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Optima Blue Top Marine Battery

By Tamon

Optima Battery

  • The Optima BLUE TOP Marine Battery is one of the most widely chosen deep cycle batteries for the following reasons:
  • There are both dual-purpose (deep cycle and cranking) and starting applications available
  • Up to 3 times more recharges and longer life than other marine batteries
  • 15 times more vibration resistance
  • The battery is maintenance-free
  • It’s almost spill proof
  • Mountable in almost any position
  • It can be installed or mounted in almost any position
  • Has a faster recharging time
  • Optima starting power (starting applications and dual purpose available)
  • Has more than 300 discharge/recharge cycles
  • Works well as an RV battery or boat battery

 

OPTIMA BLUE TOP Deep Cycle Battery

The Blue top marine battery can be divided into two broad categories. The BLUETOP starting battery (dark gray case) which is used mainly for dedicated starting battery (never be used for cycling duty) and the dual-purpose BLUETOP (light gray case) which is used for both deep cycling and engine starting (this is a true deep-cycle battery with extremely high cranking power).

The OPTIMA BLUE TOP battery is one of the best types of batteries used with higher than average electrical loads or when the discharge cycle is more than typical engines starting battery, such as boats vehicles without alternators.

These batteries use high level technology and are designed specifically to handle significant electrical loads to meet the needs of today’s modern day vehicle’s which are not being met by the charging system or alternators. With the OPTIMA BLUE TOP, you sacrifice a little cranking power, but the battery is built to be dual purpose (deep cycle and cranking).  Due to its internal make up and chemistry, the BLUE TOP battery has more energy storage capacity than an equivalent starting battery and more tolerant of being repeatedly discharged to a lower voltage.

Its use also includes vehicles with significant electrical loads that may exceed the average alternator output (such as, aftermarket audio systems, snowplows, inverters, GPS, chargers, drag cars). This may also include boats and RV vehicles that have a lot of electronics from the factory, such as a DVD player, especially if the DVD player is used when the engine isn’t running and a minivan with power sliding doors.

BLUE TOP deep cycle batteries are also used for:

  • Dedicated drag-racing vehicles
  • Racing vehicles without a charging system (generator or alternator)
  • Trolling motors, marine applications with heavy electrical accessories
  • Dual-purpose (which is both a starting and deep-cycle battery) makes it better adapted to RVs
  • Marine applications and RVs when the battery’s only function is engine starting
  • Diesel-powered vehicles with aftermarket electronics
  • Vehicles or heavy equipment with winches, inverters, hydraulics or other accessories
  • Vehicles audio/video applications or loads exceeding 250 watts over the OE system

 

Choose a BLUE TOP Deep Cycle Battery if:

  • You run key-off electronics
  • You need a deep cycle battery that recover completely from deep power drains
  • You have a multiple electronics or high-demand audio system

 

Note that the main difference between YELLOW TOP and BLUE TOP deep-cycle batteries is that YELLOW TOPS (other than D31T) only have SAE terminals while the BLUE TOP batteries have both automotive (SAE) posts and threaded studs. This makes the BLUETOP deep cycle battery, better adapted to the marine environment as compared to other deep cycle marine batteries.

 

What is a Deep Cycle Battery?

When we talk of battery in the context of renewable energy, we are mostly referring deep cycle batteries. Deep cycle batteries get their name from the ability to be discharged up to 20 percent (deeply discharged) repeatedly and recharged (cyclic) without causing damage to the battery. True deep cycle OPTIMA batteries have the thickest plates and are primarily used for solar power plants, vehicles or in industrial applications for backup, where extended discharge times are most important. The Optima AGM batteries versatility potential makes them better deep cycle battery for cranking a motor. The only catch is for the selected battery to have an ampere hour rating at least 20 percent above what is recommended for starting that particular motor

A deep cycle battery is an energy storage unit in which a chemical reaction occurs that produces electrical energy or electricity for short. These batteries are designed to be discharged and recharged many times, hence the name Deep Cycle Battery.

