An inverter battery is a critical part of the home inverter system. It is the battery that determines the backup time during a power cut. It is, therefore, important to have a good understanding of an inverter battery before you buy one. If you, too, are looking to buy an inverter battery here are a few things that you must know before you make a buying decision.
Determining the Right Battery Capacity
There are two important factors to consider when determining a battery’s capacity.
1. Power Requirement
It depends on the number of appliances you want to run during the power cut. More the number of appliances you want to run, higher the battery capacity you would require.
2. Duration of power cut
If you live in an area where there are longer cuts then you would need a battery with a higher capacity. That’s because in case you buy a battery with lower capacity, it would drain before the power gets restored.
Types of Inverter Batteries
# Flat-plate Batteries
Just like any other lead-acid battery, flat-plate batteries are made up of two flat-plates – a negative and a positive. Flat-plate batteries are ideal for areas where there aren’t too many power cuts. A major advantage of using this battery is that it gets charged quickly. However, they tend to shed their active material over time. The lead wire (in the flat-plate electrode) is attacked by the acid resulting in grid corrosion – a common reason for battery failure. Thus, they have a shorter life span (and a shorter warranty period).
# Tubular Batteries
A tubular battery is also a kind of lead-acid battery that is comparatively bigger in size as compared to flat-plate batteries. They are highly recommended for areas that experience longer power cuts, such as tier 2 or tier 3 cities, and city outskirts. They require fewer water top-ups (as the water loss is low) and are easy to maintain. Besides, they are more reliable. However, they tend to take up more space (because of their large sizes) and are slightly more expensive than a flat-plate battery. With less positive plate shedding, they have a higher cyclic life, and therefore, a higher life expectancy and a longer warranty period.
# Gel Batteries
Gel batteries are more expensive as compared to flat-plate and tubular batteries. And that’s because they offer more power backup cycles. Gel batteries make use of a special type of silica gel that binds the electrolytes together, ensuring more power backup and higher efficiency. They do not emit toxic gases and are environment-friendly. Lastly, gel batteries’ performance doesn’t drop with time. They continue to perform the same throughout their lifespan. These batteries do not require any maintenance.
Relevance of Warranty in a Battery
The warranty period of a battery is the period for which the manufacturer provides cost-free services to rectify any defect that occurs in the battery. Manufacturers provide different warranty periods depending upon the capacity of inverter batteries. This is done to make sure a particular capacity of a battery is available at different prices – and you can choose any depending upon your budget. The warranty, however, plays no role in the power backup of the battery.
What is a Flat warranty and a Pro-rata warranty?
Let us try and understand this with the help of an example. Let’s say a battery manufacturer is offering a 30+15 months of warranty on their battery. It means during the first 30 months the manufacturer is offering a flat warranty. If the battery fails during this period the manufacturer would offer a free battery replacement/service. During the next 15 months, the manufacturer offers a pro-rata warranty. It means during month 31 to 45, the manufacturer will offer a certain discount percentage on the purchase of a new battery while returning the old battery. Discount percentage will depend upon the number of months the old battery has been used during the Pro-rata period.
Maintenance of Inverter Batteries
- Keep the battery in a cool, ventilated space, away from direct sunlight.
- Keep it away from children.
- Make sure the battery water indicators aren’t open.
- Do not add acid to the batteries.
- Always check the float indicators, and top-up if required
- Top up battery only with distilled water and not rain or tap water
Do not discard non-functional batteries. Don’t just throw them away on roads or in dustbins. Instead, send it to the distributor for recycling. If you are buying from a reputable brand like Luminous, you can get a good discount on your new battery, provided you return the old one to the company.