Battery Dictionary

Jul 18th 2017

Battery Dictionary



See Sulfuric Acid

Active Materials
Materials in a battery that react chemically to produce eletrical energy.

AED Battery
Medical battery used in an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Absorbed Glass Mat battery: See Sealed Lead Acid

Alkaline Battery
Primary battery (non-rechargeable) containing alkaline chemicals. Used in most consumer electronics like radios, clocks, remote controls, etc.

Alternating Current
Abbreviation AC; electrical current that continually reverses direction.

Ambient Temperature
The temperature of the surroundings a battery is exposed to.

Instrument for measuring electrical current.

Symbol: Ah - A unit of measurement for electric current.

The product of current (amperes) multiplied by time (hours). Used to indicate the capacity of a battery; also seen as Amp Hr, Ah or A.H.

What unit or equipment the battery will be used in.

Aqueous Battery
Cell(s) that contain water.

Automotive Battery
See SLI Battery

Available Capacity
Ampere-hours that can be discharged from a battery based on its state of charge, rate of discharge, ambient temperature, and specified cut-off voltage.

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A container consisting of one or more cells, in which chemical energy is converted into electricity and used as a source of power.

Battery Capacity
The maximum total electrical charge, expressed in ampere-hours or milliamp-hours, which a battery can deliver to a load under a specific set of conditions.

Battery Charger
A device for charging/recharging a battery.

Battery Council International
Abbreviated BCI; not-for-profit trade association formed to promote the interests of an international battery industry.

Button Cell
Also known as lithium cells or coin cells; a small single cell, usually non-rechargeable and the size of a button on a garment, is generally used in wrist watches, calculators, hearing aids, car keys and more.

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C Battery
A standard size of battery that is generally used in medium-drain applications such as electronics, cameras, toys, musical instruments and more.

Cadmium (Cd)
A chemical element highly resistant to corrosion, used as a protective plating on certain parts and fittings.

The amount of charge available; normally listed as amp-hours or milli amp-hours.

Carbon Zinc
A primary battery (non-rechargeable) found in low or moderate drain consumer products. Sizes available are the same as the Alkaline and Manganese Dioxide.

Basic “building block” of a battery. In a battery it is the power source. A cell is a single energy or charge-storing unit within a pack of cells that form the battery. Each cell has a voltage rating that is combined with the other cells' voltages to form the overall battery voltage rating.

An instrument that charges or replenishes storage batteries.

To energize (a battery) by passing current through it in the direction opposite to discharge.

Refers to the type of battery in terms of the chemical make-up. It is the type of chemicals and metals used in a battery. Most common chemistries are lead, nickel and lithium. When shipping and/or disposing of a battery, observe the chemistry; each type has a different regulatory requirement.

Cold Cranking Amps
Abbreviated CCA; Most widely used cranking measurement. CCA is the amount of current a battery can provide at 0 °F (−18 °C). The rating is defined as the current a lead-acid battery at that temperature can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12-volt battery).

Constant-Current Charge
Charge process where the current applied to the battery is maintained at a constant value.

Constant-Voltage Charge
A charge process in which the voltage applied to a battery is held at a constant value.

Conventional Battery
Consists of flooded electrolyte and cell accessible construction.

Cranking Amps
Abbreviated CA; sometimes referred to as marine cranking amperes (MCA), CA is the amount of current a battery can provide at 32 °F (0 °C). The rating is defined as the number of amperes a lead-acid battery at that temperature can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12 volt battery).

A flow of electric charge.

Cut-Off Voltage
Cut-off voltage differs from battery to battery; and varies depending on the system the battery is being used in. Once the cut-off voltage is reached the battery is considered to be fully discharged. At that time it is ideal to stop discharging.

When a battery is discharged and then recharged.

Cycle Life
The total number of cycles the cell can sustain before its capacity is significantly reduced.

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D Battery
D cell is a size of a battery, can be found in both rechargeable and non-rechargeable. A cylindrical cell with electrical contacts at each end, is generally used in high drain applications like flashlights, radios, transmitters and more.

Deep Cycle
A cycle in which the discharge is continued until the battery reaches it’s cut-off voltage, usually 80% of discharge

The process of reversing the process of sulfation that occurs to a lead-acid battery over time. Desulfation restores, at least partially, the ability of the battery to hold a charge over the life of the battery originally caused by sulfation.

Direct Current
Abbreviation DC; the movement of electrival charge in one direction.

Conversion of a battery's chemical energy into electrical energy; energy being released from a battery.

Discharging of a battery; gradually depleting a battery of its electrical charge.

