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Summary and Comparison of Battery Characteristics

There are a large number of battery parameters. Depending on which application the battery is used for, some parameters are more important than others. The following is a list of parameters that may be specified by a manufacturer for a given type of battery. For example, in a typical battery for a general car, the energy density is not relevant - a battery is a small fraction of the total battery weight and consequently this parameter would typically not be listed for a conventional car battery. However, in electric vehicle applications, the battery weight is a significant fraction of the overall weight of the vehicle and so the energy densities will be given.

Battery Specifications

Parameter Applications Examples Comments
Nominal Voltage All   Usually standardized to 12V
Battery Capacity All   Given as a function of discharge rate
Internal Series Resistance High current applications Running motors  
Self Discharge Rate Applications that are only recharged periodically    
Energy/Power Density Mobile applications using significant amounts of battery energy Electric vehicles, satellites, portable electronics, etc  
Cut-off voltage Mobile applications using significant amounts of battery energy Electric vehicles, satellites, portable electronics, etc  
Efficiency Application in which charging is restricted or heat should be minimized Stand-alone energy systems  
Depth of discharge Application which experience regular, deep discharge Stand alone energy systems, traction batteries  
Temperature range Applications which experience large variations in temperature Stand alone energy systems, some transport applications  
Battery lifetime All   Specified as either time or cycle life
Maintenance requirements All    
Safety All