FAQ: The different types of batteries, and benefits the ODYSSEY® battery TPPL AGM design

ODYSSEY® batteries out power the competition with unique design advantages that offer longer battery life, faster recharging and reliable performance.

There are a lot of different options for consumers to consider when selecting the battery that’s right for them including the battery’s construction – Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), Wet Cell or Gel Cell batteries.

Our expert weighs in:

  1. What is the difference between:
    1. Wet Cell: Wet cell batteries contain liquid sulfuric acid, are openly vented to the atmosphere and will leak acid if turned on their side. They also expel hazardous and explosive hydrogen-oxygen gas during charge and operation. That said, wet cell batteries can cause external corrosion to the battery terminal, cables and surrounding area where the battery is mounted. Since they contain liquid, these batteries freeze at temperatures below -20°F (-28°C), potentially cracking the battery case and, thus, spilling the sulfuric acid. If that happens, they fail instantly and can leave you stranded.
    2. Gel Cell: Gel cell batteries do not perform well in cold temperatures, nor do they charge quickly or charge at high charge amperages. Gel cell batteries generally have a sealed valve regulated design, so it is clean in operation. They are not very common in today’s market place for engine starts, as they are more for deep cycle applications.
    3. AGM battery: There are two types of AGM batteries – lead-calcium and Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL).
      1. Lead-calcium: Lead-calcium AGM batteries have many of the operating limitations of the flooded, wet cell battery, but without the hazardous issues. They are single purpose in function and design. The “SLI” design – starting, lighting and ignition – is pulse starting, but cannot be deep cycled. Doing so would shorten service life dramatically. Lead-calcium “deep cycle” batteries are also single purpose by design in that they support deep discharging, and have a specific deep discharge cycle rating. Their thick plates don’t allow for pulse starting power like the SLI design.
      2. TPPL: TPPL AGM batteries are dual purpose, have the highest CCA ratings and deep cycle at 400 cycles to 80% depth of discharge. They can be fast charged, and discharged, in the range of -40°F (-40°F) to 176°F (80°C) provide 10-12 years of float service and, best of all, do not fail catastrophically. TPPL AGM batteries are certified environmentally friendly as non-hazardous and non-spillable by US-DOT and International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The advantage of ODYSSEY® batteries being dual purpose is that TPPL technology provides thin plates (high plate count per cell) for high plate surface area and dense oxide for high number of deep cycles. The ODYSSEY® battery is unique in this offering and capability.

What are the benefits of AGM separators in an ODYSSEY® battery?
The AGM separator pad is the medium that holds the sulfuric acid in a 96% saturated level to be non-hazardous and non-spillable. AGM separators are highly absorbent and provide the means to hold large volumes of acid, yet do so in a distributed format so there is no free electrolyte present.

Do AGM batteries require special care?
Like any lead acid battery, keeping batteries at high states of charge continuously promotes maximum service life. It is best to prevent batteries from becoming deeply discharged, and stored in this condition for long periods, as this will cause sulfation of the oxide. It also may prevent normal recharging at a later date.

Are the specific instances in which one type of battery specifically Gel Cell, Wet Cell and TPPL batteries, has preferred use over the other?
Gel cel batteries work well in reasonable temperatures where high cycle ratings are required. Wet cell offer cost effectiveness relative to initial low cost, but TPPL offers the best cost efficiency of long service life, reliable operation with great power delivery and dual purpose operating support, such as an ODYSSEY® battery.

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