Dry Charged Battery
A storage battery in which the electrolyte is drained from the battery for storage; it is then filled with electrolyte and charged for use.

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A conductor through which current enters or leaves a cell.

A substance that disassociated into two or more ions when dissolved in water. In batteries, electrolyte implies a dilute solution of sulfuric acid.

External Battery
Portible battery pack and charger for devices like cell phones, laptops, tablets, eReaders, medical devices and more.

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F1 Terminal
A battery terminal generally found on Sealed Lead Acid batteries. The metal F1 connector is 1/8" (0.187"). The F stands for Faston.

F2 Terminal
A battery terminal generally found on Sealed Lead Acid batteries. The metal F2 connector is 1/4" (0.25"). The F stands for Faston.

Also known as blade terminal; commonly described as the metal tab on a battery.

Faston Polarized
Abbreviated FP; usually refers to a Sealed Lead Acid battery with a positive F2 and negative F1 terminal.

Floating Charge
See Trickle Charge

Flame Retardant
Chemicals used on batteries, and other items, that inhibit or resist the spread of fire.

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Gel Cell
Non-spillable battery where the acid is in the form of a gel (virtually maintenance free).

Group Size
Determines a battery's physical demensions (length, width and height). Battery manufacturers make batteries in different sizes. The sizes are identified as different "group size" by BCI (see BCI for definition).

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High Rate Battery
Battery that can handle larger currents for a short period of time; a withdrawal of large currents for short intervals.

Hot Cranking Amps
Abbreviated HCA; HCA is the amount of current a battery can provide at 80 °F (26.7 °C). The rating is defined as the current a lead-acid battery at that temperature can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12-volt battery).

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Internal Resistance
Resistance within a cell or battery to the flow of electric current.

Intrinsically Safe
Abbreviated IS; intrinsically safe batteries can be used in locations where flammable gas, vapors or combustible dust may be present.

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J Battery
A battery typically used for medical applications, remote controls, or in devices with a flat area or where the battery should not be put in reverse polarity.

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Symbol: kV - A measure of voltage; a kilovolt equals one thousand volts (1 volt is equal to 0.001 kilovolt).

Symbol: kW - A measure of power; a kilowatt equals one thousand watts (1 watt is equal to 0.001 kilowatt).

Kilowatt Hour
Symbol: kWh or kW-h - Is an energy unit. One kilowatt-hour is defined as the energy consumed by power consumption of 1kW during 1 hour.

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Symbol: Pb - chemical element used in lead acid batteries

See Sealed Lead Acid

Symbol: Li - soft silver-white element of the alkali metal group that is the lightest metal known and is used in batteries and in chemical synthesis.

Lithium Iron Phosphate
LiFePO4 or LFP - rechargeable battery with a long life. Lithium iron phosphate is a compound used in batteries.

Lithium Manganese Dioxide
Primary battery (non-rechargeable) designed for high discharge devices.

Lithium Polymer
Rechargeable battery using solid polymer as an electrolyte; this type requires heat to promote connectivity.

Lithium Primary
Non-rechargable battery offers high energy density; generally has a long shelf life, used in portable consumer electronic devices.

Secondary battery (rechargeable) use a variety of cathodes and electrolytes. Commonly used in cell phones and computers/laptops.

Lithium-Ion Polymer
Rechargeable battery (simular to Li‑ion batteries) with a solid polymer as an electrolyte; addition of gelled conductive material promotes conductivity.

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Marine Cranking Amps
Abbreviated MCA; See Cranking Amps

Memory Effect
A battery that is gradually shortened if it is recharged before it is completely discharged. This is most common in Nickel Cadium (NiCD) batteries.

Symbol: mA - A unit of current equal to one thousandth of an ampere.

Symbol: mV - A unit of potential difference equal to one thousandth of a volt.

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Negative Terminal
Terminal from which current flows through the external circuit to the positive terminal when the cell is discharging.

Nickel Cadmium
Abbreviated Ni-CD, NiCD, or Ni-Cad; secondary battery (rechargeable) recommended for low to moderate discharge devices.

Nickel Metal Hydride
Abbreviated Ni-MH or NiMH; secondary battery (rechargeable) commonly used in high discharge devices. Generally has a longer service life than a nickel cadium battery (under the same conditions)

Nominal Voltage
The voltage given by a manufacturer as the recommended voltage a device is designed to operate.

Nonaqueous Battery
Cell(s) that do not contain water.

Nut and Bolt Terminal
Abbreviated NB; Type of terminal usually found on Sealed Lead Acid batteries, contains a nut and bolt through a lug. There are many different sizes available.

