Aesthetic designs and heavy backup make industrial batteries an obvious choice

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Industrial tubular batteries have become smarter and now come with user friendly interfaces. The sturdy designs enable them to withstand high pressure and rugged climatic conditions

By Shweta Sengar

Monday, November 24, 2014: Industrial tubular batteries are rugged and are used in places that require a lot of power. They are recommended for highly productive applications since these batteries are extremely reliable. They are used for heavy power backups, mostly to cater to the infrastructure sector such as railways, power plants, telecom and others. They are capable of operating well even in high temperatures unlike other batteries. These batteries experience minimum water loss and their cyclic life is high. Their life expectancy goes up to 4-5 years and hence they are best suited for high end applications. They come with a sturdy yet convenient design.

The tubular batteries now available comply with the highest industrial standards. There are three main types of industrial tubular batteries, namely, conventional lead acid batteries, VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) batteries and nickel cadmium batteries. In India, players from both the organised and unorganised sectors compete in the industrial tubular batteries market. A reliable tubular battery is one which has the capability to offer uninterrupted heavy power backup. It takes into account a diverse mix of variables like load, battery life, DC bus voltage window, depth of discharge, criticality of operations and the charging facility. There are a lot of batteries in the market which meet all these specifications.

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What the market offers

Compact and sleek designs: Industrial tubular batteries have become smarter and now come with a user friendly interface. Their sturdy designs are capable of withstanding high pressure and rugged climatic conditions. Earlier, these batteries were large in size and required a lot of attention. However, it is a completely different scenario now. These batteries now come in a compact design and shape, with attached wheels, which makes them mobile. Also, they are now integrated with LED display panels allowing users to see the percentage of power backup available. Tubular batteries now use a unique technology through which a special material is encapsulated in polyester tubes to prevent shedding. The advancements in the battery domain have helped in making the electrical connections more secure and hassle free. Also, customers today do not have to buy a separate cabinet to accommodate batteries as the entire system is aesthetically designed and comes in a compact form factor. Exide offers such a product, the design for which is registered with the Indian patent office.

Different sizes and capacities: Along with the aesthetic designs, another differentiating feature of modern industrial tubular batteries is that they are available in various sizes and capacities to suit diverse user requirements. These batteries are designed in accordance with the norms laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Depending upon one’s requirements, users can choose from a variety of models. Exide’s Invago tubular battery comes with a mobile and sliding tray that facilitates easy topping up. The product was commercially launched in January 2014 after initial test marketing over six months. The battery is available in two sizes—150Ah and 200Ah in C20 ratings. “Exide tubular products come with a proprietary alloy and active mass formulation leading to longer life and higher performance. The state of the art manufacturing process increases the battery’s longevity and reduces the carbon footprint of the product, making it eco friendly,” informs Subir Chakraborty, director, industrial, Exide Industries Ltd.

Solar batteries: Keeping up with evolving trends, most players have expanded their portfolios and ventured into the solar and green segment. Artheon Electronics offers industrial tubular batteries that are suitable for solar applications. Recently, the company launched a 12V 12Ah solar tubular battery which has a very rugged design and is most ideal for small solar home light systems. “All our tubular batteries are manufactured as per IS 13369:1992. Apart from this, the products are updated from time to time depending upon the usage conditions, market updates and user preferences,” shares Sunil Bhatnagar, director marketing, Artheon Electronics Pvt Ltd.

Sturdy designs and high performance: Manufacturers today offer variants that can withstand harsh operating conditions. Okaya Power recently launched its lead acid batteries for inverter applications, called the HT 8048, ET 848 and DT 980. These batteries have a capacity of 200Ah @C20, which is touted to be the highest among any range of tubular batteries for inverters. The backup time of these batteries is more than 3.5 hours (at a standard testing load of 400W). Apart from this, Okaya’s tubular batteries boast of corrosion resistant alloys for spine and grid casting. Also, they are manufactured by high pressure die casting for a void free and fine grain structure of casting. “Okaya’s batteries have thick spines that facilitate extended life and a higher warranty period. These batteries use special chemicals for fast charge acceptance, and have a wider diameter for the gauntlets which helps in accommodating a greater quantity of active material, for higher capacity,” says Rajesh Gupta, director, Okaya. The batteries come with separators and gauntlets with lower electrical resistance. Okaya’s tubular batteries have a high capacity and offer long backup times. Combined with high performance, these batteries are easy to handle and use.

