5 Essential Factors for Choosing the Right Battery

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As more systems go mobile and remote, batteries are becoming increasingly important to design. Make sure you choose the right one by keeping these five design factors in mind, then use our battery chemistry comparison chart to determine if Lead Acid, Alkaline, Nickel-Metal Hydride or Lithium Ion is best for your build.

1. Energy Density: Energy density is determined by comparing the potential energy available to the overall weight of the system. This means that if your application has high energy density, your application has high potential energy for a low amount of weight. Conversely, low energy density means your battery will be heavy and have less available power. 

2. Current Availability (Power Density): When a device has high power density it means it can sustain high current draws for a ‘large’ period of time (more than a few milliseconds).

3. Durability: Physical external factors can greatly affect the performance of your battery. Different battery chemistries are more susceptible than others to factors such as impact, temperature, humidity, vibrations, magnetic fields, etc.

4. Lifetime: There are two main factors to a battery’s lifetime: charge life and total life. Charge life is the amount of time that potential energy will stay in the battery without trickling out. Total life is the number of charge cycles that a battery will support.

5. Battery Memory: Batteries are susceptible to being ‘trained’ (for lack of a better term) to hold less than their total available charge. For example, if you use a Nickel-Metal Hydride battery from a full charge down to 40% of its full charge capacity repeatedly, it will eventually only be able to hold 60% of its original intended charge capacity.

Once you gauge your design needs you can make an informed battery choice. Here’s how the major battery chemistries compare:

0717 Battery Chemistry Comparison Chart

Click to download chart.


Product Recommendations

Lead Acid – Could be retrofit to power anything requiring 12V of power.

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Panasonic Batteries View


Alkaline – Bulk-Order 420 AA batteries for $0.27 each.

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Panasonic Batteries View


Nickle Metal Hydride – Great Rechargeable AA battery made by Panasonic.

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Panasonic Batteries View


Lithium-Ion Battery – The King of Lithium Batteries, too bad we only have 232,000 in stock.

See related product


Panasonic Batteries View


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