There is at least one battery around us all the time, like in any consumer electronic, and sometimes we wonder how to measure battery capacity.

is similar to checking the mileage of a petrol car. In optimal conditions, the mileage of a car depends on the quantity of fuel. Likewise, the maximum amount of charge available in the battery will determine its capacity. In other words, the quantity of energy stored in the battery equals to the battery capacity. A battery is composed of electrochemical material, and the mass of this active material in the battery determines its capacity.  However, battery capacity usually is tested by using equipments like ammeter or voltmeter. The manufacturers use batteries of specific specifications for their devices and machines to meet the desired requirements for voltage and current. For instance, the batteries in your consumer electronics are designed especially for that type of appliances. We depend on the batteries for the electric devices we use every day and it will be helpful to understand how to measure battery capacity. Delivering power to various devices and gadgets, batteries are essential, and are usually intended for continuous use. So it is vital to know how to measure the battery capacity. Either on the packaging or in the user manual of the battery-powered device, there is a clear statement of battery capacity in mAh, Ah, or Wh. To check the battery capacity, these units are essential, and we will look at them in detail to understand what they mean.

How to Calculate Battery Capacity Using Amp-Hours (Ah)/Watt-Hours (Wh)/ C Ratings

Let’s look at them one by one:

Ampere –amp hour or Ah: This is the rating used to show how much amperage a battery can provide for exactly one hour. 1ampere = 1 coulomb per second and coulomb is the unit of electric charge. The flow of 1coulomb of charge in a second of time is known as 1 ampere. So, 1 ampere-hour is equal to 60 x 60 Coulombs or 3600 Coulombs of charge. So, 1 Ah of battery capacity means 3600 Coulombs of charge in that battery. Similarly, 1 million ampere-hours (mAh) are equal to 0.001 Ah. Likewise, if the capacity of a battery is tested as 280mAh, it means there are 1008 Coulombs of charge in that battery. Watt-Hours or Wh: A Watt-hour is the voltage (V) that the battery provides multiplied by how much current (Amps) the battery can supply for a certain period of time (usually in hours).. The voltage of a battery may be affected by charge or discharge process and other conditions like operating temperature. The watt-hour of a battery can be calculated by multiplying ampere-hour into the voltage of the battery. For example, a battery of 280 mAh (0.28Ah) operating at a nominal voltage of 3.7V will have a power capacity of1.04 (0.28 x 3.7) Wh.

C Ratings: The C ratings represent the measurement of current in which a battery is charged and discharged at. The rating is combined with a battery’s capacity to find determine the maximum discharge. A 1 C rate means the battery will charge or discharge the entire battery in 1 hour. The C rates depend on the type of battery and the type of appliance it is used for. For a battery with its capacity of 10Ah, a battery rated ar 1C is expected to discharge 10 amps for an hour. Similarly, if the battery of the same capacity is rated at 5C, it will be 50 amps for half an hour, and if the battery is discharged at a 0.5C rate, it will be 5 amps for two hours.

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