What does mAh mean in a battery – What do we mean by the mAh rating? Especially, in the case of mobile batteries, what does it stand for?

what does mah mean in a battery
Mobile Battery

Today, I will discuss a very exciting topic with you all. At the age of 4G, there is hardly any person without a smartphone. Mobile phones are present in both the hands of the kids and elders. We can stay without eating a three-course meal a day but it is impossible to stay without a mobile phone. The Operating force of this mobile phone is its battery. Remove the battery from the mobile phone. By doing so you can find batteries inside labeled as 1000/2000/3000/4000/5000 mAh. But this is only applicable for mobile phones that have removable batteries.  So, what does the mAh mean in a battery? Unlike many other phones that have unremovable liquid batteries.

Now the question arises,

What are the manufacturers trying to say by this?

Actually, mAh (Milli ampere-hour) is the charge storage capacity of the battery.

Equation of battery charge

Let us go back to our young age. We know from the equation of current,

I = q/t or, q = I (Ampere) x t (hour) or, charge = current flow x time

How long does the battery charge remain?

what does mah mean in a battery
Charging Mobile

How long the battery charge remains will depend on the current flow of the circuit. 

For example, if my battery is 3000 mAh and the current flow through the circuit is 200 mA, then what is the active time period of the battery?

I = q/t or, t = q/I = 3000/200 = 15 hr. That means if the battery is fully charged, then the time after which the battery charge becomes zero is 15 hours. As a result, we can find the active time of the battery using this mAh rating.

A bit deeper concept of the mAh rating in a battery

Batteries are all known to us. They come in different shapes and sizes. But most importantly they come at different voltages and capacities.
Today, we will look and know how to make sense of battery capacity and their different voltages. The nickel-metal hydride and the lithium-ion cells are rechargeable but the standard 1.5 volt AA battery is non-rechargeable. The lithium-ion or lithium-polymer ion cells are the most common cells used these days. It is common in applications that require higher voltages and higher current output. These are used commonly in laptop power supplies, smartphones, tablets, electric cars, and many more.

The math behind what mAh mean in a battery?

After purchasing a battery, you can usually find the mAh ratings in the packaging or the battery itself. These ratings indicate the capacity of the battery. The term mAh stands for milliamp-hour. Now, the milliamp-hour rating of a battery gives a huge amount of information. It gives you a really good idea of the amount of time it will last. Before it is discharged and needs recharging. For example, let a battery has a rating of say 2000 milliamp hours. For simple math, this means that you can draw 2,000 milliamps or 2 amps from the battery for one hour. Or even 1,000 milliamps or one amp for two hours, or even better you can draw 20 milliamps for a hundred hours from a battery with a two thousand milliamp hour rating.

what does mah mean in a battery
Dead Battery

When flight mode is one / screen is off

Normally, the smartphones we use have a mAh rating of 4000 mAh. When the flight mode is on and the screen is off then the battery consumes a current of 20 mA. As a result, in this situation, what is the batteries active period?

I = q/t or, t = q/I = 4000/20 = 200 hrs

Phone Screen
Phone Screen

When 30% screen brightness, 3G/4G Data on, YouTube is streaming on the device

During such a situation of 30% brightness, 3G/4G data is on and continuous YouTube streaming, the battery consumes 300 mAh of charge. Then the active period,

t = q/I = 4000/300 = 13.33 hrs.

When 60% brightness, high-resolution video streaming is in a device

When the video is being streamed at high resolution, data is on, screen brightness is 60%, then the charge consumed by the battery is 700 mA. Then what is the active period,

t = q/I = 4000/700 = 5.71 hrs.

Then from the above discussion, it can easily be concluded that having more mAh rating is beneficial.

Check more articles –

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2. What are the causes of Load shedding? The general concept of the people and it’s technical reality

Courtesy: Iqbal Mahmood

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