A deep cycle battery is similar to a car battery in that they are lead acid battery, but they differ in many aspects. For example, while a car battery is designed to deliver a high burst of energy for a short time, a deep cycle battery provides a more constant (steady rate) charge or power over a long period and is thus commonly used with golf carts, motor homes, boats and other recreational vehicles.

While a starting battery has thinner plates and is more prone to warping and petting when discharged, a deep cycle battery is designed with thicker plates, have less instant energy, but greater long-term energy delivery or discharge time. Their thicker plates make them capable of storing huge electrical energy (charge) and thus can survive a number of discharge cycles.

Deep cycle batteries after being heavily discharged over longer periods, recover fully. This is thanks to their thicker plates with a high content of antimony design features.  When used overnight, their use might deplete about 50-70 percent of the battery capacity. The energy depletion rate largely depends on the house loads of the boat. This call for the need to recharge which again re-deposited energy in the bank, and the cycle, or process, starts over. Generally, the selected deep cycle batteries should be sized to store three to four times the expected amount of energy to be used between recharge cycles.

There are different types of deep cycle batteries such as AGM batteries (Absorbed Glass Mat), flooded batteries, gel batteries and recently lithium-ion. All of which are made differently.

The flooded battery is the most commonly used deep cycle batteries. It is made up of lead acid similar to the standard lead acid battery in car batteries. The gel batteries, also famously has a gel-like substance in them while the AGM batteries consist of acid suspended in a glass mat separator. The next generation lithium-ion battery systems are projected to experience significant uptake among grid-connected and off-grid households in the future.

 

Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Basically, a deep cycle marine battery referred to a deep cycle battery adapted to run marine engines and appliances like boats engine. The marine appliances running on such battery require power at very slower rate but for an extended period of time which can only be suitably provided for by a deep cycling battery. The best deep cycle marine battery has fewer but thicker lead plates than those of the cracking marine batteries. Thus, deep cycle batteries are specially manufacture to bear deep cycling (deep discharging and recharging cycles) necessary to power up the appliances for long period.

A marine deep cycle battery can also be used as a cranking battery to startup an engine, in which case the selected battery should have at least 20 percent higher power outing compared to the engine require power to be able to supply the needed cranking energy. In most cases, this is not so, thus the engine may not run at all that can be problematic if you are stuck at the water.

 

OPTIMA Blue Top Marine Battery: Discharge Cycles

Selecting the right battery for a particular use can be confusing. While all batteries claim to be particularly well suited to an energy storage purpose, all deep cycle batteries are not designed or created equal, even within their own type such as Gel, Sealed Lead Acid or AGM.

The goal of most deep cycle battery users is to select one that will last many years since purchasing a deep battery is quite an investment. The cycle rating is one of the best ways to determine a battery life span. This is the measure of the number of times a battery can be discharged and recharged during its life span. IEC 896-2 discharge cycle, based on a 100% discharge, is the best benchmark.

The IEC 896-2 provides a good baseline for drawing comparisons between different brands and also different battery lines from the same manufacturer, although discharging a battery 100% is not recommended because it significantly decreases the life of any deep cycle battery.

 

OPTIMA BLUE TOP Deep Cycle Battery – Charging

The battery sulfates or its performance and life span decreases if it’s not recharged thus charging a battery immediately after being used (discharged) is of almost important. Again, you won’t be able to reuse it once discharge since it won’t also supply enough energy (if any at all) to drive the system. 

The alternator, which is the battery charger, works well if battery is not deeply discharged. If an alternator is used to charge a deeply discharged battery, it tends to overcharge it which may intern damage the batteries. This is the more reason why they are never used to charge an engine-starting battery as they quickly destroy the battery, reducing its life span by about 50% each time they are charged with an alternator.

Deep cycle batteries are charged in a special way, especially when they have been deeply discharged. This special type of charging is called 3-phase regulated charging. Only special smart battery chargers using computer technology can perform 3-phses charging techniques.

 

Phase 1: Bulk Charging

This is where up to 80 percent of the battery energy capacity is replaced by the charger at the maximum current amp rating and the voltage of the charger.

