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Battery Terminology

We are used to thinking of a battery as a very simple thing. It is basically a device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy and vice versa. But understanding all the battery terminology can be challenging. Below you can find a summary, aiming to introduce you to important battery terminology.

  • Ampere Hours

An ampere hour is a unit of measure for a battery’s capacity. One ampere-hour is a current of one ampere flowing for one hour.

  • Capacity

Battery capacity is the number of ampere-hours a battery can carry under certain conditions of discharge.

  • Voltage

Electromotive force or electrical potential difference, expressed in volts (V).

  • Cell

A battery cell is a electrochemical unit used to store electrical energy. It is generally on the order of one to six volts.

  • Charge

Charge is the process of restoring electrical energy to a cell or battery.

  • Discharge

Discharge occurs when a battery is delivering current.

  • Cycle

The process of discharging and then recharging a battery.

  • Cycle Life

The number of cycles a cell or battery provides before failure. The term is generally used to specify a battery’s expected life, because the number of cycles affects battery life more than the passage of time.

  • Cycle Use

When a battery is being used as a direct power source on a regular basis and it is being discharged and subsequently recharged. Example: electric scooter battery.

  • Standby Use

When a battery is being used as a back up power. Example: a battery in a UPS unit.

  • Battery Terminals

Battery terminals are used to connect a battery to its application or to a charger. You can view the most common SLA battery terminals here.

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