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25 mars 2011 5 25 /03 /mars /2011 07:11

In the early days of electronics, vacuum tube devices (such as radios) were powered by batteries. Each battery had a different designation depending on which vacuum tube element it was associated with Lenovo S10-2 Battery 5200mAh .

Initially, the only such device was a diode with only a filament (cathode) and a plate (anode). Following the direction of electron flow, these electrodes were identified as "A" and "B", respectively and thus the associated batteries were referred to as the "A" battery and "B" battery, respectively  Lenovo Y730 Battery 5200mAh .

Later, when thecontrol grid element was added to create the triode tube, it was logically assigned the letter "C" and supplied from a "C" battery. Subsequent addition of further internal elements to improve the performance of the triode did not require an extension to this series of batteries Lenovo Y710 Battery 5200mAh

- these elements were eitherresistively-biased from the existing batteries, connected to ground or to the cathode.

This nomenclature was used primarily within North America. Different battery names were used elsewhere in the English speaking world  Lenovo Y530 Battery 5200mAh .

A battery

An A battery is any battery used to provide power to the filament of a vacuum tube. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as a "wet battery" (although there's no reason why a "dry" battery of suitable voltage couldn't be utilised for the purpose) Lenovo Y510 Battery 5200mAh .

The term comes from the days of valve (tube) radios when it was common practice to use a dry battery for the plate (anode) voltage and a rechargeable lead/acid "wet" battery for the filament voltage. (The filaments in vacuum tubes consumed much more current than the anodes, and so the "A" battery would drain much more rapidly than the "B" battery Lenovo S10-3 Battery 5200mAh ;

therefore, using a rechargeable "A" battery in this role reduced the need for battery replacement. In contrast, a non-rechargeable "B" battery would need to be replaced relatively infrequently. Lenovo G450 Battery 5200mAh )

A batteries were initially 2 volts, being lead acid accumulators, but with the introduction of all dry battery radios, 1.4 volts became more common. Other voltages can be encountered. For example 7.5 volt batteries were sometimes used to power a series connected set of 1.4 volt valves  Lenovo E30 Battery 5200mAh .

In Britain and in some other countries, the "A" battery was known as the "LT" (low tension) battery.

B battery

A B battery is any battery used to provide the plate voltage of a vacuum tube. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as a "dry battery" (although there's no reason why a "wet" battery of suitable voltage couldn't be utilised for the purpose) Lenovo E40 Battery 5200mAh .

The filament is primarily a heat source and therefore the A battery supplies significant current and rapidly discharges. The B battery experiences comparatively little current draw and retains its stored capacity far longer than an A battery Lenovo E50 Battery 5200mAh .

Early B batteries used with bright emitter tubes were 120 volts, but these quickly became obsolete as they were replaced with examples having voltages of typically 45 volts, 67½ volts, or 90 volts as more efficient tubes became available. Some examples had taps every 22½ volts Lenovo G460 Battery 5200mAh .

Even when the plate voltage rail is fed by a power supply rather than a battery, it is generally referred to as the "B+" line in American schematics.

Because plate voltages can be as high as 300V DC, multiple B batteries may be connected together in series to additively provide the required operating voltages Lenovo Y460 Battery 5200mAh .

The much higher available voltage of B batteries means that they must be handled more carefully than other battery types due to their ability to shock and/or burn the person handling them.

In Britain and in some other countries, the "B" battery was known as the "HT" (high tension) battery Lenovo Y450 Battery 5200mAh .

C battery

In electronics, a C battery is any battery used to provide bias to the control grid of a vacuum tube. Until the early 1930s this was common practice in valve (tube) radio sets but was largely superseded by grid leak resistors or voltage divider biasing Lenovo N200 Battery 5200mAh .

Grid bias batteries are still manufactured today, but not for radio use. They are popular in schools and colleges as a convenient variable voltage source in science classes. The most popular battery is the 9 volt type with taps every 1½ volts that accept a banana plug  Lenovo T410 Battery 5200mAh .

A rare form of "C" battery was the bias cell, a button-size miniature battery designed to deliver a constant voltage with no current drain. These were briefly popular between 1936 and 1945 as the bias cell was less costly than a resistor/capacitor bias networkLenovo T510 Battery 5200mAh .

In Britain and in some other countries, the "C" battery was known as the "GB" (grid bias) battery.

A nine-volt battery, also called a PP3 battery, is shaped as a rounded rectangular prism and has a nominal output of nine volts. Its nominal dimensions are 48 mm × 25 mm × 15 mm Lenovo SL410 Battery 5200mAh .

9V batteries are commonly used in pocket transistor radios, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms, guitar effect units, and radio-controlled vehiclecontrollers. They are also used as backup power to keep the time in digital clocks and alarm clocksLenovo SL510 Battery 5200mAh .

Nine-volt batteries are often constructed of 6 individual 1.5V AAAA batteries enclosed in a wrapper.


The connector (snap) consists of two connectors: one smaller circular (male) and one larger, typically either hexagonal or octagonal (female)  Lenovo C100 Battery 5200mAh .

The connectors on the battery are the same as on the connector itself; the smaller one connects to the larger one and vice versa .


The PP3 appeared when portable transistorized radio receivers became common, and is still called a "transistor" battery by some manufacturers   Lenovo T400S Battery 5200mAh .

TheEveready company claims that it introduced this battery type in 1956.

Technical specifications

The battery has both the positive and negative terminals on one end  Lenovo Y430 Battery 5200mAh .

The negative terminal is fashioned into a snap fitting which mechanically and electrically connects to a mating terminal on the power connector. The power connector has a similar snap fitting on its positive terminal which mates to the battery. This makes battery polarization obvious since mechanical connection is only possible in one configuration  Ibm ThinkPad G40 Battery 5200mAh .

The clips on the 9-volt battery can be used to connect several 9-volt batteries in series. One problem with this style of connection is that it is very easy to connect two batteries together in a short circuit, which quickly discharges both batteries, generating heat and possibly a fire  Ibm ThinkPad X200T Battery 5200mAh .

Multiple 9 volt batteries can be snapped together in series to create higher voltage.

Inside a PP3 there are six cells, either cylindrical alkaline or flat carbon-zinc type, connected in series. Some brands use welded tabs internally to attach to the cells, others press foil strips against the ends of the cells  Apple A1280 battery 5200mAh .

Rechargeable NiCd and NiMH batteries have various numbers of 1.2 volt cells. Lithium versions use three 3.2 V cells - there is a rechargeable lithium polymer version. There is also a Hybrid NiMH version that has a very low self- discharge rate (85% of capacity after 1 year of storage)  Apple A1281 battery 5200mAh .

Formerly, mercury batteries were made in this size. They had higher capacity than carbon-zinc types, a nominal voltage of 8.4 volts, and very stable voltage output. Once used in photographic and measuring instruments or long-life applications, they are now unavailable due to environmental restrictions Samsung R522 battery 5200mAh .

Self discharge

An alkaline battery that is unused or used with extremely low power consumption devices (transistor leak current, etc.) can be expected to last approximately for 6 years, essentially the shelf-life of a new battery  Samsung P467 battery 5200mAh .

Lithium 9V/PP3

Lithium "Ultralife" PP3, shown with AAand AAA

The Lithium PP3 (U9VL-J, U9VL-X, U9VL-FP, U9VL-FP, Li9V & ER9V), is a consumer-replaceable, high energy density battery that can last up to 5 times longer than ordinary alkaline 9-volt batteries and up to 10 times longer than carbon-zinc batteries in many applications  Hp Pavilion dm3 Battery 5400mAh .

An additional property of the lithium PP3 is its long shelf life, up to 10-years for the aluminum-jacketed U9VL-J battery. Common applications for this lithium PP3 include smoke and CO (Carbon Monoxide) alarms Hp Pavilion dm4 Battery 5200mAh .

Other nine volt batteries

There are other nine volt batteries, such as PP7 and PP9. These date from the days of early transistor radios and are now less common than PP3. In the days of valve radios which used batteries designed specifically for vacuum tubes, there was a nine volt grid bias battery which had tappings for various voltages between 1.5 and 9  Hp Pavilion cq62 Battery 5200mAh .

