Selecting the Correct Racing Battery
It’s not always a simple task to know the correct Odyssey racing battery for your application. Have a read of our guide below – it takes you through some of the most important questions that need to be asked, and gives an insight on the technology involved.
Before exploring how to select the correct battery, it is worth taking a look into the basic technology of the batteries supplied by Odyssey Racing. The Odyssey Extreme range, is known worldwide for high quality, performance and massive cranking power. These properties are due to the exacting manufacturing processes using TPPL (Thin Plate Pure Lead) technology.
Odyssey Extreme series batteries are made with flat plates made of 99.99% pure lead – not lead alloy. Pure lead plates can be made thinner, so more can be fitted inside in the battery. More Odyssey Extreme battery plates mean more plate surface area which equates to more power – up to twice as much as conventional batteries.
This TPPL technology is used in conjunction with an AGM (Absorbed Glass Matt) construction technique, where the electrolyte paste is fully absorbed into a fine glass matt surrounding the lead plates. As well as ensuring outstanding power and recharge capabilities, AGM construction also means that the battery has no harmful liquid acid that can leak out of the case. This is an obvious safety advantage, as well as protecting the area around the installation.
1. What size engine are you using?
Their are numerous variables to be taken into account, but generally standard compression engines up to: 1600cc would suit the PC545; 2000cc would take the PC680; 3000cc should consider the PC925 or PC950; large V8s may require the PC1100.
2. Is the engine diesel or petrol?
3. Are you using an alternator?
4. Is it a high compression engine?
5. What auxiliary loads are being used (heated screens, light pods etc.)?
6. If a competition vehicle, how long are your races / rallies?
7. Do you or can you use a slave start system?
8. If used for a show car or for demonstrating uprated ICE systems, do you know what electrical load is required?
9. If used on a 4×4 vehicle, is it just for starting and running the engine and regular systems, or will you also be winching?
Q & A
A. yes, because of the technology the battery can be installed in any orientation (except inverted as to not block vents etc.)
A. A normal 12v car charger will be sufficient including the trickle / intelligent chargers. DO NOT use high rate workshop boost chargers though.
A. You can, but one of the advantages of the ODYSSEY EXTREME batteries is that when they are fully charged, if isolated, they can be left and hold their charge whilst not in use for up to 3 months.
A. No, it is a common misconception that the ‘G’ in AGM stands for Gel. It Doesn’t, AGM is Absorbed Glass Mat. A Gel battery when in use gets warm and the gel becomes less viscous leading to many of the disadvantages of conventional lead acid units.
A. No a TPPL AGM battery should never be run completely flat.
A. dependent on use and maintenance you should expect to get 3 years trouble free usage in a competition environment, although this is a guide not a guarantee.
A. Some MSA (and other) organisations may have this as a championship regulation, in which case you will have to do so. However, the battery is constructed in a flameproof case, and can also be safely be installed inside the cockpit area.
Q. I hear that Spiral-wound batteries give the same performance?
A. Like many popular spiral-wound batteries, ODYSSEY Extreme Series batteries employ dry cell Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) technology to contain acid, allowing the battery to be installed even on its side. But the densely packed flat plates in an ODYSSEY Extreme Series battery avoid the “dead space” between cylinders in a “six pack” design. The result is 15% more plate surface area — and that translates to more power!