A slew of new and retooled battery designs are hitting the trucking market these days — and not just for tractors and medium-duty vehicles, either. The battery needs of auxiliary power units (APUs) and trailer refrigeration units are also getting more attention as well.

For example, take the Oasis Group 31 battery from Firefly Inc. Compared to conventional batteries, the Oasis is said to offer longer runtimes, faster recharge, improved high- and low-temperature performance, and longer calendar and cycle life. Firefly said it achieved these performance gains by removing portions of the lead metal used in traditional lead acid batteries, replacing it with a microcell composite material that enhances the chemical performance in the battery while resisting degradation. Furthermore, batteries made using Firefly's technology are recyclable through the existing industry infrastructure, an obvious environmental benefit, as well as a big advantage to fleet maintenance and other installer locations, the company said.

Then there's the new battery from Trojan Battery Co. designed specifically for electric APUs. The OverDrive AGM 31 is a sealed absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery aimed at supporting idle-reduction systems on heavy trucks. With the ongoing implementation of anti-idling regulations across the U.S., Trojan said the need has never been greater for reliable, heavy-duty cycling batteries that provide steady power so electric APUs can heat, cool and power critical onboard instruments when the truck's diesel engine is off.

The company believes electric APUs equipped with its OverDrive AGM 31 battery should start to see a return on investment in as soon as 12-18 months after initial use — and it's backing up that claim with a 30-month warranty.

The Odyssey 31-PC2150 battery, manufactured by EnerSys, is another 12-volt battery that's being aimed at APU users. It features a pulse hot cranking amp rating of 2,150 amps for five seconds, much higher than the standard 770 cranking amps of most batteries.

Even refrigeration system maker Carrier Transicold is getting into the battery business by recently rolling out the new PowerRush Platinum AGM battery to power refrigeration units and other Group 31 applications. According to Carrier, the absorbed glass mat design of the PowerRush provides 1,150 cold cranking amps (CCA) of starting power with deep cycling ability and cold-starting performance. The pure lead battery is said to retain 75% more power than typical Group 31 wet cell batteries at -4 deg. F (-20 deg. C). The battery comes with a four-year full replacement warranty.

Even the aftermarket is getting new battery options, courtesy of TRP Aftermarket Parts, a division of Paccar. The company recently released a full line of dual-purpose batteries for truck, bus and other commercial vehicle applications. Available in either lead-acid or AGM format, TRP said its aftermarket batteries offer up to 1,150 CCAs for cold-weather reliability and as low as 650 for warmer climates.

“While AGM batteries are more expensive than traditional lead-acid batteries, all it takes is one day of lost revenue to make it worth your while,” said Everett Seymoure, global brand manager for TRP.

The dual-purpose nature allows for more frequent discharge and recharge, and the batteries include fiberglass strands embedded in the plate surfaces to lock active material to the plates to prevent shorts, the company said. Both battery types come with a two-year warranty supported by Kenworth and Peterbilt dealers nationwide.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THESE WEB SITES:

AC DELCO
www.acdelco.com

CARRIER TRANSICOLD
www.transicold.carrier.com

EAST PENN MFG./DEKA
www.eastpenn-deka.com

ENERSYS
www.odysseybattery.com

EXIDE TECHNOLOGIES
www.exide.com

FIREFLY ENERGY
www.fireflyenergy.com

INTERSTATE BATTERY SYSTEMS OF AMERICA
www.ibsa.com

JOHNSON CONTROLS
www.johnsoncontrols.com

OPTIMA BATTERIES
www.optimabatteries.com

TROJAN BATTERY CO.
www.trojanbattery.com

TRP AFTERMARKET PARTS
www.trpparts.com