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| NOTES ON BATTERY CHEMISTRIES |
Batteries come in many different sizes and chemistries. Choosing the right battery for your application is critical to the success of your product. The first step is to decide if your product requires a non-rechargeable (primary) battery or a rechargeable (secondary) battery. Next, you will need to know the voltage requirements and the discharge or drain rate that will be applied to the battery by your device. This is usually expressed in terms of Amperage (Amps (A) or Milli-Amps (mA)). Once you know the drain rate, you can then determine what capacity (mAh or Ah) of battery that will be required to run your device for the intended amount of time. The battery capacity can be approximated using the following equation: Ah = drain rate (A) x run time (hours).
The description of a battery is usually expressed like this: 8.4v 4000mAh. This information will now serve as the key to designing the battery pack. When designing a battery pack for a device, you must know the voltage range that is required. Each battery chemistry has parameters that must be followed so as not to overcharge or over-discharge the battery. For instance, a 7 cell assembly of NiCd or NiMH cells would have the following parameters: 10.2v at full charge, 7v at end of discharge, and a nominal voltage of 8.4v.
NOTE: always design your product around the battery! Dimensions of the battery pack are often neglected until after the device is designed. This can be a mistake. You need to know the size of the battery before designing the space it will fit into!
Below are links to pages that will give you more information on the different chemistries we can work with.