Flat Plate Battery vs Tall Tubular Battery – Which is better?

If you go through our Inverter Battery Guide, you will find terms like ‘Tall Tubular Battery,’ or ‘Flat Plate Battery,’ etc. These are some of the different battery types available today.

Besides the two types mentioned above, you also have the ‘Sealed Maintenance Free batteries. let us discuss the differences between the tall tubular and flat plate batteries.

Flat Plate Batteries

Flat Plate Battery (Source: Luminous)

You can refer to these batteries as first-generation batteries. Generally, these batteries are the most commonly used by Indians. These are the traditional lead-acid batteries with one lead electrode and the other lead dioxide. The electrode used is sulfuric acid.

These batteries are light and the most economical of all other batteries available on the market. These batteries have a disadvantage as they require comparatively more maintenance than others.

You have to replenish the distilled water in these batteries every three to six months, depending on your usage.

Delaying the refilling can end up damaging the battery. Of the different types of batteries available, the flat plate batteries are the most short-lived.

Besides, these batteries are comparatively unsafe to use because they regularly emit toxic gases when charging and discharging. Therefore, you need to place these batteries in adequately ventilated areas.

These disadvantages are primarily responsible for people preferring the tall tubular or the SMF batteries to power their inverters. Today, you do not have many inverter models compatible with flat plate batteries.

Pros of Flat Plate Batteries

  • The prime advantage of a flat plate battery is that they are the least expensive of the lot.
  • If you live in places where power cuts are rare, you can go for the flat plate battery.

Cons of Flat Plate Batteries

  • Flat plate batteries require regular maintenance and refilling of distilled water every three to six months.
  • It is not a good idea to use flat plate batteries for indoor use.
  • Compared to other batteries, flat plate batteries have a shorter lifespan.
  • It is not advisable to have flat plate batteries in areas experiencing extended power cuts because they are not built for deep discharging.
  • Compared to tubular batteries, flat plate batteries take more time to recharge.

Tall Tubular Batteries

The tubular batteries are improved versions of the flat plate batteries. Compared to the flat plate batteries, the tubular batteries require less maintenance. Hence, they last longer, even up to five years.

The difference between the two batteries is that the positive plate is replaced with a tube and a cloth covering for protection. It also enhances the battery’s efficiency levels.

Component wise, the tall tubular battery is also a lead-acid battery, but the tubular battery has ample protection in the form of cloth and a protective coating.

As a result, the decaying process is slower than a flat plate battery. It enhances its lifespan and reduces the number of distilled water toppings.

tall tubular battery
Recyclable Tall Tubular Inverter Battery (Source: Luminous)

Pros of Tall Tubular Batteries

  • The tubular batteries are built explicitly for deep discharging. Hence, they are ideal batteries to use in areas experiencing frequent and extended power cuts.
  • Compared to the flat plate batteries, the tubular batteries take less time for recharging. Therefore, you are better prepared to face the next power cut.
  • These cells require less water topping compared to flat plate batteries.
  • Though these are also lead-acid batteries, they are more reliable than flat plate batteries.
  • Manufacturers offer extended warranties on tall tubular batteries.

Cons of Tubular Batteries

  • Though requiring less maintenance, they still need water topping at regular intervals.
  • Compared to other batteries, the tubular cells are expensive.

Tall Tubular Batteries vs Flat Plate Batteries

FeatureFlat Plate BatteriesTall Tubular Batteries
Electrode TypePositive and Negative platesPositive tube and negative plate
Battery LifespanUp to three yearsUp to five years
EfficiencyAs this battery wastes current, it is comparatively less efficient.The tall tubular battery does not waste much power. Hence, these batteries are efficient.
MaintenanceHigh maintenance in the form of frequent distilled water toppingsComparatively low maintenance
Safety LevelsLow safetyLow safety
Release of toxic gasesYesYes
VentilationRequires ventilationRequires ventilation
WeightLow in weightHeavier in comparison
PricingComparatively cheaperExpensive compared to flat plate batteries


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