BU-1102: Abbreviations

Learn about battery-related abbreviations and make use of conversions.

$ Dollar in US currency (exchange rate of ca. first quarter 2016)
18650 Li-ion cylindrical cell format measuring 18mm x 65mm
A Ampere (electrical)
AAMI Association for the Advancement of Medical Instruments
A4WP Alliance for Wireless Power
AC Alternating current
ACA Accessory Charging Adapters used to charge batteries from USB port
ADAC Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (German automobile club)
AEDLC Asymmetric Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitor
AFC  Alkaline fuel cell
AGM   Absorbent Glass Mat (battery)
AGV   Automatic Guided Vehicle
Ah   Ampere-hour; battery provides energy over a specified time
ALPA Air Line Pilots Association
ANSI American National Standards institute
APU   Auxiliary Power Unit
BAPCO  Business Applications Performance Corporation
Bar  Unit of pressure; 1 bar = 100kPa; 1 bar = 14.503psi
bbl   Measurements of liquid, 1 barrel = 42 US gallons (35 Imperial gallons), 159 liters
BCG   The Boston Consulting Group
BCI   Battery Council International
BMS Battery management system
BMW  Bavarian Engine Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke)
BTU British Thermal Unit; 1 BTU = 1,054 joules; 1 BTU = 0.29Wh
Celsius, Centigrade (°C x 9/5 + 32 = °F)
Cal, food label Calorie; 1cal = 1.16 watt; 1cal = 4.18 joules
Cal, standard Calorie; 1cal = 1.16mWh; 1cal = 4.18 kilojoules
CAN Bus Controller Area Network, vehicular network to communicate with applications
CARB   California Air Resources Board
CCA Cold cranking amps at –18°C (0°F). The norms differ as follows:

- BCI discharges battery at CCA-rate for 30s; battery at or above 7.2V passes

- IEC discharges battery at CCA-rate for 60s; battery at or above 8.4V passes

- DIN discharges battery at CCA-rate for 30s and 150s; battery at or above 9V and 6V respectively passes

