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how to test battery


Welcome to Tom’s lithium battery expert’s blog post on battery testing! In this post, we’ll be discussing all things battery testing related. We’ll start by discussing battery types and the various tools and instruments used for battery testing. We’ll then move on to a discussion of the test methodologies employed in battery testing. Finally, we’ll close with a few tips on how to get the most out of battery testing. Thanks for reading!

What are the types of batteries?

Well, that’s a great question! There are different types of batteries, each with its unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Let’s look at some of the most common types of batteries: dry battery, button battery, lead acid battery, nickel battery, lithium metal battery, lithium-ion battery, vanadium liquid battery, and sodium metal battery.

Dry battery includes fast-failing carbon dry batteries and popular alkaline dry batteries. All nominal voltage is 1.5 Voltage. There are also different less commonly used nominal voltages, such as 4.5 V, 6 V, 9 V, and 12 Volt. The standard model includes AAA, AA, C, and D. The uncommon unique models have AAAA, N, B, F, M2057, and so on.

Button battery, also known as coin battery or cell battery, refers to a battery with a flat round shape and relatively small size. Button batteries include silver oxide batteries(1.5V), lithium manganese dioxide batteries(3 volts), and lithium carbon tetrafluoride batteries(3.0 volts).

Lead acid batteries are the most common type in vehicles and other applications. Include AGM and GEL battery, the standard voltage is 12 V,  and it consists of 6 2-volt lead cells in series. They are rechargeable batteries. A battery pack with a higher voltage capacity can be formed by connecting in series and parallel to meet different applications.

A nickel battery is another rechargeable battery, which includes a nickel-cadmium battery (Ni-Cd), nickel-metal hydride battery (Ni-MH), and nickel-zinc battery (Ni-Zn). Its nominal voltage is 1.2 Volts (Ni-Cd & Ni-Mh) or 1.65 volts (Ni-Zn). The most popular models include AAA, AA, SC, and D. Rare models such as 4/5A, 2/3A, and so on.

Lithium metal batteries are non-rechargeable batteries. They can’t recharge like other rechargeable battery types, such as lead batteries, nickel batteries, and lithium-ion batteries. Named primary lithium battery also. Material includes six kinds of materials type,  Lithium thionyl chloride battery (ER series, 3.6 Volt.), lithium manganese dioxide battery (CR series, 3.0 Volt.), lithium-sulfur dioxide battery (WR series, 2.9 Volt), lithium copper disulfide battery (LiCuS2, 1.5 Volt.), lithium iron disulfide battery (LiFeS2, 1.5 Volt.), lithium carbon tetrafluoride battery (BR series, 3 Volt.)

The lithium-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery. It is named a secondary lithium battery. Lithium-ion batteries include cobalt oxide lithium (LCO), manganese oxide lithium (LMO), lithium iron phosphate(LiFePO4 battery), ternary lithium(NCM or NCA), and lithium titanate batteries. The nominal voltages of these materials are 3.7V, 3.7 volts, 3.2 v, 3.7v, and 2.4v, respectively. According to different material ratios and shell forms, it can make into various rechargeable batteries to meet additional application requirements. Vanadium liquid and sodium-ion batteries are new technology route rechargeable batteries launched in the past two years. The sodium-ion battery’s nominal voltage is 3 Volts. A vanadium liquid battery is a 1.2-volt nominal voltage.

What parameter or character is your concern?

Batteries with different materials or uses usually have other electrical characteristics or parameters. But the most used parameters for each storm are the dimensions, voltage, and capacity. Each battery’s internal resistance, discharge rate, and cycle life (only for rechargeable batteries) of each battery will be different.

As a typical user, you should be concerned battery’s size and voltage. Battery dimensions are an essential consideration for the everyday user. You may be motivated to replace old batteries that fail. So, you must follow the map and try to find the same. As a professional user, you should be concerned with more characters, for example, outline (Unit: mm), voltage (Unit: V or mV), inner resistance (Unit: milliohm), discharge rate (Unit: n C rate, n represents a constant from 2 to 150), operating temperature (Unit: Celsius or Fahrenheit ), Capacity (Unit: Ah or mAh, Ampere hours or milliampere-hours), Energy(Unit: Wh(for battery cell), KWh, MWh, GWh(for producing scale)). For example, if your project is a UAV application, but you choose a typical energy battery that cannot provide a high drain current, it will fail.

