The final part of this two-part series sees Dr. Thomas Verghese, Technical Manager at EnerSys, discuss how workshop staff can benefit from the ODYSSEY Performance Series battery, saving maintenance time and minimising total cost of ownership (TCO) in the process.
Immediate and continual savings arise simply because of the battery’s longer service life, meaning more elapsed time before a battery change becomes essential. Additionally, it will spend most of its time in operational use rather than back in the workshop.
The battery’s deep discharge capabilities can help to solve problems that can affect vehicles brought in for maintenance. The vehicle engine may be removed, or its battery isolated to prevent starting, but it may still be powering the vehicle lights or other auxiliary load. Even when it’s believed that the battery is load-free and isolated, there will almost certainly be some elements imposing a power drain, such as a tracker or alarm. The only certain way to avoid this is to completely disconnect the battery cables.
The battery can also reduce cold starting problems caused by vehicles being left outdoors under winter conditions, before being moved into the workshop for maintenance. For conventional batteries, a season’s first frost can expose a developing weakness and cause a catastrophic failure – and this can happen in a maintainer’s yard as well as anywhere else.
These problems can be reduced to a large extent by the extreme temperature tolerance, high cold cranking amps (CCA) value, and deep discharge capabilities of the ODYSSEY battery. Recharging promptly, when required, is recommended as good practice, and charging is very simple. The battery can use exactly the same chargers as any conventional AGM battery that it replaces. If required, dedicated high-current chargers can be used for fast charging.
As it is virtually maintenance-free, the ODYSSEY battery needs minimal time in the workshop. No water top-ups are required, and a high integrity, leak-resistant terminal seal design reduces corrosion and the possibility of an acid spill.
Additionally, the battery provides the optimal stable voltages required by today’s electro-mechanical systems for longer than comparable battery types. This reduces stress on certain components, with more stable voltages and lower currents.
Stock control and rotation is much easier, as the battery has a two-year shelf life. It can be stored on open circuit, with no load and without recharging, for up to 24 months or 12.6V, whichever occurs first. This significantly outperforms conventional batteries which would normally achieve only six months’ storage life. When required, the battery can be used as a form, fit, and function replacement for any conventional absorbent glass mat (AGM) type, as it offers both electrical and mechanical compatibility.
Evidence from field testing
Even before the arrival of this standard footprint product, earlier trials with existing UK-based commercial vehicle customers have proved successful. In October 2016, five double-decker buses in Scotland each had two ODYSSEY batteries fitted, replacing two 225Ah blocs. Even with a capacity deficit of 100Ah, the batteries with TPPL technology outperformed the 225Ah blocs in every aspect. On some very cold mornings, only buses fitted with those batteries would start without assistance.
In another trial, which started in October 2015, small footprint 100Ah ODYSSEY batteries were used to replace 180Ah products; there were no issues detected. The batteries regularly reached a full state of charge after 18 months in service, with excellent discharge operation supporting both auxiliary and engine start functions.
This two-part series has firstly explained why the ODYSSEY battery with TPPL technology offers CV operators an answer to the problems created by ever-increasing battery loads. Then, it detailed how it saves maintenance time and reduces TCO within CV workshop operations. It achieves a longer operating life, of which a higher proportion is spent in active service. It is also virtually maintenance-free, with minimal gassing and no need for water top-ups. This saves maintenance time and eliminates risk of acid spills. Meanwhile, the battery’s tolerance to deep discharge and abuse gives resilience to excessive or unintentional discharging during vehicle servicing.
Logistics is easy, as the battery is identical to conventional batteries for installation, charging, and disposal, yet can be fast-charged if required. Additionally, it has up to two years’ shelf life, and can be shipped without restriction. The ODYSSEY Performance Series battery allows CV fleet operations and maintenance managers to benefit from a technology that has been developed and proven through many years of use in demanding, heavy-duty applications.