Phase 2: Absorption Charge

This phase sets in when the battery voltage reaches 14.4 volts. At this stage, voltage is kept constant at 14.4 volts and the current (amps) declines until the battery is 98% charged

Phase 3: Float Phase

The last step where the battery is fully (100%) charged or close to it. This is achieved by regulating the current at less than 1 amp and the voltage at not more than 13.4 volts. The float charge will not heat or boil batteries, but will maintain the batteries at 100% readiness and prevent cycling during long term inactivity.

The best ways to charge an OPTIMA BLUE TOP deep cycle battery to ensure a longer life, involves using a voltage-regulated charger. Such chargers have voltage limits set as follows:

 

What is a Multistage Charging?

Multistage charging is simply the charging processes that proceed in more than one (with the possibility of six) charging modes or stages. This is common with the Optima chargers (Maintainer Performance Charger and OPTIMA Chargers Digital 400 and Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger). In most cases, multistage charging enhances battery performance and life and also makes sure it’s fully recharged each time the charger is connected. These stages or modes consist of the following:  

Mode 1: Analyze your battery's condition, state of charge and quality of connections before charging.

Mode 2: Soft-ramp charging control for deeply discharged batteries when necessary.

Mode 3: Fast-charge bulk stage for moderately discharged batteries also known as a normal battery charging.

Mode 4: Conditioning stage for conditioning your battery with a finish/complete charge.

Mode 5: Auto maintains, float stage for keeping your battery fully charged.

Mode 6: Automatic storage reconditions stage. This stage where your battery is being desulfates when in storage and being maintained.

 

OPTIMA Blue Top Marine Battery – Charging

These are dual-purpose batteries, designed for cyclists and engine start applications and for use in boats (marine environment) and RV vehicles with large accessory loads.

The following charging methods are recommended to ensure a long battery life. We recommend that you always use a voltage-regulated charger that has a voltage limits set as described below.

Optima BLUETOP Battery Type: 34M

These batteries are designed for engine start applications and are NOT recommended or warranted for use in deep-cycle applications.

Recommended charging information:

Alternator:

13.65 to 15.0 volts, no amperage limit.

Battery Charger:

13.8 to 15.0 volts, 10 amps maximum, and takes approximately for six to twelve hours to fully charged.

Rapid Recharge:

Maximum voltage 15.6 volts (regulated), with no current limit as long as battery temperature are maintained below 125°F (51.7°C). Charge until current gets to phases 3or float phases where current drops below one amp.

Float Charge:

13.2 to 13.8 volts, maximum of one amp current, time indefinite (at lower voltage).

It’s recommended for all users to strictly adhere to all limits.

 

BLUETOP Type: D34M / D31M/ D27M

These batteries are dual-purpose. They are designed for deep cycling and engine starting applications, and also for use in boats with large accessory loads.

Recommended charging information:

Alternator:

13.65 to 15.0 volts, no amperage limit.

Battery Charger:

13.8 to 15.0 volts, 10 amps maximum, and takes approximately for six to twelve hours to fully charged.

Cyclic Applications:

14.7 volts, no current limit as long as battery temperature remains below 125°F (51.7°C). When charging gets to phases 3 or thefloat phase (where current falls below 1 amp), continue with two-amp constant current for one hour for D34M and three-amp constant current for one hour for D27M and D31M.

Rapid Recharge:

Maximum voltage 15.6 volts (regulated), with no current limit as long as battery temperature are maintained below 125°F (51.7°C). Charge until current gets to phases 3or float phases where current drops below one amp.

Float Charge:

13.2 to 13.8 volts, maximum of one amp current, time indefinite (at lower voltage).

It’s recommended for all users to strictly adhere to all limits.

 

OPTIMA Blue Top Battery

In terms of the internal workings and design, OPTIMA’s two Blue top battery varieties are identical to OPTIMA’s Red top and Yellow top batteries. The optima blue top battery with the light gray case is designed for deep-cycle applications like the Yellow top, and the optima blue top battery with the dark gray case is designed for high-power engine cranking applications like the Red top.

