What Type Of Car Battery Should You Use? Flooded vs AGM


Hello everyone and welcome! Tn this video I have partnered with Optima batteries to learn about three different types of batteries starting with flooded lead-acid the most common form of battery you will find in production cars. So looking at the construction you’ve got six individual cells and within each cell you have multiple plates both positive plates and negative plates so you can see here between those positive and negative plates you have a permeable separator and then all of these plates are resting in an electrolyte solution, so it’s 65% water 35% sulfuric acid now the negative plates want to react with that electrolyte solution and lose electrons so when you connect these two terminals to whatever you’re powering the positive lead plates want to take those electrons from that reaction from the negative lead plates and that electrolyte solution react with it taking those electrons and then produce water now if we take a closer look at these individual cells as mentioned there are multiple plates in each so here you can see you’ve got three different positive plates and it’s actually quite a few more than that those are connected to a cell connector and then on the other side you’re going to be connecting to the negative plates so those positive plates all connect to one cell connector so you’ve got your tombstone weld which connects the cell connector with the negative plates to the cell connector with the positive plates through the cell wall multiple plates on each and then of course you have separators between each of these different plates now each one of these cells produces about 2 volts and you have 6 of them in series, so you can do the math 12 volt battery now in reality it’s more like 2.2 volts so times 6 you get about 13.2 volts for a 12 volt battery. Now some things you need to know about flooded lead-acid batteries they can require maintenance where you may need to add water as they are not sealed so because that solution in there is free-flowing you can have hydrogen and oxygen escape and so occasionally you may need to add water also as a result of that electrolyte solution being free-flowing you need make sure that the battery is situated upright so that you don’t have any spills and finally if you’re using this type of battery in situations where you’re going to have a lot of vibration it could have some damage from that vibration you could have the negative plates where the positive plates detach from the cell connector you can also have some of the active material that’s on these plates fall off and they actually have space at the bottom of these batteries to allow for that debris to kind of collect and also, you could have you know in super severe vibration scenarios you could have that separator pierced and then short out the circuit by connecting the positive and the negative plates now these type of batteries are fine for most OEM applications however some manufacturers are looking towards absorbed glass mat batteries for their added benefits now chemically spiral cell absorbed glass mat batteries work a lot like flooded lead-acid batteries but from a construction standpoint and the material selection used they’re quite different from a construction standpoint spiral cell gets its name from the layering of these lead plates separated by the fiberglass separator which is all wound up into this nice spiral. Cell now these lead plates are made of 99.99% lead and the reason they can do that is because they’re really tightly wound and compressed within these cells in traditional flooded lead-acid batteries you don’t have that compression so you have to use an alloy which is a bit stiffer and not as malleable as this pure lead now the advantage of using pure lead is that it allows for higher cold cranking amps, and it also has less internal resistance so you have better flow of electrons now the fiberglass separator not only acts as a divider between the positive and the negative plates but it also acts like a sponge holding that electrolyte solution and so this forces all of the molecules to recombine within that sponge so you’re not off gassing anything to the atmosphere, and you don’t have to add any electrolyte solution to it it’s maintenance-free now for safety reasons they do have vents on it so if you do overcharge it or if it builds up too much pressure from heat there is a way for pressure to escape another benefit of using this fiberglass sponge like divider that holds that electrolyte solution is it gives you flexibility in mounting you don’t have to worry about spills from the battery being at an angle now as this cylinder is placed within the cylindrical case that provides uniform compression around it which aids with vibration resistance. Also as that cell expands and contracts that cylindrical case keeps the cell intact Johnson Controls, Optima’s parent company who also makes flooded lead-acid batteries has found that in internal testing these style batteries can last three times as long based on the design and construction changes now Optima offers three different styles of the spiral cell absorbed glass mat battery you’ve got red yellow and blue the red top is a starting battery and this is designed with high cranking amps the yellow and the blue are dual purpose batteries so not only do they have high cranking amps, but they also have deep cycle characteristics which means you can charge and discharge these batteries again and again, and they’ll last longer now both the red and the yellow tops are for automotive use and the blue top is for marine use now the third type of battery we’ll be discussing is Optima’s latest flat-plate AGM battery chemically this battery works very similarly to a flooded lead-acid battery but the design the construction and the materials used are quite different now with the absorbed glass mat separator between the positive and the negative plate rather than the permeable separator, which is used in flooded lead-acid plates you keep those hydrogen and oxygen molecules within that electrolyte solution and you keep that electrolyte solution from sloshing around in there and what that does is it recombines that and so you don’t have to add electrolyte to it. It’s a maintenance-free battery they also use 99.99% lead rather than using a lead alloy which is more efficient and also means the battery will last longer another benefit of the AGM separator is that if the battery were to be mounted at an angle you don’t have to worry about spills so there’s more flexibility in mounting now one of the major design characteristics of this battery is the design of the lead plates and so these have a grid design that optimizes electron flow to those plates so you have efficient flow the plates used in this battery have a unique construction where you have an efficient electron flow up to the tabs which are connected to the cast on straps these cast on straps are solid single pieces for added durability and efficient energy flow verses the tombstone welds used in flooded lead-acid batteries now this battery was designed for late-model domestic performance vehicles as well as European models now for late-model domestic performance vehicles as well as European vehicles they require a higher capacity and within a very specific battery footprint and the most efficient way of doing that is with this flat plate AGM design so a huge thank you to Optima, and thank you all for watching if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.