When choosing a battery, you should take the following characteristics into account:
- The battery capacity in milliampere-hours (mAh) (calculation method provided below).
- The voltage, which is dictated by the materials used for the electrodes and can range from 3.2 to 4 V for lithium batteries and from 1.2 to 2 V for others.
- The operating temperature.
- The size and shape of the battery.
- The type of use.
- The price.
All batteries have two common characteristics:
- Their voltage, expressed in volts (V): rechargeable batteries are generally 12 V. For larger cells with voltages of 12 V, 24 V or 48 V, separate 2 V cells are used, intended to be assembled in series, and which have a lifespan of about 10 years.
- Their capacity, expressed in ampere-hours (Ah): to increase it, several batteries must be connected in parallel.
When you multiply the voltage by the capacity, you get the amount of electricity stored in kilowatt-hours (kWh). For example: A 12 V – 100 Ah battery theoretically contains 12 x 100 = 1,200 Wh = 1.2 kWh.
Depending on these characteristics, you will have to choose the technology, or battery type, and chemical composition: lead-acid, nickel or lithium. There isn’t one battery technology that’s better than the others. Each type of battery has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to the operators of battery-requiring applications to choose the one that best meets their requirements.
Batteries have a predetermined lifespan and number of cycles depending on the climate (ambient temperature) and type of use (depth of discharge). In order to increase their lifespan and optimize their operation, it is advisable to follow the storage and use recommendations.