An A23 battery (also known as 8LR23 or ANSI-1181A) is a dry cell-type battery mainly used in small electronic key fob radio devices, such as keyless vehicle entry systems, home security systems, garage door openers, and Bluetooth headsets  Hp Pavilion cq42 Battery 5200mAh .

An A23 battery is cylindrical, smaller than even an AAA battery, measuring only 28.9 mm long and 10.3 mm in diameter, with a typical weight of 8 grams; however, this battery must not be confused with a similar single-cell N battery. An A23 battery is an 8-cell device with a nominal voltage of 12 V  Hp Pavilion cq72 Battery 5200mAh .

The higher voltage is necessary for the radio frequency-transmitting and receiving devices which A23 batteries often power. It has a capacity of around 55 mAh.

A23 batteries are often constructed of 8 individual LR932 alkaline button cells enclosed in a wrapper. The cells may be separated and used individually by removing the wrapper  Hp cq20 Battery 2600mAh .

An AA battery is a standard size of battery. Batteries of this size are commonly used in portable electronic devices. An AA battery is composed of a singleelectrochemical cell. The exact terminal voltage and capacity of an AA size battery depends on the cell chemistry. Some rechargeable cells are made in the AA size  Hp 2230 Battery 2600mAh .

The AA battery size was standardized by ANSI in 1947 but had been used in miniature flashlights and electrical novelties for some time before formal standardization. Batteries made in this size carry different designations. A carbon-zinc (Leclanche) cell of this size is designated 15D by current ANSIstandard C18.1, E91 by DIN, AM3 by JIS, and R6 by IEC Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery 7800mAh .


Several common battery standards. From left to right: 4.5-Volt, D, C, AA, AAA, 9-Volt, SR41/AG3, SR44/AG13

An AA battery measures 51 mm (2.0 in) in length—50.1 mm (1.97 in) without the button terminal—and 13.5–14.5 mm (0.53–0.57 in) in diameter  Dell XPS M1730 battery 7800mAh .

Traditional alkaline AA batteries have a mass of roughly 23 g (0.81 oz), Lithium AA batteries have a mass around 15 g (0.53 oz), and rechargeable NiMH batteries around 31 g (1.1 oz).

Primary chemistry and capacity  Dell XPS M2010 battery 7800mAh

Primary (non-rechargeable) zinc-carbon (Leclanché cell) AA batteries have around 400–900 milliamp-hours capacity, depending entirely on test conditions, duty cycle, and cut-off voltage selected. Zinc-carbon batteries are usually marketed as "general purpose" batteries  Dell Studio XPS 1340 battery 5200mAh/7800mAh .

Zinc-chloride batteries store around 1000 to 1500 mAh are often sold as "heavy duty" or "super heavy duty". Alkaline batteries from 1700 mAh to 3000 mAh cost a little more than zinc-chloride batteries, but last proportionally longer Dell Inspiron 9100 battery 7800mAh .

Non-rechargeable lithium batteries are manufactured for devices that drain a large amount of power such as digital cameras, where their high cost is offset by longer running time between battery changes  .

Rechargeable chemistry and capacity  Dell Inspiron N4010 battery 5200mAh

Rechargeable Nickel-cadmium battery (NiCd or NiCad) AAs with a capacity of 500 to 1100 mAh are available, cost increasing with capacity. Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) AAs are also available in various capacities ranging from 1300 to 3000 mAh  Dell Inspiron N3610 battery 5200mAh .

Rechargeable batteries supply 1.2 V; since this is lower than the voltage of non-rechargeable cells, there are problems powering some devices with these batteries. For example, a device may be designed to use 4 alkaline batteries in series, producing 6 V, and may fail to operate satisfactorily with the reduced voltage of 4.8 V produced by 4 NiMH batteries Dell Inspiron N5010 battery 5200mAh .

Some devices include warnings prohibiting use with rechargeable batteries, while some devices are designed to tolerate the lower voltage.

The older NiCd battery chemistry can supply a higher peak current than typical NiMHs, so NiCds are commonly used to power relatively high-current-draw devices   Dell Inspiron N7010 battery 5200mAh .

New NiMH AAs designed for high current applications are beginning to become available. These use different construction and have lower capacity (typically 1400–1600 mAh) than the highest capacity NiMH batteries (above 2500 mAh).

Rechargeable AA-sized batteries based on Li-ion chemistry have also been introduced Dell Inspiron 1464 battery 5200mAh .

These batteries are rated at 3.6 volts and are incompatible with most AA-based devices. AA lithiums have a relatively low internal resistance that effectively provides very high current if shorted. Equipment designed to rely on a battery's internal resistance to limit current may not tolerate higher inrush current with lithium cells Dell Inspiron 1564 battery 5200mAh .

Where space permits a pair of AA batteries can sometimes be replaced by a single CR-V3 battery.

A triple A or AAA battery is a standard size of dry cell battery commonly used in portable electronic devices Dell Inspiron 1764 battery 5200mAh .

A carbon-zinc battery in this size is designated by ANSI C18.1 as "24", by IEC as "R03", by old JIS standard as "UM 4", and by other manufacturer and national standard designations that vary depending on the cell chemistry.

A triple-A battery is a single cell and measures 44.5 mm in length and 10.5 mm in diameter Dell Inspiron 1320 battery 5200mAh .

Alkaline AAA batteries weigh around 11.5 grams each, whilelithium AAAs weigh about 7.6 g. Rechargeable NiMH AAAs typically weigh 14-15 g. As for all other sizes, the nominal voltage of carbon-zinc, alkaline and lithium-iron sulphide cells is 1.5 V, while that of NiMH or NiCd cells is 1.2 V  Dell Inspiron 1320n battery 5200mAh .

The actual effective capacity of a single-use alkaline AAA is typically 250 to 1200 mA·h  (depending mainly on the discharge current and brand/model of battery) (lower capacity for higher discharge current), but the manufacturers' stated capacities for a single-use alkaline AAA are typically 1000-1200 mAh  Dell Vostro 1710 battery 5200mAh .

AAA batteries are commonly used in small electronic devices, such as TV remote controls, MP3 players and digital cameras. Devices that require the same voltage, but have a higher current draw, are often designed to use larger batteries such as the AA battery typeDell Vostro 1720 battery 5200mAh .

AA batteries have about three times the capacity of AAA batteries. However, with the increasing efficiency and miniaturization of modern electronics, many devices which previously were designed for AA batteries—remote controls, computer mice, and keyboards—are being replaced by models that accept AAA cells Dell Studio XPS 1640 battery 5200mAh .

The AAAA battery (usually read as quadruple-A) is 42.5 mm long and 8.3 mm in diameter, weighing around 6.5 g and producing 1.5 V. This battery is also classified as LR8D425 or LR61 (IEC) and 25A (ANSI/NEDA). The battery is also known by its Duracell type number MN2500 or MX2500 and Energizer type number E96 Dell Vostro A840 battery 5200mAh .

This battery size is most often used in devices requiring small batteries, such as laser pointers, LED penlights, powered computer styluses, glucose meters, and small headphone amplifiers. These batteries are not as popular as AAA or AA type batteries, and can be quite hard to find  Dell Vostro A860 battery 5200mAh .

However, a typical alkaline 9 volt battery may consist of a bundle of six AAAA cells inside, connected together by welded tabs or small circuit boards. If disassembled, most 9 volt batteries can provide a supply of AAAA batteries. Carbon-zinc types use stacks of rectangular batteries instead of AAAAs  Dell Studio 1535 battery 5200mAh/7800mAh .

The average AAAA alkaline cell has approximately a 595 mAh capacity . The AAAA is also available in a PCB tagged version, 8.4mm x 66mm, weighing 10.5g. These tagged AAAA batteries are NiMH rechargeable, and as such will charge from the PCB power supply they are soldered onto  Dell Studio 1735 battery 5200mAh/7800mAh .

