Frequently Asked Questions - Batteries

While Odyssey Batteries are unique and use TPPL (Thin Plate Pure Lead) they are still Lead-Acid batteries of AGM construction. Odyssey sealed AGM construction means they can be mounted on any orientation except upside down, they are intrinsically safe to use, 99% recyclable with a 100 year old proven technology. Many of the question's and answers below are common to almost all lead-acid batteries, albeit different specifications.


  • Why Extreme Series?

    Everything started with the Extreme Series - most people wouldn't know there are two ranges within the Odyssey brand. That's because it's not really a difference but more of a targeted market. The majority of the Performance Series batteries are part of the BCI sizing dimension which means they are commonly used sized globally. The Extreme series, however, is where batteries and the brand were born. Batteries can be used for a variety of applications and a high-performance UPS battery was where it all started some 25 years ago.

    A battery that once started life as a stationary battery for high power discharge with a few tweaks became the PC680, the PC925 & the PC1200. That's where it all began more cranking power than anything else on the market, metal jackets for impact and additional heat dispersion or cold weather protection. These common sizes in UPS where new to Automotive and hence the fascination with small lightweight but powerful batteries for race car or aftermarket upgrade were born. The range has since grown to over 23 models most of which we keep in stock.

  • EFB batteries, what are they?

    Extended Flooded Batteries or Enhanced Flooded Batteries. They are now being commonly used in Start Stop Vehicles (vehicles that stop the engine when you stop the vehicle and restart when you push on the accelerator) because of the high cranking demand. The irony is that an AGM batteries were designed for this purpose some 50 years ago but it's all about costs, not quality.

  • What does TPPL mean?

    It stands for Thin Plate Pure Lead. It's used to describe the plates which are at the heart of the technology. It's what makes Odyssey better than other batteries. The plates are actually a punched grid from continuous roll virgin lead so they are all exactly the same in every way size and dimension, weight, grid, unlike a cast plate which is never the same from pour to pour. Because of the consistent quality all batteries perform exactly the same which makes them easy to pair when matched sets are required.

  • What is Pulse Hot Cranking Amp rating?

    Unlike CCA and MCA the pulse hot cranking ampere (PHCA) rating does not have an "official" definition; however, we believe that for true engine start purposes, a 30 second discharge is unrealistic. With that in mind, the PHCA is a very short duration (typically about 3 seconds) high rate discharge. Because the discharge is for such a short time, it is more like a pulse.

  • Define the difference between MCA and CCA.

    The marine cranking ampere (MCA) rating of a battery is very similar to the CCA rating; the only difference is that while the CCA is measured at a temperature of 0°F, the MCA is measured at 0°C. All other requirements are the same — the ampere draw is for 30 seconds and the end of discharge voltage in both cases is 1.20 volts per cell. or 7.2 volts for the whole battery.

  • Do I ruin the battery if I accidentally drop it? Does it void the warranty?

    Not necessarily, but it is possible to damage the internal connections sufficiently to render the battery useless. Our warranty applies only to manufacturing defects and workmanship issues; the policy does not cover damages suffered due to product mishandling.

  • What is so special about pure lead tin technology? Is it a new technology?

    While the answer to the first part of the question requires a detailed response, the short answer is that the extremely high purity (99.99%) of our raw materials makes our product very special. The technology is not new; the sealed lead recombinant technology was invented and patented by us back in 1973.

  • Can you use a AC / DC converter?

    Yes, a transformer/rectifier can be used but it must be DC using a REGULATED power supply holding a minimum of 13.6 volts to maximum of 13.8 volts. This voltage is equal to the 'float' voltage that an Odyssey EPS battery charger supplies. Higher voltage (say 14.8 as used under a boost charge) over a period of hours will shorten the life of the battery considerably. Voltages higher than 14.8 will overcharge the battery in a short time and damage the battery beyond repair. This may include the bulging of the case itself.

  • What is the CCA rating?

    The cold cranking ampere (CCA) rating refers to the number of amperes a battery can support for 30 seconds at a temperature of 0°F until the battery voltage drops to 1.20 volts per cell, or 7.20 volts for a 12V battery. Thus, a 12V battery that carries a rating of 600 CCA tells us that the battery will provide 600 amperes for 30 seconds at 0°F before the voltage falls to 7.20V.

  • Are Odyssey a gel cell? If not what’s the difference?

