Battery terminals

Battery terminals

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Battery terminals'
Start a new discussion about 'Battery terminals'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Battery terminals are the electrical contacts used to connect a load and/or charger
Battery charger
A battery charger is a device used to put energy into a secondary cell or rechargeable battery by forcing an electric current through it.The charge current depends upon the technology and capacity of the battery being charged...

 to a single cell or multiple-cell battery
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

. These terminals have a wide variety of designs, sizes, and features that are often not well documented.


Automotive battery terminals


Automotive batteries
Car battery
An automotive battery is a type of rechargeable battery that supplies electric energy to an automobile. Usually this refers to an SLI battery to power the starter motor, the lights, and the ignition system of a vehicle’s engine...

 typically have one of three types of terminals. In past years, the most common design was the SAE Post, consisting of two lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 posts in the shape of truncated cones, positioned on the top of the battery, with slightly different diameters to ensure correct electrical polarity
Electrical polarity
Electrical polarity is present in every electrical circuit. Electrons flow from the negative pole to the positive pole. In a direct current circuit, one pole is always negative, the other pole is always positive and the electrons flow in one direction only...

.

The "JIS" type is similar to the SAE but smaller, once again positive is larger than negative but both are smaller than their SAE counterparts. Most older Japanese cars were fitted with JIS terminals. You must ensure that when you are buying a new battery that you know which terminals you have. One must also look at the orientation of and which side of the old battery the terminals are on, otherwise you might find that if the terminals are oppositely oriented that the battery cables will not reach the new battery terminals.

General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

, and other automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 manufacturers, have also begun using side-post battery terminals, which consist of two recessed female 3/8" threads into which bolts or various battery terminal adapters are to be attached. These side posts are of the same size and do not prevent incorrect polarity connections.

L terminals consist of an L-shaped post with a bolt hole through the vertical side. These are used on some Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an car
Čar
Čar is a village in the municipality of Bujanovac, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the town has a population of 296 people.-References:...

s, motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

s, lawn and garden devices, snowmobile
Snowmobile
A snowmobile, also known in some places as a snowmachine, or sled,is a land vehicle for winter travel on snow. Designed to be operated on snow and ice, they require no road or trail. Design variations enable some machines to operate in deep snow or forests; most are used on open terrain, including...

s, and other light duty vehicles.

Marine battery terminals


Marine batteries typically have two posts, a 3/8"-16 threaded post for the positive terminal, and a 5/16"-18 threaded post for the negative terminal.

Zinc battery terminals


Zinc battery terminals are an environmentally friendly alternative to lead battery terminals. These types of battery terminals were designed as a result of environmental directives such as Proposition 65 and ROHS. Zinc battery terminals offer advantages over lead alloy type battery terminals. These advantages include increased electrical conductivity (by as much as three times), increased corrosion resistance, and reduces lead removal costs.

SLA battery terminals


The most common sizes of sealed lead acid
VRLA battery
A VRLA battery is a type of low-maintenance lead–acid rechargeable battery. Because of their construction, VRLA batteries do not require regular addition of water to the cells....

 (SLA) batteries use Faston tabs, but some larger batteries use L terminals, while some very specialized designs use other, sometimes proprietary terminals, such as older Panasonic
Panasonic
Panasonic is an international brand name for Japanese electric products manufacturer Panasonic Corporation, which was formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd...

 camcorder
Camcorder
A camcorder is an electronic device that combines a video camera and a video recorder into one unit. Equipment manufacturers do not seem to have strict guidelines for the term usage...

 batteries (of the type used for VHS
VHS
The Video Home System is a consumer-level analog recording videocassette standard developed by Victor Company of Japan ....

 shoulder-mounted camcorders).

UPS battery terminals


Batteries designed for use inside an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) typically use Faston tabs, often with an adapter cable between those and the UPS's internal battery connectors. Larger external battery packs use a variety of connectors, including the Anderson PowerPole MultiPole series (as used by Tripp-Lite), which are color-coded and keyed for specific voltage
Voltage
Voltage, otherwise known as electrical potential difference or electric tension is the difference in electric potential between two points — or the difference in electric potential energy per unit charge between two points...

s.

Dry battery terminals


Most cylindrical dry batteries (such as the AA battery
AA battery
An AA battery is a standard size of battery. Batteries of this size are the most commonly used type of in portable electronic devices. An AA battery is composed of a single electrochemical cell...

) have a projection at one end (positive) and a flat base (negative). These mate with metal strips or springs in the battery holder
Battery holder
A battery holder is one or more compartments or chambers for holding a battery. For dry cells, the holder must also make electrical contact with the battery terminals...

.

Six volt lantern batteries
Lantern battery
A lantern battery is a rectangular, alkaline or zinc-carbon primary battery used primarily in flashlights or lanterns. Lantern batteries are physically larger and consequently offer higher capacity than the more common torch batteries...

 typically feature two coiled, cone-shaped spring terminals, designed to mate with flat contact plates on the inside of the battery compartment. Some lantern batteries instead feature screw terminals, while still others instead feature pin holes.

Nine-volt batteries have snap-on connectors.