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Texas Army National Guard

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Vehicle Maintenance

Industry: Government Agency-Includes Military

Wastes Reduced: Batteries

Substance: Lead/Acid

Equipment: Optima Batteries

Location: Camp Mabry, Austin TX

Contact: LTC Don Tryce

Phone: (512) 465-5001 ext 5717


In December 1993, the Texas Army National Guard received approval from the 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.

P2 Application:

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 800 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.

Environmental Benefits:

The batteries are expected to last 12 years as compared with a 2.5 year lifetime of the batteries presently used. The extended life batteries will reduce waste disposal 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, thus reducing waste and making it much easier to handle.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

The purchase cost for each Optima 800 battery is about $100 compared to $65 for regular batteries. It costs about $200 in maintenance, administration, and disposal to change a battery out regardless of the type of battery. In the three years since these have been installed only 13 have needed replacement, whereas all the regular batteries would have been changed out. By drastically reducing the number and frequency of battery change out, an estimated $27,000 or $60 per battery has been saved even if the Optima 800 batteries do not last the full 12 years.

Source: TCEQ

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