Updated: Mar 2
Batteries are available in different capacities and can be produced by different technologies. A 150Ah, 100Ah and 200Ah rated inverter batteries are the most common size of battery available in the market. They are available in tall-tubular, tubular [also known as short tubular], Flat plate and Gel.
All different types of batteries have different prices and properties too. Some batteries are costlier than others due to the technology used to produce them. And the use of different technologies to produce these batteries makes them suitable for different applications and different environmental conditions.
Learn more about 100Ah Vs 200Ah Vs 150Ah.
In this blog, I cover 4 types of lead-acid batteries that are easily available in the market.
Flat Plate battery: Flat plates are one of the most common types of batteries used in home inverters. These are also some of the cheapest ones. The Lead plate uses in these batteries are Flat in construction but the dimension of them is almost identical to short tubular batteries.
The only way to differentiate Flat plate from short tubular is to check the details marked on their sticker. If you can find a named tubular on it then assume it is a Flat plate.
Tubular [short tubular] battery: The plate electrodes of the tubular battery use a frame structure and are in tubular form. They are higher reliable than Flat Plate and have both good thermal and electrical properties.
Their life span is higher than flat plate and they have a higher charge cycle [one charge cycle = 80% discharge than fully charged] as compared to flat plate batteries.
Tall-Tubular battery: The plate electrodes of tall-tubular are also in tube form but they are big in size and can be easily identified. It has 30 to 35% more Acid volume per Ampere hour as compared to a tubular battery. It can withstand overcharge better than other batteries.
Their life span, charge cycle, thermal and electrical properties all are better than Tubular batteries [and Flate plate batteries].
Gel battery: Gel battery is not very common in India, but they have some technological advantages over other types of lead-acid batteries. The basic internal construction of a Gel battery is similar to that of the flooded battery.
Tall-Tubular, Short Tubular and Flat Plate all are also called flooded or wet battery because their electrolyte is in liquid form
Whereas the electrolyte of the Gel battery is in Gel form. They are resistant to spills and leakage, they can also be shipped by air and you can mount them upside down or on the side.
They need no maintenance and have a very low self-discharge rate [Self-discharge is the capacity loss that occurs within a battery even when it is not connected to a load]. Gel batteries produce low to no hazard gases unless overcharging. Learn more about Why lead-acid batteries self-discharged.
With all these available different types of batteries, it is confusing to choose the right battery. Choosing the wrong battery will either make you pay a high amount and you may never know that you pay a high amount or you may select the wrong battery that won’t fulfil your need.
Best battery for High frequency of power cuts/Living off-grid
The problem with high power cuts and living off-grid is that your battery will charge and discharge daily and this affects the life of the battery.
And with such a type of charge cycle, Tall-Tubular batteries are the most economical option available for you. They have the highest battery life which is 5-8 years and is suitable for regular power cuts, long backups and heavy loads (like AC).
Tall-tubular battreis requreid inverter with charging option for tubular battreis
Before buying tall-tubular batteries make sure that your inverter has the option to charge tubular batteries. And the reason, why it is important is that tall tubular batteries required a high charging current to get charged fast.
Using a normal inverter to charge a tall-tubular battery will increase the charging time of your battery. And you won’t get a fully charged battery before the next power cut.
Due to high battery life, these batteries also have the highest warranty period as compared to any other type of battery.
And these are
Best 200Ah Tall tubular batteries:
Luminous Red Charge RC 25000 200 Ah: Comes with 36 months of warranty, one of the best sellers of Luminous. Highly recommended for off-grid solar power plants.
Best 150Ah Tall tubular batteries:
Luminous Red Charge RC 18000 150 Ah Tall Tubular: Comes with 36 months of Warranty, a best seller on Amazon
Luminous Shakti Charge SC18054 150Ah Tall Tubular: Comes with 54 Months of Warranty 11.7% more expensive than Luminous RC18000 150Ah and has 47% Electrolyte higher volume. Higher electrolyte volume gives it better charge and discharge property and makes it more rigid than Luminous RC18000 150Ah and hence comes with an extra warranty period.
Special Note: If you compare price per month of warranty period [cost/warantty period] then you will find that Luminous RC 18000 is 34% costlier than Luminous Shakti.
Best 100Ah Tall tubular batteries:
Luminous LPTT12100H 100Ah: Comes with 60 months of warranty, highly recommend for small [200 watts to 500 watts] off-grid solar power plants.
Best battery for Medium & Lower frequency of power cuts
Battery for heavy loads.
Tall-Tubular and short Tubular both are suitable for heavy loads like ACs. Whereas short tubular are most economical for heavy loads and medium and low frequency of power cuts. If power cuts in your regions are not on daily basis and you are not living off-grid then buying Tall-tubular will be a waste of money.
Heavy loads like Air conditioners required a high current and this high current will increase the temperature of the battery. The increased temperature reduces the life of the battery. Tubular batteries have better thermal properties as compared to flat plate batteries. Hence, it is not recommended to use flat plate batteries for heavy loads.
It is recommended to charge Tubular batteries with an inverter having a charging option for them to get charged fast. A normal inverter will take more time to charge these batteries as compared to inverters for tubular batteries.
Best 150Ah [Short] tubular batteries:
LUMINOUS RedCharge RC 18000 ST 150AH Short Tubular: Comes with 36 months of warranty and is 8% cheaper than its tall-tubular counterpart.
Since the charge cycle for medium and lower frequency power cuts is lower than the daily power cuts. Under regular maintenance, you will get more battery life than warranted.
Best 120Ah [Short] tubular batteries:
Luminous Red Charge RC 15000 120 Ah: Comes with 36 months of warranty and only 1000 INR cheaper than 150Ah short tubular battery
If you compare the price per Ah rating of both 120Ah and 150Ah short tubular batteries, you will find that 150Ah is giving more value to money.
Battery for light loads.
Both tubular and flat plates are suitable for light loads but Flat plate batteries are most economical for light loads. Another advantage of using a flat plate battery is that you can use any normal inverter. You won’t need a specific inverter just like you need tubular and gel batteries.
Best 150Ah Flat Plate batteries:
Livguard 150Ah Invertuff Flat Plate Battery: Comes with 36 months of warranty and best economical battery for light loads.
Best battery for a very low frequency of power cut.
Gel type batteries are most suitable for places where power cuts are very rare. And the reasons are the following.
Gel battery required no water fill up, hence you don’t need to check the water level from time to time.
These batteries have a very low self-discharge rate, which is 3-5% per month as compared to 12-15% per month of flooded batteries.
Before buying Gel batteries, you need to confirm first that your inverter has a Gel battery charging option. And the reason why it is important is that gel batteries required a little high voltage to charge as compared to other lead-acid batteries.
Charging Gel batteries with normal inverters will end you up with semi charged battery. And you won’t able to use the full capacity of the battery.
Best 150Ah Gel batteries:
Luminous InverGel IGSTJ 18000 150 Ah Gel Tubular Battery: comes with 48 months of warranty.
Since gel batteries are not much popular in India, due to lack of awareness there are not many options of gel batteries available in India.