Raising Awareness: Tubular Lead Acid Battery Explosions in India

These are the few news articles I am quoting here for readers’ reference, where all the prominent newspapers reported the deaths caused by the explosion of tubular lead acid batteries in different parts of India. There are more stories I could attach to this article, but I feel the small sampling is enough to clear my point of view. The tubular lead Acid batteries explode, a significant reason for the same is Square wave Inverters/UPS charging these batteries.  When the Tubular Lead Acid battery explodes, it acts like a bomb, and people around get the impact and fire happens after the explosion. The Tubular Lead Acid battery has a plastic and lead plate and acid that spills around, and the parts of the plastic and lead plate’s small particles act like small shrapnels, which can be very dangerous when the tubular lead acid battery explodes. https://suvastika.com/the-dangers-of-tubular-lead-acid-battery-explosions-and-how-to-prevent-them/

People always think that the Inverter exploded, but it’s always the battery that explodes, and generally speaking, the Inverter attached to the battery is a real culprit for exploding the battery. The Square Wave Inverters, a 25-year-old technology, are still sold in India, which became the primary cause of the explosion. The Squarewave Inverters overcharge the battery in case the charger fails as there is no protection circuitry to stop the overcharging of the battery, which becomes the major concern of overcharging of Tubular Lead Acid batteries. Tubular batteries need a lot of maintenance as regular watering is required, and the cleaning of the vents is very important as the vents let the gasses of the battery release in the air, which is created while charging and discharging. If those vents are blocked, the gasses generated inside the Tubular batteries bulge first, after which they explode.

Hidden Danger: The Alarming Rise of Tubular Lead Acid Battery Explosions 

Across India, news reports are surfacing about the tragic deaths and injuries caused by exploding tubular lead acid batteries. While many mistakenly blame it on short circuits, it is not the fundamental factor but is Square wave inverter/UPS.

Tubular lead acid batteries have several intrinsic risks that users must be aware of:

  • Explosive Potential: Unlike lithium batteries, which may experience fires, lead acid batteries can explode with the force of a small bomb. Shrapnel from plastic battery components, lead fragments, and corrosive acid poses a significant danger to anyone nearby.
  • High Maintenance: These batteries require frequent watering and cleaning of vent holes to release gases produced during charging. If vents become blocked, pressure builds within the battery, leading to bulging and possible explosions.
  • Improper Installation: Untrained people can install tubular lead-acid batteries and inverters, which can be dangerous for life and safety. The place where an Inverter battery is installed becomes very important, as there is always a chance of danger, so keep the Inverter battery in tye ventillated place and away from things which can help the fire spread.

What Can Be Done?

The growing number of battery explosions highlights these urgent needs:

  • Consumer Awareness: The public needs clear warnings about the explosive risks of tubular lead acid batteries used with Square Wave INVERTER/UPS and instructions for safely handling and maintaining Tubular Lead Acid batteries.
  • Improved Inverter Technology: Inverters play a crucial role in these incidents. Manufacturers must ensure their inverters have reliable overcharging protection and safety features in Squarewave, mainly to prevent battery explosions.
  • Emphasis on Alternatives: While lead-acid batteries are standard due to their affordability, it’s time to promote safer alternatives like lithium batteries more actively. These batteries have the BMS built in to prevent Inverter Overcharging failure. So, if you want to use Squarewave inverters, use the lithium-ion battery, which has a built-in safety mechanism called BMS (Battery Managment System).

Safety Reminders

If you currently use tubular lead acid batteries, here are critical precautions:

  • Regular Maintenance: Check water levels and ensure vents are always clean to prevent gas buildup. also, check the over charcharging of the battery by keeping a multimeter if you are using a Square wave Inverter. For a 12V battery, you need to check the voltage of the inverter does not exceed the 14.4V level. One must be careful as a square wave inverter may cross this voltage and battery might explode.
  • Ventilation is Key: Install batteries in well-ventilated areas. Avoid enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Professional Installation: Consult a qualified electrician for installation and regular safety inspections.

It is vital to spread the word about the dangers of tubular lead acid batteries. By understanding the risks and promoting safer practices, we can hopefully prevent future tragedies.

Lithium batteries are generally considered safer than tubular lead acid batteries for a few reasons:

  • Built-in protection: Lithium batteries often have a Battery Management System (BMS) that regulates charging and discharging, preventing overvoltage, Undervoltage, and other conditions that can lead to overheating or damage. Tubular lead acid batteries lack this built-in protection.
  • Chemistry: Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) is a common type of lithium battery chemistry known for its stability. Tubular batteries contain lead acid, which can be explosive if improperly handled.
  • Leakage: Tubular lead acid batteries contain sulfuric acid, which is corrosive and hazardous if leaked. Lithium batteries are sealed units and pose no such risk.