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Metair - First National Battery manufacture deal
Posted Thu, 22 Mar 2012

First National Battery ("FNB"), leading manufacturer and distributor of lead acid batteries in South Africa and a subsidiary of JSE listed Metair, is proud to announce that it has successfully completed a pre-series production run order for Valve Regulated Lead Acid ("VRLA") batteries for the new BMW 3 Series vehicles. This resulted in BMW Germany authorising the release for the H8 90Ah VRLA batteries with Absorbent Glass Mat ("AGM") technology on 14 March 2012. The BMW 3 Series is one of the first ranges of vehicles with full start/stop technology to be produced in South Africa. Vehicles with start/stop technology use a combination of internal combustion and battery power to considerably reduce fuel consumption, especially in heavy urban traffic, during peak hours. This environmentally compatible mode of mobility reduces emissions but intensifies the performance demands on automotive batteries. To enhance efficiency, the engines of start/stop vehicles switch off automatically every time the vehicle stops in traffic. Then, when the accelerator is depressed, the battery restarts the engine. The function of a battery for start/stop vehicles has therefore changed from simply starting the engine, to regular discharge and recharge states known as start/stop cycling. Unlike traditional batteries, stop/start batteries operate in a partial state of charge and need to be robust not only for restarting the engine regularly but also to ensure continuous power to electronic components, car lights and air conditioners. These vehicles also use regenerative braking technology to recharge the battery. Batteries with AGM technology are optimised for these high charging and starting currents, and cycling regimes. The batteries deliver up to 30% more starting current and last up to three times longer than conventional lead acid batteries under these cycling conditions, thus offering a significantly increased service life. VRLA batteries are vibration resistant. The battery plates are compressed between the AGM separators and are therefore cushioned from damage caused by potholes and rough outdoor terrain. They are also spill proof, which means that the battery won't leak, even if accidentally punctured. The VRLA battery is also available in the aftermarket as the Raylite Ultimate battery.