The significant difference in the Blue top batteries is that they have automotive-type posts and male-threaded studs consistent with the needs of marine and RV applications.

 

When to Choose a Deep Cycle Battery

The best time to choose a deep cycle battery is when you need the battery to supply all the operating power for a vehicle or other electronic devices. Also, a deep-cycle battery should be used in vehicles that have heavy accessory loads where the alternator cannot maintain the battery in a fully charged condition or when these accessories are used when the engine is off. Some examples include vehicles with increased electronics such as game systems, TV, GPS, DVD players and LCD screens, vehicles with powerful stereo systems or boats with onboard chargers, fish-finders, stereos, lights, trolling motors, etc.

 

When to Use a Deep Cycle Optima Battery as a Starting Battery

A deep cycle battery is designed for an application that require deep, repetitive amperage drain like boats, trolling motors, golf carts and electric wheelchairs or recreational vehicle house power sources. However, there are other applications, high cycling or heavy cycling, when a deep-cycle OPTIMA battery may successfully replace a starting battery to provide both longer life and better performance.

In high cycling applications, a vehicle will pull unusually high current from the starting battery due to limited alternator capacity or extra accessories. Public safety professionals, ambulance, police and fire fleet managers often find that traditional starting batteries cannot provide adequate performance and life due to heavy cycling. Using a deep cycle Optima battery in this type of application will result in better performance and longer life.

In any equipment or vehicle that uses battery only for SLI (starting, lighting and ignition) requirements and has a properly working alternator, the OPTIMA REDTOP Starting Battery will perform better, and often providing up to three times longer life than conventional batteries. If the equipment or vehicle has few or no aftermarket accessories and uses a stock or upgraded alternator, the OPTIMA REDTOP Starting Battery is still the batter of choice.

Note that, it’s possible to have a deeply discharged BLUE TOP deep cycle  battery that will not start the engine; the advantages of the BLUE TOP batteries are that it can accept a rapid recharge and it will recover from discharge many more times.

It is important to consider both the charging system and the application before deciding which OPTIMA battery is correct for you. For instance, if you have a Toyota Tacoma truck with an aftermarket alarm system and you drive it every day, the OPTIMA REDTOP would be the correct choice since the current drain will be nominal and the battery would be recharged daily.

However, if you keep the vehicle out of use for long periods with the alarm system engaged without maintaining the battery, you should use a deep cycle OPTIMA BLUE TOP battery since the amperage drain over several weeks would damage a REDTOP and reduce its life.

 

How to Recover a Deeply Discharged OPTIMA BLUE Marine Battery

Resuscitating or recovering a deeply discharged OPTIMA Blue top marine battery simply means being able to recharge and use a BLUE TOP battery that has been discharged to below 10.5 volts. The main problem here is that most battery chargers are built-in safety features that function mainly to prevent chargers from recharging deeply discharged batteries. Generally, batteries that are at 10.5 volts or less are considered defective, having a short circuit, a bad cell or some other defect. Most chargers are binary (analog) and are either off or on. They don’t come on; when the charger thinks the battery is “bad.” Forcefully turning on to charge a “bad” battery could create an unsafe condition or act. But Optima blue top deep cycle battery may be just fine. This is owing to the fact that it has a simple slipped below the minimum voltage threshold of the charger to turn on, and the charger may do nothing since it may not know what to do with the battery.

Below are three simple techniques for recovering a deeply discharged Optima blue top deep cycle battery back to its normal performance.

 

Option 1: Use ONLY OPTIMA Specific Chargers

The best method for recharging a deeply discharged BLUE TOP battery is simply to use a modern charger that has kept up with battery technology. Most new chargers have desulfation steps and OPTIMA-specific settings that allow reconditioning and recovery of deeply discharged blue top batteries. These chargers also have the additional capability of doubling as a battery "maintainer" for storage batteries. Some also come with additional ring terminals to permanently attach to your battery leads. This makes it easy to hook up when you store your boat, RV car or truck.