A watch battery or button cell is a small single cell battery shaped as a squat cylinder typically 5 to 12 mm in diameter and 1 to 6 mm high—like a button on a garment, hence the name. Button cells are used to power small portable electronics devices such as wrist watches, pocket calculators, and hearing aids  Dell Vostro 1310 battery 5200mAh .

Some cells larger than the dimensions above are also called button cells, but are less commonly used. Lithium cells are generally similar but somewhat larger; they tend to be called either lithium cells or batteries or coin cells rather than button cells  Dell Latitude E6400 battery,10400mAh/7800mAh .

Devices using button cells are usually designed to use a cell giving a long service life, typically well over a year in continuous use in a wristwatch. Most button cells have low self-discharge and hold their charge for a long time if not used  Dell Latitude E6400 Battery,10400mAh/7800mAh .

Higher-power devices such as hearing aids, where high capacity is important and low self-discharge less so as the cell will usually be used up before it has time to discharge, may use zinc-air cells which have much higher capacity for a given size, but discharge over a few weeks even if not used Dell Latitude E6400 Battery,10400mAh/7800mAh .

Button cells are single cells, usually disposable primary cells. Common anode materials are zinc or lithium. Common cathode materials are manganese dioxide, silver oxide, carbon monofluoride, cupric oxide or oxygen from the air  Dell Latitude E6400 Battery,10400mAh/7800mAh .

Mercuric oxide button cells were formerly common, but are no longer available due to the toxicity and environmental hazard of mercury.

Cells have a metal can forming the bottom body, with a circular insulated top cap. The can is the positive and the top the negative terminal  Dell Latitude E6500 battery,10400mAh/7800mAh .

Cells of different chemical composition made in the same size are mechanically interchangeable. The composition affects service life and voltage stability. Using the wrong cell may lead to short life or improper operation (for example, light metering on a camera requires a stable voltage, and silver cells are usually specified) Dell Latitude E6500 battery,10400mAh/7800mAh .

Sometimes different cells of the same type and size and specified capacity in mAh are optimised for different loads by using different electrolytes, so that one may have longer service life than the other if supplying a relatively high current.

Properties of different types  Dell Latitude E6500 battery,10400mAh/7800mAh

Silver cells may have very stable output voltage until it suddenly drops very rapidly at end of life. This varies for individual types; one manufacturer (Energizer) offers 3 silver oxide cells of the same size, 357-303, 357-303H,and EPX76, with capacities ranging from 150 to 200 mAh  Dell Latitude E6500 battery,10400mAh/7800mAh ,

voltage characteristics ranging from gradually reducing to fairly constant, and some stated to be for continuous low drain with high pulse on demand, others for photo use.

Mercury batteries also supply a stable voltage, but are now banned in many countries due to their toxicity and environmental impact HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery - 5200mAh/8800mAh .

Alkaline batteries are made in the same button sizes as other types, but typically provide less capacity and less stable voltage (it drops gradually in use) than more costly silver oxide or lithium cells. They are often sold as cheap watch batteries to, and sometimes by, people who do not know the difference HP Pavilion DV7 battery - 7200mAh .

Zinc-air batteries use air as the depolarizer and have much higher capacity than other types (they use air from the atmosphere which does not need to be supplied in the battery). A seal is removed before use to allow air to enter the cell; the cell will then self-discharge in a few weeks even if not used up Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery 8800mAh .

For comparison, a cell of diameter 11.6 mm and height 5.4 mm from one reputable manufacturer has the following properties. In many cases there are several batteries of the same chemistry and size with different capacities and properties; figures listed are merely indicative  Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery 8800mAh .

  • Silver: capacity 200 mAh to an end-point of 0.9 V, internal resistance 5–15 ohms, weight 2.3 g
  • Alkaline (manganese dioxide): 150 mAh (0.9), 3-9 ohms, 2.4 g
  • Mercury 200mAh, 2.6 g
  • Zinc-air 620 mAh, 1.9 g  Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery 8800mAh

Examining datasheets for a manufacturer's range  may find a high-capacity alkaline cell with a capacity as high as one of the lower-capacity silver types; or a particular silver cell with twice the capacity of some particular alkaline cell  SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery .

If the powered equipment requiring a relatively high voltage (e.g., 1.3V) to operate correctly, a silver cell with a flat discharge characteristic will give much longer service than an alkaline cell—even if it has the same specified capacity in mAh to an end-point of 0.9V  Asus M52N Battery .

If some device seems to "eat up" batteries after the original supplied by the manufacturer is replaced, it may be useful to check the device's requirements and the replacement battery's characteristics. For digital callipers, in particular, some are specified to require at least 1.25V to operate, others 1.38V  Dell Latitude E6400 ATG Battery .

Datasheets for some cheaper cells, particularly alkaline, are not available, so it is not possible to say whether capacities are about the same as for documented types. Discussions on web forums suggest that they can be very poor  SONY VAIO VGN-FW21J Battery .

In some ways the size is the most important property of a button cell: cells of different chemistry are to a considerable extent interchangeable. In practice only cells of fairly similar voltages are made in any given size; there is no "CR1154" 3V lithium battery mechanically interchangeable with a 1.5V silver or alkaline size 1154 cell  SONY VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery .

Use of a battery of significantly higher voltage than equipment is designed for can cause permanent damage, but use of a cell of the right voltage but unsuitable characteristics can only lead to short battery life or failure to operate equipment.

Type designation  SONY VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

LR44 alkaline cell (marked with its alternate name of AG13).

International standard IEC 60086-3 defines an alphanumeric coding system for "Watch batteries". Manufacturers often have their own naming system   SONY VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery ;

for example, the cell called LR1154 by IEC standard is named AG13, LR44, 357, A76, and other names by different manufacturers. The IEC standard and some others encode the case size so that the numeric part of the code is uniquely determined by the case size; other codes do not encode size directly  SONY VAIO VGN-FW25T/B Battery .

Examples of batteries conforming to the IEC standard are CR2032, SR516, and LR1154, where the letters and numbers indicate the following characteristics.

Electrochemical system

The first letter identifies the chemical composition of the battery, which also implies a nominal voltage SONY VAIO VGN-FW26T/B Battery :

For types with stable voltage falling precipitously at end-of-life (cliff-top voltage-versus-time graph), the end-voltage is the value at the "cliff-edge", after which it drops extremely rapidly. For types which lose voltage gradually (slope graph, no cliff-edge) the end-point is the voltage beyond which it is deemed that equipment will not work properly, typically 1.0 or 0.9V SONY VAIO VGN-FW27/B Battery .

Common names are conventional rather than uniquely descriptive; for example, a cell called a "silver [oxide] cell" rather than "alkaline" actually has an alkaline electrolyte.

"L", "S", and "C" type cells are today the most commonly-used types in quartz watches SONY VAIO VGN-FW27/W Battery ,

calculators, small PDA devices, computer clocks, and blinky lights. Miniature zinc-air batteries type "P" are used in hearing aids and medical instruments.

Package size

Package size of button batteries using standard names is indicated by a two digit code representing a standard case size, or a 3 or 4 digit code representing the cell diameter and height  SONY VAIO VGN-FW31ZJ Battery .

The first 1 or 2 digits encode the outer diameter of the battery in whole millimeters, rounded down; exact diameters are specified by the standard, and there is no ambiguity, e.g., any cell with an initial "9" is 9.5 mm in diameter, no other value between 9.0 and 9.9 is used. The last 2 digits are the overall height in tenths of a millimeter  SONY VAIO VGN-FW27T/H Battery .


  • CR2032: lithium, 20 mm diameter, 3.2 mm height
  • SR516: silver, 5.8 mm diameter, 1.6 mm height  SONY VAIO VGN-FW29/B Battery
  • LR1154/SR1154: alkaline/silver, 11.6 mm diameter, 5.4 mm height. The two-digit codes LR44/SR44 are often used for this size

Letter suffix

After the package code, the following additional letters may optionally appear in the type designation to indicate the electrolyte used  SONY VAIO VGN-FW290JRB Battery :


  • W; the battery complies with all the requirements of the international IEC 60086-3  standard for watch batteries.

