A deep cycle battery is a battery which has the capability to produce steady output over a prolonged period of time, while being discharged . This article discusses deep cycle battery meaning, uses, lifespan and pros/cons.
The difference between a deep cycle battery and a regular battery is this capability to store and discharge electric power extensively, under stable conditions.
Deep Cycle Battery Meaning: Definitions of The Deep Cycle Battery
A deep cycle battery is a battery that is designed to be discharged intensively, thereby making use of most of its storage capacity.
As the above definition implies, a deep cycle battery can be described based on its capacity. However, there are other factors that can be used to describe deep cycle batteries. One of such factors is the depth of discharge (DoD).
A deep cycle battery is a battery which can operate for extended periods of time, at a depth of discharge (DoD) of up to 80%.
Depth of discharge (DoD) is the amount of electric power that can be transmitted into, and out of a battery in one cycle, and it is expressed as a percentage of the total battery capacity.
The depth of discharge, can also be defined as the percentage of total battery capacity that can be discharged .
Another factor which can be used to describe a deep cycle battery is the material composition, as shown below;
A deep cycle battery is an electrochemical cell composed of flooded lead acid, gel, or lithium; which can store or discharge power under prolonged and intensive conditions.
The main difference between a deep cycle battery and a traditional lead acid battery, lies in the depth of discharge (DoD), where the traditional lead acid battery has a lower DoD (usually not more than 50%) than the deep cycle battery (80-100%).
Usually, both traditional lead acid batteries and deep cycle batteries have lead acid in their composition. They differ however, in their designs, in terms of electrode material and cell configuration.
Lastly, the deep cycle battery can be defined in terms of its uses, which range from renewable energy systems and buildings, to automobiles.
A deep cycle battery is a battery which stores and discharges electric power from solar panels and other energy sources, for use in buildings and automobiles, among others. It is important to note that many solar batteries are designed based on the model and operation of the deep cycle battery.
What is a Deep Cycle Battery Used For? Application of the Deep Cycle Battery
A deep cycle battery is used mainly for power storage and backup.
There are various technologies which require the use of a deep cycle battery. They include;
- Renewable energy systems
- Golf carts
- Recreational vehicles
- Marine vessels
- Electric vehicles
- Floor scrubbers
1). The Deep Cycle Battery in Renewable Energy Systems
A very common and essential use of deep cycle batteries is in solar power systems.
Here, the batteries help to store direct current (DC) which has been generated by the solar panel, from solar energy.
In order to make the stored power usable, a power inverter is usually connected to the output terminal of the battery. This device helps to convert the direct current, to alternating current (AC), which is a more efficient and usable form of electricity .
Aside solar, other renewable energy technologies can make use of the deep cycle battery. The battery can store power that as been generated by wind turbines, biofuel generators, and hydropower plants.
The only adjustment which might be made to suit these various technologies, is the capacity of the deep cycle battery, which can be varied according to the required scale of power storage.
Off-grid buildings and facilities which depend solely on renewable energy, are most suited for the deep cycle battery, because of its high efficiency in storage and output.
In such buildings and facilities, the deep cycle battery can serve as a storage component of a larger system, such as an emergency power system.
2). The Deep Cycle Battery in Automobiles
A deep cycle battery differs from the tradition starter battery in most automobiles, in terms of the mode of power output.
While the starter battery delivers high bursts of power output within short periods of time, the deep cycle battery delivers less-intensive power output for a prolonged period of time, under stable conditions.
The high-intensity of starter batteries is required to crank up the automobile engine. This can also be achieved with a deep cycle battery, although with much less effectiveness.
Below is a simple comparison of the deep cycle battery and the traditional car battery;
|Deep Cycle Battery
|Traditional Car Battery
|Delivers power with moderate intensity
|High-intensity power output
|Stable and prolonged operation
|Short-term bursts of power delivery
|Thick-plate design for resilience in storage and discharge
|Less-resilient storage/high-rate discharge design
Different automobile engines can use deep cycle batteries, including traditional gasoline/diesel engine vehicles, recreational vehicles (RVs), electric vehicles (EVs), forklifts, and marine boats.
A marine deep cycle battery can be used in a car, provided the requirements of the car in terms of start-up power and operational power, can be provided by the marine battery.
This means that a 12V marine battery with a capacity of 60 AH and power output of 48 amp-hours, can be put in a car which has the same or similar battery requirements.
However, the long-term storage and deep-cycle output characteristics of the battery make it most ideal for electric vehicles, which require significant amounts of electric power to be used over an extended period of time.
3). The Deep Cycle Battery in Floor Scrubbers
In rechargeable floor scrubbers, a power source which can provide stable output for a long period of time, is required.
These characteristics are possessed by the deep cycle battery.
For the floor scrubber, a deep cycle battery should be able to recharge small amounts of power at a moderate rate. Therefore, ‘fast-charge’ deep cycle batteries with at least 6V output capacity, are usually used with these appliances.
Lifespan of The Deep Cycle Battery
The average lifespan of the deep cycle battery is six (6) years. This is based on a range of 2-15 years, that differs for the various types of deep cycle batteries.
A summary of average lifespans for the different types of deep cycle batteries. is given in the following table;
|Deep Cycle Battery Type
|Average Battery Lifespan (years)
|Flooded Lead Acid
|Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)
Lifespan of a deep cycle battery, is different from the lifecycle.
While the lifespan refers to the estimated total period of efficient operation of the battery before its becomes impaired or degraded (in terms of effectiveness), the lifecycle is the number of cycles of charge and discharge, which a deep cycle battery can complete within its entire lifespan, before it loses its efficiency and performance.
Lifecycle is also a good criterion for evaluating the longevity and reliability of a deep cycle battery. The lifecycle of a deep cycle battery ranges between 200 to 5,000 cycles, across the different battery types.
Most deep cycle batteries however, fall within the lifecycle range of 500 to 2,000.
Deep Cycle Battery Price
The price of a deep cycle battery ranges between $99 to $1,700 on average.
There are different factors which affect the price of deep cycle batteries, including their capacity, resilience, lifecycle, lifespan and compositional type.
Flooded lead acid battery is the cheapest type of deep cycle battery, when the factors affecting cost are considered.
Importance of Deep Cycle Batteries
The importance of the deep cycle battery lies in its ability to provide stable and sustained electric power .
These attributes make deep cycle batteries suitable for operations which require a reliable and consistent storage system for backup.
Advantages of Deep Cycle Battery
Some advantages of deep cycle batteries are outlined below;
- Resilient design
- Long lifespan
- Numerous life cycles
- Ability to charge and discharge at high capacity
- Stable and reliable operation
Disadvantages of Deep Cycle Battery
The disadvantages of a deep cycle battery include;
- Unsuitable for operations where high-capacity instantaneous output is required, such as in gasoline engines
- May have low energy density
- Regular maintenance is required due to susceptibility to deterioration of the plates
- Can be hazardous, contributing to environmental degradation
- May have low capacity for high-energy demand purposes like building backup storage
A deep cycle battery is a battery which can charge and discharge at high capacity, for an extended period of time.
Applications of deep cycle batteries include
- Renewable Energy Systems
- Floor Scrubbers
Characteristics of the life cycle battery, such as its cost, capacity and depth of discharge, depend on the type and design of the battery.
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