Location: Deep Cycle & Starting Batteries

The Difference between Starting & Deep Cycle Batteries

Generally, battery manufacturers produce two different types of batteries. One is designed to give all it's available power in 20 seconds (starting batteries), the other is designed to give it's power out over time measured in minutes or hours (deep cycle batteries). The fundamental differences are built in during the manufacturing process, so no amount of care can make a starting battery perform as a deep cycle battery, you just have to buy the right one. Therefore, please select the proper type of battery for your application, or expect it not to work so well or for too long. Below we have taken a few paragraphs to explain the point and proper application for each battery type.

Starting Batteries:
Starting batteries, those designed to give their power in 20 seconds or less, are designed to start motors. The starter motor on an engine needs this amount of power to start, and then the engine makes enough power to replace it with either an alternator, generator, or similar device. These batteries are not designed for prolonged electrical usage, like lighting the baseball diamond, or running the car stereo while you work and the truck is off. These types of activities will inevitably lead to a shortened life on your battery.

Starting batteries are built with thin lead plates inside the battery. These thin plates afford maximum amount of surface area for the chemical reaction inside the battery. The ample surface area allows the chemical reaction necessary to generate the electricity inside the battery to happen very rapidly. However, these thin plates are not as resilient to the acid, and break down more quickly when they are fully discharged. This erosion of the plates is accelerated by deep or prolonged discharging.

Deep Cycle Batteries:
Deep cycle batteries are designed to give power out over time measured in minutes, hours, or days. These batteries are designed to run electronics, or systems over time. The telecom industry uses them to keep the cell phone towers running. Your boat needs this power for radar, communications, and navigation. You like having the power to run the kitchen as well, stove, refrigerator, and microwave. There is not an electrical circuit that can not be powered by deep cycle batteries when you have inverter too. When you want power, you pull it from a deep cycle battery, push it directly to the load or through an inverter to make AC power. Install the proper plugs, and you can run the appliances from home.

Deep Cycle batteries are built with very thick lead plates inside the battery. These thick plates are able to sustain the acid without breaking down for a longer period of time. The thicker plates are designed to be in the chemical reaction that produces the electricity for a longer period before the plates erode into the acid. This longer period allows you the customer to run electronics for long periods of time, recharge the battery, and see very little capacity lost.

This Marine Battery website shows you how to electrically hook up circuits, install batteries, and run wires for your marine application. You as the consumer are assumed to be using this marine battery information site as a reference tool. The marine battery information herein has been checked, but is not warranted.