Resources - Battery Terms

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Glossary Of Battery Terms

Ampere

The internationally accepted unit for the measure of current flow (migrating electrons) in an electronic circuit. One ampere of current will flow through one ohm of resistance under the influence of one volt.

Alkaline Cell/Battery

Modern, high-performance, non- rechargeable cells and batteries used in most modern "battery-driven" electrical and electronic consumer devices.

Amp hour (mAh)

The number of milliamperes that a battery can continually supply to a load in one hour. Number is actually determined by calculating the remaining charge after one hour of driving a specific load.

Battery

An electro-chemical device consisting of separate cells connected together to sum their voltages or current capability. Examples are lead-acid batteries, 9-volt batteries, maintenance-free batteries, gel cells, and others.

Current

The organized migration of electrons through a circuit or conductive material, as the result of an applied voltage and the presence of resistance.

Lithium Ion

Modern, high capacity, rechargeable cell or battery, used where a compact or small physical size is demanded. Often used in cellular phones so that they are smaller and lighter to carry without loss of performance, as compared to a similarly rated nickel cadmium.

Nickel-Cadmium

The most commonly used secondary or rechargeable cell or battery. Often used in cellular phones, cordless phones, radio-controlled devices, toys, and many others.

Nickel-Metal Hydride

Modern, high capacity, rechargeable cell or battery, used where a compact or small physical size is demanded. Often used to make a cellular phone smaller and lighter to carry without loss of performance, as compared to a similarly rated nickel cadmium.

Polarity

(+) and ( - ) markings on a battery to facillitate proper installation into a battery compartment. Negative polarity or pole indicates an area with an excess of free electrons. Positive polarity or pole indicates an area with a deficit of free electrons.

Primary Cell

A cell that cannot be recharged. An example is an alkaline-type cell or battery, which must be replaced when discharged.

Secondary Cell

A cell that can be recharged to its voltage rating by causing current to flow in reverse polarity, from positive to negative regions. Examples are nickel cadmium, nickel-metal hydride and lead-acid cells or batteries.

Voltage

Electro-motive Force (EMF), the internationally accepted unit of measure for the potential difference between an area with an excess of free electrons (negative charge) and an area with an electron deficit (positive charge). Voltage induces current to flow in a circuit.

Zinc-Carbon

Common, older-style cell using zinc and carbon compounds to create current flow. Light to medium service, limited shelf life, can leak contents if left discharged in battery compartment. Examples are "AA", "AAA", "C-size", and "D-size" as the most common sizes.

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