Next to the Flight Data Recorder, Maybe the Toughest Little Box in Transportation
The above headline comes from Optima’s off-roading version ad, and as you can see from the lead photograph, it looks like they ain’t lyin’. I’ve never tried to use any battery as a wheel ramp to gain some work space for working under my vehicles, but it looks like one could if one really needed to. Their ad goes on to say, “This is the only battery specifically designed to take abuse. The patented SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY offers far greater resistance than standard batteries to vibration (15X), heat and cold. It’s spill-proof and can be stored for long periods without maintenance. Plus it lasts twice as long.”
Originally developed way back in 1967 in response to a military need for an advanced power supply, by 1973 the engineers started developing the groundwork for their now famous spiral wound cell technology. The patented technology that goes into Optima’s batteries is designed to be leak-proof, vibration resistant and maintenance-free while providing off-roaders with more starting power and longer cycle life. The basic chemical reaction in an Optima battery is no different than in a traditional lead acid battery. The differentiating characteristic is the way the chemical reaction is housed in the case. Other battery companies have found different ways to control the internal components of a battery, including “gel cells,” in which a silicate is added to the electrolyte to help immobilize the acid and “flat-plate AGM” batteries, which use an absorbent glass mat to immobilize the acid. Optima’s technology, however involves the complete reconfiguration of the layout of their battery’s internal components.
Technology Specs Of All Optima Batteries
- Maximum starting power, regardless of ambient temperature
- Up to fifteen times the vibration resistance
- Up to twice the cycle life of regular lead acid batteries
- Totally leak and spill proof-mountable in almost any position
- Maintenance free life
- Faster recharging capability
First of all, let’s talk about Optima’s absorbent glass-mat (AGM) separators. All of the acid, necessary for the chemical reaction in any lead-acid battery, is contained in an absorbent glass mat, much like water in a sponge. This fiberglass mat is spiral-wound with the lead grids to create the necessary reaction. The acid is completely immobilized by the mat, making the battery fully leak-proof. In addition, the fast reaction between the acid and the plate material allows for more efficient discharging and faster recharging.
Next, each of the six 2-volt cells contains a negative and positive lead grid and the AGM separators. These components are wound tightly in place in a compressed cylinder. This means that the chemical reaction is not as susceptible to vibrations and shedding that kills batteries. Thus, giving better performance, longer life and greater overall durability.
The lead grids in these compressed spiral cells are less susceptible to stress on their structure than in a flat-plate application. The high purity lead grids in Optima’s helps make them resistant to internal breakdown and corrosion, especially at higher temperatures, giving increased cycle life. The connections between the cells are solid cast pieces, limiting the number of internal welds and adding to the battery’s durability.
The battery cases are completely sealed so there’s no acid leaks to potentially damage your vehicle’s electrical components or paint. The leak-proof case also keeps the battery working at its full potential, even in harsh conditions. And as their ads say, Optima is up to 15 times more vibration resistant than traditional batteries. It is also different from traditional batteries in that it can be mounted in almost any position and just about anywhere, even in the passenger compartment.
They Come In Colors For A Reason
Optima produces three separate battery lines, each one takes care of a particular need for the end user.
The Red Top® gives high cranking power usually needed in off-road vehicles, trucks, and SUVs that also need deep cycling capabilities.
The Yellow Top® is a true, dual purpose battery that is perfect for use on vehicles with winches and other accessories such as auxiliary lighting-where heavy cranking power and deep cycling power are needed. Group 34/78 Yellow Tops are the most widely used within the off-roading circles. And Optima has just released the new Group 75/25 & 35 Yellow Tops that supply these same dual purpose deep cycle capabilities for a number of vehicle applications where only the Red Tops were available before.
For those who also take their off-road adventures to the water, there is the Blue Top® for marine applications that need starting power and deep cycle capability for electric trolling motors, and onboard electronics like those used to help find the fishies.
New to Optima’s product line are customized battery covers and mounting adapters designed to fit many of its Yellow Top and Red Top batteries. The covers currently fit the Group 34/78 Red Top and Yellow Top battery sizes for side terminal applications, and allow for complete customization of the engine bay as they can be painted to match the color scheme of a vehicle. They also completely conceal the top terminals to provide additional short circuit protection. The adapters are unique to the different battery sizes available, and are designed to make Optima’s batteries fit into an extended range of vehicle models.
Source: Optima Batteries, Inc. • 17500 East 22nd. Avenue • Aurora, CO 80011 • 888-867-8462 • www.optimabatteries.com