Over the past few years, advancements in battery technology and products mean that choosing the best battery for a specific application is now more challenging than ever. With so many options to choose from, it is relatively easy to select a battery that merely does the job, but are we well enough informed or tech-savvy to know if it is the best choice for modern applications – ie is it easy to use, has the best performance and is value for money?
Those of a certain age will have used and know the flooded lead-acid (FLA) battery, in a car, boat or caravan, probably because it was first seen about 150 years ago that has barely changed since. However, like many products using older technology, they tend to have a lower purchase price and reduced performance than modern equivalents, doing an adequate job rather than the optimal product. The FLA battery also has several issues requiring regular care and maintenance and can cause equipment damage.
FLA batteries need topping up periodically and be kept upright to avoid spilling the corrosive electrolyte. Damage around the battery installation can be caused by spilled acid, and flammable hydrogen gasses can be emitted when recharging, meaning the area must be adequately vented. Thankfully battery technology has moved on significantly, offering far better performance, much easier maintenance-free use, and a lower overall cost of ownership.
DRY CELL technology
The new DRY CELL battery from a leading specialist Canada-based company, Discover Battery, is a recent addition to the market. The range is based on a modified AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery. It features thick plate traction battery construction combined with a Hydro polymer technology that resists battery dry-out – one of the most common reasons for AGM failures when used for a prolonged period.
Discover Battery collected typical battery use data in developing the range, particularly from those reaching the end of life or that failed prematurely.
Three common causes of failure were found: continuous operation at a partial state of charge, high current deep discharge, and high operating temperature.
To help overcome these issues, the Discover DRY CELL AGM batteries were designed with increased electrolyte saturation levels, an ultra-absorbent separator, and improved battery charge acceptance. Rigorous tests simulating real-life battery conditions revealed Discover’s battery delivered 15 percent more capacity and lasted longer than other DRY CELL batteries without Hydro Polymer Technology. Even batteries nearing the end of life provided more consistent runtimes when subjected to sub-optimal working and charging conditions and offered faster recharge times.
DRY CELL AGM batteries have been proven to outperform traditional Flooded, AGM, and GEL deep cycle batteries in demanding traction and industrial applications. They are designed to deliver a long runtime, high operating current, and withstand deep discharge. Specific charge algorithms are available that support optimal battery performance and longevity. Because of these features are ideal for powering equipment that is used multiple times a day and has been used and trusted for more than a decade by some of the world’s largest industrial OEMs.
DRY CELL AGM features
The battery uses a heat-resistant polypropylene case which gives excellent durability. It has precision pressure relief valves to reduce water loss and extend its life and integrated flame arrestors to prevent fire and explosion.
The thick traction plates with graphite enhanced alloys inside the battery deliver maximum run time over its operational life. Carbon additives increase the duty cycle performance, charge acceptance, and partial state of charge operation.
Using automatic ‘through the partition’ weld technology improves intercell weld consistency and reduces lead waste compared with welding by hand. This means it can support high-current loads and lowers internal resistance. And by utilising organic capillary separators with hydro polymer electrolytes, it resists dry-out and prevents thermal runaway.
DRY CELL AGM benefits
Discover batteries have enhanced runtime by utilising the latest technology, design, and manufacturing processes through high Amp Hour capacity and high operational voltage. An extended service life includes more than 550 cycles at 70% DoD. The batteries can operate in extreme temperatures and are vibration resistant, being shock tested to the highest IEC, DIN, and SAE standards.
Tests show that the resilience – the partial state of charge, intense duty cycling and overcharge, and over-discharge – is superior to an AGM or Gel battery.
DRY CELL AGM batteries are maintenance-free, non-spillable with no gassing, and SAE spark and explosion tested.
Everyone accepts that regular lead-acid batteries are the least expensive to purchase. However, many are oblivious that correctly caring for and maintaining the battery adds significant costs throughout its life.
Discover Battery maintains that there are also many significant indirect costs associated with the total cost of ownership of a traditional flooded lead-acid battery.
“By choosing a DRY CELL AGM battery there are the obvious savings of not carrying out the routine maintenance of topping up the water, etc. However, there are a lot of indirect costs associated with the total cost of ownership,” said Alex Marotz, Discover Battery’s product and business development manager for Europe. “These include fewer equipment repairs due to corrosion damage from acid spills and off-gassing and reduced equipment failures and call out charges because of battery malfunction due to improper maintenance by the user. There is also no risk to operators and sensitive areas such as food processing facilities and hospitals because of an acid spill or fumes. DRY CELL AGM batteries also charge faster because they have a higher charge acceptance due to a lower battery internal resistance. There is low self-discharge resulting in lower maintenance requirements during storage. In short, they are safer, cleaner, and more user friendly than FLA batteries.”
“By eliminating battery maintenance costs and premature battery replacement, there is a significantly lower total cost of ownership,” he said. “Yes, the initial purchase cost of the DRY CELL AGM battery is slightly higher, but it may well save up to 50 percent of the purchase cost over its entire service life compared to a lead-acid battery. For years, many major equipment manufacturers have specified DRY CELL AGM batteries as an Original Equipment part.”
“Our latest DRY CELL AGM battery range provides both users and equipment owners with a more robust battery, designed to withstand and protect against common battery challenges that are often encountered across the various sectors,” he said.
All Discover batteries – including DRY CELL AGM, GEL CELL and LITHIUM PROFESSIONAL – focus on providing maintenance-free solutions. All are available in a wide selection of sizes and offer significant benefits and improved safety over traditional flooded lead-acid batteries.
|TRACTION DRY CELL AGM||FLOODED LEAD-ACID DEEP-CYCLE|
|Maintenance-free||Yes||No – Requires periodic watering|
|Recharge Time||Shorter – No equalization||Longer|
|Self-Discharge||Lower – 2-3% per month||Higher – Up to 15% per month|
|High Current Discharge||Higher||Lower|
|Total Cost Of Ownership||Lower||Higher|