self discharge

Self-discharge is the rate at which a battery, without a load (i.e., not in use), will lose its charge. For many batteries, self-discharge rate increases as the battery ages. It also depends on the chemistry of the battery and the temperature.


Typical self discharge rates for common rechargeable cells are:


  • Lithium 2–3% per month
  • Lead acid 4–6% per month
  • Nickel cadmium 15–20% per month
  • Nickel metal hydride 30% per month