Finally bought your Inverter, and now about to get an inverter battery? Or does your battery need a replacement, and you are considering buying a tubular inverter battery?
This blog post is powered by Starplus Batteries. Here, you will learn why you need a tubular inverter battery. You will also learn about the types of inverter batteries, their pros and cons, components and which is best.
Components Of An Inverter Battery
Before we discuss the types of inverter batteries, let’s look into the components of an inverter battery. This is because we will mention some of the components in a later part of this post, and it will be vital for you to know what they are all about.
An inverter battery converts the chemical energy inside it directly to electrical energy. Its components are arranged in a kind of way that is known as a “Battery Cell”.
An electrolyte is a chemical compound in your inverter battery. It is the medium for reactions to take place.
The electrolyte must be readily able to conduct electricity and to do that, its ions must be mobile. For this to be possible at all, the electrolyte must be in a liquid or molten state.
That’s why your tubular inverter battery always needs distilled water from time to time. Based on the type of acidic electrolyte used, we have two (2) types of inverter batteries.
- Wet cell batteries
- Dry cell (gel, sealed or maintenance-free) batteries
The wet cell will require a water refill at intervals. This can be once a month and so on. The wet-cell inverter battery has an electrolyte that is composed of sulphuric acid. This sulphuric acid is diluted with distilled water.
Most of the acidic inverter batteries (at least the ones with the longest lifespan) use a wet-cell electrolyte.
The dry cell is also known as a sealed or maintenance-free lead-acid battery. It uses either a gel or liquid electrolyte absorbed into fibreglass matt.
The AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) and Gel inverter battery are both examples of VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead-Acid) batteries.
These inverter batteries are also known as SLA (Sealed Lead-Acid). AGM batteries can also be referred to as “membrane”, “starved electrolyte” or “dry” batteries.
The terminals of an inverter battery are what users know as “Negative” and “Positive”.
The negative terminal is usually made of pure lead. The positive terminal is made up of PbO2. The two terminals are manufactured as “Plates”.
Since a battery cell like this has an acidic electrolyte (sulphuric acid) and lead plates (pure lead and PbO2), such a battery is known as a “Lead-acid” battery.
So for those of you that have been hearing the name “Lead-acid battery” but don’t know what it means, know you know.
Now, you know that we have a positive plate and a negative plate. You should also know that both plates must not touch each other. If they have any contact, there will be a short-circuit and that will damage the battery.
A separator is what separates the two plates so that they will not have contact. There can be contacted when the active materials are also shed. And a separator is made to stop that from happening.
Most of the separators used in inverter batteries are manufactured from rubber. This is because they do not react chemically with the other battery components and the fact that they are more stable.
4. Cooling Fans
To be honest, cooling fans are not manufactured as one of the components in an inverter battery. However, they come alongside the inverter itself.
The Cooling Fans are responsible for heat balance. Generally, an inverter and its battery must not be too hot or too cold. And the cooling fan is there to ensure that.
You might be wondering how temperature affects a battery. Don’t forget that the electrolyte is the big deal here. The battery electrolyte has a temperature range for optimal and healthy performance.
Anything more or less than this will reduce the lifespan of your inverter battery, if not damage it.
And in the meantime, you might be interested in another interesting post from Starplus Batteries. It answers the trendy question: How Long Can An Inverter Battery Last In Nigeria?
It also explains why an inverter battery may last for only 2 years even though it is manufactured to last 5 years.
You will also learn about 5 things that will double the lifespan of your inverter battery. You can read it here.
5. Alarms, LED Lights and Displays
These things are installed as a part of the inverter system. Sometimes, they can also be one of the components of your inverter battery charger.
These components are very important, as they give important information and updates about your inverter battery status.
6. Microprocessor-Based Circuits
A Microprocessor-Based Circuit is always embedded into the inverter system. It can also come with a charger.
Either way, its function is to regulate the charging process.
Types Of Inverter Batteries
We have 3 types of inverter batteries that you can buy today. Regardless of which manufacturer you buy from, it will always fall into one of these three categories.
- Flat plate batteries
- Tubular batteries
- Gel batteries
1. Flat Plate Inverter Batteries
A Flat inverter battery is a type of lead-acid battery. Because of the way its cell is manufactured, it’s more suitable for areas that have less frequent power cuts.
You can also buy a flat plate battery if you regularly have electricity from the grid source. The flat plate battery is cheaper than the other types. However, it also has the shortest lifespan.
One of the pros of this battery is its fast charging rate. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying a flat plate battery.
