What Does Self-Discharge Mean on a Battery? (Here is the Answer)

Published on: October 21, 2022
Written by Nolan Miles / Fact-checked by Porimol Sorkar

Simply put, self-discharge is the loss of charge that occurs in all batteries over time.

The rate of self-discharge varies depending on the type of battery, but all batteries not only 12V 7Ah battery will eventually lose their charge if not used. This can be problematic for devices that are not used regularly, as the battery may be completely discharged by the time they are needed. There are ways to slow down the process of self-discharge, however, and understanding how it works can help you extend the life of your batteries.

Self-discharge is a battery’s natural loss of charge due to internal chemical reactions. Even when not in use, batteries will slowly lose their charge over time as electrons are lost from the positive electrode and transferred to the negative electrode. The rate of self-discharge varies depending on the type of battery but can be as high as 3-5% per month for some batteries.

This means that a brand-new battery may only have a 95% charge after just one month of storage! Self-discharge can be a big problem for devices that are not used often, like emergency lights or power tools. If these devices sit too long without being charged, they may not have enough power left to work when needed. Learn 150 Ah battery? Click here.

It is important to check the stored voltage of any device regularly to make sure the battery has enough juice to keep things running smoothly.

Why Do Batteries Self-Discharge?

Batteries are self-discharging because of an electrochemical reaction that is taking place inside the battery. This reaction is known as oxidation-reduction or redox, and it is responsible for the production of electricity in a battery. As the name suggests, oxidation-reduction reactions involve the transfer of electrons between molecules, and this process is what causes a battery to self-discharge.

The more active the redox reaction, the faster the self-discharge rate. The primary reason why batteries self-discharge is because they are made up of two different materials, a cathode, and an anode. The cathode is usually made of metal oxide, while the anode is made of carbon.

When these two materials are combined in a battery cell, they form an electrolyte solution that allows electrical current to flow between them. As electrons flow from the anode to the cathode through this electrolyte solution, they create a voltage difference between the two materials. This voltage difference is what powers electronic devices when you connect them to a battery.

However, even when a battery isn’t powering anything, there is still a small amount of current flowing through it as electrons move back and forth between the cathode and anode. This continual movement of electrons causes both materials to slowly degrade over time—a process known as corrosion—and as they degrade, their ability to produce voltage decreases. Therefore, batteries will self-discharge at different rates depending on how active their redox reaction is and how quickly their material degrades.

The good news is that there are ways to slow down Self-Discharge.

Storing your batteries in a cool locationOne way is by storing your batteries in a cool location; heat speeds up corrosion so keeping your batteries cool will help them last longer before needing to be recharged again.
Using “low self-discharge” (LSD) batteriesAnother way to slow down Self-Discharge is by using “low self-discharge” (LSD) batteries which have been designed with special additives that significantly reduce their degradation rate.

What is the Self-Discharge Rate of the Battery?

When it comes to batteries, the self-discharge rate is a measurement of how much power is lost over time. This can be due to a number of factors, including environmental conditions and the type of battery itself. Given that batteries are often used in critical applications, it’s important to understand self-discharge rates and how they can impact performance.

There are two main types of batteries: primary and secondary. Primary batteries are those that cannot be recharged, such as AAA or AA alkaline batteries. Secondary batteries can be recharged, such as lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries.

The self-discharge rate will vary based on the type of battery. Environmental conditions also play a role in self-discharge rates. Batteries stored in warmer temperatures will discharge at a faster rate than those stored in cooler temperatures.

This is because chemical reactions happen more quickly at higher temperatures. Likewise, humidity can also affect self-discharge rates. The self-discharge rate is an important consideration when choosing a battery for an application.

A higher self-discharge rate means that the battery will need to be replaced more frequently. For example, a high self-discharge rate would not be ideal for something like a smoke detector where the battery needs to last for years without being replaced. However, for something like a remote control car where the battery might only be used for short periods of time, a higher self-discharge rate may not be as big of an issue.

What is Self-Discharge of Battery?

Self-discharge is a natural process that causes batteries to slowly lose their charge over time. The rate of self-discharge varies depending on the type of battery, but all batteries will eventually become discharged if they are not used. Self-discharge can be a problem for devices that are not used often, such as emergency lights or power tools that are only used once in a while.

If the battery is not recharged before it becomes completely discharged, it will need to be replaced. The rate of self-discharge also increases as the temperature rises. This is why it is important to store batteries in a cool, dry place.

Batteries should also be stored at full charge, if possible. When storing batteries for long periods of time, it is best to check them periodically and recharge them if necessary. There are ways to reduce the effects of self-discharge, such as using low self-discharge (LSD) batteries or keeping devices in standby mode rather than turning them off completely.

However, even with these measures, all batteries will eventually need to be replaced due to self-discharge.

Self-Discharge Lithium-Ion Battery

Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries on the market today. They are used in everything from cell phones to laptops and have a reputation for being reliable and long-lasting. However, one thing that all lithium-ion batteries have in common is that they will self-discharge over time.

Self-discharge is a natural process that happens to all lithium-ion batteries as they age. The rate of self-discharge depends on several factors, including the type of battery, the temperature it is stored, and whether it is being used regularly or not. In general, higher temperatures and infrequent use will both lead to faster self-discharge rates.

One way to slow down the self-discharge process is to store your lithium-ion batteries at cool temperatures (below 20°C/68°F). If you need to store them for longer periods of time, you can also consider using a storage case with built-in cooling features. Additionally, regular use of your lithium-ion batteries can help keep them fresh for longer – so don’t be afraid to put them through their paces!

