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Battery Tips Battery Terms Battery FAQ

Battery Terms

Battery Classification

Ni-Cd – Nickel Cadmium
Nickel Cadmium batteries are the most used rechargeable batteries in the world. It is important that you discharge these batteries before charging them, or they will lose their capacity and you will get less run-time in-between charges. This is often referred to as the “Memory Effect”. It is also very important that you recycle these batteries because nickel cadmium is toxic and harmful for the environment.

Ni-MH – Nickel Metal Hydride
Nickel Metal Hydride is the newest battery chemistry available in AA, AAA, C, Sub-C, 9-Volt and D size batteries. Ni-MH batteries have higher capacities than Ni-Cd batteries and are not affected by the “Memory Effect”. They are more expensive than Ni-Cd batteries, however they will last longer than Ni-Cd batteries in-between charges, and will therefore have a longer life span. When deciding on purchasing the capacity that best suits your needs, please keep in mind that although the AA 1700 Ni-MH batteries and the AA 1800 Ni-MH batteries will last longer in-between charges, their life-cycle will be sacrificed slightly.

LI-ON – Lithium Ion
Lithium Ion is the newest battery chemistry that exists today. Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries can be just as high in capacity as Ni-MH batteries. Lithium Ion batteries are smaller and lighter in weight than Ni-MH batteries. They are memory free and more expensive.

Key Terminology when dealing with Batteries

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.

Measured in Amp Hours or Milliamp Hours and is the amount of time the battery can supply the necessary voltage.

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

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

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

The process of taking energy out of a battery.

Life Cycle
The amount of times a battery can be charged and discharged before it no longer has any power.

Memory Effect
The Effect that represents the decrease in capacity and voltage in Ni-Cd batteries due to repetitive charging and incomplete discharging. This results in loss of run-time in-between charges.

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

If batteries are fully charged and sit on the shelf for one-two months, they will Self-Discharge. By Self-Discharging the batteries will lose capacity on their own without being used or placed in a charger that discharges the batteries.

Also see our Battery FAQ