The Pros Of Buying A Flat Plate Battery
- It’s very affordable than the other types
- It charges very fast
The Cons Of Buying Flat Plate Batteries
- They have a very short warranty period
- Flat plate batteries have an average lifespan of 3 to 4 years
- They can’t power devices that have high power requirements
- They are also less efficient compared to the other types of inverter batteries
2. Tubular Inverter Batteries
Tubular batteries are also lead-acid batteries. Their electrolyte is sulphuric acid. The positive plate is made up of PbO2 while the negative plate is pure lead.
Tubular inverter batteries are generally bigger than flat plate batteries. They are also the best inverter batteries that are worth the price. They can be used in areas that have a frequent and long duration of power outages.
Also, tubular batteries are manufactured differently from flat plate batteries. This makes it last longer with your connected devices and appliances.
They come in various container sizes. You should first confirm if you have enough space in your house before you purchase a tubular battery.
Short Tubular Battery
A short tubular inverter battery is not tall at all. But to make up for this, it has a long width. If you buy this type of battery, you will have to create a wide space in your house or anywhere you want to use it.
Nevertheless, short tubular batteries are easier to relocate.
Tall Tubular Battery
A tall tubular inverter battery is very tall. To make up for the height, it has a narrow width. And that’s why you have to find a space in your house that is free and can accommodate the height.
To be honest, a tall tubular battery can store more electric power than a short tubular battery of the same spec.
What Are The Advantages Of Tubular Inverter Batteries?
- A tubular battery can recharge and discharge at a fairly high temperature
- They can endure continuous shedding of materials for a long period
- Tubular batteries can be used with devices and equipment that have high power requirements
- Even though tubular batteries are not maintenance-free, they are still more comfortable to use
- Tubular Batteries can be charged with high voltages, unlike gel batteries
- They are also a good option for areas where the grid power duration is small
- And to cap it all, tubular batteries have the longest life duration. They can last up to 8 years
Disadvantages Of Tubular Inverter Batteries
Even though tubular batteries are good, they still have a few disadvantages. But to be honest, they are not challenges, since they are worth it.
- They are not eco-friendly
- Tubular batteries are very expensive. But most long-lasting things are also costly. Right?
- Also, they have a complex design
- Even though they are easier to use than flat plate batteries, tubular batteries are still not maintenance-free. You must refill them with distilled water from time to time to replenish the acidic electrolyte
- There is a risk of acid leakage or spillage since the electrolyte is in a liquid form
3. Gel Inverter Batteries
Gel Inverter batteries also have an acidic electrolyte. However, they are maintenance-free and are regulated by valves.
Genetically, gel Inverter batteries are big but most comfortable to use. This is because you can use them inside your house. They deposit very little fumes into the air and they can be used in homes that have little ventilation.
You might be wondering what this has to do with ventilation. Don’t worry, you will know now.
Other inverter batteries release highly toxic gases to the surroundings. Some of them are flammable and reactive. They can cause fire accidents, which is why they are always positioned in the backyard or at any safe distance.
However, maintenance-free free batteries release just little fumes to the environment. They are called “Maintenance-free inverter batteries” because they don’t need to be refilled with water.
In place of water refill, they use their one-way open valves. This special design allows the battery to use air from the surroundings to recombine into water. This is automatically done at intervals.
Gel inverter batteries are also referred to as “SLA (Sealed Lead-Acid) batteries”. This is because their body is completely sealed and there is no risk of acid spillage.
Advantages Of Buying A Gel Inverter Battery
- They are very eco-friendly
- They are also deep cycle batteries and can be discharged up to 20% without having any serious impact
- Gel batteries are maintenance-free
- They have zero risk of acid spillage
- They can so be charged at a low voltage
Disadvantages Of Buying A Gel Inverter Battery
- They are very expensive compared to their lifespan
- Gel batteries charge at low voltages. This causes them to damage at high voltages
- High temperatures don’t do gel batteries any good. The electrolyte will shrink away from the negative and positive plates
Tubular Or Flat Plate: Which Inverter Battery Is Better?
A tubular inverter battery is much better than a flat plate inverter battery. This can even be observed when comparing their prices and weight.
A tubular inverter battery:
- Has an average lifespan of 7 to 8 years
- Can be used in places with frequent power cuts
- Can be used to power devices and appliances that have high power requirements
- Has a heavier weight
- Possess a complex design
A flat plate battery:
- Has an average lifespan of 3 to 4 years
- Is suitable only for places with fewer power cuts
- Cannot power most devices that have high power requirements
- Has a less-heavier weight compared to a tubular battery
- Charges at a faster rate
From the summarized specs above, it’s evident that a Tubular battery supersedes a flat plate inverter battery.
