Faq's

Question:

How long will it take to dispatch my item?

Answer:

Most orders are dispatched same day, unless it says otherwise on the item description.

Question:

Do you post worldwide?

Answer:

We post to most countries, if your country is not on the drop down list then please contact us & on most occasions we can arrange it for you.

Question:

What postage options do you provide

Answer:

Our main postage provide is Royal Mail & DPD but occasionally we use other couriers depending on location and service required.

Question:

What does the term ‘CCA’ refer to?

Answer:

CCA stands for Cold Cranking Amps, which is relevant to the engine starting capability of the battery. CCA measures how well the battery will perform at certain temperatures. Platinum International uses the Society of Automobile Engineers or ‘SAE’ standard, which means the cranking performance of the battery is measured under controlled conditions at a temperature of -18˚C for 30 seconds.

For example, if a fully charged battery is rated at 590 amps SAE, it can produce 590 amps for a period of 30 seconds, at a temperature of -18°C. The voltage must drop below 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12 volt battery) during this test.

Question:

Are all batteries rated at SAE for cold cranking amps?

Answer:

No, there are multiple standards for ‘CCA’ used throughout the world. Amongst the others are ‘EN’, ‘DIN’, ‘IEC’, ‘MCA’, and ‘HCA’. These other specifications are either, tested over differing timescales, temperatures or voltages, therefore they cannot be compared to another battery tested at a different standard.

Question:

What does the term ‘Ah’ refer to?

Answer:

Ah stands for Ampere Hour, which is a measure of battery capacity or rather, how much energy can be stored in a battery. The higher the Ah rating, the more energy can be stored in the battery. The Ah rating is most relevant for slow drain applications, such as; Caravan & Leisure Vehicles; Marine; or other applications that take a large amount of energy from the battery over a prolonged period of time, these are also known as Deep Cycle applications.

Platinum International uses the ’C20’ or ‘20 hour’ standard for its automotive and leisure range. This means that a fully charged battery rated at 100 Ah (C20) can produce 5 amps (100 Ah divided by 20), for a period of 20 hours. Again this procedure is done under strict conditions at a temperature of +25°C, where the voltage must drop below 1.75 volts per cell (10.5 volts for a 12 volt battery). A common misconception is that a 100Ah battery will produce 100 amps for 1 hour, 50 amps for 2 hours, 20 amps for 5 hours, 1 amp for 100 hours……etc. This is absolutely incorrect.

Question:

Are there other Ah standards?

Answer:

Yes, the Automotive industry tends to use the C20 standard but industrial applications (Fork Trucks, Access Platforms, Mobility…etc.) use standards such as: C1, C5, C10 & C100. So a fully charged battery rated at 100 Ah (C5) can produce 20 amps (100 (Ah) divided by 5), for a period of 5 hours, at a temperature of +25°C and the voltage must drop below 1.75 volts per cell (10.5 volts for a 12 volt battery).

Question:

What does the term ‘RC’ refer to?

Answer:

RC is Reserve Capacity, which also refers to energy storage capacity of the battery, similar in some ways to Ah, but rated in minutes as opposed to amps. The standard used for this by all manufacturers is 25amps. A battery with a Reserve Capacity of 60 means that a fully charged battery can produce 25amps for a period of 60 minutes, at a temperature of +25°C and the voltage must drop below 1.75 volts per cell (10.5 volts for a 12 volt battery).

Question:

What is a ‘Calcium’ battery?

Answer:

Automotive batteries contain Lead Acid. Calcium is a hardening agent within the plate grids which reduces water loss and increases electrical performance, shelf and service life. This is also needed if the battery is fitted to a vehicle with a ‘smart charge’ system. All Platinum batteries are Calcium/Calcium (both positive and negative plate grid) construction.

Question:

What is a ‘Silver Calcium’ battery?

Answer:

In the late 1990s some manufacturers added a very small amount of silver to the plate grids, the benefit of this was said to be increased performance and resistance to very high, under bonnet, temperatures. This was more of a requirement for certain areas of the USA and other hotter climates, there were no benefits for Northern Europe. This manufacturing process proved expensive and in many cases pointless, so it was discontinued a few years later.

Question:

What does the term ‘battery cycling’ refer to?

Answer:

A cycle is the discharge and recharge of a battery, for automotive starter applications this should be irrelevant. However, Leisure, Marine and Industrial batteries must have the capability to be deeply discharged and recharged many times during their service life. These ‘cyclic’ batteries are still Lead Acid construction, but the technology and components differs slightly from those of a starter battery.

Question:

What does the term ‘Depth of Discharge’ of a battery refer to?

Answer:

Depth Of Discharge (DOD), simply put, is how deeply the battery is discharged e.g. if the battery is 100% charged, the DOD is 0%. If however the battery is just 70% charged, the DOD is 30%.