The OPTIMA Chargers Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainer enhances the performance of AGM and OPTIMA batteries, extends battery life and recovers deeply discharged batteries. This charger is optimized when used with high-performance blue top batteries, and it also enhanced charging capabilities that can also be used with all conventional types of automotive batteries

This is the best and preferred method of charging a deeply discharged battery.

 

Option 2: The DIY Technique for Charging a Deeply Discharged Battery

This recovery technique involves you tricking the traditional charger into recharging a deeply discharged optima blue top deep cycle battery.

You will use the following:

  • Battery charger (under 15 amps)
  • A good battery, preferably above 12.2 volts fully charged
  • Jumper cables
  • The seemingly dead, deeply discharged BLUE TOP battery
  • A watch or timer
  • A voltage meter

 

How to go about the recharging process:

Connect the good battery and deeply discharged optima blue top marine battery in parallel negative to negative and positive to positive. Do not have the charger turned on at this stage or connected to the battery.

Now, connect the good battery to the charger and turn on the charger. This will enable the charger to detect the voltage of the good battery (connected in parallel), and start charging.

After the batteries have been left connected for an hour or so, check to see if the AGM battery is slightly warm or hot to the touch. Batteries generally become warm during charging, but excessive heat is an indication of bad battery or wrong connection. Discontinue charging immediately if the battery is hot to the touch or if you hear the battery "gassing" a hissing sound coming from the safety valves. If it's gassing or too hot, STOP CHARGING IMMEDIATELY!

Use your voltage meter to frequently check back if the BLUE TOP battery has charged to 10.5 volts or above (generally takes less than two hours with a 10-amp charger). Disconnect the charger from the wall outlet and remove the good battery from the charger. Then, connect only the deeply discharged AGM battery to the charger and turn on the charger to continue charging the AGM battery until the automatic charger completes the charge process or until it reaches a full charge. In most cases, the optima blue top deep cycle battery will recover.

 

Option 3: Consult the Professionals

This option is for those who don't own a battery charger, who doesn’t want to make the investment or who not the do-it-yourself kind of person.

Contact the service of a professional battery specialist who knows OPTIMA technology. Most specialists do provide "charge and check" procedures for a small fee or free of charge. Auto parts stores are typically not capable of accurately determining a BLUE TOP battery's condition and many use conductance testers that don't provide correct readings. Battery specialists are experts who can help determine if your battery is recoverable or not.

 

OPTIMA BLUE TOP Marine Battery – Features

A BLUE TOP battery provides deep-cycle power. This gives vehicles owners the added advantage to enjoy all their electronic accessories (such as such as audio systems, DVD players or underbody lights) while their vehicle is off. For off-roaders, the battery allows you to winch your way out of precarious situations. It also has a number of key-off draws that pull energy from your battery such as alarm systems, onboard computer systems, digital radios (station settings) and clocks. You'll also be able to pull all of this power from your blue top deep cycle battery with the confidence that your battery's energy will recover time after time.

The OPTIMA SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGYprovides many features to their batteries which are not available in ordinary batteries. These features include:

Closer plate spacing, more plate surface and the use of high-purity lead which results in low internal resistance. This low resistance provides the ability to recharge much faster, more power in a smaller box, and higher and cleaner voltage characteristics during discharge.

Immobilized plates under compression (locked in place) which results in no shedding of active paste material, an improved vibration resistance, reduced gradual loss of power and capacity as the battery ages. This feature allows your battery to perform better throughout its life and lasts longer.

 

The main reasons for the OPTIMA battery longer life are:

  • No shedding of active paste material
  • The immobilizes plates, preventing active paste from working loose, which usually cause plate-to-plate shorting
  • It utilizes a high-purity lead grid
  • The completely sealed design prevents loss of water, which usually lead to plate dry-out and failure
  • The grid material in OPTIMA batteries is more resistant to grid degradation. This is a type of internal corrosion that affects the plates inside a battery as it ages
  • OPTIMA batteries have increased ability to withstand the high demands being placed on batteries today, including heavy electronic loads, increased vibration and high-heat situations. The SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGYin an OPTIMA battery help keeps it from shedding active material that gives a battery power and also helps to extend an OPTIMA battery’s cycling ability.

