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Nickel-Cadium versus Nickel-Metal-Hydride

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  • Nickel-Cadium versus Nickel-Metal-Hydride

    We all know that Nickel-Cadmium batteries will lose their charge in a few weeks just sitting in a drawer. Are Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries any better in this regard?

    (I realize that Lithium batteries are the best - but they are not rechargeable.)

  • #2

    I think there are advantages and disadvantages to either battery type.

    My personal experience has been that NiMH batteries do not self-discharge near the rate that Ni-Cads do. Also do not have the memory affect. But they do not seem to last as long, and also have had a higher percentage of NiMH batteries that were dead (as in zero volts) than NiCads.

    I believe that you can use the same chargers for both types.

    Lithium batteries are great. Lithuim Ion batteries are re-chargeable.



    • #3
      Standard NiMH are worse in self discharge than NiCd (30% for NiMH, 20% NiCd). But they have higher capacity in the same size so it isn't often an issue. However the latest generation of NiMH is getting better than NiCd. I don't have experience with them, my batteries are all standard NiMH. So if you have something that doesn't use much current you could be better off with NiCd (if you can still find them).

      Another issue with NiMH is that they perform worse than NiCd in cold temperatures. Not sure if that is important to you, but if you want to use them in a photoflash when it is freezing outside, it matters.

      You better use a dedicated charger for NiMH. If you have a charger that charges with a current <1/10 of the maximum for your cell it won't hurt (those that take 14-16h to charge a battery). Problem is when you use a "fast" charger (those that charge in a couple of hours or faster). Fast chargers detect the change in voltage as the cell is getting full. And that voltage point is different for NiCd than for NiMH. For NiMH you need a more sensitive setting, so a NiCd charger that uses large currents can damage a NiMH battery.