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Optima Batteries' Sealed Cells

Photography by Optima Batteries

We all know batteries. They're the big, black boxes under our cars' hoods that store energy. They start our cars' engines. Our fathers taught us about them while we sat in a Sears auto center on a Saturday afternoon. His revelation of wisdom: Cold cranking amps. That's all we needed to know about batteries, right?

Wrong. Battery technology has changed much since you were a kid. To compare the conventional battery your dad bought for his Nash versus what's available today is akin to pitting his Rambler against a Bentley Turbo R. The only thing that's stayed the same is you can still buy the battery your pop bought brand new.

Or you can also buy a technologically packed, powerful, and reliable battery that will take serious abuse...for not much more than his Rambler's battery. Surely you've seen the colored-top batteries lurking in some of the high-caliber cars at shows. OPTIMA Batteries wants you to know more about them.

The Problem With Plates...
First off, conventional lead-acid plate-style batteries suffer from a mechanical disadvantage: They suspend heavy lead plates in free-flowing electrolyte via comparatively fragile mounting tabs.

Secondly, lead-acid batteries suffer from electrolyte leakage problems--the very reason we've familiarized ourselves with distilled water. As the battery heats, cools, charges, and discharges, it vaporizes the water part of its acidy solution. That fluctuation over time destroys a battery.

Many companies have developed various ways to control the battery's internal components. Some add a silicate to the electrolyte to "gel" the acid for gel cell batteries. Others pack an absorbent glass mat between the plates in flat-plate absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries. In many cases, however, even AGM battery designs still feature a configuration very similar to a conventional lead-acid battery.On the other hand, Gates Energy Products took a different approach. They invented a sealed-lead battery in 1967. That Gates division, which eventually evolved into OPTIMA Batteries, patented what they call SPIRALCELL Technology.

An OPTIMA battery's basic chemical reaction works the same as a traditional lead-acid battery: electrolyte reacts with lead to create an electrical current. Leads convey that current to conventional-looking positive and negative terminals. All's not the same, however.

The Players

As you can imagine, batteries don't operate in a one-size-fits-all world. OPTIMA offers batteries in several different size groupings to fit quite a number of applications. Furthermore, they offer batteries from 500 to 900 cold cranking amps. OPTIMA even takes things one step further; they offer three distinct battery lines for three distinct jobs.





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