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Battery Terminology - 12/12/2011

 

Ah - Amp Hours

This is a measure of how much energy the battery can give out over a period of time. Most car and starter batteries are rated to C20 (20hour rating). Signifying the amount of Amps the battery can deliver over a 20hour period.

 

CCA - Cold Cranking Amps

This is a measure of the amount of energy a battery can give out over a short period of time (such as cranking an engine). There is a number of different standard used to measure this, the most common in the UK are EN (European Norm.) and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers, American). While you still see some DIN (Old German Standard) on some batteries. Each standard is measured in a different way and will give different results. So if you are comparing a batteries output ensure you are checking if the standard is the same. SAE tends to read about 10% higher than EN, so 400EN would be equivalent to 440SAE, this is only a very rough rule of thumb and can vary depending on manufacturer.

 

MCA - Marine Cranking Amps

This is similar to the above but the test is done at a higher temperature and as such will yield larger numbers.

 

VRLA - Valve Regulated Lead Acid

This is a term used to describe the construction of a battery, where a valve is used to keep a constant pressure in the battery. Releasing gas if the battery is overcharged. This is typically used in more advanced applications such as UPS, Mobility and Specialist installations.

 

AGM - Absorbed Glass Matt

This refers to the separator material used in the construction of the battery. This construction method is typically used in non-spillable batteries and batteries that require cycling properties. This is very common mistaken for a GEL battery as both look almost identical from the outside and in many cases are used in very similar applications

 

GEL - 

This refers to a GEL filled battery. This is commonly mistaken with a VRLA AGM battery as both are completely sealed and nonspillable. But a GEL battery has a suspended GEL electrolyte between the plates. This type of battery gives a superior cycle life and excellent deep discharge recovery. But charging and usage voltages must be adhered to.

 

Over time we will add more terminolgy to this page...

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