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Just as there are different types of power wheelchairs, there are also different types of batteries to power your motorized chair. The earliest type of battery available for powered wheelchairs was the “wet cell” battery, which is related to an automobile battery. These batteries charge relatively quickly and work well, but can leak acid when broken or cracked. For these reasons, most companies now recommend a gel-cell or dry-cell battery – these are sealed and can't leak when being transported. Additionally, they have a longer life span than traditional batteries. Be aware, however, that you can't just switch battery types, you will need to get a new charger and adapter as well.
Actually, a gel battery has a shorter life expectency and a slightly lower amp hour capacity the the charge doesn't last as long as a lead acid battery. The reason a gel battery has a shorter life expectancy is because it is sealed and, therefore, can't be maintained like a lead acid battery can. The main reason most companies have switched to gel batteries is because they are maintenance free and less hassle. Most people that are in wheelchairs can't just hop out of their chair to remove their batteries and add water to them...if they could, they probably wouldn't be in a wheelchair. I can't begin to tell you how many times people came into my shop with 3 month old batteries that wouldn't hold a charge any more just to find out that they were bone dry.