Firefly Energy Unveils First "Oasis" Truck Batteries

October 31, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Firefly Energy Inc. announced that the first pre-production versions of its BCI Group 31 truck battery – to be marketed under the new name "Oasis" – will be available for review and testing during the first quarter of 2008.

The company said its Oasis battery will primarily be utilized when the truck’s diesel engine is turned off, and provide up to 50% longer run-times than competitors when powering accessories which collectively make up a truck’s "hotel loads."

"Anti-diesel engine idling regulations will soon become pervasive across the nation, and better battery performance will be crucial in contributing to trucker safety, comfort, and productivity," said Ed Williams, CEO of Firefly Energy. "Our Oasis battery will help ensure truck drivers maintain a comfortable haven for their rest periods"

Earlier this month, Firefly Energy announced the commencement of its BCI Group 31 battery development program. Battery Council International (BCI) provides standardized definitions for physical dimensions of a wide variety of batteries, and the Group 31 size battery is a broadly-deployed battery type in trucks. Initial availability of the battery will be in the summer of 2008, with full production of the Oasis battery scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Firefly Energy’s Oasis battery will have a sealed valve-regulated design. The primary characteristic of the first Firefly Energy lead acid battery is the inclusion of a high surface area, non-corrodible and light weight carbon foam material. According to the company, Firefly Energy’s 3D carbon foam unleashes the high power potential of lead acid chemistry which was impossible to achieve in the past. This technology is not only claimed to reduce the lead content making the batteries smaller and lighter, but additionally to enable faster, deeper and more reliable discharges and recharges. This is said to significantly extend the battery’s life, makes it more environmentally friendly, and less expensive than lithium and nickel battery chemistries.

The company claims that the Oasis battery will be valuable in trucking because it will offer continuous power through the discharge process, a fast recharge to 100% capacity, excellent vibration resistance and greater cold-starting capabilities. Typical battery life is extended since sulfation is reduced. When tested in cold weather extremes at minus 20°C, the batteries were capable of delivering above 65% of their rated "room temperature" capacity compared to 20% or less for standard Group 31 batteries. This can help minimize alternator damage incurred while attempting cold-weather engine starts when batteries are low.