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AGM Battery With Standard Alternator – Replacement and Charger
AGM, Absorbent Glass Matt batteries are a type of lead-acid battery. The battery’s electrolyte solution is soaked on fiberglass mats that are between the lead plates. As we all know, AGM batteries have different charging requirements than standard batteries. Overcharging or undercharging an AGM battery is bound to damage the battery and reduce its expected lifespan.
Despite this, these batteries are recently found in most newer vehicle models as they are known for their durability and reliability. The battery is known to have a higher reserve capacity to support the start and stop systems and key off functions despite its size and weight.
Below, we are going to discuss whether you can charge your AGM battery with a standard alternator. We also look at the possibilities of replacing your regular battery with an AGM one and how to charge it.
Can a Standard alternator charge an AGM battery?
What happens when you replace your standard regular battery with an AGM battery in your car? As we know, in a standard or even electric vehicle, the alternator usually chargers the battery. So, will the alternator charge your AGM battery? These are just some of the questions we get to ask ourselves when we decide to upgrade our vehicle battery.
In most cars, the alternator charging system is mostly intended for the standard flooded lead-acid batteries. It will mostly mean the alternator charging system is not well equipped to charge or optimally work with AGM batteries. Using the alternator to charge your AGM battery may pose a serious risk to your battery. It may either undercharge or overcharge your battery. And as we all know, the AGM batteries are sensitive to the charging voltages exposed to them. The risk of either an under or overcharge will destroy the lifespan of the battery and cause it to die faster than expected. Despite this, sometimes, most charge controllers in the newer vehicles may be reprogrammed to work with an AGM battery without causing damage to the battery. It may only work if the charge controller settings within your car are updated accordingly.
Furthermore, before considering using an alternator to charge your AGM battery, you have to ensure you have a reliable regulator that will help set the charging voltages and limits the charging currents. The only problem that may arise from this combination is the no float stage or a low absorption voltage. The low absorption voltage will mean the AGM battery gets to charge slower and never at 100% charge, which will cause the battery’s capacity to fade and lead to a reduced battery lifespan. Most older car versions lack the float charge state. So, in case you install an AGM battery in an older car model, there is a higher risk of the lack of float charge stage, which may cause your battery to overheat on long drives. All these factors make it risky for an alternator to charge an AGM battery.
Can you replace a regular battery with an AGM battery?
At times you may find yourself wanting to upgrade your battery from a regular flooded lead-acid battery to an AGM one. With both batteries being lead-acid, you may be faced with the dilemma of whether it is possible to have such an upgrade. Yes, you can replace your regular battery with an AGM battery to improve longevity and durability. However, there are some things you may need to consider before you do this.
For instance, you may need to consider the deep cycles. Does your device or car discharge the regular battery below 50% regularly? In case this is the case, having an AGM battery will be a much preferable choice as it is cheaper having not to replace your battery consecutively. The AGM battery can discharge multiple times without suffering damage due to its extended lifespan. Furthermore, if your regular battery undergoes multipole discharge and recharge cycles, upgrading to an AGM battery will be preferential. Also, consider whether you need extremely high current regularly to operate your device as an AGM battery will best suit you., lastly, the type of electronic you want to use the battery will determine whether an upgrade is worth it. A normal car may do fine with a regular battery, while a commercial urban truck will need an AGM battery due to the multiple shift operations.
Therefore, one can easily replace the regular battery with an AGM battery, but it may not be a preferable general drop-in replacement. The other factor to consider is the differences in the charging requirements and characteristics of these two batteries. Make sure you have and use the correct charger that will meet the AGM battery’s specifications and charging requirements. As long as all the factors are considered, and reprogramming is done, you can easily replace your regular battery with an AGM one.
Do AGM batteries require a special charger?
All AGM batteries have a specific manufacturer-recommended charger that suits them. These specific chargers ensure the battery is not overcharged or undercharged, which helps prevent sulfation. Most AGM batteries rely on smart chargers, which have microprocessors that collect information about the internal resistance of the battery and adjust the current and voltage accordingly. Therefore, a charger specifically made for a standard flooded battery should not be used on an AGM battery. The non-compatible charger may burn out the AGM batteries and cause them to die in the long run.
AGM batteries do not require a special or specific charger to be used. All you will require is a special charging mechanism that puts out the required voltage to charge your battery. Therefore, you will require a smart charger as with it, and you will be able to fully charge your battery. It is because partial charging is not possible when it comes to AGM batteries. A recommended charger delivers a regulated voltage of 12.4 volts and above. But in case you are using a smart charger that does not automatically stop once the battery is fully charged, you may need to keep on monitoring and checking on the charging progress of the battery.