June 20, 1999
deep cycle - 1. a term given to rechargeable batteries. A battery designed to be used "discharged" for a period that comes close to the full capacity of the battery. It is important to promptly recharge the cell if it reaches the fully discharged state. 2. in normal usage to get the most output capacity from the battery, or the process done to batteries to condition them in order to get the maximum capacity out of them.
float charge - a state where the battery is fully charged and a small maintenance amount of current is applied to overcome the self-discharge that occurs over time without cooking out or drying out the electrolyte in the cell(s).
trickle charge - an amount of current to recharge a battery up to maximum service capacity. This type of charge, if left on for an extended period of time could cook out the cells depending upon the amount of current used to charge.
cook out - 1. something I do almost every weekend during the summer. 2. a condition that occurs when a cell or battery is overcharged to the point that the temperature of the electrolyte is elevated to a point that the moisture in the cell is vented out of the cell making the cell entirely useless. At this point, the cell is destroyed and there is no real safe way of repairing the cell. The plates of a wet cell at this time have been "sulfated" and adding water will really do no good either.
shelf life - the duration of time a battery or cell can sit unused and still provide its maximum capacity.
array - a group of panels wired in series and/or parallel to provide a substantially larger amount of power.
cell - a single unit that provides a voltage and current that is the basic component of a battery.
battery - a group of cells usually wired in series to provide a larger amount of voltage. A single cell is sometimes referred to as a battery too.
More technical battery FAQ's
Solar Mike's lots of info, lots of links. Don't get lost.