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A lead-acid gel battery

A deep-cycle lead-acid battery is designed to deliver a consistent voltage as the battery discharges. In contrast, starter batteries (e.g. most automotive batteries) are designed to deliver sporadic current spikes. Battery-driven vehicles, such as golf carts, forklifts and floor sweepers commonly use deep-cycle batteries. While a deep-cycle battery can be used as a starting battery (and may work better than a traditional starting battery with the myriad of electronic components attached to most modern vehicles), the lower "cranking amps" imply that an over-sized battery may need to be used in an older vehicle that lacks fuel injection. Deep cycle batteries can be charged with a lower current than regular batteries.

The key structural difference between deep cycle batteries and cranking batteries are the lead plates, which are solid in deep-cycle batteries and composed of porous sponge-like plates in starting batteries. Some batteries that are labelled "deep-cycle" do not possess these solid lead plates, however, and are actually "hybrid" batteries. While a deep-cycle battery is designed to discharge down to as much as 20% of its charge capacity over several cycles, companies recommend that a hybrid battery not be discharged beyond 50% of its capacity. [1].

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