Nickel-Cadmium Battery Variations

For more than half a century, the producers of portable devices have always preferred the Nickel-Cadmium batteries (Ni-Cd batteries). Nevertheless, a notable shift had taken place after the 1990s. The manufacturers started to prefer a Nickel-metal-halide battery or NiMH battery to interpret and rectify the venomous effects of Ni-Cd batteries. 

While designing the battery, the manufacturers tried their best to retain almost all the benefits offered by Ni-Cd batteries and were successful to a large extent. However, even today, Ni-Cd batteries have very limited use due to their adverse effects. 

Due to the associated benefits, if you decide to use the Nickel-Cadmium batteries or any of its types available in the market, then it is necessary for you to determine whether the battery is in optimum condition or not. This can be tested by using a battery load tester. 

Further in this article, you’ll come to know about the top Nickel battery types that are worthy of being considered by you for your facility and devices. 


Nickel-Cadmium. (Ni-Cd)


This battery came out in 1899. The designer of this battery was Jungner Waldemar. It was extensively preferred because it offered much more benefits than the lead-acid batteries which were previously used, being the only type of battery available in the markets. Most companies that manufacture medical equipment and power tools also favored the Ni-Cd batteries. By the end of the 80s, ultra-capacity Ni-Cd batteries were the most preferred and exceptionally used. 

Even today, they are one of the most utilized and preferred batteries, especially in the airline industry. Adding to it, the cost of Ni-Cd batteries is much lower than that of lead-acid batteries. 


Nickel-Metal-Halide. (NiMH)


The research on Nickel-metal-halide began around the year 1967. In the initial stages, the battery contained some severe instabilities because of the presence of metal halide, which is why Nickel Hydrogen was created. The discovery of new metal alloys brought a lot of improvement in this battery’s stability and energy factors. 

In recent times, these batteries have been used in electric powertrains that require a highly reliable and powerful battery.

One major concern about the nickel-metal hydride battery is that its charging can be a bit complicated. With about 20% self-discharge in the first 24 hours and about 10% every month, it means that you will have to charge your Ni-Cd battery regularly. Apart from that, it is advised to keep track of their charge and state of health before and after storage. This can be done by the use of properly functioning battery load testers, as mentioned earlier.




This variant of Nickel batteries was solely created to swap Cadmium with a different metal; thus, Iron was the first choice. However, Jungner Waldemar, the creator of these batteries, soon dropped the idea of further working on this project due to high gassing and low charge efficiency. The work on this project was resumed by Thomas Edison 100 years later, who also made an attempt to replace the lead-acid batteries with these batteries. 

Nickel-Iron batteries consist of Iron anode and oxide-hydroxide with a potassium hydroxide electrolyte, which is responsible for generating a nominal voltage of 1.2V. In standby applications, Ni-Fe batteries serve for a long period of time of about 20 years. 

Nonetheless, these batteries have a few issues; their self-discharge is high, specific energy is low, and they offer inefficient performance at low temperatures. In addition, although they use a taper, like NiMH and NiCad, constant charging should be avoided since it may lead to damaged cells. Instead, the voltage should be allowed to move freely. Finally, note that battery testing through a battery load tester should be a part of your system management.

Up till now, we have seen that Nickel-based batteries have made it through a long journey. However, each type has its own merits and demerits. Therefore, before purchasing, make sure you carry out enough research to get sufficient knowledge about the suitability of the battery you prefer for your use. However, do not forget that they need to be regularly tested with a battery load tester, and their state of health should be greatly taken care of.