What will be used tools or instruments for testing?

The most straightforward test tools are the vernier caliper or tape measure, voltmeter, and multi-meter, the most commonly used tools for judging battery dimensions, no-load voltage, and loading voltage.

If you can DIY, you can use a power resistor to test the battery’s capacity. There will be errors depending on the internal resistance and accuracy of the test circuit you built.

For professional users, if you want to test more accurate battery electrical performance parameters. You need to invest a certain amount to purchase professional equipment. For example, electronic load meters, regulated DC power supplies, impedance testers or internal resistance testers, battery comprehensive performance testers, professional instruments such as battery performance test systems, and incubators from -50 degrees Celsius to 100 degrees Celsius or higher. If it is also necessary to test the pressure resistance, vibration, drop, and other performance of the battery, it is essential to add other testing instruments.

How to test a dry battery?

The dry battery test standard is according to the IEC60086-1 and the IEC60086-2. When testing a dry battery, the most common method is to check the battery’s open circuit voltage using a multi-meter or voltmeter. Connect the meter’s black lead to the battery’s negative terminal and the red one to the positive terminal. The battery should then be on. Then we can see the battery’s open voltage.

If we test the new battery, the no-load voltage should be more than the nominal voltage. If the voltage is lower than 1 Volt., even to 0 V, it indicates that the tested battery is defective or dead. To know the battery’s real capacity or discharge performance, you should choose an electric load or battery performance testing instrument. It can help you finish constant resistance, constant power, constant current test, or set condition testing.

How to test the button battery?

The button(coin) battery is tiny in size and capacity. In common, you test open-circuit voltage is ok.

If you want to test more electrical properties, it will cost you more cost and time. You can completely trust the quality commitment of your brand owners, manufacturers, and suppliers. Most button batteries on the market come from China because the batteries are small. After so many years of development, production technology has matured, and Chinese factories have adopted Fully automatic production lines and large-scale automatic production. It must go through strict quality control only when it meets the requirements.

How to test nickel batteries?

Nickel battery test include IEC60285(Ni-Cd, expired), IEC61436(Ni-Mh, expired, Replaced by IEC62133-1:2017).

Because the Ni-Cd battery includes heavy metal Cd, it is not friendly to the environment and phases gradually.

Ni-Mh and Ni-Zn batteries, we commonly test battery no-load and load voltage, discharge current, and charge/discharge capacity at normal or room temperature conditions.

First, charge the battery fully according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Second, connect the battery to the device correctly.

Let the device work normally again until the load stops. And the discharge is over.

Calculate the running time of the equipment and see if it matches your expectations.

Calculated by Ohm’s law, the power can divide by the voltage to get current, and the current can be multiplied by the working time to calculate the capacity.

For the professional user, please test according to the IEC62133 standard or the supplier’s charge and discharge test standard or specification.

We commonly choose a battery test system to connect the computer, battery, and charge power supply.

At first, charge total capacity via 0.1 C rate current 16 hours at 23 Celsius.

Second, the battery discharge 0.2 C rate current to cut-off voltage 1.0 V

Third, check the exact discharge time, discharge capacity, and discharge curve from the test computer. If we need different temperature conditions discharging character data. The battery to be tested must be placed in a constant temperature and humidity chamber and set up correctly.

How to test lead acid batteries?

The lead-acid batteries include valve-regulated, start-up, general-purpose, and traction-type. Every kind of battery test standard is different.

The valve-regulated test standard IEC/EN60896/GB19638.

The start-up type test standard IEC/EN60095/GBT5008, INMETRO239/2012

The general type test standard IEC61056

The traction type test standard IEC60254/GBT7403

For ordinary users, please choose the appropriate model and capacity according to your specific needs, and only need to test the no-load voltage and loading voltage of the battery.

