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EXIDEReading, PA - Exide Corporation, the world's largest producer of lead-acid batteries, has introduced the Aspiral-wound Exide Orbital Select, the first significant car (or SLI - starting, lighting, ignition) battery breakthrough since the maintenance-free model 30 years ago.

Featuring highly efficient construction of tightly wound plates, an internal design helping to provide power unparalleled in conventional automotive batteries, along with gas recombinant technology to eliminate free-liquid battery acid, the Exide Orbital Select ushers in a new era in automotive battery technology.

Increased cranking power when it counts (during the initial starting process), the ability to retain a charge through extended periods of non use, virtually complete resistance to vibration and (normal) under-hood physical abuse as well as greater safety through the elimination of free-liquid battery acid and serious gassing are features of this new battery which resembles a black six-pack of beer.

Exide OrbitalIn addition, the Orbital's technology means the battery can be mounted in any position and in any location (even upside down in the passenger compartment) without leaking or gassing, giving auto manufacturers a great deal of flexibility in future designs.

"This is a battery which can be physically abused, left unused for months, even punctured and still start your vehicle," explained Robert A. Lutz, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Even the best conventional batteries will fail when under these conditions."

The Exide Orbital Select even breaks the rules on battery retailing. Because there is no danger of leaking acid or explosive gassing, unlike conventional automotive batteries, the Orbital can be shipped via conventional means, like FedEx, United Parcel Service and the mail, so it can be sold via the Internet or telemarketing.

"And since the assurance your car or truck will start WHENEVER and WHEREVER you need it, the Exide Select Orbital is the ultimate lead-acid SLI battery," added Lutz.

How did Exide eliminate liquid battery acid?

In a conventional battery, the lead elements are totally submerged in the electrolyte (acid). Although many batteries today are maintenance-free and do not require checking and refilling of the acid, they must be mounted upright in order to allow the gas to be vented through a series of holes. Improper mounting (or handling of a conventional battery) could result in acid leaking from these vent holes.

In the event of severe overcharge, this new battery still needs to vent gas, but its valve-regulated-lead-acid construction features six "burp" valves which allow the gas to escape without compromising its sealed quality. And there is no free-liquid electrolyte to escape through these burp valves.

The Exide Select orbital uses AGM (absorbed-glass matte) separators, which, along with the tightly-wound lead elements, have the acid (in a paste-like form) bound within their structure, eliminating the need for free electrolyte.

The separators work similar to the principle by which paper towels absorb water, with the acid trapped both on the surface and in the spaces between the fibers.

Why is the construction of the Exide Select orbital so strong?

The secret of the increased durability and strength lies in its tightly wound plates and compressed separators.

Each of the six lead elements--more than a meter long when laid out--is pressure-packed and rolled into its own separator to resist vibration damage. This construction also minimizes conventional plate shedding and positive grid disintegration, the number-one reason for battery failure.

"The spiral-wound elements look like a jelly roll," said Lutz. "And each goes into its own cylindrical compartment which gives the orbital its six-pack look.

How about performance?

Perhaps the best news the Exide Select orbital brings to the market is, besides safety and durability, this new battery's new construction enables it to outperform conventional units. The combination of efficient internal connections, and the spacing of the new separators, along with the elimination of the highly-resistant electrolyte, gives the new battery less post-to-post resistance. This provides one to one-and-a-half more volts of additional cranking power, a more than 15-percent improvement.

According to Michael Greenlee, Exide's engineering vice president, the measure of this ability, like most features of the orbital, is unique.

"Old concepts like conventional CCA (cold-cranking amps) do not fit recombinant batteries like the orbital," he explained. "The orbital is designed for peak cranking power during the initial three to five seconds of use, when it is most needed. During this period, the orbital puts out the equivalent of a 1,000 CCA conventional lead-acid unit. "And it can do this even when left unused for weeks or months, like someone might do with a vehicle at a summer home or a "weekend special" vehicle like a classic sports car."

The orbital's lower resistance also means faster charging time, and the construction prevents stratifying, or uneven wear of the conventional plates as the battery discharges.

High underhood temperatures, a traditional enemy of a car battery, has its effect minimized by the orbital as its sealed construction eliminates electrolyte loss due to evaporation while its element design minimizes the effects on grids and active material.

The Exide Select orbital joins the other premium products in the company's Select line, including batteries, starters and accessories.

Exide Corporation, with annual revenues of more than $2.4 billion and operations in 19 countries, is a world leader in the manufacture of automotive and industrial lead acid batteries. In fact, the Exide Select orbital is produced in the company's Malpica factory in Spain.


Weight: 41 lbs.
Dimensions: 10-1/8" - L; 7" - W; 8-1/2" H (to top of posts)
Cold Cranking Amps: 890 CCA at 32 degrees F; 700 CCA @ 0 degrees F.
Group sizes available: 34, 34R, 78, 78DT
Suggested retail price: $125.00


For further information, contact:
(800) START-IT


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