The latest innovation from...
The latest innovation from TurboStart is the AGM dry battery, which has absorbent separators that keep the acid in contact with the plates.
Where should the acid level be within the cells?
The acid level should be no more than 1/4 inch above the lead plates. These plates are visible when you look into the cell. If the cells are overfilled, the excess fluid in one cell can work its way up into the manifold venting system of the battery and drain into the other cells. If enough excess fluid completely fills two cells of the battery, there is a chance of those cells failing because of the mixture. When acid is allowed to flow freely between two cells of a lead acid battery, the two cells will cancel each other out. Their failure to produce voltage will affect the battery's performance. A container incorporated within the venting system will fill up with the excess fluid in the case of overfilling. You will also notice the battery becoming wet on top and around the cell plugs if it is overfilled.
What is cell imbalance and why does it only happen in a three-post battery?
Cell imbalance occurs when two different amperages are pulled from the positive posts of a three-post battery (not used with a boost box or 12-volt alternator system). The cells with the higher amperage draw will discharge faster. Any components connected to 16 volts, regardless of their amp draw, will discharge all eight cells equally. If a boost box and a 12-volt alternator are not used, additional amperage draw at the 12-volt positive post will cause the six cells on the 12-volt side of the battery to discharge faster than the two additional cells that make up the 16-volt side. This imbalance results in the six cells becoming discharged and the remaining two cells becoming overcharged.
A 12-volt charger hooked up to the 12-volt post and the negative post will recharge the discharged 12-volt side. Periodic hydrometer readings should be done to make sure the 12-volt side is maintaining an equal state of charge to the 16-volt side. If the 12-volt side has a lower state of charge, this side must be fully charged.
If a racer runs a three-post, 16-volt battery without an alternator and boost box, the imbalance problem can be reduced by running as many components as possible (fans, pumps) on the 16-volt side. The 12-volt post can be used for components that don't benefit from 16 volts. It is recommended that any racer using a 16-volt, three-post battery should check the cell gravities in all cells to make sure the eight cells are equal. A three-post, 16-volt battery used without a boost box will have to be charged with a 16-volt charger.
What is the life of the battery?
The batteries have lasted well past three seasons of use. Some customers have reported four seasons with proper maintenance.
TurboStart has recently developed the valve-regulated 16-volt battery to accompany the "flooded cell" design. The new AGM series (Absorbent Glass Mat) is shipped fully charged and ready to install. This battery has an additional 100 cranking amps and five more minutes of reserve power, but weighs the same as the flooded design.
The acid required in the AGM series is totally absorbed into the separator, making the battery leakproof and spillproof. The sponge-like qualities of the separator hold the acid against the plates. To achieve the 95 percent or higher acid saturation rate, the battery cell is compressed 20 percent, then inserted into the container. The compressed cell technology increases vibration resistance.
The sealed maintenance-free design is accomplished by using a pressure release valve in each of the cells. Unlike a traditional flooded cell battery, most of the hydrogen and oxygen given off during charging remains inside the AGM series design. The two components recombine into water, making the battery maintenance free.
Because the acid is totally absorbed into the separator, the AGM series battery can be mounted in any direction.