A deeper discharge will have an effect on the service life of a battery, and for specification purposes it is important that the Depth of Discharge (DOD) is quoted. Platinum Deep Cycle batteries are rated at 50% DOD. A battery rated at 100Ah, which provides 120 cycles to 50% DOD means that 50Ah can be taken from the battery at least 120 times. Industrial batteries (Platinum Deep Cycle or Trojan) can be rated at 600, 1000, 1200, 1600 or even 2800 cycles at 50% DOD dependent upon application.

Question:

Is the battery fitted to a caravan different from a conventional starter battery?

Answer:

Yes. The battery on a conventional vehicle is solely designed to supply a high short burst of energy to start the car.

A caravan battery is required to supply a much lower current for a longer period of time, it will also be discharged and recharged many times.

This means that the technology and components differ from those of a standard starter battery, therefore use of a starter battery in a cyclic application would result in failure within the early months of service would be the result.

Question:

Is the battery fitted to a Start-Stop application different from a conventional starter battery?

Answer:

Yes. Again the battery on a conventional vehicle is designed to supply a high short burst of energy to start the car. Once the engine is running the vehicles charging system will replenish any energy taken from the battery and will supply all other electrical loads.

However, a Start-Stop battery is required to supply energy to the various electrical devices when the vehicle is stationary and the engine is not running.

This means that the technology and components differ from those of a standard starter battery, otherwise it would fail in the early months of service.

Question:

Why are there two types of Start-Stop battery (AGM and ECM)?

Answer:

This depends upon the application. Vehicles at the premium end of the market tend to take Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), whilst smaller entry level vehicles may take the Enhanced Cyclic Mat (ECM) battery. If the vehicle has brake regeneration, then the AGM battery must be used.

For battery replacement, an AGM must be replaced with AGM. ECM batteries must be replaced with an ECM battery, or you can sell up to an AGM battery.

Question:

I have also seen AFB and EFB listed for Start-Stop, what are these?

Answer:

These are exactly the same technology as ECM, different names are used by different suppliers. AFB stands for Advanced Flooded Battery and EFB stands for Enhanced Flooded Battery.

Question:

What is the difference between AGM and ECM (AFB/EFB)?

Answer:

ECM batteries are an evolution of the standard wet flooded battery. They have tin added to the plate grids and improved double layer separators, which provides longer life.

In addition to this the range has an increased reservoir of electrolyte acid, additional polyfleece scrim material on the plates & thicker plates which provide increased cyclic performance.

AGM technology utilises Absorbent Glass Material separators, which is a sponge like material that holds all of the acid solution. This makes the product 100% spill and leak proof as there is no ‘free flowing’ acid within the battery.

Also the negative plates have high carbon content, which allows for increased charge acceptance and a faster recharge, to work in line with brake energy regeneration.

A further distinguishing feature of the AGM battery range is the Gas Recombination technology. This keeps the Hydrogen and Oxygen within the battery throughout the charging cycle, therefore prolonging the life of the battery. A wet flooded battery may release some of these gases.

Question:

What is Lumen?

Answer:

Specifies the overall visible light output of a light source, which is emitted in all directions.

Question:

What is Lux?

Answer:

It is the measurement unit of illumination intensity. It specifies the luminous flux, which is emitted on a certain surface. At 1 lux e.g. the human eye can easily read a book.

Question:

What is an IP rating?

Answer:

IP (or "Ingress Protection") ratings are defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989). They are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt etc) and moisture.

Question:

What do the numbers in an IP Rating mean?

Answer:

The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first indicates the degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. The second defines the protection level that the enclosure enjoys from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion etc). The tables below should help make sense of it:

First Digit (intrusion protection)
  • 0. (or X): No special protection. Not rated (or no rating supplied) for protection against ingress of this type.
  • 1. Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
  • 2. Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter (accidental finger contact).
  • 3. Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
  • 4 Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm (wires, nails, screws, larger insects and other potentially invasive small objects such as tools/small etc).
  • 5. Partial protection against dust that may harm equipment.
  • 6. Totally dust tight. Full protection against dust and other particulates, including a vacuum seal, tested against continuous airflow.
  • Second Digit (moisture protection)
  • 0. (or X - see section below): No protection.
  • 1. Protection against vertically falling droplets, such as condensation. ensuring that no damage or interrupted functioning of components will be incurred when an item is upright.
  • 2. Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
  • 3. Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
  • 4. Protected against water splashes from all directions. Tested for a minimum of 10 minutes with an oscillating spray (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
  • 5. Protection against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
  • 6. Protection against direct high pressure jets.
  • 7. Protection against full immersion for up to 30 minutes at depths between 15 cm and 1 metre (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
  • 8. Protection against extended immersion under higher pressure (i.e. greater depths). Precise parameters of this test will be set and advertised by the manufacturer and may include additional factors such as temperature fluctuations and flow rates, depending on equipment type.
  • 9. (K): Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs or steam-cleaning procedures - this rating is most often seen in specific road vehicle applications (standard ISO 20653:2013 Road Vehicles - Degrees of protection).
  • Question:

    What is an E-Mark?

