Flooded lead (FLA) and absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries are the most popular storage batteries – and the best fit – for hundreds of applications.
Did you know?
Lead batteries have a per-kWh hour cost 50%-90% lower than other technologies.
They have proven lifespan, performance, safety, and reliability records over more than 100 years – in the field and the laboratory.
Lead batteries have evolved with new technologies, including robotic assembly, computer-controlled paste mixing, gravity-casting of grids, and microscopically-optimized active material.
According to the U.S. EPA, lead batteries are the most recycled item in North America – more recycled than an aluminum can.
Here’s how FLA and AGM technologies differ – and how to choose the right battery type for your application:
Flooded lead (FLA) batteries
FLA batteries are most common because of their longevity, affordability, reliability, and ease of maintenance. Best known for their role as the starter battery in most cars on the planet, flooded lead batteries also power everything from off-grid homes and remote hospitals to forklifts, mining equipment, and even more.
This battery type requires ventilation and simple routine maintenance.
Absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries
AGM batteries were developed by researchers in the 1970s and soon adapted by the military because of their reliability and other beneficial characteristics.
A critical feature of AGM’s sealed design is that they’re recombinant – that is, oxygen and hydrogen combine during regular cycling, which prevents plates from drying out. This eliminates the need for periodic watering – a boon in remote locations or where there isn’t time for routine maintenance.
AGM batteries are spill-proof and offer enhanced lifespan and higher current delivery compared to FLA.
Since AGM batteries don’t require maintenance, the time and cost savings of maintenance-free operation mean they beat FLA’s return on investment – despite a slightly lower capacity and increased upfront manufacturing costs.