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Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride

NiCd: Nickel Cadmium

The NiCd chemistry is a rechargeable chemistry that uses nickel oxide hydroxide (NiO(OH)) and metallic cadmium electrodes.

Application:

NiCD batteries are often used in emergency lighting, cordless power tools and camera flash units. We also use this technology for aircraft starter batteries, electric vehicles, and emergency power supplies.

Advantages:

Long storage time
Performs well at low temperatures
Economically priced
Available in a wide range of sizes
Long shelf life (in case of sintered metal electrodes)
Disadvantages:
Not environmentally friendly
High self-discharge

Storage:

NiCd batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place. They should be fully discharged.

NiMH: Nickel metal hydride

NiMH is a rechargeable chemistry which has gradually replaced the NiCd chemistry because of the absence of toxic metals in its makeup. NiMH batteries also supply 40% more energy than NiCd batteries. This mature chemistry has 2 advantages over Lithium-ion batteries: price and safety.

They are a good alternative to alkaline batteries as AA and AAA NiMH batteries reduce environmental impact and are a low-cost rechargeable solution.

Consumer applications:

  • Portable devices: cameras, GPS’, PDAs
  • Portable vacuum cleaners
  • Two-way radios.

Industrial applications:

  • Electric vehicles: cars, scooters
  • Telecommunications
  • Medical Equipment
  • Power tools.

Advantages:

  • Inexpensive
  • Safe
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Transportation of these batteries not subject to any specific regulations.

Disadvantages:

  • Lower energy than Li-Ion
  • Self-discharge
  • Reduced performance if stored at high temperatures.

Storage:

NiMH batteries should be stored in a cool place with a 40% charge.