What is a Stop-Start AGM battery?
Absorbent Glass Mat car batteries (AGM) were developed for use by the military in the 1980s. Their high performance and enhanced electrical reliability are ideally suited for today’s modern cars that are often heavily equipped with sophisticated electrical systems and energy consuming devices and accessories.
The last decade or so has seen an increase in the number of cars on the road with stop-start technology and AGM batteries – but what does it all mean exactly? In this short article, we explain a little about stop/ start technology and outline the advantages of AGM batteries – how they benefit both the motorist and the environment.
AGM stands for absorbent glass mat. These AGM battery types are currently being installed on the new top of the range, stop start vehicles and other luxury vehicles on the market. They can also be very useful on performance cars that do low mileage or vehicles that have heavy electrical demands.
Stop start vehicles are becoming more and more popular due to the EU fuel emission campaign. The growing demand for AGM batteries has increased 14% in just 2 years in the United Kingdom alone.
WHAT IS STOP-START TECHNOLOGY?
The stop/start system was developed to help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and contribute to a safer environment.
A stop/start system shuts off your vehicle while stationary and can be restarted once the driver puts pressure on the accelerator or clutch. By shutting the engine off after about 1.5 seconds and prolonging this until it is safe to drive off, this technology is designed to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 5-10%.
However, vehicles with start-stop technology place a greater demand on a vehicle’s battery – and this is where the AGM battery stands head and shoulders above the more conventional acid flooded lead battery
ADVANTAGES OF A Stop-Start BATTERY
The AGM battery is cheap to manufacture compared to other strategies used to help reduce carbon emissions, making vehicles more efficient and cleaner. AGM batteries offer a number of advantages over traditional lead batteries, including;
- Less expensive – they can typically last up to two times longer
- More reliable – greater tolerance to hot and cold temperatures
- Greater performance – ideally suited for vehicles equipped with lots of electronic devices and accessories
- Slower discharge whilst not in use
- More durable – greater vibration resistance
- Safer – no free-flowing electrolyte, therefore no spill hazard
- More powerful – improved performance
- AGM technology batteries can typically reduce C02 emissions by up to 8% more than traditional batteries
Vehicles fitted with AGM batteries must be re-coded whenever removed or replaced; therefore it is recommended this is done by a professional.
Brava AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery uses high-performance components and materials, including high-surface glass mat separators, advanced lead-tin alloys and unique carbon additives in the active mass. New cutting-edge LifeGrid technology provides consistent power and enhanced durability.
It is ideally suited to cars with start-stop or regenerative braking systems. This new-generation AGM battery also supports sailing and other intelligent fuel-saving features.
Why do I need a special battery for start-stop cars?
In a standard vehicle, starting the car is typically a one-off event in your journey. You’ll start the car at the beginning and keep it running until you arrive. Standard starting batteries are designed for this purpose. They discharge a large, short burst of power, then recharge using the car’s alternator over the course of your journey.
In a start-stop vehicle, the car will restart frequently. With a standard battery, this frequent restarting will require numerous large bursts of energy that would rapidly discharge the battery before the alternator can fully recharge it.
A start/stop battery has to endure a double load, meaning that it remains in use after the initial starting of your car. It will continue to power your ancillary systems like the radio, lights and air conditioning even when while the engine is stopped. Furthermore, it uses regenerative braking, which converts some of the car’s kinetic energy into electricity when you brake, helping to restore charge to the battery for the following restart. Due to some of the unique features of stop / start batteries they are able to recharge much faster than a conventional battery and also discharge to a much deeper state. These special features enable the battery to recover charge faster and utilize some of newer vehicle systems like regenerative braking and battery management Systems, all aimed at reducing vehicle emissions and increasing fuel efficiency.
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