CCCV  Constant current constant voltage (charge method for lead acid, Li-ion)
CCV  Closed circuit voltage (battery under charge or discharge)
CDMA  Code Division Multiple Access (digital communication on mobile phones)
CEC    Certificate of Equivalent Competency (International regulations)
CEC California Energy Commission seeking high efficiency in consumer AC adapters
CID  Circuit interrupt device (acts as fuse)
CIPA  Camera and Imaging Products Association
CL  Current limiting (as in charging a battery)
CNG  Compressed natural gas
CNT  Carbon nanotube
CPU  Central processing unit
Co  Cobalt (metal)
COC   Certificate of Competency
CO2  Carbon dioxide (also seen as CO2)
CPR  Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
C-rate  Discharge rate of a battery
DC Direct current
DCA Dynamic charge acceptance
DC-to-DC Direct current to direct current converter, also seen as DC-DC or DC/DC
DCP Dedicated Charger Port, a dedicated USB charging port only with no data
DGP Dangerous Goods Panel
DGR Dangerous Goods Regulation
DIN   Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization)
DLC  Double-layer capacitor
DMFC  Direct Methanol Fuel Cell
DoD  Depth of discharge
DOE   Department of Energy (US)
DOT  Department of Transportation (US)
DSP  Digital signal processor
dT/dt Delta Temperature over delta time (charge method)
EBM  Electronic battery monitor
EDTA  Crystalline acid
EFB Enhanced Flooded Battery
EIS  Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy
ELC  Equivalent lithium content
EMF   Electromagnetic field
EMF  Electromotive force
EPA  Environmental Protection Agency (US)
ESS Energy storage systems
EV Electric vehicle
Fahrenheit (°F - 32) x 5/9 = °C)
Farad (unit of capacitance)
FAA  Federal Aviation Administration
FC  Fuel cell
FCVT   FreedomCAR & Vehicle Technologies (US Department of Energy)
FDA Food and Drug Administration
Foot/’ Foot (dimension) 1’ = 12”; 1’ = 0.3048m; 1’ x 3.28 = 1m
g Gram; 1g = 0.035oz; 1g x 28.35 = 1 oz
GSM   Global System for Mobile Communications (cell phones)
h Hour (time)
HEV  Hybrid electric vehicle
hp  Horsepower (power) 1hp = 745.7 watts
Hz  Hertz (electrical frequency)
Current (electrical)
i.e.   Id est. Latin: That is
IATA   International Air Transport Association
IC  Integrated circuit (chip)
ICAO  International Civil Aviation Organization
ICE Internal combustion engine
IEC  International Electrochemical Commission
ILA International Lead Association
Inch/“ Inch; 1” = 25.4mm; 1” = 0.0254 meter; 1” x 39.3 = 1m
IPF   Interfacial protective film
IPP IEC aircraft battery rating (0.3/15s power discharge)
IPR  Aircraft battery rating according to IEC (15s power discharge)
IS  Intrinsic safety (used on batteries)
Joule (unit of energy), 1J = 1A at 1V for 1s = 1 watt x second; 1J = 0.238 calorie/s
JCESR Joint Center for Energy Storage Research
kg  Kilogram; 1kg = 0.45 pound; 1kg x 2.2 = 1 pound
kJ  Kilo-Joule; 1kJ = 0.277Wh
km  Kilometer; 1km = 0.621 miles; 1km x 1.60 = 1 mile
kN  Kilo-Newton (law of motion) 1N = 1kg m/s2
kPa  Kilo-Pascal (pressure); 1kPa = 0.01 bar; 1kPa = 0.145psi
kW Kilowatt (electrical power); 1kWh = 3.6MJ; 1MJ = 860kcal = 238cal/s
kWh  Kilowatt-hour (electrical energy)
L Inductance (electrical coil)
lb Pound (weight, from Roman libra) 1 lb x 0.45 = 1kg
LCD  Liquid crystal display
LCO  Lithium cobalt oxide (also LiCoO2, secondary battery)
LED  Light emitting diode
LFP  Lithium iron phosphate (also LiFePO4, secondary battery)
LFPT   Low frequency pulse train (method to test a battery)
LiCoO2 Lithium ion cobalt oxide (also LCO, secondary battery)
LiFePO4   Lithium iron phosphate oxide (also LFP, secondary battery)
LiFeS2 Lithium iron disulfide (primary battery)
Li-ion  Lithium-ion battery (short form)
LIN Bus Local Interconnect Network, low-cost multiplexed automotive communication
Li-M Lithium manganese dioxide (also LiMnO2, primary battery)
LiMn2O4    Lithium ion manganese oxide (also LMO, secondary battery, spinel structure)
LiMnO2 Lithium manganese dioxide (primary battery, different from secondary LiMn2O4)
LiNiCoAlO2   Lithium ion nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (also NCA, secondary battery)
LiNiMnCoO2   Lithium ion nickel manganese cobalt oxide (also NMC, secondary battery)
Li2TiO3 Lithium titanate oxide (also LTO, secondary battery)
LiSO2 Lithium sulfur dioxide (primary battery)
LiSOCI2 Lithium thionyl chloride (also LTC, primary battery)
L/km  Liter per kilometer
LMO  Lithium ion manganese oxide (also LiMn2O4, secondary battery, spinel structure)
LTC Lithium thionyl chloride (also LiSOCI2, primary battery)
LTO Lithium-titanate (also Li2TiO3, secondary battery)
m Meter (dimension) 1m = 3.28 feet; 1m x 0.305 = 1 foot
mAh  Milliampere-hours
MCFC  Molten carbonate fuel cell
mHz Millihertz (1mHz has a sinusoidal revolution of 1,000 seconds)
Microfarad [µF]  Farad is the standard unit of capacitance, one-millionth 10-6 of a farad)
Min  Minute (time)
mm  Millimeter (dimension) 1mm = 0.039”; 1mm x 25.4 = 1”
Mn  Manganese (chemical element used in batteries)