Lead-acid batteries are also unfriendly to the environment because they contain heavy metal lead. The United States, Canada, and the European Union no longer produce these batteries. China, Vietnam, India, Brazil, and other countries have production, and the Chinese government has gradually reduced them in a planned way. Phase out lead-acid battery production.

How to test lithium-ion batteries?

The lithium-ion battery has been the most popular rechargeable battery in the world since 1990. Include cylindrical, prismatic, soft-pack polymer lithium-ion cells. The Li-ion battery test standard includes IEC/EN62133-2:2017, UL1642, UL2054, UL2056, GB31241, and GB18287.

Because lithium-ion battery/cell capacity is from 5 mAh to 300 Ah, the cell’s nominal voltage is from 2.4 volts to 3.8 volts. Its full charging voltage is from 2.9 volts to 4.35 volts. So, every kind of lithium-ion battery test parameter is not the same, but all lithium-ion battery charging/discharging method is the same (constant current and constant voltage). Lithium-ion batteries’ test methods and test requirements of lithium-ion batteries are much higher than those of other ordinary batteries.

For an ordinary user, the lithium-ion battery test method is similar to the nickel battery: Main test lithium-ion battery’s size and voltage via calipers, tape measure, and voltmeter or multi-meter. The actual battery’s capacity and energy cannot test via multi-meter. We can estimate the battery’s remaining capacity through the manufacturer and supplier’s lithium battery charging and discharging curve.

Of course, there are other lithium-ion battery voltage/capacity testers. Once you have these testers, when you connect rightly between the battery and the tester, the tester will indicate the battery’s voltage and estimate capacity. These testers use the algorithm of the internal integrated chip, combined with the discharge curve of the lithium battery, to obtain the total. The accuracy or tolerance of the capacity depends on the integrated chip selected by the supplier.

For the professional user, please reference the supplier’s battery specification. Choose suitable test measurement and equipment, test standard.

Note: The lithium-ion battery belonged to Dangerous Goods. All electric character tests need to finish by a professional test engineer. For your safety, ordinary users recommend testing the electrical performance of lithium-ion batteries. Before the test, safety protection needs to do to avoid unnecessary risks.

test lithium ion battery size

How to test a primary lithium battery?

The lithium primary battery test standard includes IEC/EN60086-4, GB8897-4, UL1642, UL2054, and so on. A primary lithium battery is similar to a lithium-ion battery, with high density, high voltage, wide operating temperature, and higher risk than a dry battery. So, for your safety, everyday users are not recommended to test the electrical performance of lithium-ion batteries. You can try no-load and load voltage.

Because the primary lithium battery is non-rechargeable, all electrical performance tests are irreversible, whether constant resistance discharge or constant current test. Once the test is over, the life of the battery will also end, becoming an unusable dead battery. Of course, If you only test the no-load voltage of the storm, no matter how many times you push it, its capacity will not decay.

As primary lithium battery professional suppliers, the following suggestions are for professionals who want to know about lithium metal battery testing.

The test parameters of each type of battery need to confirm with the. Only try to test within the scope of the test.

Choose a suitable electronic loader or battery test equipment: the right discharge temperature and humidity environment.

First, right set test parameters, for example, constant resistance, constant current, constant power, and cut-off voltage.

Second, connect the tested battery, tester, and computer.

Third, start the test until the end. According to Ohm’s law, calculate the expected discharge time of the battery.

Fourth, stop the test. Disconnect the battery from the test equipment and put the battery away.

test primary litium battery size

How to test sodium ion battery?

Sodium-ion battery’s charging &discharging method is the same as a lithium-ion battery. But its full voltage is 4.45 volts higher than a Li-ion battery. The removing cut-off voltage is 1.8V less than all lithium batteries. 

Sodium-ion battery standard refers to a lithium-ion battery.

The test method is like lithium-ion batteries, but the setting parameters need to be according to the specifications of the sodium-ion battery manufacturer.


Testing battery performance is an important part of battery safety and reliability. Depending on the battery type must consider different test methods. The test parameters should be set according to the battery supplier’s specifications and conducted with suitable electronic loaders or battery testers. For safety, the most common user can test battery capacity. Professional users can allow testing battery electric-character.

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