Other package markings

Apart from the type code described in the preceding section, watch batteries should also be marked with SONY VAIO VGN-FW290JTH Battery

The manufacturing date can be abbreviated to the last digit of the year, followed by a digit or letter indicating the month, where O, Y, and Z are used for October, November and December, respectively (e.g., 01 = January 1990 or January 2000, 9Y = November 1999)  SONY VAIO VGN-FW33G/W Battery .

Common manufacturer code

A code used by some manufacturers is AG (alkaline) or SG (silver) followed by a number, where 1 equates to standard 621, 2 to 726, 3 to 736, 4 to 626, 5 to 754, 6 to 920 or 921, 7 to 926 or 927, 8 to 1120 or 1121, 9 to 936, 10 to 1130 or 1131, 11 to 721, 12 to 1142, and 13 to 1154  SONY VAIO VGN-FW33GW Battery .

To those familiar with the chemical symbol for silver, "Ag", this may suggest incorrectly that AG cells are silver.

Common applications

  • Electric wristwatches, both digital and analog  (Dell XPS M1210 Batteryhttp://www.hdd-shop.co.uk .
  • Calculators
  • Hearing aids
  • Some remote controls, especially for keyless entry
  • Backup power for personal computer real time clocks and BIOS configuration data.
  • Small PDA devices   Dell KM958 battery
  • Various electronic toys (like tamagotchi, Pokémon Pikachu or a Pokéwalker and other various Virtual Pet devices.)
  • Laser pointers
  • Small LED flashlights
  • Battery-operated children's books  Dell Studio 1555 battery
  • Glucometers
  • Security tokens
  • Cyclocomputers
  • Red dot sights and electronic spotting scopes
  • Manual cameras with light meters, such as the Pentax K1000  Sony VGP-BPS13 battery
  • LED throwies
  • Various video game cartridges or memory cards where battery-powered RAM is used to store data.
  • PCMCIA static RAM memory cards  Sony VGP-BPS13/B battery

Rechargeable variants

Most button cell batteries are not rechargeable due to the inferior capacity and/or high self-discharge rate of rechargeable batteriesSony VGP-BPS13/S battery .

However, there are a few rechargeable button cell batteries, such as lithium-ion rechargeable batteries intended to replace CR-series lithium manganese dioxide batteries in devices with relatively high current consumption.

Rechargeable NiCd button cells were often components of the backup battery of older IBM PC compatibles as well as Amiga computers  Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery .

C size batteries typically are used in medium-drain applications such as toys and musical instruments. The C size battery was standardized by ANSI as "14" and is known internationally as R14. The voltage and capacity of a C size battery depends on the battery chemistry and discharge conditions  Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery .

Alkaline C batteries can hold up to 8,000 mAh, rechargeable NiMH C batteries can hold up to 6,000 mAh, and zinc-carbon C batteries usually hold up to 3,800 mAh.

A CR-V3 battery (sometimes CRV3) is a type of disposable high-capacity 3-Volt battery used in various electronic appliances Sony VGP-BPL9 battery ,

including many digital cameras. It has the shape and size of two side-by-side AA batteries. This allows CR-V3 batteries to function in many (though not all) devices originally designed only for AA batteries. An RCR-V3 battery is a rechargeable 3.7 V lithium-ion battery  Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery .

Disposable CR-V3 batteries

Often, CR-V3 batteries are based on a non-rechargeable lithium battery chemistry, with a nominal voltage of 3 V (the same as 2 alkaline AA batteries). Because both lithium and lithium-ion chemistries offer higher energy density than alkaline batteries or even NiMH rechargeable batteries, a CR-V3 battery will typically last much longer than a pair of AA batteries Sony VGP-BPL15 battery .

Rechargeable RCR-V3 batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion RCR-V3 batteries, with a nominal voltage of 3.7 V, are also available. A review by Andrzej Wrotniak concluded that "1700 mAh NiMH's easily outperformed [1200 mAh RCR-V3's]" in tests using two digital cameras Dell Inspiron E1505 battery .

A CR2032 battery is a standard lithium battery rated at 3.0 volts, commonly used in computers as a CMOS battery, some scientific and graphing calculators,scientific instruments, watches, clocks, toys, laser pointers and small LED flashlights  HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery .

Similarly, the BR2032 battery has the same dimensions, but a lower nominal voltage and capacity. It is highly suitable for extreme temperatures, and is operable in temperatures as high as 85°C or as low as –30°C  HP Pavilion dv8000 battery .

The battery nomenclature is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in its 60086-3 standard (Primary batteries, part 3 Watch batteries). The first letter indicates the electrochemical system used  HP PAVILION DV6000 Battery,  8800mAh :

  • C: (?) lithium electrode – organic electrolyte – manganese dioxide electrode (+)
  • B: (?) lithium electrode – organic electrolyte – carbon monofluoride electrode (+)   HP PAVILION DV8000 Battery,  8800mAh

The second letter R indicates a round (cylindrical) form. 2032 indicates the size is 20.0±0.2 mm diameter and 3.2±0.5 mm height as defined by the IEC standard 60086.

A D battery or D cell is a size of dry cell  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery .

A D cell is cylindrical with electrical contacts at each end; the positive end having a nub or bump. D cells are typically used in high current drain applications, such as in large flashlights, radio receivers and transmitters, boomboxes, products with motors, safety systems, geiger counters or other applications requiring extended run time  HP Pavilion DV6000 battery - 8800mAh .

Rechargeable and non rechargeable cells are made in the D cell size, with terminal voltage and capacity varying depending on the cell chemistry.

An alkaline D cell is designated by ANSI as "13A" and IEC as "LR20". The "D" designation originated with the first American standards for dry cells  HP Pavilion DV8000 battery - 7800mAh .

The standard D cell has a length of 60.5±1.0 mm (2.38±0.04 in) and a diameter of 33.1±1.0 mm (1.31±0.04 in).

A lantern battery is a rectangular, alkaline or zinc-carbon primary battery used primarily in flashlights or lanterns. Lantern batteries are physically larger, so they offer more capacity than smaller cylindrical batteries HP Pavilion DV6000 battery - 8800mAh .

The most common version is a 6 volt, square base battery with spring terminals. The name is sometimes also used for 4.5 V flat-pack batteries.

6 Volt

The 6 volt variety typically has spring terminals or screw terminals  HP Pavilion DV8000 battery - 6600mAh .

Different types have different internal construction; the same package size may be made up with "D" size or "F" size cells, giving different capacity. A double size version (same size as two normal versions next to each other) exists for applications requiring more capacity  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18 Battery .

In the UK and Australia, it is widely used in the construction industry for powering flashing lights at roadworks.

4.5 Volt

More common in Europe and Russia, this is a smaller, flat-pack battery mostly used in flashlights. It uses two metal strips as terminals. The shorter strip is the + terminal  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Battery .

This size of battery is sometimes found in disposable flashlights in the United States.

7.5 Volt

The 7.5 volt version has screw terminals and rectangular base. A carrying handle is usually connected between the terminals SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery - 5200mAh/7800mAh/10400mAh .

12 Volt

The 12 volt version has screw terminals, and has a rectangular base. Since it is 12 volt, this type can be used to power car accessories outside of an automobile, using extra wiring or an adapter  SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery - 5200mAh/7800mAh/10400mAh .

LR44 is a standard type of 1.5 volt button cell alkaline battery, commonly used in small LED flashlights, digital thermometers, calculators, calipers, watches, clocks, toys and laser pointers.

LR44 alkaline cell (marked with its alternate name of AG13) SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

The battery nomenclature is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in its 60086-3 standard (Primary batteries, part 3 Watch batteries). The first letter L indicates the electrochemical system used; a zinc negative electrode, manganese dioxide depolarizer and positive electrode, and an alkaline electrolyte  SONY VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery .

The second letter R indicates a round (cylindrical) form. R44 indicates the size is 11.4±0.2 mm diameter and 5.2±0.2 mm height as defined by the IEC standard 60086. Manufacturers have their own part numbers for IEC type LR44 batteries.

Other types of batteries are or were made in the R44 size  SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery .