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The SI unit of electrical resistance

Ohm's Law
Ohm's Law is made from 3 mathematical equations that shows the relationship between electric voltage, current and resistance.

Open Circuit
An incomplete electrical circuit in which no current flows.

Open Circuit Voltage
Abbreviated OCV or VOC - The voltage between two points when they are not connected by a load circuit.

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Parallel Connection
Wiring configuration that increases amperage, while the voltage remains the same. Wiring is positive to positive (+ to +) and negative to negative (- to -).

Is the positive and negative present in an electrical circuit, batteries, chargers and so on.

Positive Terminal
The terminal that current flows forward in the external circuit from the negative terminal.

Primary Battery
A non-rechargeable battery; designed to be used once and then discarded.

Primary Cell
A cell that cannot be recharged.

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No words starting with "Q" at this time

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Reserve Capacity
Abbreviated RC or RCM; is the number of minutes that the battery can deliver 25 amps while keeping its voltage above 10.5 volts

See Secondary Battery

A device that converts AC power to DC power.

Replacement Battery Cartridge
Abbreviated RBC; battery or battery packs for UPS systems. Found in many different sizes and configurations, identified by a number - Example RBC7, RBC11, RBC24 and so on.

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SAE Post
Battery terminals commonly found on starter/automotive batteries; is available in different sizes.

Sealed lead acid
Secondary battery (rechargeable), also known as Lead Acid, Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM), or valve-regulated lead-acid battery (VRLA), is a low-maintenance battery that does not require regular addition of water or acid to the cells.

Secondary Battery
A rechargeable battery; designed to be discharged and then re-charged for continuous use.

Self Discharge
Loss of capacity during storage. All batteries self discharge; the discharge varies with battery type and chemistry.

Series Connection
Wiring configuration that increases voltage, while the amperage remains the same. Wiring is positive to negative (+ to -); positive (+) terminal of the first battery to the negative (-) terminal of the second battery.

Shelf Life
The length of time a battery can remain in storage without losing its energy capacity.

Happens when the electric current does not reach the powered device.

Silver Oxide
Primary battery (non-rechargeable) come in two types, one with sodium hydroxide electrolyte and the other with potassium hydroxide electrolyte. Sodium hydroxide has two to three years of service life with products that have low to moderate current drains. Potassium hydroxide are designed for higher current drains.

Spring Terminal
Abbreviated SP; collapsible positive and negative contacts generally found on Sealed Lead Acid batteries.

Starting-Lighting-Ignition Battery
Abbreviation SLI; usually refered to as an automotive battery, a type of lead acid battery that gives power to the starter motor, lights and the ignition system.

Is cystallization of lead sulfate. Crystals form on the plate which block the electrolyte from entering into the pores of the plates.

Sulfuric Acid
The electrolyte or liquid in a cell.

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Taper Charge
Once the battery is nearly charged, the charge current is reduced. With the addition of small resistance, a taper charge is accomplished.

Electrical contacts on a single cell or multiple cell battery. Terminals come in all types of shapes and sizes and vary depending on the type of battery.

Thermal Runaway
Uncontrolled increase in temperature; results are usually destructive. General causes are increase in ambient temperature or system failures.

Toy Battery Connectors
Common on Power Wheels; TH is the H-connector or TS is the S-Connector. Please refer to the battery terminal page for an image of these connectors.

Threaded Stud
Abbreviated TS; a type of battery terminal commonly found on marine batteries; comes in an assortment of sizes.

Trickle Charge
Keeps a charged battery from discharging, essentially “tops off” a battery. Once a battery reaches a full charge on a charger; the charging voltage is reduced to a lower level to decrease the risk of overcharging a battery.

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Uninterruptible Power Supply
Abbreviated UPS; a system that generally uses batteries to supply power to a load when the utility is not present or is not at an acceptable level.

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Symbol: V - Unit of electromotive force, the difference of potential that would drive one ampere of current against one ohm resistance.

Voltage End-Point
See Cut-Off Voltage

Valve-Regulated Lead–Acid battery: See Sealed Lead Acid

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Symbol W - A quantitative measurement of electrical power taking into account power factor. Watts are calculated by multiplying volts times amps times power factor.

Watt Hour
Symbol Wh - Electrical power measured in terms of time.

Wet Cell
A type of battery that uses liquid as an electrolyte (requires periodic maintenance).

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No words starting with "X" at this time

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No words starting with "Y" at this time

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Zinc Chloride
A primary battery (non-rechargeable) have about 50% higher capacity than Carbon Zinc, under the same conditions. Best for use in low to moderate drain applications.

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