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Battery Terms

battery storage terms

This resource was created to help you confidently navigate the world of batteries and electrical storage terms.

We have provided the terms and definitions to over two dozen words on this subject.



Batteries and Electrical Storage Terms



Ampere Hours (Ah)

A rating used to show how much amperage a battery can provide for one hour. A battery or cell’s capacity is usually expressed in Ampere Hours (Ah).


The negative electrode in a battery or cell during discharge.

Assembled Battery

A multi-celled battery


Electric cell(s) that store chemical energy that is then converted into electrical energy

Button Cell

A small round, coin-like battery where the diameter is greater than the height. Used in many small electronic devices like watches and hearing aids and are usually of lithium chemistry.


The amount of charge that a battery can store, which is the battery’s life expressed in amp or milliamp hours.


The positive electrode of a battery or cell.


A single electrochemical unit that has one positive and one negative electrode that stores and gives out stored energy.


A cell or battery’s electrical charge replenishing process.

Charge Rate

Current in amperes applied to restore a cell or battery’s capacity.


The material used in the negative electrode, such as Lithium, Nickel or Zinc.

Chemical Cells

Cells that use chemical reactions to produce an electrical current.


When a rechargeable battery or cell completes the sequence of completely charging and then completely discharging.

Cycle Life

The number of recharging cycles that a battery or cell can execute until the capacity goes below standard levels. It is at that point that the battery should be replaced.


When a battery distributes its current to an external load.


There is one positive and on negative electrode in each cell.


The medium that transports the electrical ions between the electrodes.


The total amount of electrical power that a cell or battery can give out.

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

An international non-profit organization that sets and publishes international electrical and electrical related standards. It was Founded: June 26, 1906.


A positively or negatively charged atom or group of atoms.


Happens when electrolyte material is no longer contained in the cell or battery and is transferred to the outer surface.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery or cell system

A type of rechargeable battery that typically substitutes similarly shaped non-rechargeable alkaline batteries.

Primary Battery

A non-rechargeable cell or battery that is thrown away after its stored electrical energy is spent.

Secondary Batteries

Rechargeable batteries


When a battery loses its charge without it being caused by a load.

Storage life

The length of time a cell or battery can be stored and still maintain adequate performance levels.

Trickle charge

Battery receives a continuous or intermittent low level charging to keep it fully charged.


battery life

battery life