Formerly, mercury batteries were made as button cells. Zinc-air batteries type PR44 require air to work. Silver-oxide batteries type SR44 may provide extra capacity compared to LR44 types but have slightly different voltage characteristics. Performance of a device meant to use a silver-oxide battery may be degraded with substitution of LR44 types SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery .

An N battery (or N cell) is a standard size of dry cell battery. An N battery is cylindrical with electrical contacts on each end; the positive end has a nub or bump on the top. The battery has a length of 30.2 mm and a diameter of 12.0 mm, and is approximately three-fifths the length of a AA battery SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery .

Rechargeable N-size batteries are also available, in nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride chemistries. These are far less common than other rechargeable sizes.

Mercury batteries of the same dimensions are no longer manufactured  Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21E Battery .

Common uses for this size of battery include some small flashlights, remote control door chimes, glucose meters, small desk clocks, wireless microphones, and laser pointers. This battery size must also not be confused with a similar-sized A23 battery, which is 12 volts and not 1.5 volts  Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery .

Standard battery nomenclature describes portable dry cell batteries that are interchangeable in physical dimensions and electrical characteristics between manufacturers. The long history of disposable dry cells means that many different manufacturer-specific and national standards were used to designate sizes  Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery ,

long before international standards were reached. Technical standards for battery sizes and types are set by standards organizations such as International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Popular sizes are still referred to by old standard or manufacturer designations  Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery ,

and some non-systematic designations have been included in current international standards due to wide use.

The complete nomenclature for the battery will fully specify the size, chemistry, terminal arrangements and special characteristics of a battery   Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery .

The same physically interchangeable cell size may have widely different characteristics; physical interchangeability is not the sole factor in substitution of batteries.

National standards for dry cell batteries have been developed by ANSI, JIS, British national standards, and others  Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery .

Civilian, commercial, government and military standards all exist. Two of the most prevalent standards currently in use are the IEC 60086 series and the ANSI C18.1 series. Both standards give dimensions, standard performance characteristics, and safety information  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ180E Battery .

Modern standards contain both systematic names for cell types that give information on the composition and approximate size of the cells, as well as arbitrary numeric codes for cell size.

History of the ANSI standard   SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E Battery

Standardization in the United States started in 1919, when the US National Bureau of Standards published recommended test procedures and standard dimensions of cells. American standards were revised several times during the following decades, as new sizes of cells were introduced and new chemistry developed  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ340E Battery ,

including chloride, alkaline, mercury and rechargeable types. The first American Standards Association (predecessor to ANSI) standard C18 appeared in 1928. It listed cell sizes using a letter code, roughly in order of size from smallest (A) to larger types. The only numerical designation was the 6-inch tall "No. 6" cell  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ430E Battery .

The 1934 edition of the C18 standard expanded the nomenclature system to include series and parallel arrays of cells. In 1954, mercury batteries were included in the standard. The 1959 edition identified types suitable for use with transistor radios. In 1967, NEMA took over responsibility for development from the National Bureau of Standards  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery .

The 12th edition of C18 began to be harmonized with the IEC standard. Rechargeable batteries were introduced in the C18 standard in 1984, and lithium types were standardized in 1991.

In 1999 the ANSI standards were extensively revised and separate safety standards provided  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ480E Battery .

The current edition of the ANSI standards designates sizes with an arbitrary number, with a prefix letter to designate shape, and with a suffix letter or letters to identify different chemistry, terminals, or other features.

International Electrotechnical Commission standardization  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) was established in 1906 and co-ordinates development of standards for a wide range of electrical products. The IEC maintains two committees, TC21 established in 1933 for rechargeable batteries, and TC 35 established in 1948 for primary batteries, to develop standards  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31E Battery .

The current designation system was adopted in 1992. Battery types are designated with a letter/number sequence indicating number of cells, cell chemistry, cell shape, dimensions, and special characteristics. Certain cell designations from earlier revisions of the standard have been retained  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31B Battery .

The first IEC standards for battery sizes were issued in 1957. Since 1992, International standard IEC 60086 defines an alphanumeric coding system for batteries.  British standard 397 for primary batteries was withdrawn and replaced by the IEC standard in 1996  SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31J Battery .

IEC battery nomenclature

Examples of the IEC nomenclature are batteries coded R20, 4LR25-2, CR17345, and 6F22. The letters and numbers in the code indicate the number of cells, cell chemistry, shape, dimensions, and the number of parallel paths in the assembled battery SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery .

A multi-section battery (two or more voltages from the same package) will have a multi-section designation.

Suffix letters

After the package size code, additional letters may optionally appear in the type designation to indicate the electrolyte used SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31Z Battery :

Terminal styles and performance levels may also be designated with a C, P, S, X, Y, CF, HH, or HB or other letter suffixes. Rechargeable types may have a suffix L, M, or H to designate low, medium or high discharge rating designs. An appended letter "W" states that this battery complies with all the requirements of the IEC 60086-3 standard for watch batteries  SONY VGP-BPS8 Battery .

ANSI nomenclature

Previous editions of the ANSI standard used a letter code to identify the dimensions of the cell. Since at the time there were only carbon-zinc cells, no suffix letters or other notation was required  SONY VGP-BPS13/S Battery .

The system was introduced in the 1924 edition of the standard, with letters A through J assigned approximately in order of increasing cell volume, for cells typically manufactured at that time.By 1934, the system had been extended and revised and now had 17 sizes ranging from NS at 7/16 inch diameter by 3/4 inch height  SONY VGP-BPS13A/B Battery ,

through size J at 1¾ inches diameter by 5/78 inches high, to the largest standard cell which retained its old designation of No. 6 and which was 2½ inches in diameter and 6 inches high.

Size and shape codes

The current edition of the standard uses a numerical code to show the cell size. Common round cell sizes are SONY VGP-BPS13B/B Battery :

Since these IEC and ANSI battery standards have been harmonized, for example, an R20 cell will have the same dimensions as an ANSI 13 cell.

Flat cells, used as components of multi-cell batteries, have an F prefix and a series of numbers to identify sizes. Coin cells were assigned size codes in the 5000 range SONY VGP-BPS13A/S Battery .

Secondary cells using systems H and K (nickel-metal hydride and nickel-iron sulfide) have a separate series of size codes, but the cells are dimensionally interchangeable with primary cells.

A rechargeable battery or storage battery is a group of one or more electrochemical cells  SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery .

They are known as secondary cells because their electrochemicalreactions are electrically reversible. Rechargeable batteries come in many different shapes and sizes, ranging anything from a button cell to megawatt systems connected to stabilize an electrical distribution network  Dell Studio 1450 Battery .

Several different combinations of chemicals are commonly used, including: lead-acid, nickel cadmium(NiCd), nickel metal hydride (NiMH), lithium ion (Li-ion), and lithium ion polymer (Li-ion polymer).

Rechargeable batteries have lower total cost of use and environmental impact than disposable batteries Dell Studio 1457 Battery .

Some rechargeable battery types are available in the same sizes as disposable types. Rechargeable batteries have higher initial cost, but can be recharged very cheaply and used many times  Dell Latitude D610 Battery .

Usage and applications

Rechargeable batteries are used for automobile starters, portable consumer devices, light vehicles (such as motorized wheelchairs, golf carts, electric bicycles, and electric forklifts), tools, and uninterruptible power supplies   .Toshiba NB100 Battery

Emerging applications in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles are driving the technology to reduce cost and weight and increase lifetime.

Normally, new rechargeable batteries have to be charged before use  Toshiba Satellite M65 battery ;

p> newer low self-discharge batteries hold their charge for many months, and are supplied charged to about 70% of their rated capacity.

Grid energy storage applications use rechargeable batteries for load leveling, where they store electric energy for use during peak load periods, and forrenewable energy uses  Toshiba Satellite M60 battery ,

such as storing power generated from photovoltaic arrays during the day to be used at night. By charging batteries during periods of low demand and returning energy to the grid during periods of high electrical demand, load-leveling helps eliminate the need for expensive peaking power plants and helps amortize the cost of generators over more hours of operation Dell Latitude D830 Battery .

