Frequently Asked Questions

  • A battery is based on the principle of electrochemical conversion and is comprised of multiple galvanized elements or cells which are brought together in a functional unit. A cell is comprised of two electrodes (anode and cathode) which are electrically separated by a thin, finely porous membrane and connected by an ionically conductive electrolyte fluid. The electrodes generally consist of an active material, are electrically conductive and are the energy source of the cell. During an energy delivery process, the discharge, electrochemical energy is converted into electrical energy as electrodes move from the anode to the cathode. This process allows electrical devices to be run.

  • Batteries are generally divided into primary and secondary batteries. Primary batteries are intended for one-time use. That means that they can only be discharged once. Secondary batteries, on the other hand, so-called accumulators, can be charged and discharged multiple times. When energy is delivered upon discharge, the chemically stored energy is converted to usable electrical energy.

  • The charge of the battery, often also call “capacity”, is given in ampere hours (Ah) and expresses the length of time the battery can deliver electricity.
    Another important number is the voltage, given in volts (V). This is derived from the potential difference between the two electrodes and the interconnection of the cells. The energy density describes the amount of energy stored in a cell, and either refers to the weight (gravimetric, also called specific energy) of the battery or the volume (volumetric), and it is given in watt hours per kilogram or liter (Wh/kg or Wh/L).

  • 1. The most common batteries at the moment are lithium-ion batteries. This technology has virtually no memory effect, that is, they lose virtually no capacity no matter how they are charged.

    2. Completely discharging the battery shortens its lifespan in the same way as longer-term storage while fully-charged. The long-term optimal condition is a charge level of between 40 and 60 percent as well as a storage temperature of between 0 and 15 degrees Celsius.

    3. A new battery will reach its full capacity the first time it is charged. It is not necessary to fully charge or discharge it prior to its first use in order to “calibrate it to its full performance”.

    4. The speed of the charging process slows down markedly from a charge level of 80 percent.

    5. As they age, batteries increasingly lose capacity. This loss is irreversible and is known as the aging of the battery. This aging can be reduced through storage at low temperatures and a mid-range charge level.

  • This is due to side effects of the electrochemically active materials. They lead to slow self-discharging.

  • During charging, an electrochemical process is initiated where the electricity introduced by the charging device is converted to chemical energy. The inherent chemical reactions cannot be arbitrarily sped up.

  • For lithium-ion batteries, the electrolyte fluid uses an organic solvent which contains what is called a lithium conducting salt. If the cell is broken or the temperature is too high, the electrolytes react with the electrode material and generate reaction products. These can be corrosive, and so the cell housing can become porous or may even be destroyed, causing the cell to leak. The reaction can also lead to a build-up of gas, causing the battery cells to expand. In the worst case scenario, these defects can mean that the cell starts to burn.