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Version 14:09:23-10:30:37
Battery Technical Terms - vbat.co.uk

Note the details given below are for general guidance only.

12V - The nominal voltage of a typical lead acid battery with 6 cells.

2V - The nominal voltage of a typical lead acid battery cell or a typical lead acid battery with a single cell.

6V - A nominal voltage of a typical lead acid battery with 3 cells.

Absorbed Glass Matt - A structure of lead acid battery and specifically a method of maintaining the electrolyte and plate separation.

AGM - See Absorbed Glass Matt.

Ampere - The rate of flow of current from a battery.

Ampere Hour (Ah) - A measure of the size or energy storage capacity of a battery, the product of the Current (in Amperes) and the duration for which this current can be maintained. The Ah rating quoted for a lead acid battery is usually followed by the number over which the test was conducted typically C1 (1 hour), C5 (5 hours), C10 (10 hours) and C20 (20 hours). 

Charging Voltage (for Deep Cycle Use) - The typically recommended charging voltage for nominally 12 Volt lead acid batteries for use in applications where they will be depleted relatively quickly and recharged.

Float Voltage (for Maintenance) - The typically recommended charging voltage for nominally 12 Volt lead acid batteries to maintain charge level 2.25-2.27 Volts/cell.

Deep Cycle - A process by which a batteries charge level is significantly depleted before being recharged, often on a regular basis. Common in applications such as traction (electric vehicle), floor cleaning, motorhome internal power and renewable energy.

Design Life - The typically anticipated life of a battery. The figure usually derived from optimum operational conditions and is thus is the longest period reasonably expected. The battery life achieved in practice will be reduced by battery use and use history, charging technology timing and history, temperature of operation and other environmental conditions.

Lead Acid - A term used to describe batteries that employ lead plates with an acid electrolyte. This term encompasses a huge range of battery types, sizes and applications.

Gel - A battery structure referring to the nature of the electrolyte surrounding the batteries plates.

Maintenance Free - A battery which requires no maintenance other than through a process of charging and discharging.

Parallel - One of two general schemes for connecting two or more batteries where the system voltage is the same as that of a single battery but the effective Ampere and Ampere Hour rating is increased. This method of wiring systems is generally deemed undesirable although it is commonly found in many applications including marine and motorhome home applications. As an absolute minimum all batteries should be of the same age and Ampere Hour rating.

Peukert's Law - A rule expressing the the capacity of a lead acid battery in relation to the rate at which it is discharged (the duration of discharge). Unlike a water tank, from which the same quantity of water that is put in can be extracted no matter what the rate of discharge, batteries release less energy if the battery is discharged rapidly than if discharged over an extended period. Lead acid battery ampere hour capacities are often quoted over 1, 5, 10 and 20 hour supply durations.

Series - One of two general schemes for connecting two or more batteries where the system output voltage grows with each additional battery employed . As an absolute minimum all battery cells employed should have the same Ampere Hour rating and age to help ensure balanced charging.

Spiral Cell - A structure if battery developed by Optima Batteries. The spiral plates gain rigidity from the Swiss roll form in which they are wrapped. This enables a purer form of lead to be employed in their manufacture thus producing a high electrical specification, yet vibration resistant, battery.

Terminals - The power connections on the battery. Batteries usually have two well spaced terminal. There are a wide range of terminal types including, round post, upright tag, folded tag, male (stud), and female (bolt down).

Valve Regulated Lead Acid - A battery with a chemistry that promotes the recombination of gases generated during operation to avoid venting. In the event that the venting of gas is required it is achieved by way of a very small valve inside the battery case and almost unnoticeable. 

VRLA - See Valve Regulated Lead Acid.

Voltage - The potential difference generated by the charge of a battery.

Note: The definitions above are for guidance purposes only and should not be relied upon for the basis of technical or engineering decisions.