OPTIMA Batteries Custom Fitment Application Considerations

It’s important to consider the list points if you are using an OPTIMA battery in a custom fitment application:

Hood clearance: Leave a clearance gap of at least ¾ inch between the top of the battery terminals and the underside of the hood.

Side terminals: OPTIMA 34/78, 75/25, D75/25 and D34/78 batteries have both side and top terminals. When using one of these batteries in a vehicle that uses the top terminals, it is important to make sure that the side terminals is prevented from coming into contact with anything metallic (such as, the fender well or firewall), thereby causing a short circuit. Keep the post protectors on the terminals you are not using in place. A winch should only be connected to the automotive terminals.

Trunk/interior mounting: If your battery is installed inside the truck or passenger compartment (as with most European makes), make sure the battery is vented to the outside of the vehicle. The OPTIMA group 27, 51, DS46B24R, 78, 34C and 31 batteries all have terminals for connecting a vent hose.

Mounting/Installing: Your OPTIMA battery must be securely mounted or installed. Do not use your battery terminals to secure the battery. Using the terminals to secure your battery will damage the battery and void your warranty.

Battery modifications: Trimming, cutting, drilling or otherwise modifying your OPTIMA battery may present a safety hazard and void the warranty.

While some battery charger manufacturers claim more charging modes or stages mean a better charger, more isn't always better. The way the charging stages or modes are designed is more important than the number of charging stages.

 

Different Ways to Install Optima Batteries

One advantage of the OPTIMA BLUE TOP deep cycle battery is the ability to mount it in any position without corrode, leak or vent toxic gases. Optima manufactures a "red top" battery that provides good starting performance for stock vehicles; a "blue top" battery with high-performance for vehicles with high-end stereos and heavy electrical demands; and a "blue top" battery (with a light gray case) for marine and RV applications. Thus, instead of using loose liquid electrolytes like conventional batteries, the Optima's Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) design seals the battery's electrolyte in a "sponge like" fiberglass mat which gives a lot of installation flexibility.

Upright Position

Although Optima batteries fit most vehicles, their reduced size and unique shape might require you to make some adjustments. If you're mounting an Optima battery in the same place as the battery you're replacing, there will be extra room in the battery box. This may not be a problem if your battery box has a hold-down clamp that secures your battery. If it doesn't have a hold-down clamp, you can use the sizing adapters that come with the battery to enlarge its base to the size of your tray. There's also a height adapter that elevates the battery so the battery clamp fits tighter.

On Its Side

Since Optima batteries are made of Absorbed Glass Mat, they don't have a liquid electrolyte, thus, you have a lot of flexibility in how they're installed or mounted.

In some trucks, the easiest way to connect your battery terminals is with the Optima on its side and having its top facing the back of your truck. You can mount the spacer that comes with your Optima on the side that faces down, the side that doesn't have battery terminals to give it a flat surface to rest on. The top terminals will now be facing the back where you can easily connect your battery cables before securing your Optima with the battery bracket.

Upside Down

This is an uncommon, un-imaginary situation where you'd need to mount Optima upside down. Its AGM design and construction makes this possible without leaks or other problems.

Inside the Vehicle

The Optima's AGM construction allows for the reabsorption of gasses by its sponge-like electrolyte instead of releasing them into the air, like a lead acid battery. This property makes it possible to use it inside a vehicle without polluting the air.

If you need a trunk battery to power your stereo, an RV house battery, or a backup battery that won't fit in your engine compartment, you can put an Optima wherever it's convenient without worrying about venting.

 

What makes OPTIMA batteries different?

OPTIMA batteries have over the years stand out among batteries with many benefits. This is thanks to its superior design and construction built with premium materials.

AGM-type batteries are OPTIMA’s answer to flooded lead acid batteries and gel batteries. Both gel and flooded lead acid batteries are comprised of negatively and positively charged lead plates suspended in sulfuric acid. Lead plates are susceptible to spilling hazardous chemicals (in the case of lead acid batteries), breakage, and cracking.

