SLA Battery – Its Various Types And Benefits

What is an SLA battery

SLA battery stands for Sealed Lead Acid battery. There is also a battery called the VRLA battery, or Valve Regulated Lead Acid battery. A sealed lead acid battery is a rechargeable battery.

Sealed lead acid and valve-regulated batteries are subsets of the lead acid battery, which is typically found in the flooded form. In a sealed battery, the hydrogen gas generated by the chemical reaction during charging cycles is reabsorbed into the electrolyte. A safety outlet prevents excessive pressure buildup of the gases.

This allows the sealed battery to eradicate regular top-ups of distilled water as it encounters minimal electrolyte loss, unlike a flooded lead-acid battery. However, it requires more exacting charging controls to keep hydrogen production in check.

SLA batteries as a battery power backup

Lead acid batteries have been in service since the 1980s for many commercial applications where they were accepted wholly due to their rechargeable capabilities. A typical lead acid battery has an internal chemistry that comprises two lead electrodes interacting with an electrolyte substance. One lead (Pb) electrode works as the negative lead anode and the other electrode consists of a lead dioxide (PbO2) positive cathode to elicit a charge. The electrolyte may be in the form of a paste coating the electrode, named a dry cell, or a liquid sulfuric acid in a sealed container referred to as a wet cell.

Lead acid batteries can be in a variety of types based on the acquisition material compositions such as calcium and antimony. The most familiar backup battery systems are flooded lead acid batteries with liquid sulfuric acid electrolytes, and valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) or sealed acid (SLA) batteries with safety valves to work with the hydrogen and oxygen gases that depart the cells during charging and discharging.

SLA batteries in various sectors

When battery backup power systems for commercial settings are in talk, most people think about big companies in the telecommunications, utilities, and healthcare industries in demand for emergency sources of power when a power surge occurs. Yet, small and large companies also require backup batteries for various ranges of operations.

Businesses depend on backup battery systems for their network servers, IT departments, and data centers to secure their computing environments and can continue running during business disruptions. These sectors also use backup power systems to operate emergency fire alarms and lighting, security systems, and operation control systems in industrial applications.

The Benefits Of Using An SLA Battery

A sealed lead acid battery delivers several advantages:

  • It’s maintenance-free: there’s no need to top-up the electrolyte solution
  • It’s a leak-proof battery system. So there is no chance of electrolyte spillage
  • SLA battery is position insensitive which means it can be  placed in any position, unlike the traditional flooded lead acid battery, which must always be upright
  • It has a low self-discharge rate: which results in better charge retention
  • It’s easier to ship: they are classified as non-hazardous, compared to the flooded lead acid battery (which is shipped separately from the sulfuric acid)

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