Battery and Electricity Vocabulary

(Glossary of Terms)

Ampere – The unit used to measure the electric current or
flow of electrons through an electrical conductor or circuit.

Atom- The smallest particle of an element that can exist
either alone or in combination; it is also known as the
building block of matter. An atom can be electrically
neutral or have a positive or negative charge. If it has either
a positive or negative charge, it is called an ion. The charge
is determined by the number of electrons (which carry a
negative charge) compared to the number of protons (which
carry a positive charge). The negative charges (electrons) of
the atom can move from one object to another for certain
materials (see Conductor).

Battery- A source of electrical energy that is created by a
chemical reaction and pushes electric charges within a circuit.

Battery Terminal- The connecting points or locations on a
battery where the electrical charges leave or enter the battery.

Circuit- A path through which electricity flows.

Closed Circuit- A completes electrical circuit or path
through which electricity or current can pass or flow.

Conductor- Materials through which electrical current can
flow. Copper is a good conductor. Most electrical wires are

Electric Motor- A device that converts or changes electrical
energy into mechanical energy.

Electric Charge- An electrical property of an atom, described
as either positive or negative.

Electric Current- A flow of electrons; the quantity of
electrons that moves through the circuit. Electric current is
measured in amperes (amps).

Electric Discharge- The jumping of electric charges between
two objects.

Electrical Energy- Form of energy created by the flow of
electrons; this energy allows the completion of work.

Filament- A wire or similar part of a light bulb through
which electricity flows; it glows from the heat generated by
passage of the electrical current.

Power Generator- A device that changes or converts
mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Insulator- Materials that do not easily carry or allow the
passage or flow of an electric current. Examples of insulators
are glass, rubber, plastic, and air.

Ion –Any atom or molecule that carries an electrical charge,
either positive or negative.

Magnet- An object that pulls or attracts iron or steel and has
a force around it. The pull or attraction is strongest at its ends
or poles, and they are labeled North and South.

Magnetism- The force around a magnet.

Ohm- The unit used to measure the resistance to the flow of
electrons or electric current.

Open Circuit- A circuit or electrical path that is broken or
incomplete, and so electricity cannot flow through it.

Parallel Circuit- An electrical circuit in which the electricity
can follow more than one path. It is a circuit that connects
several objects or resistances in a way that allows each
resistance to have its own path. This is the way appliances and
lights are connected in homes, so they do not all have to be
on at once.

Resistance- A measure of how well electricity moves through
a material. Insulators have high resistance; conductors have
low resistance. Resistance of an object is measured in ohms.

Series Circuit- A circuit in which all the lights or resistors
are connected in sequence, or one after the other, forming a
single path through which the electricity can flow. Batteries
in a flashlight and in small, portable radios are frequently
connected in series.

Static Electricity- Electricity that is motionless or at rest; it is
produced by rubbing two objects together, such as a resin rod
and a piece of silk fabric, or a balloon against a piece of wool

Switch- A device that allows an electrical circuit to be opened
or closed.

Voltage – The force or push, given by a battery or generator
that moves electrons from one place to another in an electric
circuit or conductor.

Volts – The unit used to measure voltage.

Watts- A unit for measuring how quickly or how much an
appliance or other device uses electricity.

Brand New Batteries? How “Fresh” Are They? How Old is the Battery Stock? Will They Work?

Buying a brand new battery? If so you may be inclined to ask about the age of the battery inventory at your battery supplier of choice! For that matter does the age of the battery really matter?

It is a good question to ask. A battery is a consumable product. Think about your favorite restaurant? Would you eat there if you knew that your salad of choice had ingredients that were 6 months old? Probably not! But with batteries is there such a thing as an old battery? The answer is yes!

You see batteries as a consumable have a shelf-life meaning that a battery will only last a certain amount of time before it is unusable. Now I am not speaking about a battery’s declining capacity. Declining capacity is a natural process of a battery use that once declining capacity begins the battery will degrade to the point of non-operability. Technically speaking declining capacity is when the amount of charge a battery can hold gradually decreases due to usage, aging, and with some chemistry, lack of maintenance. PDA batteries, for example, are specified to deliver about 100 percent capacity when new but after usage and aging and lack of conditioning a pda battery's capacity will drop. This is normal. If you are using a pda battery (or any lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery) when your battery's capacity reaches 60% to 70% the pda battery will need to be replaced. Standard industry practice will warranty a battery above 80%. Below 80% typically means you have used the practical life of a battery. Thus the threshold by which a battery can be returned under warranty is typically 80%.

But when I speak about the shelf-life of a battery I am speaking wholly of a battery that is new. Let me be very clear and define what a new battery is and is not! A new battery is NOT: a battery that was charged, connected to a device, been opened or chemically activated in any way. Now be very careful with any assumption you may have where a battery could still be considered new even after it was charged, connected to a device, been opened or chemically activated in any way. Why?

Inside the battery itself, is a chemical reaction that produces the electrons. The chemical reaction is designed for a single purpose: to create an electron flow (i.e. electricity) by which the device is powered. The electron flow is measured (or moves at speeds) in amperes, where 1 ampere is the flow of 62,000,000,000,000,000,000 electrons per second! Therefore once the chemical is activated and the flow of electrons takes place, even for a second, then the loss of power and battery degradation begins and there is no stopping it. Once battery degradation begins a battery is considered used and its natural life will deplete in a matter of time.

Now a new battery (a battery that was NEVER charged, connected to a device, been opened or chemically activated in any way can have a shelf-life up to 36 months (under certain conditions). My personal preference is to never buy a new battery that has been sitting on the shelf for more than 18 months. But again that is merely a personal preference. Batteries that are left in temperature extremes will not last as long and may degrade within a few weeks or less if the weather is really extreme. Brand new batteries that are less than 12 months old are your best choice as they represent your “freshest” battery type.


Until next time, Dan Hagopian
Copyright © All rights reserved.

iPaq Battery – iPaq PDA History

iPaq batteries have been available since the first iPaq PDA was released in 2002. This iPaq by the way was the HP iPAQ h5450. The IPAQ H5450 Battery technology consists of: a Polymer Lithium battery cell and rated at 3.7 volts and a capacity of 1400 mAh. The IPAQ H5450 battery contains integrated power management circuits that protect against over-voltage and under-voltage conditions and maximizes battery life between charges, minimizes charging times, and also improves overall battery life.

Additional iPaqs and their release dates are:

HP ipaq rx5915 Travel Companion (released 2006)

HP ipaq hw6900 Mobile Messenger (released 2006)

HP ipaq hx2790 (released 2005)

HP ipaq hx2490 (released 2005)

HP ipaq hx2190 (released 2005)

HP ipaq rx1950 (released 2005)

HP ipaq hw6500 Mobile Messenger (released 2005)

HP ipaq hx2110 (released 2004)

HP ipaq hx2410 (released 2004)

HP ipaq hx2750 (released 2004)

HP ipaq rx3115 (released 2004)

HP ipaq hx4705 (released 2004)

HP ipaq rx3715 (released 2004)

HP ipaq rx3415 (released 2004)

HP ipaq rz1715 (released 2004)

HP ipaq h6315 / h6320 (released 2003)

HP ipaq h4350 h4355 (released 2003)

HP ipaq h5150 (released 2003)

HP ipaq h4150 h4155 (released 2003)

HP ipaq h1940 h1945 (released 2003)

HP ipaq h5550 h5555 (released 2003)

HP ipaq h2210 h2215 (released 2003)

To find an ipaq battery for any of the ipaq’s listed above then visit

Until next time – Dan Hagopian,