The VRLA Battery or Valve Regulated Lead Acid Battery is a type of rechargeable battery. They are also generally known as sealed batteries or maintenance-free batteries. A lead-acid battery is made of several lead-acid cells wired in series in a single container.
While in use, the battery produces power by reducing the lead plates, turning them into lead sulfuric oxide. This process is reversed once the battery is charged, meaning the lead-sulfuric-oxide is broken down turning it into the pure lead and sulfuric acid. Since this reverse process is not complete, hydrogen gas is released before it can fully mix with the water inside the battery container. To prevent the build-up of hydrogen gas (which may cause the battery to explode), a vent is used to ease the pressure.
To avoid these problems, valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries restrict the movement of the electrolyte inside the container, trapping the hydrogen near the plates, making them readily available for re-combination as the battery is recharged. This construction greatly reduces the water loss during the discharge/recharge cycle, thus making the battery maintenance free (no need to add water) and the battery can be sealed. Because of this, we can use this type of battery in any condition/orientation we like without the fear of spillage.
Types of VRLA batteries
There are two types of VRLA batteries- the Gel Cell and the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM).
- Gel cell battery
The Gel Cell Battery has a firm jelly-like electrolyte where the sulfuric acid is mixed with fumed (pyrogenic) silica used as a thickening agent. Because of this firm gel-like electrolyte, the Gel Cell can be mounted in any position, shows greater resistance to extreme temperature, and is shock and vibration resistant. Gel Cell Batteries are primarily employed in electric wheelchairs, certain recreational vehicles, generators, and more.
- Absorbed glass mat battery (AGM)
In this kind of battery, the acid is absorbed and immobilized by very thin fiberglass mats between the plates. This construction makes the acid readily available to the plates and allows a fast reaction between the acid and plate material. AGM Batteries have the advantage of a very low internal electrical resistance and faster acid movement between the fiber and the plates allowing AGM Batteries to provide and get higher rates of amperage when compared to other sealed batteries during charging/charging cycles.
The advantages of a valve-regulated lead-acid battery or VRLA battery
VRLA battery is maintenance-free and periodic water refilling is not required
Reduced demand on ventilation
The capacity limit of the VRLA battery online is high (12000 Ah)
VRLA batteries will have a longer life and the life span of these batteries will be about 10 years
VRLA batteries are economical
Applications of VRLA battery
Modern-day automobiles use AGM type of VRLA batteries to reduce the chance of acid spillover
Implemented in luxurious automobiles
Used in stability sustaining and navigation
Implemented in computer control to make sure that alternator modifies the battery at the time of car deceleration
Utilized in an ice monitoring system in the remote sensors
VRLA batteries are employed specifically in power wheelchairs and UPS
VRLA batteries in Malaysia should not be enclosed in sealed containers. Oxygen and Hydrogen gases are produced in the battery, however, they once again convert back to water. But throughout overcharging these gases escape out of the cell. This can create enough pressure to make an explosion.
While VRLA technology provides the advantages described, the batteries should however be regarded as the weak link in any UPS application because they have a limited working life and will ultimately require replacement. But, this life can be maximized by taking care to work within a well-managed environment and setting up a routine maintenance schedule. The UPS design should preserve the batteries from undercharging, overcharging, and over-discharging. The charging methods should efficiently reduce AC ripple and have temperature-compensated outputs to stop overcharging at high temperatures. The UPS operating environment should be maintained at around 20°C, as higher temperatures will decrease the battery life and likely cause damage, while lower temperatures reduce battery performance. The batteries should also be routinely tested for open-circuit and float voltage and monitored for corrosion, cracks, leaks, swelling, connections, and cleanliness.
However, with the right environmental and maintenance procedures in place, VRLA batteries offer safe, durable resolutions with great performance.
Right Power Technology, founded in 2000, as a pioneer in developing advanced UPS systems and solutions, Right Power Technology now has the enviable distinction of being a significant player in the industry, education, and commercial fields. Visit our official website to see the best VRLA batteries suited to your requirements.