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What's the difference between Cold Cranking Amps and Cranking Amps?

This entry was posted on 20/03/2020 09:54:47 AM by Valen

Flooded vs Sealed Rechargeable Batteries

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) or Cranking Amps (CA) are ratings used when referring to the current (power) that a battery can output. 

But what's the difference between the two? Which Amps do I use to decide which battery I need? The team at Valen are here with the answers! 


How to ensure compliance and prevent battery failure


So the difference is...

The difference between Cold Cranking Amps and Cranking Amps is that CCA is measured at around -18°C while CA is measured at only 0°C. 

For example, Valen's Topin 12V200Ah AGM battery has a CCA of 1240 but a CA of 1670. 


How are Cold Cranking Amps and Cranking Amps different to Amp-hours?

From an inside battery perspective, the more and thinner plates a battery has, the larger the Cold Cranking Amp is due to the greater surface. The higher the Cold Cranking Amp (CCA) rating, the higher the starting power of your battery.

Starter batteries are not designed for cycling because the plates are thinner than in deep cycle batteries and there are also different pastes in the active material in the plate that's going to help adhere that plate structure better. 

When it comes to starter batteries, engineers are more interested in the total power that a battery can provide in over 15 seconds than the capacity per Amp-hour needed in a deep cycle battery. Storage capacity has no impact on whether it can start your pump or car in a cold situation. 

The difference between Cold Cranking Amps and Amp-hours is like the maximum speed a sprinter can run in a 100m sprint versus the endurance required for a marathon. 

It's not recommended that you use a starter battery for deep discharge applications such as solar, or mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs. 

Using a starter battery in a deep cycle application will usually significantly shorten the length of the batteries life. 


Where can I use these Cranking Amps ratings? 

Everyday vehicles and fire pumps need to be measured in Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) as it's not unusual to go out and start that vehicle or pump in -18°C weather. 

Batteries rated in Cranking Amps (CA) are typically known as marine starting batteries. Rated at 0°C, these batteries are usually starting those engines when the temperature is above 0°C, and they don't require as much power. 

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) rating is always going to be lower than the Cranking Amps (CA), and many batteries will have both ratings on them for comparative purposes. 


Need advice on starter AGM batteries for your application?

Every application is different, so as mentioned above, it's essential to ensure your system will run to the maximum efficiency and deliver value for money. The experts at Valen offer the highest level of technical support. We have comprehensive knowledge of the industrial energy sector. 

To talk to one of our skilled team members, click here! 


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Written by Valen

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