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Devices powered by batteries are all around us. Think of how many batteries are within arm’s reach as you read this! There are single-use alkaline batteries in our TV remotes and wireless mice/keyboards, and rechargeable lithium batteries in our cell phones and laptops. These devices can be tiny, like pacemakers, or large like the batteries powering electric vehicles or storing energy on the electric grid.
Batteries accumulate electric charge that can be used at a later time. This charge is extracted to produce power from the battery. In the case of rechargeables — or secondary batteries as they’re known in the industry — they can also be charged again and re-used.
Whether these devices are tested in laboratory or monitored during use, a stream of data is often recorded to describe the battery’s performance. At a minimum this data usually includes the time of the measurement (timestamp), the potential of the battery (in Volts) and the current (in Amps) as the battery is charged and discharged. Higher-order data can also be recorded including a count of the electric charge going into or out of a device (commonly referred to in the industry as “capacity”, measured in Coulombs or Amp-hours) and the same for energy (Joules or Watt-hours), as well as instantaneous power (Watts) and the rate of change for key values such as potential.
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