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Tubular battery | What is it?

Updated: May 23, 2022

Tubular batteries are new hot cakes due to their enhanced performance and suitability with off-grid solar power plants. Now, since the booming of the solar industry and as the solar industry grows its demand grows too. However, with all the limelight, many peoples are unaware of how it differs from a standard battery because from the point of appearance both look identical.


However, its performance, durability and life expectancy are better than its counterpart standard flat plate battery.


In this blog, I will cover all the FaQs about tubular batteries.


What is a tubular battery?


Every battery has two main parts, that is its electrolyte and electrodes, here a battery is called tubular if its negative electrode is of tubular form. However, its positive electrode will remain flat type. Furthermore, the battery with both electrodes of flat plate type will be called a standard flat plate battery.



The tubular electrode design of the battery enhances its performance. Here, tubular electrodes use a frame structure consisting of a series of vertical spines connected to a common bus bar. Each spine is covered by non-conductive tubes filled with a paste of lead oxide active mass.


The below picture shows the design of tubular electrodes.


Also, the flat plate electrode design is shown below.




What is the advantage of tubular batteries?


Tubular batteries are designed for off-grid solar power plants and have several advantages over standard batteries, and some of them are mentioned below.

  • Low maintenance.

  • High life expectancy.

  • High charge cycle

  • Low self-discharge rate.

  • High discharge rate

  • High depth of discharge



For a more in-depth comparison between tubular batteries and standard batteries, read our blog on tubular batteries vs standard flat plate batteries.


Related Post: 👉🏻 Best battery for Solar Inverter

Is tubular battery AGM or flooded?


The tubular battery could be either AGM and Flooded type. If its electrolyte is made up of acid shocked glass mat then it will be called AGM tubular battery and if its electrolyte is made of liquid acid then it will be called a flooded tubular battery.


Furthermore, the requirement of maintenance and performance of a battery depends upon the type of electrolyte as well as electrode it has. A battery of AGM electrolyte required no maintenance however a battery of flooded type electrolyte required time to time water filling.



Does a tubular battery need distilled water?


If the electrolyte of the tubular battery is of flooded type then it needs distilled water from time to time as per maintenance procedure for working properly, however, if its electrolyte is of Gel type, it won’t require the same. Furthermore, the maintenance requirement of a tubular battery is still less than a standard flat plate battery.



The maintenance requirement of a battery is depended upon both the type of electrodes and electrolyte it has. Well-designed electrodes reduce the maintenance requirement of the battery. However, electrolytes like Gel type and AGM electrolyte completely eliminate the requirement of maintenance.


Furthermore, the price of the battery is also dependent upon the type of electrodes & electrolyte it has. A gel tubular battery required no maintenance, however, it is 50% costlier than a flooded tubular battery.


Click here, to learn more about the difference between Gel tubular batteries and flooded tubular batteries.

Are all tubular batteries deep cycle?


For a lead-acid battery, 50% of the depth of discharge is considered a deep cycle. Furthermore, tubular batteries are designed for solar applications, that required frequently deep discharge, high charge cycles and low maintenance. Hence tubular batteries are deep cycle batteries too.


Furthermore, the life expectancy of a battery is directly related to its charge cycle and depth of discharge. That means, for a low depth of discharge you will get a higher charge cycle and life expectancy.



Is tubular battery safe?


The main reason behind the explosion of lead-acid batteries is Hydrogen which is produced due to electrolysis of the water during charging. A flooded battery has produced more Hydrogen because its electrolyte is in liquid form however, a Gel and AGM battery produces hardly produces any gas because their electrolyte is not in liquid form. Hence, Gel tubular battery is far much safer than a flooded tubular and flooded flat plate battery.


Both Gel and Flooded batteries are a member of the Lead-Acid battery family.


During charging of a Lead-Acid battery, electrolysis of the water occurs and Hydrogen & oxygen is produced and these gases are discharged into the air via a vent. If these vents get choked or hydrogen gases get sparked by any external means, the battery will explode. Furthermore, an AGM and Gel battery hardly produces any gases.



However, a press release valve is used in AGM and Gel batteries hence these batteries are also called VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) batteries.


Which acid is used in tubular batteries?


The acid used in a tubular battery is the same as used in a standard flat plate battery, which is Sulfuric Acid. And the same acid is used in both flooded tubular and gel tubular batteries. However, in a gel tubular battery, this acid is in Gel form.


What is a tall tubular battery?


The electrode design of a Tall tubular battery is similar to a tubular battery. That is, its negative plate is made of a tubular structure and its positive plate is made of a flat plate structure. However, it has 30% higher electrolyte volume, is taller in size and is 11.7% more expensive than a tubular battery.


Increasing the volume of electrolyte enhances the performance of a battery, hence tall batteries have higher performance than tubular batteries. Learn more about tall tubular batteries vs tubular batteries.


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