HBL’s industrial battery range offers high performance. Its Taurus industrial tubular batteries offer normal discharge and high discharge performance complying to IS 1651 specifications. HBL’s products cover a wide capacity range that permit selection of an optimum battery for a given application.

Low maintenance batteries: Unik Techno Systems Pvt Ltd has developed tubular batteries that do not require much maintenance. The batteries are manufactured keeping in mind their heating aspect (they come heat sealed). The tubular batteries are compatible with auto water top-up systems which are popularly known as auto fill systems. Unik Techno Systems recently launched its traction tubular batteries for industrial purposes. “The batteries are equipped with tubular positive plates consisting of LM alloy grids and properly balanced active material. They assure high efficiency as well as long service, and are also heat sealed with a leak proof construction,” says Ramesh Natarajan, director, Unik Techno Systems Pvt Ltd.

Buying tips

Several features and parameters need to be evaluated while selecting the right industrial tubular battery. The discharging rate of inverters is one aspect that should be considered seriously by buyers. The capacity of the battery and its life are other parameters that must be thoroughly checked. The space occupied by the battery or its size is another factor to look into before making a purchase decision. The customers should also check some of the following critical parameters before zeroing in on any particular industrial tubular battery:

  • Hours of backup required by the buyer and offered by the battery.

  • A buyer must ensure that the product is tested by agencies like MNRE, ERTL, ETDC, IEC, etc. The tests and reports from these agencies suggest that due care has been taken while manufacturing the industrial batteries.

  • The capacity of the battery is another key parameter. Customers should be aware about whether they are purchasing a C10 HR or C20 HR battery. C10 batteries are far superior to C20 HR batteries, when comparing batteries of the same capacity.

  • Warranty terms and conditions are also important. The MNRE guidelines suggest a warranty of 5 years. Therefore, it is of prime importance to check the credentials of the manufacturer and the warranty limit of the product.

  • The life of the battery, the maintenance required and after sales services offered by the company are other aspects to look into before making a purchase.

Artheon’s 12V-12Ah solar tubular battery (industrial)

  • Manufactured as per ISI 13369:1992

  • Suitable for solar applications

  • Manufactured as per BIS norms

 

Okaya Power’s tubular batteries – HT 8048, ET 848 and DT 980

  • Capacity of 200Ah @C20

  • Longer warranty period

  • Thicker spines for extended life

  • Corrosion resistant

 

Exide’s Invago

  • Bottom mounted wheels on which the product can move freely; hence there’s no need to drag or lift the product

  • Top mounted tray to house the home UPS. No external casing required

  • Sliding tray to facilitate easy topping up

  • Available in two sizes

  • Comes with C20 ratings

 

Unik Techno Systems’ traction batteries

  • Heat-sealed batteries

  • Lead connectors shrouded with plastic to ensure safety

  • Thick negative plates for deep cycle applications

 

HBL’s Taurus tubular batteries

  • Superior polypropylene structural foam molded for improved rigidity in containers

  • Spine grids produced on high pressure die casting machines gives defect free grid with fine grain structure

  • High acid reservoir resulting in reduced need for water top up even in extreme environmental conditions

  • Low antimony alloy minimises water loss thereby reduces the topping up frequencies

  • Heavy duty tubular plates for excellent cycle life (1500 cycles at 80 per cent DOD and 5000 cycles at 20 per cent DOD)

  • Low self discharge rate of less than 3 per cent per month at 27°C

 

Advantages of the latest industrial batteries

  • Performance that conforms to set standards even under contrasting climatic conditions

  • Speedy charge acceptance

  • Exceedingly long life

  • Relatively low maintenance

  • Environment friendly by ensuring minimum acid fumes

Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine

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