What does deep-cycle mean?
Deep-cycle means using the battery in an application that will typically discharge 60% to 70% or more of the battery capacity. A standard automotive battery is an SLI (starting, lighting and ignition) battery. Its plates are designed to deliver maximum power for a short duration. Starting a car typically discharges an SLI battery less than 5 percent. When an SLI battery is used in a deep-cycle application, or in a vehicle with heavy accessory loads, the battery life will be shortened proportionally to how deeply it is cycled on a regular basis.
When should I consider a deep-cycle battery?
Anytime you need the battery to supply all the operating power for a vehicle or other device. Additionally, deep-cycle batteries should be used in vehicles that have heavy accessory loads where the alternator cannot maintain the battery in a fully charged condition. Some examples include vehicles with powerful stereo systems, vehicles with increased electronics like GPS, game systems, DVD players and LCD screens or boats with onboard chargers, trolling motors, fish-finders, stereos, lights, etc.
Does an OPTIMA Deep-Cycle have a “memory?”
Lead-acid batteries do not suffer from memory effect. Many people think they have a memory because they experience a reduction in capacity or runtime as the battery ages. The active paste material in a lead-acid battery is a consumable item, similar to tread on a tire. Every time you cycle the battery, some of the paste is used up. As the battery ages, less of the active paste is available to charge and discharge, resulting in a reduced operating time. This situation can be more apparent in the case where a high-power or starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) battery is used in a deep-cycle application. The plates of an SLI battery are designed for high-current, short-duration discharges. Plates in deep-cycle batteries are better suited to repetitive deep-discharge applications.
How does a gel cell compare to your deep-cycle?
Most gel batteries have much higher internal resistance, meaning they will not be able to deliver and receive current as efficiently. This is especially apparent at higher amperage levels. For example, most gel batteries will not work successfully in engine-starting applications.