MPa  Mega-Pascal unit of pressure (1MPa = 145 psi)
MPPT Maximum power point tracking
Mpg  Miles per gallon
ms  Millisecond
MW  Megawatt (power)
Newton is a force. 1N = 1kg m/s2 (force required to accelerate 1kg at 1m/s)
NaS  Sodium-sulfur (battery)
NASA  National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NCA  Lithium-ion battery with nickel, cobalt, aluminum cathode (also LiNiCoAlO2)
NCV  Net calorific value (1 food calorie = 1.16 watt-hour; standard rating is 1.16mWh)
NDV  Negative delta V (full-charge detection)
NG  Natural gas, consumption measured in joules (1,000 joules = 0.277Wh)
NiCd  Nickel-cadmium (secondary battery)
NiFe   Nickel-iron (secondary battery)
NiH  Nickel-hydrogen battery (secondary)
NiMH  Nickel-metal-hydride (secondary battery)
NiZn  Nickel-zinc (secondary battery)
NMC  Lithium-ion with nickel, manganese, cobalt cathode (also LiNiMnCoO2)
NRC   National Research Council
NTC  Negative temperature coefficient
OCV  Open circuit voltage
OEM  Original equipment manufacturer
Oz  Ounce; 1 oz = 28 grams; 1 oz x 0.035 = 1 gram
Pa Pascal (1Pa = 0.00045psi)
PAFC  Phosphoric acid fuel cell
PC Personal computer
PEM  Proton exchange membrane (fuel cell), also PEMFC
PEMFC Proton exchange membrane fuel cell, also PEM
pf  Pico-farad (capacitor rating, one-trillionth 10-12 of a farad)
pf  Power factor (ratio of real power to the apparent power on AC)
PHEV  Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
PMA Power Matters Alliance
PRBA  Portable Rechargeable Battery Association
psi  Pound per square inch (pressure) 1psi = 0.145kPa; 1psi x 6.89 = 1kPa
PTC  Positive temperature coefficient
PTC  Over-voltage protection (batteries, motors, speakers)
QA  Quality assurance
Qi  Standard on inductive charging by Wireless Power Consortium (WPC)
Q-Mag™  Quantum magnetic battery analysis (Cadex trademark)
Resistor (electrical)
RBRC  Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation
RC  Remote control (hobbyist)
RC  Reserve capacity of starter battery. Conversion formula: RC divided by 2+16=Ah. A short method is dividing RC by 1.9.
R&D  Research and development
RPM  Revolution per minute
Second (time)
SAE  Society of Automotive Engineers, founded early in 1900 by US auto manufacturers
SBS  Smart Battery System
SEI   Solid electrolyte interface (Li-ion)
SG  Specific gravity (acid density of electrolyte)
SLA  Sealed lead acid (battery)
SLI  Starter-light-ignition (battery), also known as starter battery
SMBus   System Management Bus, single-ended simple two-wire bus for batteries and more
SoC State-of-charge
SoF  State-of-function
SOFC  Solid oxide fuel cell
SoH  State-of-health
UL  United Laboratories (product safety testing and certification)
UPS  Uninterruptible power supply
US$ Currency in United States dollar
USB  Universal Serial Bus (data)
V Voltage (electrical)
VA  Volt-ampere (similar to watt with true current flow in a reactive load)
VAC  Voltage with alternating current (grid)
VL  Voltage limiting (as in charging a battery)
VRLA  Valve regulated lead acid (battery)
Watt (electrical power; voltage x current = watts)
Wh  Watt-hour (electrical energy; watts x h = Wh); 1Wh = 860 cal/h = 0.238cal/s
Wh/kg Watt-hour per kilogram (measurement of specific energy)
Wh/km Watt-hour per kilometer
Wh/l  Watt-hour per litter (measured in energy density)
Wi-Fi Wireless fidelity (network)
W/kg Watt per kilogram (measurement of specific power)
WPC   Wireless Power Consortium, standard for wireless charging
WW  World War
Impedance (reactance-based resistance, frequency dependent)
ZEBRA   Zeolite Battery Research Africa Project (battery)

Last updated 2016-05-19


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Basics You Should Know
The Battery and You
Batteries as Power Source


On January 13, 2011 at 1:17pm
Thomas Sebastian wrote:

wow great info   I would like to see more on applications and repairing batt packs and were to get them the battery for the packs and identification. like laptop applications my dewalt packs go bad in 6 months i want to replace the bad parts and continue a new pack is 100 us a repair could be one tenth of that.  Thank you tom sebastian
                                                      merritt island fl

On September 2, 2011 at 8:46am
John Robert wrote:

The official benzo fury that is supplied by them is also under scrutiny because they keep changing suppliers even though when it was first introduced they claimed to have the only supplier in the world capable of synthesizing such a compound.

On April 4, 2015 at 9:52pm
Neil Adams wrote:

Great website!
Your article ‘abbreviations’ defines:
W=electrical energy
Wh=electrical power
They are reversed, no?

On October 9, 2015 at 1:18pm
Arturo Hall wrote:


This specs are very important to some areas.

On February 17, 2016 at 12:38pm
Lorcan Bonda wrote:

Does anyone know what the designation of 0.1C5A means?  (the five is written as a subscript, below the line.)

I’m assuming that 0.1C is the charge or discharge rates based on rated capacity, but was does the “5” and “A” mean?