    Answer:

    An E-Mark has to be put on a product if it full fills at least one category of the ECE regulation. Example and explanation:

  • H: Halogen/LED
  • D: Xenon
  • C: Low beam
  • R: High beam
  • PL: Plastic lens
  • 2439: Approval number
  • Arrow left right: left- and right-hand driving
  • 30: Reference number
  • E4: Granted approval in Netherlands
  • Question:

    My working light mist up on the inside. Is this normal and what can I do to prevent it?

    Answer:

    Since moisture can get into working lights while driving in rain or when using a high-pressure jet at a car wash, slight misting of the working lights is not considered to be a quality defect. The working lights may also mist up during transitional weather. This should normally disappear after a short time by circulating air. A frequent cause of misted car lights is incorrect use of high-pressure jets while washing the car. We therefore recommend never directing the water jet directly at a working light and keeping a distance of at least 30 cm from the car.

    Question:

    How is your cable measured or rated?

    Answer:

    All our cable is specified by the cross-sectional area of the copper conductor (in mm²) which is related to the current carrying capacity. We also list the amp capacity in all listings that the cross section relates to as well as the amount of cores. Cable insulation thickness changes by manufacturer and cable type so you should never rely on outside diameter alone.

    Question:

    What do the red / blue / yellow colours of pre-insulated crimp terminals relate to?

    Answer:

    This relates to the cable size that should be used with them.

    Red = 0.5-1.5mm² cabl | Blue = 1.5-2.5mm² cable | Yellow = 3.0-6.0mm² cable.

    Question:

    I have cable larger than 6mm² so what terminals should I use for the ends?

    Answer:

    For cable over 6mm² you will need to use copper tube terminals. We stock a wide range of these right up to 95mm² cable.

    Question:

    How do I fit copper tube terminals to larger cable?

    Answer:

    You will need to use a heavier duty crimping tool. This is something we can supply and keep in stock.

    Question:

    I am used to using the PVC cable which seems to be alot heavier / thicker than the cable you supply. What is the difference?

    Answer:

    The majority of the cable we stock and supply is known as Thin wall. This refers to the relatively reduced wall thickness of the insulation compared with that of standard PVC insulation. The insulation in thin wall cable is a harder grade of PVC with better electrical insulation properties for a given thickness and has several advantages over standard PVC cable.

    Firstly, it is lighter, meaning that there can be significant weight savings in large wiring harnesses and this is one the main drivers behind it having now been adopted by almost all vehicle manufacturers for their electrical systems.

    Secondly, it has a greater working temperature range with a maximum of around 105ºC compared with around 70ºC for standard PVC. This makes it more suited to use in areas close to the engine.

    Thirdly, the harder grade of PVC is more resistant to abrasion and cutting than standard PVC, offering more protection and greater reliability.

    The one drawback of thin wall cable is that the insulation is less flexible than standard PVC. This is generally not an issue with smaller sized cable but for larger sizes such as battery cable the standard PVC insulation might be preferable if, for example, the cable routing involves tight bends. We only stock and supply this style of cable for sizes of 10mm² and above.

    Question:

    My battery is 170Ah, so do I need a 170A cable to connect it?

    Answer:

    No. The capacity of a battery in Ah is unrelated to the cable size you need to use to connect it to a charging source or load. You should rate the cable based upon the maximum charge or discharge current that you expect to put through the cable, plus a margin of safety. This also applies to cables used to inter-connect batteries.

    Question:

    How do I connect two 12V batteries in parallel?

    Answer:

    Connect the positive terminals together and the negative terminals together. This keeps the system voltage at 12V but doubles the capacity in Ah.

    Question:

    How do I wire my lighting circuit so that I can switch it on and off from 2 different locations

    Answer:

    For a 2-way lighting circuit you will need 2x On/On switches. Each switch has a common terminal (normally the centre terminal) and 2 switched terminals (normally the outside terminals). Connect your +12V supply to the common terminal of one of the switches, then connect the common terminal of the other switch to the +12V input to your lights. You then connect the switched terminals of the switches together (imagine a train track running between the terminals).

    Question:

    How do I connect two different sized cables together (e.g. small cable to much larger cable)?

    Answer:

    Connecting two dissimilar sized cables can be tricky as most connectors are designed to connect similar sized cable. One area where this problem is often encountered is in the above example of extending the cables on a compressor fridge where the flying leads from the fridge are usually quite small gauge but you need to connect to larger gauge cable to prevent voltage drop. The best option here is to terminate the cable ends with suitable ring terminals (normally insulated terminals for cable up to 6mm² and copper tube terminals for larger cable) and then use a terminal block. This provides a professional, secure connection.

    Another option if you are connecting two dissimilar cables together that are 6mm² or smaller is to use a splice connector. The cable ends can be terminated with suitable 6.3mm wide female blade terminals and then joined to the splice connector.

    Question:

    Should I fuse my circuits and, if so, which cable should I fuse?

    Answer:

    Yes, we would always recommend fusing the positive cable of each circuit. The fuse should be located as close to the power source (e.g. battery) as possible.

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