Batteries come in all shapes and sizes and produce power for a variety of different applications. There are generic batteries for general usage, and also very specific types of batteries that are designed to perform specific functions.
This information can prove to be overwhelming for anyone who has just started to learn about batteries.
We often get these types of questions and in this article, we will try to best explain what this all means.
Let's start with the two key defining features of this battery – the first is the voltage rating of the battery, which is 12 Volts in this case. This is the maximum voltage output the battery can provide.
The second is the Ampere-hour (Ah) rating of the battery which is 12 Ah for this particular battery.
This means that if the discharge rate of the battery is given as 1 C (100% Capacity) Amps, the battery can provide a current of 12 Amps for 1 hour.
Changing the discharge rate, changes the magnitude of current the battery can provide, along with its time duration. For instance, for a discharge rate of 2 C, it can provide 24 A current for 30 minutes and, similarly, for a discharge rate of 0.5 C, it can provide a current of 12 A for 2 hours.
The amperage of this particular battery is such that it can serve as a deep cycle battery and not just a starting, lighting, and ignition (SLI) battery. SLI batteries deliver a high magnitude current needed to start a vehicle.
The specifications of this 12 V 12 Ah battery do not allow the flow of a high magnitude current. That is why a battery with these specifications would be designed to operate as a deep cycle battery. It can provide a steady current for a relatively long duration and provides deep cycles of discharge that can power alarm systems and medical devices.
A 12 V 12 Ah battery can also be used as a backup power source with a UPS system. While the conventional lead-acid battery can get the job done, there are variants of deep cycle batteries more suitable for the role.
Such deep cycle batteries include maintenance-free batteries, which are also known as sealed batteries. Sealed batteries have further sub-categories of gel and AGM batteries. Although these variants are more costly when compared to standard lead-acid batteries, they offer notable benefits such as longer lifespans, lower self-discharge, and are maintenance-free.