How do newer types of batteries, such as Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), differ from conventional lead acid batteries? AGM batteries, like wet cell “flooded” and gel cell batteries, are types of lead acid batteries. But the unique design and enhanced features set AGM batteries apart from the others in terms of power, shelf life and durability. And, ODYSSEY® AGM batteries, with Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology, are in a class by themselves.
This piece will compare AGM batteries with conventional lead acid batteries and explain how TPPL technology has refined the chemical structure of AGM batteries to deliver greater power for automotive vehicles as well as heavy-duty, marine and powersports applications.
The Birth of AGM Batteries
The advent of AGM batteries in the mid-1970s offered users a virtually maintenance-free energy storage solution with maximum power and charging capabilities.
Unlike conventional flooded lead acid batteries that have positive and negative plates with paper or less durable separators and immersed in an electrolyte solution of dilute sulfuric acid, an AGM battery contains a glass mat separator made of fiberglass that is placed between each plate to absorb the electrolyte. This makes the battery spill proof with no additional water or electrolyte ever needed. Since the plates can be packed tighter than conventional lead acid batteries, AGM batteries also offer better extreme shock and vibration resistance.
While conventional lead acid batteries need a maintenance charge every 3-6 months to prevent sulfation, AGM batteries are less prone to sulfation and can generally sit in storage up to 2 years at room temperature before a recharge is necessary.
TPPL Battery Innovation
Most AGM batteries have plates made from recycled lead, requiring the addition of additives to make the plates rigid. Premium AGM batteries, like ODYSSEY® Extreme SeriesTM and the ODYSSEY® Performance SeriesTM batteries, use advanced TPPL technology to offer even more advantages to a range of applications. The plates within the ODYSSEY® battery start with 99.99 percent pure lead – not lead alloy. The plates can be made thinner than plates in a conventional lead acid battery, allowing more plates to be used and resulting in more surface area for a reaction to occur with the electrolyte. More surface area equals more power.
Pure lead also self-discharges at a much slower rate than batteries containing additives, which means an ODYSSEY® battery has a shelf life of up to 2 years before needing recharging. Its unique design protects against high impact shock and mechanical vibration – a common cause of premature battery failure. And, ODYSSEY® battery’s TPPL technology contains a pure-lead grid system that does not have galvanic grid corrosion like lead-calcium batteries.
ODYSSEY® batteries offer up to three times the life of conventional flooded batteries or other AGM battery designs and have the highest recharge efficiency of any sealed lead acid battery on the market; it is capable of 100 percent recharge in 4-6 hours.
ODYSSEY® batteries work well under any weather conditions. The ODYSSEY® Performance SeriesTM battery can handle a wide range of temperatures from -40°F (-40°C) to 140°F (60°C), while the ODYSSEY® Extreme SeriesTM battery provides longer service life in high-heat applications and can go as high as 176°F (80°C) with no impact on performance.
In addition, all ODYSSEY® batteries provides enormous cranking power, deep cycle reserve power and engine cranking pulses up to 2,250 amps for 5 seconds – double to triple that of equally sized conventional batteries, even at very low temperatures. They also handle 400 charge-discharge cycles to 80 percent depth of discharge (DoD). The batteries’ deep cycle capabilities also allow them to power accessories and systems when needed, such as winches, auxiliary lights, navigation and A/C compressors, as well as start/stop applications.
Conclusion – Know Your Facts
Thanks to innovative technological advancements made to the battery chemistry and design over the last several decades, automotive owners can have better peace of mind that their vehicles will continue to run at peak performance without the hassle of constant maintenance and care, ultimately resulting in lower out of pocket battery-related costs including replacement. Premium AGM batteries with TPPL technology, like ODYSSEY® batteries, offer more power and longer life to handle today’s toughest vehicle demands.
EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, manufactures and distributes reserve power and motive power batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other commercial electric powered vehicles. Reserve power batteries are used in the telecommunication and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies, and numerous applications requiring stored energy solutions including medical, aerospace and defense systems. With the recent Alpha acquisition, EnerSys provides highly integrated power solutions and services to broadband, telecom, renewable and industrial customers. Outdoor equipment enclosure products are utilized in the telecommunication, cable, utility, transportation industries and by government and defense customers. The company also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers in over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world.