Nickel cadmium, or NiCd, is a type of rechargeable battery commonly used in portable hand tools. The technology was first developed in Sweden in 1899 and gained popularity in the 1950s when a sealed version was created.
The electrolyte used in Nickel Cadmium batteries is potassium hydroxide, and the device utilizes a nickel and cadmium plate. While it offers more charging capacity per pound compared to lead-acid batteries, it falls short of the nickel metal hydride batteries. The main disadvantage of Nickel Cadmium batteries is the “memory effect,” whereby the battery appears to remember how full it was when last charged, causing it not to charge further the next time it is charged.
To ensure the longest charge, it is essential to discharge nickel cadmium batteries frequently. Despite its limitations, it remains a popular choice for many applications due to its reliability, durability, and ability to maintain a steady voltage discharge rate.
What is the “memory effect?”
The “memory effect” is a condition where the battery appears to “remember” the level of charge it had when it was last charged. It can cause the battery to discharge more quickly and not reach full capacity during the next charge cycle.
How do I avoid the “memory effect?”
To avoid the “memory effect,” it is best to discharge the battery fully before charging it again. This process will reset the battery and ensure that it can hold the maximum amount of charge.
Nickel Cadmium batteries, with their reliability and durability, continue to be a popular choice, especially for portable hand tools. However, it is essential to be aware of its limitations and take proper care to preserve its longevity and performance.