Self-Discharge from Hospital Meaning

When a patient is discharged from the hospital, it means they are no longer receiving inpatient care and are leaving the facility. Patients can be discharged for a variety of reasons, including being healthy enough to leave, being transferred to another facility, or passing away. Self-discharge occurs when a patient leaves the hospital against medical advice (AMA).

This means they are choosing to leave before their physician believes they are ready. Self-discharge can be dangerous as patients may not have fully recovered and could experience complications or worsen their condition. If you are considering self-discharging, it is important to speak with your doctor first to understand the risks involved.

Self-Discharge of Lead Acid Battery

A lead acid battery is made up of a series of lead plates and grids that are submerged in an electrolyte solution. The electrolyte is a mixture of water and sulfuric acid. When the battery is being charged, the lead plates become coated with a layer of lead sulfate.

This process is reversed when the battery is discharged, and the lead sulfate returns to the lead plates. The self-discharge rate of a lead acid battery depends on several factors, including temperature, storage time, and storage conditions. In general, the self-discharge rate increases as temperature increases and storage time increases.

Storage conditions also play a role in determining the self-discharge rate; batteries stored in humid environments will self-discharge at a higher rate than those stored in dry environments. Lead acid batteries typically have a self-discharge rate of about 3% per month. This means that if you have a 100 amp-hour battery, it will lose about 3 amps each month due to self-discharge.

The actual discharge rate will vary depending on the factors mentioned above. There are several ways to reduce the self-discharge rate of your lead acid battery:

1Store your batteries in cool, dry places
2Keep them away from heat sources
3Check them regularly for signs of corrosion or damage
4And charge them regularly (at least once every 3 months).

Battery Discharge Meaning

What does it mean when a battery is discharged? When a battery is discharged, it means that it is no longer able to provide power to an electrical device. This can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common cause is simply that the battery has reached the end of its life and needs to be replaced.

Discharged batteries can also be caused by overcharging, or by leaving them unused for long periods of time.

Self-Discharge Rate of Lead Acid Battery

As their name implies, lead acid batteries rely on a chemical reaction between lead and sulfuric acid to generate electricity. This same chemical reaction also causes the battery to self-discharge, or slowly lose charge even when not in use. The rate of self-discharge for lead acid batteries is typically around 20-30% per month, which means that a fully charged battery will only retain about 70-80% of its charge after one month of storage.

There are several factors that can affect the rate of self-discharge for a lead acid battery, including temperature, age, and manufacturing quality. For example, higher temperatures tend to accelerate the chemical reaction and thus increase the rate of self-discharge. Conversely, cooler temperatures will slow down the reaction and decrease the rate of self-discharge.

Additionally, newer batteries typically have lower rates of self-discharge than older ones due to improvements in manufacturing quality over time. While there’s no way to completely eliminate self-discharge in lead acid batteries, there are ways to minimize its impact. For instance, if you know you’ll be storing a lead acid battery for an extended period of time (more than a few weeks), it’s best to keep it at cool temperatures (below 75 degrees Fahrenheit) and check its voltage regularly to make sure it doesn’t fall below 50%.

Additionally, if you’re using a lead acid battery in an application where discharge cycles are frequent (such as in an RV or boat), it’s important to choose a high-quality battery with low internal resistance to help offset any loss from self-discharge.

Quick Facts

How Long Does It Take for a Battery to Self-Discharge?

A battery will self-discharge when it is not being used. The rate at which a battery self-discharges depends on the type of battery, temperature, and other factors. For example, a lead acid battery will self-discharge faster than a lithium-ion battery.

The self-discharge rate is also affected by temperature. In general, batteries discharge more quickly at higher temperatures. This is why it’s important to store batteries in a cool, dry place.

There are some things you can do to slow down the self-discharge process. For example, you can charge the battery regularly or use a “trickle charger” to keep the battery topped off. You can also buy “low self-discharge” batteries that have been designed to hold their charge longer.

In general, it takes about two to three months for a typical lead acid battery to completely self-discharge when stored at room temperature (68°F).

How Do I Stop Battery Self-Discharge?

If you want to stop your battery from self-discharging, there are a few things you can do.

Step 1First, make sure that your battery is always stored in a cool, dry place.
Step 2Second, if possible, keep your battery away from heat sources.
Step 3Third, check your battery regularly for signs of corrosion or other damage.
Step 4Fourth, if you have an older battery, consider replacing it with a newer one.
Step 5Finally, if you must store your battery for an extended period of time, consider using a Battery Minder or similar product to help keep your battery charged.

What Causes a Battery to Self-Discharge?

A battery will self-discharge when it is not being used. This happens because the chemical reaction that creates the electrical current in a battery is still occurring, even when the battery is not connected to a circuit. The rate at which a battery self-discharges depends on its type and temperature.

Lead-acid batteries have a high self-discharge rate, while lithium-ion batteries have a much lower rate.

Will Self-Discharge Weaken a Battery?

Self-discharge is a natural process that all batteries undergo. Over time, it will gradually weaken the battery and reduce its capacity. However, if you regularly use and recharge your battery, self-discharge should not have a significant impact on its overall performance.


Self-discharge is a chemical reaction that occurs inside a battery when it’s not being used. This reaction causes the battery to slowly lose its charge over time. The rate of self-discharge depends on the type of battery, but all batteries will eventually lose their charge if they’re not used.

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