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How accurate is battery quick testing?

The secret of battery quick testing lies, to a large extent, in understanding how the battery is being loaded. Battery loads vary from short current bursts for a mobile phone using the GSM protocol, to long and fluctuating loads on laptops, and to intermittent heavy loads for power tools.

Because of these differences in loads, a battery for a digital mobile phone should be tested primarily for low impedance to assure a clean delivery of the current bursts, whereas a battery for a notebook should be examined mainly for the bulk in energy reserve. Ultra-low impedance is of less importance here. A battery for a power tool, on the other hand, needs both ¡ª low impedance and good power reserve.

Some quick testers simulate the equipment load and observe the voltage signature of the battery under these conditions. The readings are compared with the reference settings, which are stored in the tester. The resulting discrepancies are calculated against the anticipated or ideal settings and displayed as the SoH readings.

The first step in obtaining quick test readings is measuring the battery¡¯s internal resistance, often referred to as impedance. Internal resistance measurements take only a few seconds to complete and provide a reasonably accurate indication of the battery¡¯s condition, especially if a reference reading from a good battery is available for comparison.

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