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 Nickel-Cadmium Batteries

Typical Nickel-Cadmium Battery (click for larger view)The Nickel-Cadmium battery was the first reasonably-priced rechargeable consumer battery available in the standard cylindrical sizes (AA, AAA, etc.).  While it is still a popular battery, it is being superceded by new rechargeables, such as the Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries. The image to the left is a typical Nickel-Cadmium battery. Additional information and a more detailed cutaway view are available by clicking on the image. RadioShack sells both standard Ni-Cd and high-capacity Ni-Cd batteries.

The principle behind (this battery's) rechargeability is simple. Oxidation which occurs at the negative electrode equals the oxidation reduction at the positive electrode. This action generates power. In a rechargeable battery, both electrode reactions are reversible. An external input forces the discharge reaction in reverse. In effect, it is recharged.

Nickel-Cadmium batteries may be stored either charged or discharged. If stored charged, a Ni-Cd will discharge at a rate of two percent per day at 68 degrees F (20 degrees C). If it is stored, but not on a trickle charge, it is recommended that they be charged every sixty days. Also, it's not wise to store Ni-Cds under load; for example, a flashlight with the switch on. Such a continuous load on a discharged battery may cause it to leak.

Nickel-Cadmium batteries are available in two types: vented cells and hermetically sealed cells. Vented cells must be properly positioned so they will vent properly. They also require water for maintenance. Vented cells are used in commercial and military applications. Hermetically sealed rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, are maintenance free. They may be used in any position and may be discharged-charged many times. Most sealed Nickel-Cadmium batteries have venting mechanisms which operate should the cell's internal pressure increase to the range of 150 to 300 psig. The internal cell pressure will remain well below the setting to operate the vent if the cell is charged and discharged properly.

There are two types of vent mechanisms used in sealed Nickel-Cadmium batteries. The first vent type is the one-shot. The vent opens at the preset pressure and then remains open. Although the cell still operates after a one-shot' seal has opened, its life is curtailed as the cell drys out. The second type is a resealable safety vent that opens when the internal pressure reaches the preset value and recloses as the internal pressure is relieved. As the resealable vent operates, gas is vented. When conditions return to normal, the vent closes and the cell reseals hermetically.


 Standard Nickel Cadmium Batteries

Standard Nickel Cadmium Battery Characteristics

Type Secondary
Chemical Reaction (Charged = Discharged)
2NiOOH + Cd + 2H2O = 2Ni(OH)2 + Cd(OH)2
Usage Temperature Good for constant temperature usage. Very low temperature conditions can affect the batteries performance; very high temperature conditions cause the batteries to self-discharge much more rapidly.
Discharge Temperature -4F to 113F (-20C to 45C)
Charge Temperature 32F to 113F (0C to 45C)
Recommended Devices Low to Moderate discharge devices, which include (but are not limited to):
  • Scanners
  • Remote controls (including the Remote controls for RC cars)
  • Portable radios
  • Devices which use the battery for backup (answering Machines, clock/radios)
Initial Voltage 1.25 volts or 7.2 volts
Internal Resistance Low (milliohms)
Impedance Cell Impedance depends on the frequency and state of charge. Impedance is lower for a charged cell than a discharged cell. In either state, the cells have a high effective capacitance. Their impedance is quite low and they make excellent ripple filters, especially when they are being continuously overcharged.
Discharge Rate The Nickel-Cadmium discharge curve is flat; it will deliver 1.25 volts throughout most of the discharge time.
Recharge Life 500-700 cycles
Charging Temperature 32 F to 113 F (0 C to 45 C)
Storage -40 F to 140 F (-40 C to 60 C)
Ni-Cd batteries self-discharge about 1% per day in storage.
Disposal Because these batteries contain cadmium, they must be recycled; they cannot be simply thrown away.
Ni-Cd batteries can be recycled through your local RadioShack store. For more information, see Recycling Batteries.
Other Notes Resistant to shock and vibration.
Should be fully discharged before recharging to maintain maximum battery capacity. For more information, see The Memory Effect.

Standard Nickel Cadmium Battery Datasheets

Data
sheet
Ni-Cd Battery Type Battery Size Minimum
Capacity
RadioShack
Cat. No.
Quantity
Per Pack
AA Standard Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet Standard Ni-Cd AA 700 mAh 230-0125 NLA
N/A Standard Ni-Cd AA 600 mAh 230-0449 4
AA (with solder tabs) Standard Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet Standard Ni-Cd AA (with solder tabs) 600 mAh 230-0191 1
AAA Standard Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet Standard Ni-Cd AAA 300 mAh 230-0127 2
230-0450 4
C Standard Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet Standard Ni-Cd C 2000 mAh 230-0124 2
D Standard Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet Standard Ni-Cd D 2000 mAh 230-0123 2
N Standard Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet Standard Ni-Cd N 230 mAh 230-0121 NLA
Sub-C Standard Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet Standard Ni-Cd sub-C (with solder tabs) 1400 mAh 230-0190 1

 High-capacity Nickel Cadmium Batteries

High-capacity Nickel Cadmium Battery Characteristics

Type Secondary
Chemical Reaction (Charged = Discharged)
2NiOOH + Cd + 2H2O = 2Ni(OH)2 + Cd(OH)2
Usage Temperature Good for constant temperature usage. Very low temperature conditions can affect the batteries performance; very high temperature conditions cause the batteries to self-discharge much more rapidly.
Discharge Temperature -4F to 113F (-20C to 45C)
Charge Temperature 32F to 113F (0C to 45C)
Recommended Devices Low to Moderate discharge devices, which include (but are not limited to):
  • Scanners
  • Remote controls (including the Remote controls for RC cars)
  • Portable radios
  • Devices which use the battery for backup (answering Machines, clock/radios)
Initial Voltage 1.25 volts or 7.2 volts
Internal Resistance Low (milliohms)
Impedance Cell Impedance depends on the frequency and state of charge. Impedance is lower for a charged cell than a discharged cell. In either state, the cells have a high effective capacitance. Their impedance is quite low and they make excellent ripple filters, especially when they are being continuously overcharged.
Discharge Rate The Nickel-Cadmium discharge curve is flat; it will deliver 1.25 volts throughout most of the discharge time.
Recharge Life 500-700 cycles
Charging Temperature 32 F to 113 F (0 C to 45 C)
Storage -40 F to 140 F (-40 C to 60 C)
Ni-Cd batteries self-discharge about 1% per day in storage.
Disposal Because these batteries contain cadmium, they must be recycled; they cannot be simply thrown away.
Ni-Cd batteries can be recycled through your local RadioShack store. For more information, see Recycling Batteries.
Other Notes Resistant to shock and vibration.
Should be fully discharged before recharging to maintain maximum battery capacity. For more information, see The Memory Effect.

High-capacity Nickel Cadmium Battery Datasheets

Data
sheet
Ni-Cd Battery Type Battery Size Minimum
Capacity
RadioShack
Cat. No.
Quantity
Per Pack
AA High-capacity Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet High-capacity Ni-Cd AA 1000 mAh 230-0149 2
C High-capacity Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet High-capacity Ni-Cd C 2000 mAh 230-0141 NLA
N/A High-capacity Ni-Cd D   230-0140  
9-Volt High-capacity Nickel-Cadmium Datasheet High-capacity Ni-Cd 9-volt rectangular 120 mAh 230-0448 1

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