Nickel-Cadmium Battery


A Nickel-Cadmium Battery, often abbreviated as NiCd, is a type of rechargeable battery that uses nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as electrodes. It is known for its stable performance, durability, and ability to deliver a high discharge rate. However, it suffers from memory effect and environmental concerns due to cadmium’s toxicity.


The phonetics of “Nickel-Cadmium Battery” are:”Nickel” – /ˈnɪkəl/”Cadmium” – /ˈkædmiəm/”Battery” – /ˈbætəri/

Key Takeaways

Nickel-Cadmium Battery: Key Takeaways

  1. Rechargeable: Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries are rechargeable, meaning they can be used multiple times. This allows for energy efficiency and reduced waste, making them a preferable choice for many applications.
  2. Resistance to Overcharging: NiCd battery cells are resistant to overcharging and extreme temperatures. They can withstand high discharge rates and are less likely to be damaged by overuse compared to other batteries.
  3. Memory Effect: A significant drawback of NiCd batteries is that they exhibit a “memory effect”. This means if they are repeatedly recharged before being fully discharged, they may “forget” their full voltage range and their overall capacity can be reduced. This effect can be mitigated by fully discharging the battery before recharging.


The term “Nickel-Cadmium Battery” is crucial in the field of technology because it refers to a type of rechargeable battery that uses nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as electrodes. That’s significant due to their many practical applications. They were the first type of rechargeable batteries widely used in many devices like power tools, photography equipment, emergency lighting, and portable electronics. Nickel-Cadmium batteries are known for their high energy density, long life cycle, wide range of operating temperatures, and low internal resistance. They’re also reliable and able to deliver a steady current, making them ideal for various applications. However, their concern lies in the environmentally hazardous nature of Cadmium, which requires careful disposal procedures.


The Nickel-Cadmium Battery (NiCd) is designed for a specific purpose: to provide a reliable and rechargeable power source for various devices in different industries. This incredibly solid and resilient type of battery is particularly utilized in situations that require a substantial amount of power and longevity. It’s used extensively in things with a high power draw like power tools, emergency lighting, medical devices, and portable electronics. Despite being an older battery technology, NiCd batteries continue to be a popular choice due to their ability to withstand challenging conditions, including high temperatures and rough usage.In addition, Nickel-Cadmium Batteries are useful for applications that require a steady discharge rate. One significant advantage is their low internal resistance, which allows them to provide high surge currents, making them suitable for remote controls, toys, and cordless phones. They also have the advantage of being able to be charged and discharged repeatedly without significantly reducing their lifespan, a feature known as being “memory-effect free.” Despite their larger size and lesser energy density compared to newer battery technologies, the durability, high discharge rate, and robustness of NiCd batteries have earned them a prominent place in power-demanding applications.


1. Portable Power Tools: Many handheld, battery-powered tools, such as cordless drills, saws, and sanders, often use Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries as they can sustain long periods of use and offer high discharge rates.2. Emergency Lighting: In buildings such as hospitals, schools, and office buildings, NiCd batteries are commonly used in emergency lighting systems because of their ability to endure numerous charge and discharge cycles and their resistance to overcharging, which ensures they’ll work when needed.3. Aviation Applications: The aviation industry also uses NiCad batteries in different applications like emergency power backup and to start auxiliary power units on aircraft. Their durability in fluctuating temperatures and their stability under heavy-duty use make them ideal for these applications.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q: What is a Nickel-Cadmium Battery?**A: A Nickel-Cadmium Battery, or NiCd battery, is a type of rechargeable battery that utilizes nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as its electrodes.**Q: How does a Nickel-Cadmium Battery work?**A: In a Nickel-Cadmium Battery, the nickel oxide hydroxide acts as the positive electrode, while the metallic cadmium serves as the negative electrode. When the battery is being used, the cadmium and water are consumed at the negative electrode while nickel hydroxide is formed at the positive electrode.**Q: What are the typical uses for Nickel-Cadmium Batteries?**A: Nickel-Cadmium Batteries are commonly used in portable computers, drills, camcorders, and other high-drain devices due to their long life span and ability to deliver high surge currents. **Q: What is the life expectancy of a Nickel-Cadmium Battery?**A: Generally, a Nickel-Cadmium Battery can last between 500 to 1000 charge cycles, depending on how they’re used and maintained. **Q: What are the drawbacks of using Nickel-Cadmium Batteries?**A: The main drawback is the so-called “memory effect”, which can shorten the battery’s life if it is not fully discharged before being recharged again. Additionally, they also suffer from high self-discharge rate and are considered environmental hazards due to the presence of toxic cadmium.**Q: How should I properly store a Nickel-Cadmium Battery?**A: Nickel-Cadmium Batteries are best stored in a cool and dry environment. For long-term storage, it’s recommended to discharge the battery to about 40% of its capacity. **Q: Are Nickel-Cadmium batteries environmentally friendly?**A: No, they are not environmentally friendly. Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal which makes recycling and disposing these batteries a serious environmental concern. **Q: Can I replace my other types of batteries with Nickel-Cadmium Batteries?**A: It depends on the device. Not all devices are compatible with the electric current and voltage that Nickel-Cadmium Batteries provide. Always consult your device’s manufacturer before switching battery types.

Related Tech Terms

  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Electrodes
  • Memory Effect
  • Energy Density
  • Cycle Life

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