Odyssey Batteries
Ody Blog Help Keep Fleets Running In Winter 63d91c1b012f1

Odyssey batteries help keep fleets running in winter

Feb. 1, 2023
It's important that fleet vehicles are reliable and ready to perform at a moment’s notice—and their batteries operate with reduced functional capacity and power in extreme cold—but the experts at Odyssey Battery have tips to help.

During the winter season, commercial and municipal fleets help keep business and civic operations going, even in snow, ice and extreme cold. In some cases, when fleets are used for snow and ice removal, towing and first response, their operation in winter weather becomes particularly critical. It’s important that fleets are reliable and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

One of the components that requires attention when preparing for winter weather is the battery. In extreme cold, batteries operate with reduced functional capacity and power. At zero degrees Fahrenheit (minus-18 degrees Celsius), power drops by about 30%, while the starting energy and power demands are dramatically increased. Oil thickens when temperatures drop, making the battery work harder to start the engine. This often exposes damage done by the heat of the warmer months, as heat can cause the electrolyte of the battery to evaporate. These losses are often not apparent until winter comes, which makes maintenance and repair even more of an unplanned inconvenience.

Some signs that a vehicle’s battery needs attention include dimming headlights and slow starting. Regardless of its performance, if it is a conventional flooded lead acid battery, the electrolyte levels should be checked and distilled water added to the sulfuric acid solution if necessary. In preparation for winter, the battery also should be inspected, cleaned, tested and, if necessary, fully charged. As always, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper battery maintenance and care and direct any questions to your battery professional.

Inspection of the battery before the vehicle is deployed can help prevent unscheduled downtime or an inopportune breakdown. When handling batteries, use protective gloves and eyewear, as well as insulated tools. Check the case, terminals, cables and clamps for damage, wear and dirt. Acid, corrosion and dirt can accumulate on the case and terminals and cause small current leaks. Check the cables for fraying, the connectors for secure mounting and both for corrosion. Replace the cables and clamps as needed, but if the case or terminals are cracked or leaking, replace the battery itself.

To clean the battery, disconnect it and wash dirt from the cables and connectors with ammonia or a paste of one part baking soda to three parts water. Clean the battery terminals with an emery cloth or battery terminal brush, and the case and clamps with water. Rinse, dry and reconnect the battery, then coat the terminals with dielectric grease, anti-corrosion spray or petroleum jelly.

When testing the battery, use a digital voltmeter to measure the open circuit voltage (OCV). The battery manufacturer’s specifications will indicate what OCV will correspond to 100 percent state of charge (SOC).

Keep the battery at full charge to minimize sulfation, which is the accumulation of lead sulfate crystals on the plates that ultimately impedes the battery’s ability to hold a charge. The manufacturer’s specifications will indicate the proper charge current required. The current should be high enough to fully charge the battery, but not so high that it overheats the battery.

If the battery needs replacement, consider alternatives to conventional flooded lead acid batteries, such as absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. AGM batteries feature plates that are compressed tightly with spongy, absorbent fiberglass separators, which hold the electrolyte, and are sealed. The seal is spill- and leak-proof and eliminates the need for periodic watering to make them virtually maintenance-free.

Odyssey batteries are premium AGM batteries that are constructed with proprietary Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology. Pure lead plates can be thinner than those made of lead alloys, so more plates fit into the same battery footprint as those in comparatively sized, conventional flooded lead acid batteries. More plates provide greater surface area, and therefore, more electrochemical reactions with the electrolyte, to generate two times the engine cranking pulses of conventional flooded lead acid batteries. Pure lead plates are not prone to galvanic corrosion, which occurs when dissimilar metals come into contact. Additionally, TPPL technology helps allow Odyssey batteries to reduce sulfation, which occurs when lead sulfate crystals form on the plates from persistent undercharging.    

TPPL technology provides Odyssey batteries with a deep-cycling capacity of 400 charge/discharge cycles at 80 percent depth of discharge (DOD). Deep cycling capacity enables the battery to handle an increasing number of hotel loads, such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS); audio, communications and security systems; and climate control, including heaters and defrosters.

Odyssey batteries also offer a temperature range of minus-40 Fahrenheit (minus-40 C) to 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees C), a service life up to three times that of conventional flooded lead acid batteries and 100% recharge in as little as four hours.

As fleets prepare for winter, all vehicles should be thoroughly inspected and maintained to help ensure reliable operation in bad weather. A premium battery like an  Odyssey battery enables fleets to benefit from greater power and longevity while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).

To follow the latest Odyssey battery news, visit our website at www.odysseybattery.com or connect with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook by using the hashtag #MYODYSSEY. 

ABOUT ENERSYS 

EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, manufactures and distributes energy systems solutions and motive power batteries, specialty batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. Energy systems, which combine enclosures, power conversion, power distribution and energy storage, are used in the telecommunication, broadband and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies and numerous applications. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other industrial electric powered vehicles requiring stored energy solutions. Specialty batteries are used in aerospace and defense applications, large over-the-road trucks, premium automotive, medical and security systems applications. EnerSys also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers in over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. With the NorthStar acquisition, EnerSys has solidified its position as the market leader for premium Thin Plate Pure Lead batteries, which are sold across all three lines of business. More information regarding EnerSys can be found at www.enersys.com.

Sustainability at EnerSys is about more than just the benefits and impacts of our products. Our commitment to sustainability encompasses many important environmental, social and governance issues. Sustainability is a fundamental part of how we manage our own operations. Minimizing our environmental footprint is a priority. Sustainability is our commitment to our employees, our customers and the communities we serve. Our products facilitate positive environmental, social and economic impacts around the world. To learn more visit: https://www.enersys.com/en/about-us/sustainability/.

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