The US National Electrical Manufacturers Association has estimated that U.S. demand for rechargeable batteries is growing twice as fast as demand for nonrechargeables.

Charging and discharging

During charging, the positive active material is oxidized, producing electrons, and the negative material is reduced, consuming electrons  Dell Latitude D620 Battery .

These electrons constitute the current flow in the external circuit. The electrolyte may serve as a simple buffer for ion flow between the electrodes, as in lithium-ion and nickel-cadmium cells, or it may be an active participant in the electrochemical reaction, as in lead-acid cells  Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery .

The energy used to charge rechargeable batteries usually comes from a battery charger using AC mains electricity. Chargers take from a few minutes (rapid chargers) to several hours to charge a battery. Most batteries are capable of being charged far faster than simple battery chargers are capable of  Sony VGN-FW11S Battery ;

there are chargers that can charge consumer sizes of NiMH batteries in 15 minutes. Fast charges must have multiple ways of detecting full charge (voltage, temperature, etc.) to stop charging before onset of harmful overcharging.

Rechargeable multi-cell batteries are susceptible to cell damage due to reverse charging if they are fully discharged  Sony VGN-FW11M Battery .

Fully integrated battery chargers that optimize the charging current are available.

Attempting to recharge non-rechargeable batteries with unsuitable equipment may cause battery explosion .

Flow batteries, used for specialised applications, are recharged by replacing the electrolyte liquid Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery .

Battery manufacturers' technical notes often refer to VPC; this is volts per cell, and refers to the individual secondary cells that make up the battery. For example, to charge a 12 V battery (containing 6 cells of 2 V each) at 2.3 VPC requires a voltage of 13.8 V across the battery's terminals  Dell Latitude E5400 Battery .

Non-rechargeable alkaline and zinc-carbon cells output 1.5V when new, but this voltage gradually drops with use. Most NiMH AA and AAA batteries rate their cells at 1.2 V, and can usually be used in equipment designed to use alkaline batteries up to an end-point of 0.9 to 1.2V  Dell Latitude E4200 Battery .

Reverse charging

Subjecting a discharged cell to a current in the direction which tends to discharge it further, rather than charge it, is called reverse charging; this damages cells. Reverse charging can occur under a number of circumstances, the two most common being Dell Inspiron 300M Battery :

  • When a battery or cell is connected to a charging circuit the wrong way round.
  • When a battery made of several cells connected in series is deeply discharged  Dell Studio 1737 battery .

When one cell completely discharges ahead of the rest, the live cells will apply a reverse current to the discharged cell ("cell reversal"). This can happen even to a "weak" cell that is not fully discharged  Dell Inspiron E1505 battery .

If the battery drain current is high enough, the weak cell's internal resistance can experience a reverse voltage that is greater than the cell's remaining internal forward voltage. This results in the reversal of the weak cell's polarity while the current is flowing through the cells   Dell RM791 battery .

This can significantly shorten the life of the affected cell and therefore of the battery. The higher the discharge rate of the battery needs to be, the better matched the cells should be, both in kind of cell and state of charge. In some extreme cases, the reversed cell can begin to emit smoke or catch fire  Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery .

In critical applications using Ni-Cad batteries, such as in aircraft, each cell is individually discharged by connecting a load clip across the terminals of each cell, thereby avoiding cell reversal, then charging the cells in series.

Depth of discharge

Depth of discharge (DOD) is normally stated as a percentage of the nominal ampere-hour capacity Acer Aspire One battery 10400mAh ;

0% DOD means no discharge. Since the usable capacity of a battery system depends on the rate of discharge and the allowable voltage at the end of discharge, the depth of discharge must be qualified to show the way it is to be measured. Due to variations during manufacture and aging, the DOD for complete discharge can change over time or number of discharge cycles  SONY VGN-FZ210CE Battery .

Generally a rechargeable battery system will tolerate more charge/discharge cycles if the DOD is lower on each cycle.

Active components

The active components in a secondary cell are the chemicals that make up the positive and negative active materials, and the electrolyte   Dell Precision M70 Battery .

The positive and negative are made up of different materials, with the positive exhibiting a reduction potential and the negative having an oxidation potential. The sum of these potentials is the standard cell potential or voltage.

In primary cells the positive and negative electrodes are known as the cathode and anode, respectively Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery .

Although this convention is sometimes carried through to rechargeable systems — especially with lithium-ion cells, because of their origins in primary lithium cells — this practice can lead to confusion. In rechargeable cells the positive electrode is the cathode on discharge and the anode on charge, and vice versa for the negative electrode Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery .

Common rechargeable battery types

Created by Waldemar Jungner of Sweden in 1899, it used nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as electrodes. Cadmium is a toxic element, and was banned for most uses by the European Union in 2004. Nickel-cadmium batteries have been almost completely superseded by nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries  Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery .

First commercial types were available in 1989. These are now a common consumer and industrial type. The battery has a hydrogen-absorbing alloy for the negative electrode instead of cadmium .

Lithium-ion battery   Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery

The technology behind lithium-ion battery has not yet fully reached maturity. However, the batteries are the type of choice in many consumer electronics and have one of the best energy-to-mass ratiosand a very slow loss of charge when not in use.

Lithium-ion polymer battery  Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery

These batteries are light in weight and can be made in any shape desired.

Less common types

Lithium sulfur battery
A new battery chemistry developed by Sion Power since 1994. Claims superior energy to weight than current lithium technologies on the market. Also lower material cost may help this product reach the mass market  Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery .
Thin film battery (TFB)
An emerging refinement of the lithium ion technology by Excellatron. The developers claim a very large increase in recharge cycles, around 40,000 cycles. Higher charge and discharge rates. At least 5C charge rate. Sustained 60C discharge, and 1000Cpeak discharge rate  SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery .
And also a significant increase in specific energy, and energy density.
Also Infinite Power Solutions makes thin film batteries (TFB) for micro-electronic applications, that are flexible, rechargeable, solid-state lithium batteries  SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery .
Smart battery
A smart battery has the voltage monitoring circuit built inside. See also: Smart Battery System
Carbon foam-based lead acid battery
Firefly Energy has developed a carbon foam-based lead acid battery with a reported energy density of 30-40% more than their original 38 W·h/kg, with long life and very high power density SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery .
Potassium-ion battery
This type of rechargeable battery can deliver the best known cycleability, in order of a million cycles, due to the extraordinary electrochemical stability of potassium insertion/extraction materials such as Prussian blue  SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery .

Developments since 2005

In 2007 Yi Cui and colleagues at Stanford University's Department of Materials Science and Engineering discovered that using silicon nanowires as the anode of a lithium-ion battery increases the volumetric charge density of the anode by up to a factor of 10, the nanowire battery  SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery .

Another development is the paper-thin flexible self-rechargeable battery combining a thin-film organic solar cell with an extremely thin and highly flexible lithium-polymer battery, which recharges itself when exposed to light   SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery .

Ceramatec, a research and development subcompany of CoorsTek, as of 2009 was testing a battery comprising a chunk of solid sodium metal mated to a sulfur compound by a paper-thin ceramic membrane which conducts ions back and forth to generate a current  SONY VGP-BPS21A/B Battery .

The company claimed that it could fit about 40 kilowatt hours of energy into a package about the size of a refrigerator, and operate below 90 °C; and that their battery would allow about 3,650 discharge/recharge cycles (or roughly 1 per day for one decade.)SONY VGP-BPS21/S Battery


Several alternatives to rechargeable batteries exist or are under development. For uses such as portable radios, rechargeable batteries may be replaced by clockwork mechanisms which are wound up by hand, driving dynamos, although this system may be used to charge a battery rather than to operate the radio directly  SONY VGP-BPS21B Battery .

Flashlights may be driven by a dynamo directly. For transportation,uninterruptible power supply systems and laboratories, flywheel energy storage systems store energy in a spinning rotor for conversion to electric power when needed  SONY VGP-BPS21A Battery ;

such systems may be used to provide large pulses of power that would otherwise be objectionable on a common electrical grid. Ultracapacitors are also used; an electric screwdriver which charges in 90 seconds and will drive about half as many screws as a device using a rechargeable battery was introduced in 2007, and similar flashlights have been produced SONY VGP-BPS21 Battery .

