than a general purpose option, meaning you'll have to replace it far less often. While deep cycle batteries hold the advantage in overall life cycle and performance, they do tend to cost more upfront than general purpose batteries. Batteries Plus can provide you with the deep cycle batteries you need for any of the applications below.
Best Uses: Floor scrubbers, trolling motors, Marine & RV house power, solar applications and motorized vehicles like wheelchairs, scooters and golf carts.
A gel battery is made from the same lead acid as other SLA batteries, but differs in the type of electrolyte it contains. In gel batteries, the sulfuric acid found in the electrolyte is mixed with a silica additive, which forms into a thick paste or gel. This thicker electrolyte causes a decrease in the amount of fumes the battery emits, making it a great choice for applications where ventilation is limited.
Gel batteries are the best possible option for cycling operations that require heavy, everyday use. They possess a better tolerance for extreme temperature than both general purpose and deep cycle batteries. They also charge more readily and have up to two times longer battery life than a deep cycle battery. When it comes to cost, a gel battery will cost you slightly more than a deep cycle battery.
One thing to keep in mind; because of their lower recharge voltages, gel batteries are more susceptible to overcharging than other SLA types. If you have a gel battery, be certain that you're using the correct charger. Otherwise, you can damage or even kill your battery. Browse Batteries Plus' selection of gel batteries for your business needs.
Best Uses: Heavy use wheelchairs, wind, solar and communications applications.
High Rate UPS batteries (also known as high rate discharge batteries) are designed with more plates than other SLA batteries. These plates are also thinner, which allows them to provide large amounts of energy very quickly for short periods of time. They also have lifespans of up to ten years and require little maintenance, making them ideal for emergency equipment and other backup applications. Please note that because of their unique design, high rate SLA batteries should not be used for deep discharge applications. Shop High Rate UPS batteries at Batteries Plus.
Best Uses: Data centers, server banks, emergency medical equipment, telecom applications and UPS/battery backups.
Shop our selection of SLA batteries for any application, or take a look at our SLA Buying Guide for answers to the most commonly asked questions. In addition, Batteries Plus is your number one source for SLA battery chargers.
Are you looking for a way to save on your commercial battery and lighting expenses? Sign up for a free Batteries Plus business account. We offer discount volume pricing on thousands of unique products, plus customized shipping options, recycling services and more. You'll even have access to a dedicated advisor who is there to answer all of your questions and help you cut costs by suggesting more efficient battery and lighting products.