When shopping for a battery-powered device, you'll likely have seen the abbreviations mAh and Ah. The most common question buyers have to deal with after seeing the term is, "What is mAh?". Well, mAh or milliamp-hour measures the charge capacity of the battery. In technical words, it defines how much current (in milliamps) can be transferred in one hour.
A battery having a higher mAh rating can power a device for a longer time before you'll need to recharge it. In short, the higher the mAh, the better the solar-powered device, and the longer the electrical appliances can run. Homeowners wanting a solar generator for power backup should look at mAh (or specifically Ah) before buying. The most popular Jackery solar generator has a mAh rating of 50,000 (or 50 Ah). That's why this powerful solar generator can charge all your small and large appliances for hours before depletion.
In this article, we will discuss mAh in detail, including its importance and the best solar power stations with the best battery capacity.
What Is mAh (Milliamp Hour)?
Milliamp hour (or, in short, mAh) is the power measurement over time. In other words, it is the amount of power a battery can hold or how long it will last before recharging. Let us take a simple example to understand it better.
Think of mAh like your car's gas tank. The amount of gas you can fill in the gas tank represents the tank's capacity. If the gas tank is larger, you can go the extra mile before refilling. Similarly, if a battery capacity (or mAh) is larger, it will last longer between the two consecutive charges.
Understanding the mAh will help you choose the best solar power generator for home or outdoor adventures. The simple formula to calculate the mAh of a solar panel is:
mAh = Wh * 1000/ V or Milliamp hours = Watt-hour * 1000/Volt
For instance, if a battery has a watt-hour of 200Wh and 5V, it will probably consume
Milliamp hours = 200Wh * 1000/ 5V = 40,000 mAh
That said, a battery rated at 40,000 mAh can power a device that withdraws 400 milliamps for 10 hours. Now that you know what is mAh, let us understand the importance of mAh and how it differs from charge capacity in the following sections.
mAh is the most critical factor you'll need to consider when choosing any battery-powered device. In layman's terms, mAh is directly related to battery life.
Checking the mAh is necessary because it will help you understand how much power the battery can store and how long it can work without recharging. To determine the right mAh requirement, you should check the power consumption of your devices.
For instance, if you intend to use the solar generator battery for larger appliances like refrigerators, you'll have to purchase a solar generator with higher mAh. This will ensure that the solar-powered device can run your devices for hours.
However, it's worth noting that only mAh cannot tell you everything about solar generator performance. You should consider other factors, such as the charge controller, inverter, solar panels, etc., to make an informed purchase decision.
If you're planning to buy a solar-powered device with a lithium-ion battery, you'll need to understand how much power you wish to withdraw. For instance, you'll likely need a higher mAh battery to make your home off-grid, whereas a small mAh battery would work during RV trips, a few days camping, etc.
mAh (milliamp hours) and charge capacity describe the battery capacity or how much power a battery can hold. Even though they represent the same thing, they are used in slightly different contexts.
mAh typically describes the battery capacity in portable devices such as tablets, laptops, etc. It is the unit that indicates the energy any battery can store. On the other hand, charge capacity defines the battery capacity in solar storage systems and electric vehicles. It measures the energy a battery can receive during a charge cycle. It is generally measured in kWh or Wh.
In a nutshell, a charge capacity measures energy, and mAh defines battery capacity.
Point to remember: Capacity and energy are two different concepts. Ampere-hour measures electric charge and defines battery capacity, whereas watt-hour estimates electric energy.
Let us now discuss the relationship between mAh and charge capacity.
Watt-hour = Milliampere hour * Voltage / 1000
Suppose you have a battery with 10500mAh. That means it can provide a total charge of 10500mAh at a specific voltage. If the voltage at which the charge is exchanged is 3.7V. Thus, in this case, the total energy will be 10500mAh * 3.7V /1000 = 38Wh (approximately).
What Is mAh Rating Meaning?
mAh rating is the storage capacity of the battery indicated on it. In other words, it represents the fuel the battery can hold to power up the appliance.
Formula: mAh rating is the product of milliampere and hour and can be abbreviated as mAh = mA * H.
Here is an example to understand better. Suppose a battery is rated at 6V, 1500mAh. This indicates that the battery can supply 6 volts at 100mA for 15 hours (100mA*15H = 1500mAh).
