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What Is the Difference Between NiCad and NiMH Battery?

Mar. 20, 2024

The widespread use of rechargeable batteries often sparks the inquiry: "What sets NiCAD batteries apart from NiMH batteries?"


In essence, the primary distinctions between NiCAD and NiMH batteries revolve around their capacity, susceptibility to memory effect, and environmental impact.


Nickel-metal hydride (NIMH) batteries have a higher capacity than nickel-cadmium (NICAD) batteries, which means that they can generally power your device for longer. They also don't suffer from the same memory effect, so they won't "forget" the ability to achieve a full charge over time. In conclusion, NiMH batteries are significantly more environmentally friendly compared to NiCAD batteries.


Nonetheless, nickel-cadmium batteries still hold certain advantages over nickel-metal hydride batteries, particularly in terms of their exceptional performance in extreme temperatures.


Our team at Battery Depot has crafted this article to elucidate the disparities between NiCAD and NiMH batteries, aiding you in selecting the most suitable battery for your requirements. Feel free to contact us once you've finished reading if you have any inquiries.


Nickel-Cadmium (NiCAD) Batteries 


Nickel-Cadmium (NiCAD) Batteries


The initial NiCad battery was pioneered by a Swedish scientist in 1899, marking a significant milestone in battery technology. Over the years, there have been numerous advancements in this field.


A standard nickel-cadmium battery comprises a positive electrode plate made of nickel(III) oxide-hydroxide, a negative electrode plate made of cadmium, a separator, and a potassium hydroxide electrolyte.


Common Applications:


NiCAD batteries find widespread use in various applications such as toys, emergency lighting, medical equipment, commercial and industrial products, electric razors, two-way radios, power tools, and more.



Here's a summary of the advantages of NiCAD batteries:


1. Relatively inexpensive

2. Quick charging and easy to charge

3. Simple storage and shipping

4. High number of charge cycles

5. Functional in low temperatures




And here are some of their shortcomings:


1. Less powerful compared to some other rechargeable batteries

2. Self-discharge occurs while in storage

3. Contain toxic metals harmful to the environment


Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries 


Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries


NiMH batteries represent a more contemporary innovation. Research and development commenced at the Battelle-Geneva Research Center in 1967 and reached fruition in 1987.


The chemical makeup of a typical nickel-metal hydride battery includes a positive electrode plate composed of nickel hydroxide, a negative electrode plate with hydrogen ions, a separator, and an alkaline electrolyte like potassium hydroxide.


Common Applications:


These include automotive batteries, medical instruments, pagers, cell phones, camcorders, digital cameras, electric toothbrushes, and other low-cost consumer devices.




Here's a glance at some advantages of choosing NiMH batteries:


1. High capacity compared to other rechargeable batteries

2. Resistant to over-charging and over-discharging

3. Extremely lightweight construction

4. Environmentally friendly: no hazardous chemicals like cadmium, mercury, or lead




And here are some limitations:


1. More expensive than other rechargeable models

2. Rapid self-discharge while in storage

3. Sudden power cut-off rather than a gradual decrease

4. Some models only compatible with the manufacturer’s charger


Discover More About the Difference Between NiCad and NiMH


If you have inquiries regarding the characteristics or disparities between NiCad and NiMH batteries, whether nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride, our team is here to assist you.


With ample experience in addressing questions about both types of batteries, we're eager to provide guidance.


We anticipate your communication. Reach out to us at Godson today to connect with a knowledgeable expert.

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