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Given the same power ratings, can a (lead-acid/deep-cycle) gel-cell battery be paired together with a wet-cell battery in use?

For example, with a motorized/electric wheelchair, would one be able to use both a gel-cell and wet-cell battery concurrently in the chair?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ combined how? \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Frost Jul 1 '13 at 1:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ In a power supply application of a motorized wheelchair (run parallel). \$\endgroup\$ – Coldblackice Jul 1 '13 at 3:30
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By "combine," do you mean "charge and discharge in parallel"?

I'm assuming the basics are the same -- the voltages and charge-top and charge-bottom cut-offs are the same, and the Amp-hour ratings are matched.

In general, this will "work" for short-term capacity boosts, but trying to use the same charge/management circuitry for multiple chemistries in parallel is likely to make the cells skew over time. Lead/Acid is less sensitive than Lithium-based systems, though -- you never see "Balancing wires" for the series cells in a car battery.

In general, for the longest lifetimes and best control, you want one charge management circuit per battery chemistry, and ideally per battery (there may be benefits even within the same chemistry.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. Yes, that's what I mean with "combine". So would it be as simple as just wiring the batteries in parallel together? Or would it necessitate custom "smart" circuitry to balance and distribute recharging amongst the batteries and cells? And what would a rough average example be of potential "skew" one might expect from such? (a totally subjective question, yes -- any lead/acid 12v sealed battery example would be helpful) \$\endgroup\$ – Coldblackice Jul 1 '13 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some chemistries, like lithium-ion, require charge management per cell. A Li-ion battery you are likely to buy includes this integrated in the package. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Frost Jul 1 '13 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PhilFrost What about lead-acid? \$\endgroup\$ – Coldblackice Jul 1 '13 at 18:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Coldblackice I think lead-acid batteries are more tolerant of having current run through them when they are fully charged, at least if the charge rate is slow, but I'm hardly an expert on the issue. My intuition tells me mixing anything but identical batteries without some intelligent charge management in place is probably unwise. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Frost Jul 1 '13 at 18:13

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