The higher the mAh rating, the more the battery storage capacity.
What Does mAh Mean On Batteries?
mAh is commonly used to describe the battery capacity and is the unit of electric charge. Higher mAh batteries are designated in Ah (or ampere-hours), where 1 Ah = 1000 mAh. The larger the mAh rating of the battery, the more electrical energy it can store. As a result, only a battery with high mAh can run your device for long hours.
What Does mAh Mean On A Mobile Battery?
The mAh rating on the mobile battery refers to the battery's capacity in terms of mAh (milliampere-hour). Therefore, it is the most suitable parameter to represent the amount of electrical charge stored in the mobile battery.
The formula to calculate the backup time of the smartphone batteries is:
Backup time = mAh rating / current discharged in mA.
For instance, if you insert a 2000 mAh battery into a device that consumes 200 milliampere current continuously, the operating time or backup time of the appliance will be 10 hours. The device will run for 10 hours before the battery runs out of charge.
What Does mAh Mean On A Rechargeable Battery?
Unlike use-and-throw batteries, rechargeable batteries can be charged again after depletion. They can be recharged thousands of times and can power up high-power-consuming devices. The mAh on rechargeable batteries can be considered the same as simple batteries.
What Does mAh Mean On A Car Battery?
Generally speaking, mAh on your car battery indicates how long you can go without recharging your car. It is a measure of how much electricity the car battery can hold.
Higher mAh ratings of car batteries mean big storage capacities and longer run times. Different car batteries are available; however, the most common ones are lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.
Lead-acid batteries have a mAh capacity of approximately 135-300 rechargeable cycles. They have an extremely short lifespan and need replacement after every 3-5 years.
On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries have higher mAh and longer lifespans. Their mAh range between 300-400 recharge cycles and last more than 5 years.
Now that we have discussed what does battery mAh mean, it's time to understand how to convert mAh to Wh with one formula.
Both watt hour and milliampere hours are commonly used to describe the battery capacity.
Wh (or Watt hour) is the energy unit equivalent to one watt of power generated or consumed in one hour. It measures the battery's total electrical power to the attached device for an hour.
How To Convert mAh To Wh?
To convert mAh to Wh, you'll need to multiply the charge and voltage. Then you can divide the resultant by 1000 to get a watt-hour.
The formula to convert mAh to Wh is:
E (Wh) = Q (mAh) * V / 1000
E is the energy in watt-hours.
Q is the charge in milliamp hours.
Let us calculate the watt-hour of a battery with 1000 mAh capacity that works at 120 V.
Energy result in watt-hour = 1000 mAh * 120 V / 1000 = 120 Wh.
The mAh To Wh Conversion Table
mAh and Ah are closely related, as they are used for electric charge measurement.
One ampere hour is the electric charge conveyed in one-ampere current in one hour. Amp-hour is designated as amps * hours and is a non-SI metric for electric charge.
How To Convert mAh to Ah?
To convert mAh (milliampere-hour) to Ah (amp hour), divide the electric charge by 1000 or the conversion ratio.
In simple words, one ampere-hour is equivalent to 1000 mAh. Therefore, you can use the simple formula for the conversion.
Ah (amp hour) = milliampere hour ÷ 1000
For example, if the mAh of the battery is 2000, the Ah will be 2000mAh ÷ 1000 = 2 Ah.
The mAh To Ah Conversion Table
Jackery Power Station With Best Capacity
Jackery is the renowned leader in selling portable power stations and solar panels. The rechargeable battery-powered generators have multiple ports, including USB charging ports, an AC outlet, and a DC carport.
The solar power station is built with Battery Management System (BMS) that protects the appliance and product during overcharge, over-voltage, over current, short current, and thermal protection. Below are the top Jackery products with the best battery capacity.
Jackery Explorer 2000 Pro
The Jackery Portable Power Station 2000 Pro
can power all your appliances like refrigerators, air heaters, blenders, electric grills, and more for hours. It has a 2160-watt-hour battery capacity with estimated life cycles of 100 to 80%+ capacity.
The first-rate lithium-ion battery in the power station houses four temperature core detectors and two chips for dual battery protection. In addition, the pass-through charging option allows you to recharge the generator even when your appliances are plugged in.
