How do you compare flooded batteries (flat plate, tubular type) with sealed maintenance free VRLA batteries, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?

How do you compare flooded batteries (flat plate, tubular type) with sealed maintenance free VRLA batteries, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?

For Inverter/UPS applications, a general comparison of the different battery types is provided below: 

 

Flat plate (Flooded)

Tubular (Flooded)

SMF VRLA

Suitable for

Low power applications Heavy duty applications, frequent power cuts UPS applications, back-up time less than 1hr

Price

Low Medium High

Life expectancy

Around 3 yrs 4 to 5 years 3 to 5 years

Tolerance to depth of discharge

Suitable for discharges upto 80% of battery capacity Suitable for discharges upto 80% of battery capacity Suitable for discharges upto 50% of battery capacity

Cyclic operation life (Charge cycles at 80% Depth-of-Discharge)

500 – 800 cycles 1000– 1200 cycles 400 – 450 cycles

Charging time

Charges slowly compared to tubular batteries Faster charging Faster charging

Temperature performance

Inferior operation compared to tubular batteries Satisfactory operation at extreme temperatures (both high and low) Capacity reduces significantly at higher temperatures

Electrolyte top-up frequency

Frequent water top up required Less frequent top up No top up required

Space requirement

High Medium Low

Battery placement

Fixed Fixed Can be placed in any orientation

Battery Emissions

High, proper ventilation required Lower emissions compared to flat plate, proper ventilation required No battery emissions

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