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Battery Wisdom

BATTERY INFORMATION CENTER

Onlybatteries.com is pleased to provide this information page about battery chemistry, definitions, and commonly used battery terms. This content is written to help enlighten and inform our visitors. Thank you for taking a moment to read it.

Please consider passing it along to friends and associates of yours so they too can benefit from this information.

 

Common Battery Chemistries

NiCD - (Nickel Cadmium) batteries are the most sought out rechargeable batteries in the world. Their composition is toxic to our planet if left in land-fills so it's important to recycle all NiCD batteries when we’re done with them. NiCD batteries are available in AA,  AAA,  C,  Sub C,  D, and  9-Volt sizes. NiCD batteries and battery packs are commonly used in low-drain applications such as: radio-control vehicles, cordless power tools such as drills, clocks, flashlights, and solar lighting, just to name some of the most widely used applications. It's important to discharge these batteries fully before charging them, or their memory could drop, resulting in less run-time during operation. This is often referred to as the "Memory Effect". There are battery chargers with a discharge feature built-in to the unit for the convenience of not having to run the actual device that holds the battery, in order to fully drain it prior to recharging.

NiMH – (Nickel Metal Hydride) is the newest in rechargeable battery chemistry available in AA, AAA, C, Sub-C, D, and 9-Volt sizes. NiMH batteries have higher capacities than NiCD cells and are not subject to "Memory Effect". This means you can recharge them before they have become fully discharged (drained), and their memory will not decrease. NiMH cells are commonly used in the following high-drain applications: Digital Cameras, Pagers, Hand-Held Radios, Walkie Talkies, Cellular Phones, Children Toys, Shavers, Discmans, Flashlights, plus of course, many, many other devices. NiMH batteries are more expensive than NiCDs, however they will last longer than NiCDs between charges, and offer more charge times (called cycles). We have many Battery Chargers available for NiMH cells and urge you to check out the "rapid charger", "smart charger" and "Intelligent Charger" categories of our website.

ALKALINE - This is a widely used chemistry in batteries. Alkaline batteries are non-rechargeable. Non rechargeable is also called ‘single use’, ‘disposable’, and ‘throw away’. These batteries cannot be recharged once fully drained/discharged. To try to do so, poses the potential for battery rupture, leakage, and possible fire to the battery charger. Alkaline batteries were simply not made to be charged.

LI-ION - Lithium Ion is the newest rechargeable battery chemistry that exists today. Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries can be just as high in capacity as NiMH batteries, but to date, are only available for laptop and cellular telephones. Lithium Ion batteries are smaller and lighter in weight than NiMH batteries. They are memory-free as well.

LITHIUM - Lithium batteries are non rechargeable. They offer 1.5 volts and a very long shelf-life, in the neighborhood of up to15 years in many cases. Lithium cells are best suited for high-drain/power-hungry applications. Do not try to charge Lithium batteries. They are not manufactured for it, just as Alkaline batteries are not.

LITHIUM PHOSPHATE - (LifePO4), are rechargeable batteries with some pretty terrific features! They offer up to 2000 charge cycles, are light weight and have a high energy to density ratio. They have a long storage life and do not suffer from memory effect!

They’re used in Airsoft guns, RC racing cars, and often in custom battery packs.

 

ZINC AIR - A chemistry used in Hearing Aid Batteries. They are non-rechargeable and operate by oxidizing zinc with oxygen from the air. They’re the batteries found within hearing aids and many wrist watches. When the zinc air system is sealed, the shelf life is long and the self-discharge rate is very slow, typically at a rate of only 2% per year.

Should you have any battery chemistry questions, drop us a line or give a call toll-free at 1-800-660-7705. We’ll gladly help you determine which type of battery chemistry best suits each of your battery-operated products.

 

Battery Glossary

 

Amp Hours (Ah) - Refers to the amperage - the strength of the electrical current expressed in amperes that the battery can hold. The higher the Ah, the longer the battery will last in-between charges. In batteries, this is most often expressed in mAh (milliampere hours).

Bay - A single compartment within a battery charger to house a single cell.

Capacity - Measured in Amp Hours or milliampere hours and is the amount of time the battery can supply the necessary voltage.

Cell One individual battery canister. Commonly arranged with other cells, to form battery packs of different voltage and capacities.

Charge - With the use of a charger, charging a battery will insert energy into it.

Charger - A device whose purpose is to recharge/restore the power to rechargeable batteries.

Condition - The process by which a battery is discharged and charged, in order to guarantee maximum performance.

Discharge - The process of taking energy out of a battery. This can be done by depleting the power through use, or deliberately discharging the battery's power through the discharging function of a battery charger.

Life Cycle - (Also called Charge Cycle) The length of time a battery can deliver power, on one full charge. In the case of rechargeable batteries, these cycles are repeated through the use of a battery charger. In the case of single use, non rechargeables, there exists 1 life cycle.

Low Self-Discharge - (Also called Low Discharge) A term used for batteries that self-discharge more SLOWLY, than at a standard self-discharge rate. To discharge is to release energy. This occurs both when the battery is being used and when it is idle.

Memory Effect -  Memory Effect is expressed in a decrease in memory to a battery, (occurring in NiCD chemistry), due to repetitive charging with incomplete discharging (draining) prior. This results in less overall run-time on a single charge. Memory Effect does not occur with NiMH and Lithium Ion chemistry batteries.

Milliamp Hours (mAh) - Applies to how much energy the battery can store - the capacity of the battery. The higher the mAh is, the longer the run-time between charges. One (1) mAh is the equivalent to 1/1000 Amps. IE: 2.7 Ah = 2700 mAh.

Self-Discharge - If batteries are fully charged and sit on the shelf, not in use, they will self-discharge / lose capacity on their own while idle. See Low Self-Discharge above.

Voltage - Voltage is the measurement of energy in electricity, particularly, the unit energy of the charge.

Should you have any questions about batteries not addressed on this information page, please get in touch with us. We are always happy to assist you with all your battery requirements and look forward to providing you with accurate technical assistance PRIOR to your purchase. We aim to become your single source for batteries, chargers and battery accessories!

 

Please Call Us Toll-Free: 1-800-660-7705.

 

Email: sales@onlybatteries.com

 

Should you wish to buy batteries, battery chargers or battery-related items, and are looking for outstanding deals, we invite you to check out our DAILY SPECIALS where we have many terrific discounts each day on all types of battery chemistry and sizes, batteries sold in bulk, batteries sold on blister cards, wholesale lots, and battery and charger bundles!