Power Supplies & Batteries

Global Stationary Lead Acid (SLA) Battery Market

This study covers the state of the World stationary lead acid (SLA) battery market, examining drivers and restraints for growth, distribution, and technology and demand trends. In addition, an in-depth analysis of the competitive marketplace including vendors' market shares is performed. The base year is 2010, with forecasts running through 2017. The market is further divided into sub segments such as: construction type, end-user verticals, and distribution channels. The geographic regions covered are North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of World.
Published: 19 Aug 2011

This Frost & Sullivan research service titled Global Stationary Lead Acid (SLA) Battery Market provides an in-depth analysis of the market drivers and restraints, industry trends, and competitive environment in addition to the challenges faced by market participants. In this study, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following construction formats: valve-regulated (sealed) and flooded (wet).

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Market Overview

Demand Upsurge for Backup Power Systems Stokes Growth in the Global Stationary Lead Acid (SLA) Battery Market

The global stationary lead acid (SLA) battery market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 percent from 2011 to 2017. SLAs have been used for well over a century as a backup/standby power solution in support of various critical applications. Over time, SLA batteries have established a solid reputation as a reliable and rugged solution. The environmentally friendly nature and widespread product availability strengthens the position of SLA batteries as the solution of choice for many industrial-based end users

Extensive distribution and service networks are contributing to strong uptake of the technology. “As society turns progressively more mobile, the need for reliable power sources intensifies,” notes the analyst of this research service. “The networks supporting this mobility are becoming more microprocessor based and are sensitive, requiring high-quality power sources.” In terms of cost effectiveness, SLAs have established a clear lead ahead of competing energy storage solutions. Cost efficiency is measured by initial investment and maintenance costs, as well as performance reliability, and widespread availability for addressing time-sensitive replacement situations. Although alternative battery chemistries, such as lithium ion polymer, nickel-cadmium (NiCd), and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) are gaining steady traction in the market, there is no threat of an industry transition to these energy storage solutions any time soon.

Lack of Product Differentiation and Volatile Lead Prices Limit Industry Profit Margins

Limited product differentiation is rampant throughout this mature market. Failure to discern product quality allows less capable units to force prices down and presents an illusion that units are identical and devoid of performance variance. A major challenge within the SLA battery market currently is the extreme volatility of lead prices. From 2009 to 2010, the industry witnessed increases of nearly 45 percent. Constant pricing adjustments to compensate for such drastic fluctuations are highly impractical. As a result vendors absorb the cost difference initially until it is eventually passed on to the consumer. Factors such as global competition among SLA battery manufacturers, production overcapacity in some areas, and overall mature market conditions have dented profit margins. “SLA battery manufacturers have no control over the cost of lead as a means of lowering production costs,” explains the analyst. “However, mergers and acquisitions as well as strategic partnerships serve well in leveraging production and distribution capabilities, helping to achieve economies of scale to offset the impact of the highly unpredictable costs of manufacturing components.” Mergers and acquisitions have increased brand awareness as well as network distribution capabilities and expanded presence.

To ensure successful business outcomes, participants in this space must identify and focus on the high-potential segments. The fastest-growing application segments for SLA batteries are telecommunications and UPS/data communication. These segments will continue to represent the highest growth opportunities as the services and user-base supported by these networks continue to expand at a feverish pace.

Market Sectors

Expert Frost & Sullivan analysts thoroughly examine the following market sectors in this research:

By Equipment Type:

  • Valve-regulated (sealed)
  • Flooded (wet)

By End-use Vertical:

  • Telecommunications
  • Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS)/Data Communication
  • Utilities
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Security Systems
  • Cable TV/Broadcasting
  • Oil & Gas Exploration
  • Renewable Energy Systems
  • Railway Backup Systems
  • Other Applications (robotic/lawn and garden equipment, industrial instrumentation, among others)

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