I believe this is a very good idea. Marking the capactiy on a battery seems almost as if it is common sense to. This way, one would not need to test it to assess its value. Similarly, passive commodities are usually marked for their values as well. It does not come as a surprise that there are regulations for this. I believe that any component that is rated for a value should have it marked on it. Regulations such as these should exist in all regions of the world, and not just in Europe. Also, if these regulations can achieve international interpolaribility, use of components world wide would become easy.
I have to say that I think this is a terrible idea - more silly EU interference which will be accompanied by a great mass of regulations and half baked test methods devised by a mix of self-interested parties and the incompetent. (If you think this is hyperbolae try following the machinations of the huge bureaucracy growing around the EUP (Energy Using Products) directive.)
Batteries are used in different ways and different types have different characteristics. In order to understand a battery it is necessary to read the specification and to understand the way it will used. We have seen from the EUP exercise that when the EU gets involved in this kind of thing it produces a great mass of documentation which frequently includes test methods which are expensive to apply and require the use of single sourced proprietary devices or items. In fact the tests are so expensive that the group set up to enforce the directive states in its latest report that it is too epsensive for them to do much testing.
These complex regulations act as a huge barrier to market entry by new companies or new technologies and there is little doubt in my mind that existing large players in markets attempt to influence the regulations to do just that.
Far better to rely on a competetive market and customer review backed up by the existing basic sale of goods legal framework which makes lying and deception illegal.
The European Commission (EC) has circulated its proposals for the capacity marking of rechargeable, or secondary, portable batteries. Currently there are no proposals for capacity labelling of primary batteries and the commission has not indicated when proposals are likely to be published for these.
The EC was originally due to publish proposals in March 2009 to enter into force during September, twelve months on from the implementation of the new battery directive (2006/66/EC) but has failed to meet the deadline.
The proposals are to use IEC/EN standards for calculating capacity.
Portable batteries would be marked by the abbreviations mAh (milliampere hours) or Ah (amp hours) and the regulations will also provide details of the label size and location etc.
Button cells, batteries used as memory back-up and battery packs will be excluded from this regulation.
There are also capacity proposals for automotive batteries.
As the regulation will enter into force 18 months plus 20 days after official publication it is unlikely to be in effect before 2012 if not later as many Member States, and some manufacturers are not happy with the proposals.
The problem is that batteries of the same class might be used differently with some designed for high current output whereas others are designed for long life, low current output.
At the time of this update (July 12) there had been no further developments on the proposals.
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