Frequently Asked Questions

How does a Gel Cell compare to your deep cycle?

Most gel batteries have a much higher internal resistance, meaning they will not be able to deliver and receive current as efficiently. This is especially apparent at higher amperage levels. For example, most gel batteries will not work successfully in engine starting applications.

What does the SPIRALCELL design do?

The unique design of the SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY, provides many features not available in ordinary batteries. The following is a summary SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES: · More plate surface, closer plate spacing, ability to use high purity lead. RESULTING IN: Low internal resistance. This low resistance gives you more power in a smaller box, ability to recharge much faster, higher, cleaner voltage characteristics during discharge · Immobilised plates (locked in place). RESULTING IN: Improved vibration resistance, no shedding of active paste material, no gradual loss of power and capacity as the battery ages. This gives you a battery that lasts longer and performs better throughout its life.
When used with a properly regulated constant voltage charging system (such as an alternator) the OPTIMA will usually not emit hydrogen gas. However, gassing can occur when charging at higher voltage levels or in extreme high temperature conditions. In automotive applications this typically will not happen if the alternator/regulator stay below 15 volts.

Does the OPTIMA Deep Cycle have a “memory”?

Lead-Acid batteries do not suffer from memory effect. Many people think they have a memory because they experience a reduction in capacity or run-time as the battery ages. The active paste material in a lead-acid battery is a consumable item, similar to tread on a tire. Every time you cycle the battery some of the paste is used up. As the battery ages, less of the active paste is available to charge and discharge, resulting in a reduced operating time. This situation can be more apparent in the case where a high power or SLI battery is used in a deep cycle application. The plates of an SLI battery are designed for high current, short duration discharges. Plates in deep cycle batteries are better suited to repetitive deep discharge applications.

Why the low rate of self-discharge?

Mostly this is due to the purity of the lead in the OPTIMA plates. Some of the alloys in conventional batteries are more prone to electron transfer resulting in self-discharge than what is used in the OPTIMA.

Why is OPTIMA not perishable like other batteries?

See above question

Can you trickle charge an OPTIMA? Solar card charger?

Yes, you can use any charger on an OPTIMA as long as the voltage is regulated properly. If your charger will remain on indefinitely the voltage should be at 13.8 volts maximum with a one amp maximum current.

Will it discharge the battery if I leave it sitting on concrete?

No, today’s batteries utilised polypropylene plastic for the case material. They will not be effected. When possible, always store a battery in a cool dry location.

Can I hook an OPTIMA up in parallel with my other battery?

No, when hooking batteries together in parallel they should be of identical make, model, and of similar age.

Can I use an isolator with an OPTIMA?

Yes, most any type of battery separator or solenoid can be used with an OPTIMA. The important thing to remember is that the charging voltage must be within the limits suggested by OPTIMA Batteries. If you are using an OPTIMA and a conventional battery, your system must charge each battery independently. Remember, some isolator cause a voltage drop, make sure your charging voltage AT THE BATTERY is sufficient. Continued undercharging of a battery will lead to premature failure and a drop in capacity.

Why does the OPTIMA last longer?

The main reasons the OPTIMA battery has a longer life are:
No shedding of active paste materials. The SPIRALCELL design immobilises the plates preventing the active past from working loose, which can cause plate to plate shorting.
High purity lead-tin grid. Grid material in OPTIMA batteries is more resistant to grid degradation. A type of internal corrosion that affects the plates inside a battery as it ages.
Sealed design prevents loss of water, which can lead to plate dry out and failure.

What is the difference between your deep cycle and starter battery?

The OPTIMA deep cycle battery utilises a different chemistry for the active paste material on the plates, and a slightly stronger acid. This chemistry changes allows for a much longer life in cycling applications, with only a slight reduction in power.

When should I consider a deep cycle?

Any time you need the battery to supply all the operating power for a vehicle or other device. Additionally, deep cycle batteries should be used in vehicles that have heavy accessory loads where the alternator cannot maintain the battery in a fully charged condition.

What does deep cycle mean?

Deep cycle means using the battery in an application that will typically discharge 60% to 70% or more of the battery capacity. An automotive battery is an SLI (starting, lightly, ignition) battery. It’s plates are designed to deliver maximum power for a short duration. Starting a car typically discharges an SLI battery only 1% to 3%. When an SLI battery is used in a deep cycle application, or in a vehicle with heavy accessory loads, the battery life will be shortened proportionally to how deeply it is cycled on a regular basis.

What is a Gel Cell Battery?

A gel battery design is typically a modification of the standard lead acid automotive or marine battery. A gelling agent is added to the electrolyte to reduce movement inside the battery case. Many gel batteries also use one way valves in place of open vents, this helps the normal internal gasses to recombine back into water in the battery, reducing gassing.

When does a Gel Cell compare to your deep cycle?

“Deep Cycle” batteries are designed for applications that require deep, repetitive amperage drain, like trolling motors, golf carts, and electric wheelchairs, or RV house power sources. However, there are other applications, called “Heavy Cycling” or “High Cycling”, when a Deep Cycle OPTIMA can successfully replace a starting battery to provide longer life and better performance. In heavy cycling or high cycling applications, a vehicle will pull unusually high amperage levels form the starting battery due to extra accessories or limited alternator capacity. Public safety professionals, such as police, fire, and ambulance fleet managers often find that traditional starting batteries cannot provide adequate life and performance due to heavy cycling. This is an excellent opportunity to provide your customer with longer life and better performance by using an OPTIMA Deep Cycle battery in this type of application. In any vehicle or equipment that will use the battery only for Starting, Lighting, & Ignition requirements and has a properly working alternator, the OPTIMA Red Top Starting Battery will perform extremely well, often providing up to two or three times longer life than conventional batteries. If the vehicle has few or no after-market accessories and uses a stock or upgraded alternator, the OPTIMA Red Top Starting Battery is the appropriate choice. Remember, it is possible for the customer to have a completely discharged Yellow Top OPTIMA that will not start their engine; the advantage of the Yellow Top are that it can accept a rapid recharge and it will recover from discharge many more times.To provide the customer the best OPTIMA solution, it is necessary to consider both the application and the charging system before recommending the correct OPTIMA. For example, if your customer has a Ford Expedition with an after-market alarm system, which OPTIMA would you recommend? If the customer drives the car every day, the Red Top would b e the correct choice, since the amperage drain will be nominal and the battery would be recharged on a daily basis. However, if the customer stores the vehicles for a long period of time with the alarm system engaged, you should recommend the OPTIMA Yellow Top, since the amperage drain over several weeks would damage a Red Top and reduce its life.

When does a Gel Cell compare to your deep cycle?

A gel battery design is typically a modification of the standard lead acid automotive or marine battery. A gelling agent is added to the electrolyte to reduce movement inside the battery case. Many gel batteries also use one way valves in place of open vents, this helps the normal internal gasses to recombine back into water in the battery, reducing gassing.