2*AC Output: 230V, 2200W, peak 4400W;
2*USB-A: Quick Charge 3.0x2, 18W Max;
2*USB-C: 100W Max, (5V, 12V, 9V, 15V, 20V up to 5A);
Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro Portable Power Station is an utterly compatible power station that simultaneously charges multiple devices! With a 1002Wh battery capacity, the 1000W portable power station keeps your electronic devices charged during camping and power disruptions.
Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro
The lighter and smaller version of Jackery can simultaneously support the charging of 8 devices. Dual 100W PD fast charge technology and multiple charging methods make it an excellent solution for power outages and off-grid living.
The Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro
battery has a 1002Wh capacity with an estimated life cycle of 1000. When combined with SolarSaga panels, it takes 1.8 hours to fully charge. Featuring vehicle-grade BMS and pure sine wave technology, the solar power station is suitable for all environments and outdoor adventures.
2*AC Output: 230V, 1000W, peak 2000W;
2*USB-A: Quick Charge 3.0x2, 18W Max;
2*USB-C: 100W Max, (5V, 9V, 15V, 12V, 20V up to 5A);
FAQ About mAh For A Battery
Now that we've discussed "what does mAh mean on a battery," here are a few other queries that battery buyers deal with.
1. 1000 mAh Vs. 2000 mAh power bank, what are the differences?
The charge stored in the power bank is the product of its mAh (or Ah) rating and terminal voltage. Since the terminal voltage in both cases is the same, i.e., 3.7 volts, the mAh directly defines how much power the power bank can supply.
In the case of 1000 mAh and 2000 mAh power banks, the latter can store two times more power than the former. That said, 1000 mAh power bank stores 3.7 Wh (1 Ah * 3.7), whereas 2000 mAh captures 7.4 Wh (2 Ah * 7.4).
In a nutshell, a 2000 mAh battery will hold more charge and power more devices simultaneously than 1000 mAh.
2. How to extend the power bank lifespan?
Many power banks have auto-shut qualities that ensure batteries shut down automatically when not in use. However, if the feature is unavailable, the best practice to extend a power bank's lifespan is shutting it down when not required. The next simple step is to charge 80% of the battery and discharge it 20% for at least three months. This will help you to improve the lifespan and battery condition.
3. How to estimate the charge cycles of a power bank?
Understanding "what does mAh mean" is not enough. The charge cycle is another important term representing the efficiency of a power bank. It is the number of complete charges and discharges on a rechargeable battery.
Estimating the charge cycles of a power bank can be calculated by dividing the total available output electric charge by your device's capacity.
Suppose the power bank consists of a 20,000 mAh lithium-ion battery, and the output charge voltage is 5V. So the mWh will be 20,000 mAh * 3.7 V = 74,000 mWh.
Thus, the available output electric charge will be 74,000 mWh / 5V = 14,800 mAh in theory. However, the power bank cannot be 100% efficient. If it's 85% efficient, the actual total output electric charge will be 14,800 mAh * 0.85 = 12,580 mAh.
Now that you have the actual electric charge generated, divide it by your device's capacity to get estimated charge cycles. Here, the charge cycles to power the 2900 mAh device will be 12,580 mAh / 2900 mAh = 4.33 times.
4. What are the benefits of a solar power bank?
Jackery is the leading solar power bank brand that empowers homeowners, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts with clean and renewable electricity. The finest range of portable and versatile generators can keep all your small and large appliances running for hours. Some of the main benefits of choosing Jackery solar generators include the following:
An eco-friendly energy source that uses the sun's rays to produce electricity.
The lightweight and portable nature of the power station makes it easy to carry during road trips or camping.
Unlike gas generators, solar power generators operate in silence and are safe for indoors.
"What is mAh?" is the common yet vital question you should ask when purchasing a solar power bank or generator for your power needs. Understating the mAh of your devices reveals the power consumption needs of appliances. Similarly, Ah of solar power systems estimates how long they will last before needing a recharge.
Jackery solar power banks are a reliable source of power that can charge all your home devices. The finest range of Jackery products includes Explorer 2000 Pro power station that can charge smartphones, laptops, heaters, cooking equipment, lights, and mini-refrigerators for long hours.
If you intend to choose a power bank with a high mAh battery capacity, Jackery is the best brand for you. Also, don't miss signing up for Jackery's newsletter to get exclusive deals and discounts right in your inbox.
Best-selling Jackery Portable Power Stations