Gel Or Tubular: Which Inverter Battery is Better?
Both Tubular and gel inverter batteries are good, and it’s sometimes difficult to choose one between the two (except for the fact that the former has a longer lifespan than the latter).
So, let’s compare the two batteries based on some factors.
1. Body Design And Leakage
The electrolyte of a gel battery is in a semi-liquid state (or in gel form). As a result, the acidic electrolyte inside it will not spill out even if you position it upside down.
This property alone has made people who change houses frequently prefer the gel inverter battery. On the other hand, a tubular battery (also known as a flooded inverter battery) has its acidic electrolyte in liquid form.
Because of this, you have to put your tubular battery in a place where it will be stable and not shake or move about. If you don’t do this, the acid will spill out and there will be leakage.
Also, remember that a tubular inverter battery is not completely sealed, as there are holes for water refilling. On the other hand, gel Inverter batteries are completely sealed.
2. Eco-friendly Reasons
Generally, whenever recharging and discharging is going on, toxic gases are released. This is why inverters are placed in ventilated areas.
However, a gel inverter battery can be used even inside your house. It doesn’t release toxic gases into the atmosphere. Because of this, it’s more eco-friendly than a tubular battery.
Most batteries lose some of their electric power over some time. This happens even when a battery is not connected to any circuit. This is known as self-discharging.
Self-discharge can happen as a result of internal resistance in the battery cell, temperature and other factors.
Tubular inverter batteries have a self-discharge rate of 12% to 15% per month. On the other hand, gel inverter batteries have a self-discharge rate of 1% to 3% every month.
This makes the gel inverter battery more suitable for power conservation and efficiency.
4. Power Storage To Density
The energy density is the amount of energy stored in a battery for a given size or weight. A tubular battery can store more energy than a gel battery of the same weight.
This is clear evidence that a tubular battery can store more energy and power than a gel battery.
5. Recharging Time
Tubular batteries need more time to charge than gel batteries. Gel batteries can be charged at low voltages, and that brings us to our next reason.
Gel inverter batteries can easily become overcharged. This is because of the way they are designed. They are made to charge at low voltages only.
This is why gel inverter batteries use special chargers that come with regulators. If a Gel inverter battery is charged at a high voltage, it will be easily damaged.
But this doesn’t happen to a tubular battery. A tubular battery can withstand and charge at high voltages.
7. Round-trip Efficiency
During the process of charging and using an inverter battery, heat is generated. The generated heat is electrical energy being converted to heat energy. And we can say that the heat affects the battery since it loses energy in the form of heat.
As the heat increases, the battery’s efficiency decreases. This is why tubular inverter batteries have a round-trip efficiency of 70% to 80%.
However, gel inverter batteries have an efficiency that is up to 90%.
A tubular battery has a longer lifespan than a gel battery. Tubular batteries can last for 7 to 8 years on average.
On the other hand, gel batteries last for only 4 to 5 years.
Due to the unique components used to design gel inverter batteries, they are more expensive than tubular and flat plate inverter batteries.
What Is The Difference Between A Deep Cycle Battery And Tubular Inverter Battery?
This question was asked by one of our customers at Starplus Batteries. And it’s very funny. Do you know why?
Tubular inverter batteries are also deep cycle batteries. It’s just like asking the difference between a car and a vehicle.
Let’s start by explaining what a deep cycle battery means.
According to Crown Battery, a deep cycle battery is a lead battery that is manufactured to supply steady power over a long period and run until it discharges to 20% or less.
At this point, it will need to be recharged. Although a deep cycle battery can be discharged to 20% and even further, it is recommended to keep it above 45% before recharging. That way, you can prolong its lifespan.
Now, you know what a deep cycle battery means. A tubular inverter battery is also a deep cycle battery and the two should not be compared.
The Best Tubular Inverter Battery Manufacturer In Nigeria
The best inverter battery brand in Nigeria so far is Starplus Batteries.
“Starplus” is a brand under MMNL. MMNL is the best automobile and tubular inverter battery manufacturing company in Nigeria.
Starplus offers long-lasting inverter tubular batteries. Starplus tubular inverter batteries come in different capacities ranging from 130AH to 240AH.
These inverter batteries not only last long but are incredibly powerful too. The warranty ranges from 36 (18+18) months to 60 (36+24) months.
To purchase our inverter batteries or become a supplier, you can contact us here.