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Battery Terminology

Acid - Often called electrolyte, this is the substance inside a battery which is usually sulphuric acid.

Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) - Suitable for start stop applications and vehicles with high electrical demands, AGM batteries provide superior power. The positive and negative plates are separated with an absorbent glass mat that absorbs and holds the battery's acid and prevents it from freely flowing around the battery. This means that AGM batteries are much more resistant to vibration and are fully maintenance free.

Alternating Current (AC) - Alternating current is the flow of electrical charge which periodically reverses direction.

Ampere - Commonly referred to as simply "Amp", it is the unit used in the measurement of electrical current running through a circuit.

Battery - A device consisting of one or more cells that can be charged and the energy can be converted into electricity and used as a power source.

Capacity - This is the amount of energy that the battery can deliver in a single discharge.

Cycle - Refers to one complete discharge and recharge of the same battery.

Deep Cycle - A deep cycle battery is designed to produce a steady power output over an extended period of time and then be recharged ready for use again.

Direct Current (DC) - Direct current is the one directional flow of electrical charge.

Discharge - This is the process of your battery losing voltage or energy. Your battery will always be except for the time it is being charged. This can be through active use of the battery, or the standard self discharge of the battery.

EFB (Enhanced Flooded Battery) - An enhanced flooded battery has improved charge acceptance and a greater cyclic durability and is seen as the entry level battery for start stop vehicles.

Electrolyte - Electrolyte is the substance that allows electrical current to flow between the anode and cathode. It can either be a liquid or a paste like substance.

Forming - Battery formation is the initial charge and discharge process of a battery. It takes place once the battery has been constructed, filled and sealed. If the battery is not formed correctly, reduced capacity and a shortened lifespan may occur.

Hydrometer - A hydrometer measures the density of the electrolyte within the battery and the results can then be used to determine the state of charge of the battery.

Inverter - An inverter changes DC power from a battery into AC power that you can use to operate all kinds of electrical devices.

Lithium Ion Battery - Lithium ion batteries are a type of rechargeable battery commonly used in laptops and mobile phones as they allow for complete discharge and recharge.

MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) - MPPT uses an electronic DC to DC converter to optimise and maximise the energy it can extract from a power source.

Negative Terminal - Often referred to as a grounded terminal on a car battery and is typically marked with a minus (-) sign and usually colour coded black.

Overcharge - Overcharge is the continued charge of a cell or battery after it has already been charged fully. This could result in lasting damage to the battery.

Parallel Connection - Parallel connection is when you connect two or more batteries together. Connecting positive terminals to positive terminals and negative terminals to negative terminals. Connecting batteries in this manner will increase the capacity(Ah) of the batteries.

Parasitic Drain - A parasitic drain is an electrical component that is consistently and continually draining your battery. It is often a faulty interior light or sensor that has not turned off properly.

Portable Power Stations - A PPS (Portable Power Station) essentially allows you to power appliances when you are off grid - either during a power cut, or whilst camping.

Positive Terminal - On a car battery it is typically marked with a positive (+) sign and usually colour coded red.

Sealed Lead Acid Battery - A sealed lead acid battery is a maintenance free battery that has thickened electrolyte so it cannot spill out. They are widely used in vehicles and back-up power supplies.

Self Discharge - Batteries do indeed self discharge when not in use and even when disconnected. Storing the battery in a cool and dry place will help to mitigate the self discharge.

Series Connection - A series connection of multiple batteries will increase the voltage, but will not affect the capacity of the batteries installed. Positive terminals are connected to the negative terminal.

Shelf Life - Shelf life refers to the amount of time a battery will hold its initial charge without use.

Starter Batteries - Starter batteries are designed and used to start machines, the most common being an engine.

State of Charge (SoC) - The state of charge of the battery is the level of charge the battery currently has in relation to its fully charged capacity.

State of Health (SoH) - The state of health of the battery is the batteries current health status in relation to the batteries original capacity when it was a new battery.

Stop-Start - Start stop refers to the vehicle system that detects and shuts down the engine when the vehicle is stationary.

Sulphation(Sulfation) - When electrolyte starts to break down, sulphation begins to occur. This usually occurs when a battery is deprived of a full charge. The sulphation builds up and remains on the plates.

Supply Batteries - Often called a leisure or domestic battery, supply batteries are designed to provide a constant flow of power for a long period of time.

Trickle Charge - Trickle charge is charging a battery at the same rate as the batteries self discharge rate, essentially, keeping the battery at sufficient charge and ready to use.

Voltage - Voltage describes the pressure that pushes electricity round a circuit.

Watt - A watt is a unit of power. It is a measure of electrical flow. A 100W light bulb requires more flow than a 60W lightbulb.

Watt-Hour - A watt-hour is a unit of energy. It is the amount of work performed or generated. A 100W light bulb will use 100Wh of energy if left on for 1 hour. If left on for 2 hours it would use 200Wh of energy.

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