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Deep cycle batteries - amps or cycle life?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:01 am
by EnergyMatters
Question:

Should I choose a deep cycle battery with a higher amp rating or one with a higher cycle life? 


Answer:

Selecting a battery can be quite confusing. While all will claim to be particularly well suited to a purpose, batteries can differ in their performance significantly in different conditions, even within their own type such as AGM, Gel or Sealed Lead Acid

As a deep cycle battery can be quite an investment, you'll want one that will last the distance. If your daily amperage draw is relatively light, it's more economical over the long term to buy a battery that has a high cycle life rather than one with a higher amperage rating. The cycle life refers to how many times it can be discharged and recharged. 

One of the best benchmarks for this is the IEC 896-2, based on a 100% discharge. While discharging a battery 100% is not recommended as it will significantly decrease the life of any deep cycle battery, the IEC 896-2 provides a good baseline for drawing comparisons between brands or even different battery lines from the same manufacturer.

Energy Matters offers a comprehensive deep cycle battery guide, but as battery selection depends so much on individual requirements and other system components, we always recommend speaking with one of our consultants who can match the best battery to your needs.