Ultracapacitors—capacitors of extremely high value—are being developed for transportation, using a large capacitor to store energy instead of the rechargeable battery banks used in hybrid vehicles. One drawback to capacitors compared with batteries is that the terminal voltage drops rapidly  Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery ;

a capacitor that has 25% of its initial energy left in it will have one-half of its initial voltage. Battery systems tend to have a terminal voltage that does not decline rapidly until nearly exhausted. This characteristic complicates the design of power electronics for use with ultracapacitors  Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery .

However, there are potential benefits in cycle efficiency, lifetime, and weight compared with rechargeable systems. China started using ultracapacitors on two commercial bus routes in 2006; one of them is route 11 inShanghai.

An automotive battery is a type of rechargeable battery that supplies electric energy to an automobile Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery.

Usually this refers to an SLI battery (starting, lighting, ignition) to power the starter motor, the lights, and the ignition system of a vehicle’s engine. An automotive battery may also be a traction batteryused for the main power source of an electric vehicle Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery .

Automotive SLI batteries are usually lead-acid type, and are made of six galvanic cells in series to provide a 12 volt system. Each cell provides 2.1 volts for a total of 12.6 volt at full charge. Heavy vehicles such as highway trucks, often equipped with Diesel engines, may have two batteries in series for a 24 volt system, or may have parallel strings of batteries  Sony Vaio PCG-5G2L Battery .

Lead-acid batteries are made up of plates of lead and separate plates of lead dioxide, which are submerged into an electrolyte solution of about 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water.  This causes a chemical reaction that releases electrons, allowing them to flow through conductors to produce electricity  Sony Vaio PCG-5G3L Battery .

As the battery discharges, the acid of the electrolyte reacts with the materials of the plates, changing their surface to lead sulfate. When the battery is recharged, the chemical reaction is reversed: the lead sulfate reforms into lead oxide and lead. With the plates restored to their original condition, the process may now be repeated  Sony Vaio PCG-5J1L Battery .

Battery recycling of automotive batteries reduces resources required for manufacture of new batteries and diverts toxic lead from landfills or improper disposal.


Lead-acid batteries for automotive use are made with slightly different construction techniques, depending on the application of the battery  Sony Vaio PCG-5K2L Battery .

The typical battery in use today is of the "flooded cell" type, indicating liquid electrolyte. AGM or absorbed glass mat type batteries have electrolyte immobilized as a gel. This article deals with the flooded type of car battery.

The starting (cranking) or shallow cycle type is designed to deliver large bursts of energy, to start an engine Sony Vaio PCG-5J2L Battery .

Once the engine is started, the battery is recharged by the engine-driven charging system. Starting batteries have a relatively low degree of discharge on each use. They have many thin plates,thin separators between the plates, and may have a higher specific gravity electrolyte to reduce internal resistance  Sony Vaio PCG-5K1L Battery .

The deep cycle (or motive) type is designed to continuously provide power for long periods of time (for example in a trolling motor for a small boat, auxiliary power for a recreational vehicle, or traction power for a golf cart or other battery electric vehicle). They can also be used to store energy from a photovoltaic array or a small wind turbine  Sony Vaio PCG-6S2L Battery .

Deep-cycle batteries have fewer, thicker plates and are intended to have a greater depth of discharge on each cycle, but will not provide as high a current on heavy loads. The thicker plates survive a higher number of charge/discharge cycles. The specific energy is in the range of 30-40 watt-hours per kilogram  Sony Vaio PCG-6S3L Battery .

Some battery manufacturers claim their batteries are dual purpose (starting and deep cycling).

Some cars use more exotic starter batteries- the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS offers a lithium-ion battery as an option to save weight over a conventional lead-acid battery  Sony Vaio PCG-6V1L Battery .

Fluid level

Car batteries using lead-antimony plates would require regular watering top-up to replace water lost due to electrolysis on each charging cycle. By changing the alloying element to calcium, more recent designs have lower water loss unless overcharged  Sony Vaio PCG-6W1L Battery .

Modern car batteries have reduced maintenance requirements, and may not provide caps for addition of water to the cells. Such batteries include extra electrolyte above the plates to allow for losses during the battery life. If the battery has easily detachable caps then a top-up with distilled water may be required from time to time  Sony Vaio PCG-6W2L Battery .

Prolonged overcharging or charging at excessively high voltage causes some of the water in the electrolyte to be broken up into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which escape from the cells. If the electrolyte liquid level drops too low, the plates are exposed to air, lose capacity, and are damaged  Sony Vaio PCG-6W3L Battery .

The sulfuric acid in the battery normally does not require replacement since it is not consumed even on overcharging. Impurities or additives in the water will reduce the life and performance of the battery. Manufacturers usually recommend use of demineralized or distilled water since even potable tap water can contain high levels of minerals  Sony Vaio PCG-7111L Battery .

Charge and discharge

In normal automotive service the vehicle's charging system powers the vehicle's electrical systems and restores charge used from the battery during engine cranking. When installing a new battery or recharging a battery that has been accidentally discharged completely, one of several different methods can be used to charge it  Sony Vaio PCG-7112L Battery .

The most gentle of these is called trickle charging. Other methods include slow-charging and quick-charging, the latter being the harshest.

In most cars, the voltage regulator of the charge system is unaware of the relative currents charging the battery and for powering the car's loads such as engine control, fans and lighting  Sony Vaio PCG-7113L Battery .

The charge system essentially provides a fixed voltage of typically 13.8 to 14.4 V (Volt), adjusted to ambient temperature, unless the alternator is at its current limit. A discharged battery draws a high current of typically 20 to 40 A (Ampere). As the battery gets charged the charge current typically decreases 2 A to 5 A  Sony Vaio PCG-7133L Battery .

A high load results when multiple high-power systems such as radiator fan, heater blowers, lights and entertainment system are running. In this case, the battery voltage will decrease and the charge current as well.

Some manufacturers include a built-in hydrometer to show the state of charge of the battery  Sony Vaio PCG-7Z2L Battery .

This acrylic "eye" has a float immersed in the electrolyte. When the battery is charged, the specific gravity of the electrolyte increases (since all the sulfate ions are in the electrolyte, not combined with the plates), and the colored top of the float is visible in the window   Sony Vaio PCG-8Y1L Battery .

When the battery is discharged (or if the electrolyte level is too low), the float sinks and the window appears yellow (or black). The built-in hydrometer only checks the state of charge of one cell and will not show faults in the other cells. In a non-sealed battery each of the cells can be checked with a portable or hand-held hydrometer   Sony Vaio PCG-8Y2L Battery .

Batteries will last longer if stored in a charged state. Leaving an automotive battery discharged without a charger on it will shorten a battery's life, or even kill it if left for an extended period (usually over several years).

Jumper cable connected to battery post. Hydrometer window visible by jumper clamp   Sony Vaio PCG-8Z1L Battery .

White powdery corrosion products visible on top of battery. This BCI Group 24F battery claims 525 cold cranking amperes and 125 minutes reserve capacity.

In emergencies a vehicle can be jump started, by the battery of another vehicle or by a portable battery booster  Sony Vaio PCG-8Z2L Battery .

Whenever the car's charge system is inadequate or too slow to fully charge the battery, a battery charger can be used. Simple chargers will not regulate the charge current and the user needs to stop the process or lower the charge current to prevent excessive gassing of the battery   SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery .

More elaborate chargers, in particular those implementing the 3-step charge Profile, also referred to as IUoU, charge the battery fully and safely in a short time without requiring user intervention.


Batteries should be monitored and periodically charged if in storage, to retain their capacity  SONY VAIO VGN-FW31E Battery .

Batteries intended to be stored should be fully charged, cleaned of corrosion deposits, and left in a cool dry environment. High temperatures increase the self discharge rate and plate corrosion. Lead-acid batteries must always be kept in a fully charged condition  SONY VAIO VGN-FW31B Battery .

