What Does “Deep Cycle” Mean?

If you’ve spent any time shopping for batteries for your electric wheelchair or other equipment, you’ve probably noticed that some batteries are labeled as “deep cycle” batteries, while others are not. The difference between these batteries is extremely important to understand if you want a reliable battery experience. Here’s what you need to know:

What Does “Deep Cycle” Mean?

A deep cycle battery is a battery that is designed to produce steady power output over an extended period of time, discharging the battery significantly, at which point it must be recharged to complete the cycle. By contrast, a regular car battery is designed to provide a momentary burst of energy, typically enough to get your car started, before handing off power production to the alternator. In this case, the battery is not designed to be cycled because it should be kept fully charged at all times.

How to Read Deep Cycle Battery Specs

A deep cycle battery is rated by the number of complete cycles that it will provide, as well as the depth of discharge that is allowable, and the amount of amperage that it will produce steadily. For instance, a deep cycle battery listing will tell you that it produces 75 Amp-Hours for a period of 20 hours, and is rated for 1000 full cycles at 80% depth of discharge. These numbers tell you how long the battery will last, how far you should be discharging the battery, how long you can expect to go before you need a battery replacement, and what kind of power you can expect in the meantime. With an ignition lead acid battery, the rating that matters most is the cold cranking amps (CCA), which only tells you how much power the battery can produce in a single burst at 32 degrees.

Now that you understand the differences between deep cycle and regular lead-acid batteries, you will be able to choose the right battery for your needs. Remember, these two battery types may look the same, but their internal components work differently. As a result, deep cycle batteries are more costly than regular batteries, but you should never substitute a regular battery for a deep cycle battery because it won’t be able to handle the work. For more information about how to select the right deep cycle battery for you, contact MK Battery today and speak with one of our battery specialists right away.

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