maintain a gel battery?


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OlBuddy
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maintain a gel battery?

Postby OlBuddy » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:54 pm



I just recently purchased a gel type battery. My question is, do I need a battery tender for the winter? I've searched and cannot find any information on charging or maintaining a gel battery. It seems to me that I have read somewhere that a gel battery does not need to be maintained. As far as the maintenance, I can understand. Any comments would be appreciated. Thank you.



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WingAdmin
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:01 pm

All batteries, regardless of their chemistry or makeup, self-discharge. The rate of self-discharge depends both on the type of battery and the storage temperature the batteries are exposed to. A battery tender would be a good idea to help keep your battery in top shape and to have as long a life as possible.

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themainviking
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby themainviking » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:42 am

And make sure that any battery tender you get has a gel setting. They require a different form of charging, as I understand it. Several of my newest chargers have gel settings.
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WingAdmin
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:56 am

themainviking wrote:And make sure that any battery tender you get has a gel setting. They require a different form of charging, as I understand it. Several of my newest chargers have gel settings.


Newer battery chargers often have gel settings. Any decent battery tender, which have intelligent circuits to modify the charge rate, automatically adapt to the special requirements of gel cells.

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dingdong
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby dingdong » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:04 am

WingAdmin wrote:
themainviking wrote:And make sure that any battery tender you get has a gel setting. They require a different form of charging, as I understand it. Several of my newest chargers have gel settings.


Newer battery chargers often have gel settings. Any decent battery tender, which have intelligent circuits to modify the charge rate, automatically adapt to the special requirements of gel cells.

Something I didn't know. After researching I also discovered that some older chargers can damage a gel cell or AGM battery. I have tried to charge gel cell batteries with my Wal-Mart battery maintainer and it would never turn off when the battery was fully charged. ??
Tom

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WingAdmin
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:09 pm

dingdong wrote: Something I didn't know. After researching I also discovered that some older chargers can damage a gel cell or AGM battery. I have tried to charge gel cell batteries with my Wal-Mart battery maintainer and it would never turn off when the battery was fully charged. ??


That's a pretty good way to kill a lead-acid (including gel or AGM) battery.

I had a cheap Harbor Freight battery "float charger" that never turned off and instead trickled a charge (just a tiny one) continuously. It would destroy a motorcycle battery after being left on for a few weeks or so. Ask me how I know. :)

86GW1200
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby 86GW1200 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:26 pm

I installed my gel battery about 15 months and 8k miles ago and have never looked at it since. I also ride often - like I did today and will tomorrow and the next day and.....well you get the idea. I hope all is well since I ride so often. My bike once sat for almost 2 weeks.....wow that was tough.

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vtxcandyred
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby vtxcandyred » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:09 am

This is just ME. I had a Gel cell in my VTX when I bought it new in 02, it lasted seven years, and the ONLY time I needed a charger was when I left the amp on, in the bike for several weeks. It sits MOST of the winter here and only get a chance to ride it once in a while. I now have AGM batteries in both bikes and still don not use a charger on them. They sit in an unheated garage.I'll start them maybe once a month and let them warm up to normal temps.

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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby sandiegobrass » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:31 pm

I'm with vtx... my AGM has never had an external charge and sometimes it has gone 2 months (on the GL1500) between uses (and probably could go more)... I suppose, if I were going to store it much longer, I'd pull off the ground terminal but I still wouldn't bother with a tender... why? I've dried up (and damaged) more regular batteries with "tenders" over the years than with time related discharge.. granted, the AGM may not "dry out" as easily, and a good tender with the proper settings probably won't do any harm.. but most time, not needed in my opinion..

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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:59 pm

sandiegobrass wrote:I'm with vtx... my AGM has never had an external charge and sometimes it has gone 2 months (on the GL1500) between uses (and probably could go more)... I suppose, if I were going to store it much longer, I'd pull off the ground terminal but I still wouldn't bother with a tender... why? I've dried up (and damaged) more regular batteries with "tenders" over the years than with time related discharge.. granted, the AGM may not "dry out" as easily, and a good tender with the proper settings probably won't do any harm.. but most time, not needed in my opinion..


I've dried up and destroyed batteries with float chargers - but I've had my 1100 battery on a Battery Tender Jr. pretty much 24/7 for more than two years, and that battery works like it's brand new. Before that I was lucky to get 2 years out of a battery.

OlBuddy
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby OlBuddy » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:17 pm

On my 1800, wet cell, I use a $20 maintainer from Walmart. For ease of mind,to prevent excessive over charge, I plug the tender into a wall socket timer. Every day it tends it's task from noon till 4pm.
However , I question the rate of charge on a gell cell battery. Amazon.com advertised a Battery Tender Plus that has a True Gell Cell software installed. Battery Tender's web site does not advertise this one.?????? May not exist??? E-mailed Battery Tender today to get the truth. I'll report back after I hear from them.

OlBuddy
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby OlBuddy » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:52 pm

Found this on a on-line battery store.
AGM Batteries outsell Gel Cell by at least a 100 to 1. AGM is preferred when a high burst of amps may be required. In most cases recharge can be accomplished by using a good quality standard battery charger or engine alternator. The life expectancy; measured as cycle life or years remains excellent in most AGM batteries if the batteries are not discharged more than 60% between recharge. There are some AGM batteries we sell that offer excellent 80%+ deep cycle abilities.



Gel Cell Batteries are typically a bit more costly and do not offer the same power capacity as do the same physical size AGM battery. The Gel Cell excels in slow discharge rates and slightly higher ambient operating temperatures. One big issue with Gel Batteries that must be addressing is the CHARGE PROFILE. Gel Cell Batteries must be recharged correctly or the battery will suffer premature failure. The battery charger being used to recharge the battery(s) must be designed or adjustable for Gel Cell Batteries. If you are using an alternator to recharge a true Gel Cell a special regulator must be installed.

sandiegobrass
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby sandiegobrass » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:11 pm

YOu have correctly made the distinction between Gel cell and AGM... but keep in mind that many people don't make that distinction and think the name is interchangeable.. they are not... You have to read carefully to know what is being discussed. Most cases when gel cell is mentioned for a motorcycle it is actually an AGM that is being discussed.

OlBuddy
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Re: maintain a gel battery?

Postby OlBuddy » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:46 pm

Answer from Battery Tender as follows; We make a gel charger (021-0156) for BMW, if you do not own a BMW Excide Gel battery our standard BT Plus would be fine for you. thank you!

Pamela Carter
Customer Service

With this answer I went out to garage and pulled out the gell cell. MY BAD! It's an AGM type. Sorry, sorry, but I learned a few things and you all may have too. The service man who did the install ( we all was in a hurry) said it was a gel battery and I assumed it was because of the cost.




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