    No, the ODYSSEY is NOT a gel cell. It is an absorbed electrolyte type battery, meaning that there is no free acid inside the battery; all of the acid is kept absorbed in the glass mat separators. These separators serve to keep the positive and negative plates apart.

    The key difference between the gel cell and the absorbed glass mat (AGM) cell lies in the fact that in the AGM cell all of the electrolyte is in the separator, whereas in the gel cell the acid is within the cells in a gel form. In fact, if the ODYSSEY battery were to split open, there would be no acid spillage!

  • Why don’t you have to winterise an Odyssey battery? What’s so special about them?

    In general, winterising strictly refers to a special maintenance procedure conducted on an automobile engine to insure its reliability during the coming winter season. This procedure essentially checks the engine’s cooling system; in addition, the battery is load tested according to a specific protocol laid out by the Battery Council International (BCI). While ODYSSEY batteries do not specifically require this test to be conducted on them, the final decision whether or not to conduct this test is left to the user’s discretion.

  • What is the marine cranking rating?

    The marine cranking ampere (MCA) rating refers to the number of amperes a battery can support for 30 seconds at a temperature of 32°F until the battery voltage drops to 1.20 volts per cell, or 7.20 volts for a 12V battery. Thus, a 12V battery that carries a MCA rating of 600 CCA tells us that the battery will provide 600 amperes for 30 seconds at 32°F before the voltage falls to 7.20V.

  • What does BCI mean?

    Battery Council International (BCI) provides standardized definitions for physical dimensions of a wide variety of batteries. The sizes are grouped within a specific range and each range is given a uniquely identifiable number. This is indicated in by 35-PC1400 being a group 35, 25-PC1400 being a group 24 etc etc

  • I have heard of an HCA rating also. What is it?

    HCA is hot cranking amperes. It is the same thing as the MCA or the CA or the CCA, except that the temperature the test is conducted at is 25 deg C

  • I do not understand the Ah rating. Please explain.

    The ampere-hour (Ah) rating defines the capacity of a battery. A typical battery that is rated as a 100Ah battery at the 10 hour rate of discharge is capable of delivering 10A for 10 hours before the terminal voltage drops to a standard value such as 1.67 volts per cell, or 10.02 volts for a 12V battery. Similarly, a 50Ah battery would supply a 5A load for 10 hours. The PC1200 battery is rated at 42Ah, so it can furnish 4.2A for 10 hours.

  • What is the reserve capacity rating? What does that mean in the industry?

    The reserve capacity of a battery is defined as the number of minutes that it can support a 25 ampere load at 80°F until its terminal voltage drops to 1.75 volts per cell or 10.50 volts for a 12V battery. Thus a 12V battery that has a reserve capacity rating of 100 signifies that it can be discharged at 25 amps for 100 minutes at 80°F before its voltage drops to 10.75 volts.

  • Is ODYSSEY® a completely dry battery?

    Because the ODYSSEY® has no free acid inside the battery, it is covered under the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) unregulated "wet non-spillable wet electric storage batteries" classification and International Air Transport Association (IATA) "unrestricted" air shipments categories. These batteries may be shipped completely worry-free. Supporting documentation is readily available.

  • You mentioned high impedance. What is it?

    The impedance of a battery is a measure of how easily it can be discharged. The lower the impedance the easier it is to discharge the battery. The impedance of the ODYSSEY battery is considerably less than that of a marine battery, so its high rate discharge capability is significantly higher than that of a marine battery.

  • How much current is generated if I accidentally short an Odyssey battery?

    As suggested before, the ODYSSEY battery is a very low impedance product, meaning that the short circuit current can be extremely high. For a series system (24V), the short circuit current will be of the order of 2,500 amperes; a 12V parallel system will generate close to 5,000 amperes!

  • What does the abbreviation MF, GEL and AGM stand for?

    MF stands for Maintenance free. A maintenance free battery is a sealed battery which you do not have to refill with fluid after use. MF batteries need, like every other battery, maintenance charging to provide the longest service life possible.

    In a GEL battery, the sulphuric acid is bound in gel/solid form to decrease the risk of leakage and fluid losses.

    AGM stands for Absorbent Glass Mat. In an AGM battery the electrolyte is absorbed in a glass fibre mat. AGM is a perfect starter battery. Because of the enhanced acid density within an AGM battery it needs charging with a higher current.

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