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Optima Batteries -Reply
Kenny - Copied into this e-mail is a case study of Texas Army National Guard, who successfully used this. Our case studies are also posted on the internet on the Southwest Regional Information Clearinghouse Website (RIPPS)
Texas Army National Guard
1. GENERAL INFORMATION
Location: Camp Mabry, Austin
Waste Reduced: Lead Acid Batteries
Process: Vehicle Batteries
Contact Person: LTC Don Tryce, (512) 465-5001ext 5717
Information Current as of: January 1998
2. DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT
In December 1993, the Texas Army National Guard received approval from Tank Automotive Command to purchase and test the Optima 800 battery in tactical wheeled vehicles. Four hundred and forty (440) units were purchased and installed in a variety of equipment for units throughout Texas. The periodic nature of vehicle use in the guard is very hard on battery life.
3. INNOVATIVE APPLICATION OF TECHNOLOGY
The Optima battery delivers 800 cold cranking amps (850 for 6 volts) plus 120 minutes of reserve capacity. Its unique spiral construction provides higher voltage than conventional batteries. The acid is bound within a fiberglass-mat so there is no "free acid" that can leak out or spill. Unlike flat-plate, flooded batteries, hydrogen gas can't build up inside the casing and cause an explosion, even when severely overcharged.
The OPTIMA can be operated effectively in any position-even upside down without any risk of leakage. It is a maintenance free battery, therefore it contains no free acid to spill. If the battery is accidentally cracked open as a result of a collision, no acid will run out or splash. In addition, there is no boil over which corrodes posts, connectors, and cables. The battery is primarily a starter battery and not recommended for electrical equipment.
4. ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFIT
The batteries are expected to last 12 years (as compared with the present life time of 2.5 years) cutting waste by a factor of almost 5. There is no *free acid* that can leak and cause environmental damage. At 40 pounds the battery is almost half the weight of a conventional battery reducing waste and making it much easier to handle.
5. COST SAVINGS/BENEFITS
The cost per battery is about $100 (regular batteries are $65). Maintenance, paper work for purchase and disposal costs about $200 per battery change out. In the three years since these have been installed only 13 have needed replacement, where as all the regular batteries would have been changed out. This has already saved an estimated $27,000 or $60 per battery even if they do not last the full 12 years.