What is the difference between NiCad, NiMH and Lithium Ion batteries?
in portable consumer devices such as a laptop,
camcorder, cellular phone, etc., are typically made
using either Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), Nickel Metal
Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) battery cell
chemistry. Each type of rechargeable battery
chemistry has its own unique characteristics:
NiCad and NiMH:
main difference between the two is that NiMH battery
(the newer technology of the two) offers higher
energy density than NiCads. In other words, the
capacity of a NiMH is approximately twice the
capacity of its NiCad counterpart. What this means
is for you is increased run-time from the battery
with no additional bulk or weight. NiMH also offers
another major advantage: NiCad batteries tend to
suffer from what is called the "memory
effect". NiMH batteries are less prone to
develop this problem and thus require less
maintenance and conditioning. NiMH batteries are
also environmentally friendlier than NiCad batteries
since they do not contain heavy metals (which
present serious landfill problems). Note: Not all
devices can accept both NiCad or NiMH batteries.
(Li-Ion) has become the new standard for portable
power in consumer devices. Li-Ion batteries produce
the same energy as NiMH battery but weighs
approximately 20%35% less. This is can make a
noticeable difference in devices such as cellular
phones, camcorders or notebook computers where the
battery makes up a significant portion of the total
weight. Another reason Li-Ion batteries have become
so popular is that they do not suffer from the
"memory effect" at all. They are also
environmentally friendly because they don't contain
toxic materials such as Cadmium or Mercury.
Do’s and Don’ts of Battery Use
charge/discharge battery up to 4 cycles before
achieving full capacity of a new battery
discharge and then fully charge the battery every
three to four weeks to keep maximize the cycle life.
from the device and stored in a cool, dry, clean
place if the battery will not be in use for a month
the battery after a storage period, usually if it
has been sitting for more than three weeks.
maximum performance of the battery by optimizing the
device's power management features. Refer to the
manual for further instructions.
not short-circuit. A short-circuit may cause severe
damage to the battery.
not drop, hit or otherwise abuse the battery as this
may result in the exposure of the cell contents,
which are corrosive.
not expose the battery to moisture or rain.
battery away from fire or other sources of extreme
heat. Do not incinerate. Exposure of battery to
extreme heat may result in an explosion.
My new battery isn't charging. Is it defective?
NO. New batteries come in a discharged condition and
must be fully charged before use. It is recommended
that you fully charge and discharge the new battery
two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum
is generally recommend an overnight charge
(approximately twelve hours). It is normal for a
battery to become warm to the touch during charging
charging the battery for the first time, the device
may indicate that charging is complete after just 10
or 15 minutes. This is a normal with rechargeable
batteries. New batteries are hard for the device to
charge; they have never been fully charged and not
“broken in.” Sometimes the device's charger will
stop charging a new battery before it is fully
charged. If this happens, remove the battery from
the device and then reinsert it. The charge cycle
should begin again. This may happen several times
during the first battery charge. Don't worry; it's
How can I maximize the performance of my battery?
are several steps you can take to help you get
maximum performance from your battery:
the Memory Effect - Keep the battery healthy by
fully charging and then fully discharging it at
least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to
the rule are Li-Ion batteries which do not suffer
from the memory effect.
the Batteries Clean - It's a good idea to clean
dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and
alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection
between the battery and the portable device.
- Do not leave the battery dormant for long periods
of time. We recommend using the battery at least
once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not
been used for a long period of time, perform the new
battery procedure described above.
Storage - If you don't plan on
using the battery for a month or more, store it in a
clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal
objects. NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries will
self-discharge during storage; remember to recharge
the batteries before use.
Lead Acid - (
) batteries must be kept at full charge during
storage. This is usually achieved by using special
trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle
charger, do not attempt to store
batteries for more than three months.
information was originally found at http://is.med.ohio-state.edu/policies/battery.htm