NiCd Battery: Advantages and Disadvantages NiCd Battery: Advantages and Disadvantages

The nickel-cadmium or NiCd battery is a rechargeable battery that uses a nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as electrodes. Most of these batteries have the cell potential of about 1.2 volts. Since NiCd batteries are fairly cheap to produce, they are also relatively inexpensive to buy and are used for many different types of devices.

Advantages to the NiCd Battery

This battery comes in a wide range of options and sizes. Most are cylindrical, but there are other options and these are usually inexpensive.  Of course, a lower selling price is one of the biggest advantages to a NiCD battery. One of the reasons for its affordability is that the battery needs no special conditions to be shipped.  It is easily stored and doesn’t damage under most normal circumstances.  

Also, The NiCd battery is simple and fast to charge.  Even if it has been in storage for awhile, the battery will usually still take a charge under most normal circumstances.  This battery can also take a high number of charges if it is properly taken care of and not misused.  Most often, this is around one hundred cycles of use being charged, discharged and charged again; however, with proper care, charging and discharging methods and an occasional cleaning, a NiCD battery can last much longer.

Finally, low temperatures do not usually affect the NiCd and it has a good load performance meaning that it accepts the charge on the first try. This makes the NiCd a good choice in any type of climate setting.

Disadvantages to the NiCd battery

Compared with newer battery systems, it has a relatively low energy density.  In other words, it is not as powerful as some of the newer batteries. This battery usually does well in storage, but it can often self discharge.  This means that it will have to be charged again before use.  

One of the biggest issues with this battery is the very big problem in the change of public opinion regarding non-recyclable materials.  The NiCd battery does contain toxic metals that are considered environmentally unfriendly.  This means that if the batteries are a part of your equipment each battery must be removed before the equipment can be disposed of in a landfill or recycle center.  Finding a place that will dispose of these batteries is becoming more difficult.  Because of these toxic metal issues, some countries are limiting the use of this type of battery, which insures it will be harder to dispose of older used ones in the future.  

Deciding Factors

The deciding factor might come down to what is the most affordable. While other products might be more powerful and easier to dispose of after use they might not be as inexpensive and rugged as the NiCd battery. However, if you need to find a battery that offers longer run time life or requires a very high number of recharges (more than a hundred or so), then you might want to consider alternative battery technologies to power your device or gadget.

 

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