For a long time AGM batteries had been a niche product. On one hand the high price and on the other hand sudden failure had been known as typical problems. In Europe Mercedes Benz started in 1999 implementing AGM batteries in their premium cars as well as in the Taxi fleet. Nevertheless the working principle of AGM batteries was well known the standard production technology of those days did not meet the needs to built AGM batteries at an acceptable price and without sudden failure. We did take part on the development from the beginning on. TBLS+, Ca-free alloys as well as ConCure and other technologies have been developed knowing the needs of AGM batteries.
The AGM battery technology has a need of a very precise production technology especially for the plate manufacturing. The plates have to have precise thickness, weight and porosity to fulfill the requirements. To achieve this requirements over pasting on both sides with an orifice paster is best. After pasting of the plates the curing process has to start as soon as possible to avoid dry out of the plates. Partly dry out affects the porosity of the plates.
For the layout of the AGM batteries and the process parameters including the formation of the AGM batteries we did develop a program. The program exhibits all plate parameters and calculates the porosity of the plates after curing and drying as well as the porosity of the finished plates. The amount of first filling of acid of the green batteries as well as the the gravity and formation program are fitting to obtain a finished AGM battery to meet the OE requirements. the curing process has to start as soon as possible to avoid dry out of the plates. Partly dry out affects the porosity of the plates.
For the time being Start Stop application and premium mid-size and premium class cars will be equipped with AGM batteries. The lifetime of the AGM batteries is 3 times of a flooded battery and exceeds the enhanced flooded by far. With respect to the production technology the AGM batteries progress is on the run. Future AGM batteries will have a 2 times longer lifetime compared with AGM batteries of today.
The design of the AGM batteries will be calculated in detail by our developed software program. Different to flooded batteries a direct measure of the acid density and volume is not possible. The accuracy and performance of AGM batteries needs a close match between production technology and battery layout. Different to flooded batteries or Gel batteries as well a detailed process control and convenient machinery is necessary to step into the production of AGM batteries. Especially the need new equipment to meet the very low tolerances has kept the battery manufacturer off from taking over this new technology. On the other hand the remarkable better performance of AGM batteries performance and the customer claims for a better energy storage device is pushing the battery manufactures to step into this new technology. A major battery manufacturer is pushing the AGM batteries based on our developments at the end of the 1990th. But the past is not static and the newest state of the art technologies are ready.