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Tubular Versus Plate Lead Acid Batteries

Have you ever wondered how a lead-acid battery works, what battery is best, and how it makes our machines work? Today’s blog will go over two different types of lead-acid batteries, Tubular Plate versus The Flat Plate battery.

What is a battery?

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy contained within its active materials directly to electric energy. A battery is self-contained and can release energy over a period of days, weeks, months, or even years.

What is a lead-acid battery?

A lead-acid battery is the earliest type of rechargeable battery. It can supply high surge current while still at a low overall weight. This means lead-acid batteries have a relatively large power-to-weight ratio. Lead-acid batteries consist of flat lead plates immersed in a pool of electrolyte. Adding water is a requirement for most types of lead-acid batteries although low maintenance options are available. Improvements in materials and manufacturing methods continue to bring improvements in lead-acid battery energy life and reliability.

What are the different types of lead-acid batteries?

Today’s blog covers two different types of lead-acid batteries, the “Flat Plate battery” versus “The Tubular Battery”. In most cases, the negative plate is almost identical for both models. However, there is a major difference in design and performance. Note that the materials used for both designs are similar as well.

  • Flat Plate Battery: This battery consists of positive and negative plates that are assembled in grids.
  • The Tubular Battery: This battery consists of negative plates like the flat plate except for the positive part of the Tubular battery is made up of spines put underneath the tube packets. It is a much more complex design than the flat plate design.

What is the difference between Flat Plate and Tubular Plate Batteries?

As mentioned previously, there are similarities between the two batteries. However, knowing the difference is key to understanding and is explained below:

  • The basic difference comes from the change in design between the two batteries. As mentioned in section 3 the flat plate battery is simpler compared to the more complex design that comes with The Tubular Battery.
  • Flat plate batteries have a lower life expectancy, as the tubular battery sheds its active material at a slower rate.
  • Tubular batteries have a higher rate of producing then accepting current compared to the simpler flat plate battery. This is because the tubular battery is better suited in dealing with the high charging rates that come with fast charging and any other heavy-duty applications that require a steady sustained current.
  • Choosing a battery may depend on the application. Regular tubular batteries hold heat while flat plate batteries are generally more resistant to heat. Ensure that you have the correct battery for your application, as poor heat dissipation may cause your battery to deteriorate rapidly.


The tubular plate provides energy faster, has a larger electrical capacity, and provides a longer service life than its flat plate counterpart. In short, many highly favor the tubular positive plate design. Over the years advanced processes and machines have heavily reduced costs for the tubular design making it more efficient and easier to fabricate, providing a powerful battery at a competitive cost.

Interested in learning about Lithium-Ion batteries? Check out our previous blog!

If you have a question about lead-acid batteries, leave a comment below or Contact us! We love hearing feedback.

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