Glossary of Battery Terms
  • Primary battery: Source of electrical energy obtained by the direct conversion of chemical energy and not designed to be charged by any other electrical source.
  • Rechargeable battery (Secondary battery): Source of electrical energy obtained by the direct conversion of chemical energy designed to be charged by any other electrical source. It is also called a storage battery or accumulator.
  • Open circuit voltage (OCV): Voltage across the terminals of a battery when no external current is flowing.
  • Closed circuit voltage (CCV): Voltage across the terminals of a battery when it is on discharge. As a battery has an internal resistance, CCV is lower than OCV and CCV becomes lower with a range of current.
  • Nominal voltage: Suitable approximate value of voltage used to identify the voltage of a battery. For example): Alkaline manganese battery; 1.5V, Lithium manganese dioxide battery; 3.0V
  • Load: External device or method through which a battery is discharged.
  • End-point voltage (End voltage, Cutoff voltage, Final voltage): Specified closed circuit voltage at which a service output test is terminated.
  • Internal resistance: Resistant component in a battery that makes discharge reaction slow.
  • Discharge: Operation during which a battery delivers current to an external circuit.
  • Over discharge: Continue to discharge after a battery voltage drops below its end-point voltage.
  • Self discharge: Decreasing capacity during storage without load, caused by chemical reaction in a battery. The higher the temperature during storage, the greater the rate of self discharge.
  • Discharge characteristics (Discharge curve): Change of a battery voltage with discharge.
  • Charge: Operation during which a reverse reaction of discharge occurs when electrical energy is received from an external source.
  • Polarization: Voltage deviation from equilibrium caused by charge or discharge.
  • Duration time (Duration period ): Time until a battery voltage exceeds the end-point voltage during discharge.
  • Capacity: Capacity (Ah, mAh) is the product of the discharge current (A, mA) and discharge time (h). Note: Because manganese dry batteries and alkaline manganese batteries are often used for heavy-duty applications, the discharge time at a specific load is usually mentioned instead of the capacity.
  • Energy Density: Usable energy of a battery per unit volume or unit weight. The former is called volumetric energy density (Wh/l); the latter gravimetric energy density (Wh/kg).
  • Initial test: Test conducted within 2 months of the production month.
  • Storage: Store the battery under specified conditions.
  • Test after storage: Test conducted within 2 weeks after storage.
  • Aging: A finished or semi-finished battery is store under specified conditions for a specified period.
  • Expiry date: Expiration of guarantee period of a primary battery determined by each manufacturer conforming to the IEC. Because a secondary battery can be used over again by charging, it is unnecessary to show this. Note: IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is a worldwide organization of standardization comprised of all national electrotechnical committees.
  • Active material: Electrode materials in a battery which cause an electrochemical reaction to generate electricity. See chart below.
Battery Positive material Negative material
LR Manganese Dioxide Zinc
CR Manganese Dioxide Lithium
  • Electrolyte: Medium in a battery which causes ions to move to create an electrochemical reaction. Either water or non-aqueous solution is used as solvent. The latter is called non-aqueous electrolyte solution, either organic or inorganic.

  • Utilization factor: Ratio of usable capacity against theoretical capacity.

  • Leakage resistance: Enduring characteristics against leakage.

  • Short circuit current: Surges of current across the terminals of a battery when it is short-circuited.

  • Internal short circuit: Direct contact electrically between the positive electrode and negative electrode caused by damage to the separator or gasket, or the presence of a conductor piercing the separators. A battery will become completely exhausted before use.


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