There are significant differences between car and marine batteries. Yes, they’re both lead acid batteries and can be recharged regularly, but their construction and components used in them are different. That’s one of the reasons why these batteries just can’t be used interchangeably. To understand the difference between the two, you need to understand what lead acid batteries are.
What are Lead Acid Batteries?
These batteries have been around since 1959 and are still used in a variety of applications. They have lead plates that are placed inside diluted sulphuric acid. The lead reacts to the electrolytes present in the acid and creates an electrical charge.
The nature of the acid in the battery changes when it’s charged or discharged. When it’s charged, the lead plates and lead oxide have negative electrodes while the acid has positive electrodes. When the battery is discharged, the result is lead sulphate and water.
When the battery is recharged, the lead sulphate recombines with the electrolyte and reverts to being lead oxide and sulphuric acid. The lead plates are absolutely essential and the performance of the batteries depends on them. That’s why the size of these plates determines the applications the battery is used for.
What You Need to Know About Plate Size
Based on the size of the plates, the lead acid batteries can be divided into two different categories:
These batteries have several thin plates that generate a high charge immediately after its triggers. These batteries are often used in cars.
Deep Cycle Batteries
These batteries have fewer plates than the starter batteries but they’re thicker in size. They’re deep cycle batteries and are often used in solar systems. They discharge power slowly over a period of time.
Marine batteries are a combination of these two batteries and can be considered hybrids. They are like car batteries, only with thicker plates.
All About Car Batteries
As mentioned above, car batteries have a high number of thin lead plates. This is essential to generate a quick, high-voltage initial charge. This charge will spin the car’s starter motor and crank engine. After the engine starts to run, the alternator will recharge the battery and it will deliver a steady stream of power to operate the lights, the heater, the entertainment system, and other such accessories. As you can see, the car battery delivers two kinds of charge.
This battery is very durable and if you maintain it properly, it can last for years. If you let your car sit and the battery discharge to more than 20% its capacity, the lead plates inside will sustain damage. That would reduce the battery’s life-span.
All About Marine Batteries
The marine environment is harsher than the normal road environment. That’s why marine batteries are built to be resilient and durable. The vigorous movements of the boat can damage a fragile battery, after all. However, these batteries are quite similar to car batteries and shouldn’t discharge more than 50% of their capacity. That can cause damage to the plates and shorten the batteries life.
Experts often recommend the use of deep cycle batteries to operate accessories and tools like radios, bilge pumps, navigation lights, rolling motors, GPS, etc. These batteries can easily discharge up to 80% of their capacity without lead plate damage.
If you want to know more about marine and car batteries or our custom power products and services, don’t hesitate to contact us at KaRaTec Power Supply Pty. You can give us a call at 612 9808 1127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.
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Karatec Power Supply Pty
612 9808 1127