The terminal voltage can be measured as an indication of state of charge. Batteries may be charged periodically by a constant voltage method, or attached to a "float" charger.

Changing a battery

In modern automobiles, the grounding is provided by connecting the body of the car to the negative electrode of the battery, a system called 'negative ground'   SONY VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery .

In the past some cars had 'positive ground'. Such vehicles were found to suffer worse body corrosion and, sometimes, blocked radiators due to deposition of metal sludge  SONY VAIO VGN-FW31Z Battery .

When changing a battery, battery manufacturers recommend disconnecting the ground connection first to prevent accidental short-circuits between the battery terminal and the vehicle frame. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association estimated that in 1994 more than 2000 people were injured in the United States while working with automobile batteries SONY VAIO VGN-FW38M Battery .

The majority of automotive lead-acid batteries are filled with the appropriate electrolyte solution at the manufacturing plant, and shipped to the retailers ready to sell. Decades ago, this was not the case. The retailer filled the battery, usually at the time of purchase, and charged the battery  SONY VAIO VGN-AW41JF Battery .

This was a time-consuming and potentially dangerous process. Care had to be taken when filling the battery withacid, as acids are highly corrosive and can damage eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Fortunately, this is less of a problem these days, and the need to fill a battery with acid usually only arises when purchasing a motorcycle or ATV battery  SONY VAIO VGN-AW41JF/H Battery .


Because of "sulfation", lead-acid batteries stored with electrolyte slowly deteriorate. Car batteries should be installed within one year of manufacture. In the United States, the manufacturing date is printed on a sticker. The date can be written in plain text or using an alphanumerical code  SONY VAIO VGN-AW41MF Battery .

The first character is a letter that specifies the month (A for January, B for February and so on). The letter "I" is skipped due to its potential to be mistaken for the number 1. The second character is a single digit that indicates the year of manufacturing (for example, 6 for 2006)   SONY VAIO VGN-AW41MF/H Battery .

When first installing a newly purchased battery a "top up" charge at a low rate with an external battery charger (available at auto parts stores) may maximize battery life and minimize the load on the vehicle charging system  . The top-up charge can be considered complete when the terminal voltage is just above 15.1 V DC  SONY VAIO VGN-FW30B Battery .

15 V DC is the voltage level where any sulfation that may be present is driven from the plates back into the electrolyte solution. A new battery can have some sulfation even though it has never been in service. If the top up charge cannot be done it is not harmful to place the battery in immediate service  SONY VAIO VGN-FW50B Battery .


Common battery faults include:

  • Shorted cell due to failure of the separator between the positive and negative plates
  • Shorted cell or cells due to build up of shed plate material building up below the plates of the cell
  • Broken internal connections due to corrosion   SONY VAIO VGN-FW51B/W Battery
  • Broken plates due to vibration and corrosion
  • Low electrolyte
  • Cracked or broken case
  • Broken terminals   SONY VAIO VGN-FW51MF Battery
  • Sulfation after prolonged disuse in a low or zero charged state

Corrosion at the battery terminals can prevent a car from starting, by adding electrical resistance. The white powder sometimes found around the battery terminals is usually lead sulfate which is toxic by inhalation, ingestion and skin contact  SONY VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery .

The corrosion is caused by an imperfect seal between the plastic battery case and lead battery post allowing sulfuric acid to attack the battery posts. The corrosion process is also expedited by over-charging. Corrosion can also be caused by factors such as, salt water, dirt, heat, and humidity in the air, a crack in the battery casing, or loose battery terminals SONY VAIO VGN-FW51ZF Battery .

Inspection, cleaning, and protection with a coating are measures used to prevent corrosion of battery terminals.

Sulfation occurs when a battery is not fully charged, and the longer it remains in a discharged state the harder it is to overcome the sulfation   SONY VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery .

This may be overcome with slow, low-current (trickle) charging. Sulfation is due to formation of large, non-conductive lead sulfate crystals on the plates; lead sulfate formation is part of each cycle, but in the discharged condition the crystals become large and block passage of current through the electrolyte  SONY VAIO VGN-FW52JB Battery .

The primary wear-out mechanism is the shedding of active material from the battery plates, which accumulates at the bottom of the cells and which may eventually short-circuit the plates  SONY VAIO VGN-FW54FB Battery .

Early automotive batteries could sometimes be repaired by dismantling and replacing damaged separators, plates, intercell connectors, and other repairs. Modern battery cases do not facilitate such repairs; an internal fault generally requires replacement of the entire unit  SONY VAIO VGN-FW70DB Battery .

Exploding batteries

Any lead-acid battery system when overcharged will produce hydrogen gas. If the rate of overcharge is small, the vents of each cell allow the dissipation of the gas   SONY VAIO VGN-FW71DB/W Battery .

However, on severe overcharge or if ventilation is inadequate or the battery is faulty, a flammable concentration of hydrogen may remain in the cell or in the battery enclosure . Any spark can cause a hydrogen and oxygen explosion, which will damage the battery and its surroundings and which will disperse acid into the surroundings  SONY VAIO VGN-FW72JGB Battery .

Anyone close to the battery may be injured.

Sometimes the ends of a battery will be severely swollen, and when accompanied by the case being too hot to touch, this usually indicates a malfunction in the charging system of the car   SONY VAIO VGN-FW73JGB Battery .

Reversing the positive and negative leads will damage the battery and may lead to gassing and explosion. When severely overcharged, a lead-acid battery gases at a high level and the venting system built into the battery cannot handle the high level of gas, so the pressure builds inside the battery, resulting in the swollen ends  SONY VAIO VGN-FW74FB Battery .

An unregulated alternator can put out a high level of charge, and can quickly ruin a battery. A swollen, hot battery is very dangerous, and should not be handled until it has been given sufficient time to cool and any hydrogen gas present to dissipate  SONY VAIO VGN-FW81HS Battery .

A person handling a car battery should always wear proper protective equipment (goggles, overalls, gloves) and make certain there are no sparks or smoking close by.

Terms and ratings   SONY VAIO VGN-FW81NS Battery

  • Ampere-hours (A·h) is the product of the time that a battery can deliver a certain amount of current (in hours) times that current (in amperes), for a particular discharge period. This is one indication of the total amount of charge a battery is able to store and deliver at its rated voltage  SONY VAIO VGN-FW81S Battery .
  • This rating is rarely stated for automotive batteries, except in Europe where it is required by law.
  • Cranking amperes (CA), also sometimes referred to as marine cranking amperes (MCA), is the amount of current a battery can provide at 32 °F (0 °C)   SONY VAIO VGN-FW82DS Battery .
  • 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).
  • Cold cranking amperes (CCA) is the amount of current a battery can provide at 0 °F (?18 °C)  SONY VAIO VGN-FW82JS Battery.
  • 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). It is a more demanding test than those at higher temperatures.
  • Hot cranking amperes (HCA) is the amount of current a battery can provide at 80 °F (26.7 °C) SONY VAIO VGN-FW82XS Battery .
  • 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)  SONY VAIO VGN-FW83DS Battery .
  • Reserve capacity minutes (RCM), also referred to as reserve capacity (RC), is a battery's ability to sustain a minimum stated electrical load; it is defined as the time (in minutes) that a lead-acid battery at 80 °F (27 °C) will continuously deliver 25 amperes before its voltage drops below 10.5 volts  SONY VAIO VGN-FW83JS Battery .
  • Battery Council International group size (BCI) specifies a battery's physical dimensions, such as length, width, and height. These groups are determined by the Battery Council Internationalorganization  SONY VAIO VGN-FW83XS Battery .
  • Peukert's Law expresses the fact that the capacity available from a battery varies according to how rapidly it is discharged. A battery discharged at high rate will give fewer ampere hours than one discharged more slowly  SONY VAIO VGN-FW90NS Battery .
  • The hydrometer measures the density, and therefore indirectly the amount of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte. A low reading means that sulfate is bound to the battery plates and that the battery is discharged. Upon recharge of the battery, the sulfate returns to the electrolyte  SONY VAIO VGN-FW90S Battery .

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