Also, the superior performance and long life of the OPTIMA batteries are simply due to its design and construction with extremely pure lead and because of its very high purity, there is low resistance, hence, we can deliver more power.

The lead plates, rather than being suspended in a liquid or gel acid bath, are instead compressed and fixed firmly in place. This is very important to withstand vibration. Optima blue top deep cycle, AGM batteries often have more power-producing capacity because of this feature. If you compared cranking power per pound, OPTIMA batteries stand out very high.

 

Battery Safety Information

  • Always wear proper face, hand and eye protection when working with batteries. In case of contact with the eye, flush it immediately with water and seek medical help fast.
  • Be extremely caution when working with metallic tools or conductors to prevent arcing and short circuits
  • Battery chemicals are dangerous and poisonous. Never ingest it.
  • Sulphuric acid can cause blindness or severe burns, hence wear proper protecting clothing when working with batteries
  • Never lean over a battery while boosting, charging or testing
  • Keep all terminals protected to prevent accidental shorting
  • Avoid sparks, flames and smoking near a battery
  • Mount battery in a ventilated area for operation and during charging
  • Replace all batteries that has signs of damage to the cover, case and/or terminals
  • NEVER ADD WATER TO THE OPTIMA BATTERY
  • All batteries MUST BE kept out of the reach of children
  • Always use a voltage-regulated battery charger with limits set to the above ratings. Overcharging usually cause the safety valves of the battery to open and gasses (flammable gasses) to escape. This may results in decrease in water level and premature failure. You cannot replace water in sealed batteries that have been overcharged. Any battery that during charging or recharging becomes very hot or makes a hissing sound should be disconnected immediately.

 

Battery Safety, Explosions and other Hazards

Most battery explosions are caused by the misuse or malfunction of a battery, such as short circuiting a battery or attempting to recharge a non-rechargeable battery.

Explosions often occur when a short circuit resulted to or generates very large currents. In addition, deep cycle batteries release hydrogen when they are overcharged. Normally the gas dissipates quickly but also easily be ignited by a nearby spark (e.g. when removing the jumper cables). On the other hand, hydrogen gas isn’t a problem with lithium-ion batteries.

By attempting to charge a battery beyond its electrical capacity (overcharging), may lead to a battery leakage, irreversible damage, or explosion of a deep cycle battery. Not only that, it may also cause damage to the electrical components in which the overcharged battery is used.

When a conventional battery (car starting battery) is recharged at an excessive rate, an explosive gas mixture of hydrogen and oxygen may be produced faster than it can escape from within the walls of the battery, leading to pressure build-up and the possibility of the battery case bursting (exploding).

In extreme cases, the acid may spray violently through the casing of the battery, cause severe injury.

Deep cycle batteries may also explosions in maintenance if the valves are blocked or fail. This cause pressure rise within the cells until maybe a short circuit ignites the hydrogen-oxygen mixture. The resulting explosions can cause severe injury. Such problems can be detected in most batteries if the battery feels hot to touch or if the sides appear swollen.

 

Battery Tips for Best Performance

The following tips are true for all battery types and should be regarded as the tool for best practise and improved battery performance, not forgetting your safety.

  • Stay with one battery chemistry (gel, AGM or flooded). Each battery type requires specific charging voltages. Avoid the mixing battery types which can result in under- or over-charging. Also, its best practice to change all batteries at the same time.
  • Regulate charge voltages based on battery acceptance and temperature (manually or automated) to maximize battery life and reduce charge time. Make sure the charging system is capable of generating sufficient amperage to charge battery banks efficiently. This means using an alternator with 25% to 40% as many amperes as the capacity of your entire battery bank.
  • Keep batteries clean, cool and dry.
  • Never mix new batteries with old ones in the same bank. This may seems like there would increase the resulting capacity, old batteries instead tend to pull down the new batteries to their deteriorated level.
  • Regularly check terminal connectors to avoid loss of conductivity.
  • To flooded lead acid batteries, add distilled water as needed and keep them charged.
  • Clean corrosion with a paste of water and baking soda.
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