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Do I Need a Deep Cycle Battery for Emergency Power?

Emergency diesel generator.

Large emergency generators require a deep cycle battery to supply a high cranking voltage. Normal SLA batteries and automotive batteries do not have enough capacity to start these engines.

What are Deep Cycle Batteries?

While heavier and less efficient than nickel cadmium and lithium batteries, sealed lead acid batteries are still widely used in emergency lighting applications due to their high capacity. These battery cases are somewhat similar to a car battery, using liquid battery acid to store electricity.

But unlike automotive batteries, which are designed to give a short burst when starting a vehicle, deep cycle batteries supply a much larger dose of electrical power for a much longer duration.

You can find deep cycle batteries in all kinds of applications where continuous battery power is a must, such as:

  • Recreational vehicles
  • Some ATV’s
  • Boats
  • Golf carts
  • Solar cell battery bank

In the emergency lighting world, deep cycle batteries play an important part in keeping us safe. They are commonly found in emergency lighting inverters and as well as starting emergency generators, which require a large cranking voltage to get the combustible engine going. A normal car battery would not have enough capacity for either application.

Depending on the manufacturer’s specifications, a deep-cycle battery operates optimally when it discharges 45 -75 percent of its capacity. Many of these can be discharged as much as 80% before requiring recharging.