NiCad vs Lithium ion Batteries

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Unsure which NiCad vs Lithium-Ion Batteries is right for you? Check out our breakdown of the pros and cons of each type.

When it comes to batteries, there are a few different types that you might come across. Two of the most common are nickel-cadmium (NiCad) and lithium ion (Li-ion). Both have their pros and cons, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

Both have been around for quite some time now, with NiCad batteries first hitting the market in the early 1900s. They’ve been used in a variety of applications, from power tools to hearing aids. Li-ion batteries, on the other hand, have only been around since the late 1980s but have quickly become the most popular type of battery.

So what are the key differences between NiCad and Li-ion batteries? The main thing to consider is that NiCad batteries use nickel and cadmium as their primary materials, while Li-ion batteries use lithium and cobalt. 

Further down we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each type of battery and dive into some of the considerations you’ll need to make when choosing between them.

What are NICAD batteries?

Tenergy AA Rechargeable Battery NiCd 1000mAh 1.2V Battery Pack for Solar Lights, Garden Lights, 12 Pack

Nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries are a type of rechargeable battery that uses nickel and cadmium as its primary materials. They were first introduced in the early 1900s and have been used in a variety of applications, from power tools to hearing aids. Furthermore, they have been the most popular type of battery for use in portable devices, such as phones and laptops.

Created by Waldemar Jungner in 1899, nickel-cadmium batteries were among the first rechargeable batteries to be developed and saw widespread use during the 20th century. The most prominent use of nickel-cadmium batteries was in portable devices, where they offered a longer lifespan and better durability than traditional alkaline batteries.

What Are Lithium-ion Batteries?

ICR10440 3.7V 350mAh Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery with Button Top 10pcs

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are a type of rechargeable battery that uses lithium and cobalt as its primary materials. They were first introduced in the late 1980s and have quickly become the most popular type of battery. Li-ion batteries are used in a variety of applications, including mobile devices, electric vehicles, and energy storage systems.

With Goodenough’s cathode as a basis, Akira Yoshino created the first commercially viable lithium-ion battery in 1985. They quickly became popular due to their high energy density and long lifespan. Li-ion batteries are now used in a wide range of applications, including mobile devices, electric vehicles, and energy storage systems.

Also Read: NIMH Vs. NICD Batteries

NiCad vs Lithium-Ion Batteries – Significant Differences

Electrochemistry

NiCad batteries

Uses nickel and cadmium as their primary materials. The anode is made of nickel hydroxide, while the cathode is made of cadmium oxide. The electrolyte is a potassium hydroxide solution.

Li-ion batteries

use lithium and carbon as their primary materials. The anode is made of carbon, while the cathode is made of lithium iron phosphate. The electrolyte is a lithium salt in an organic solvent.

Winner:

When it comes to electrochemistry, Li-ion batteries are the clear winner. They use lithium and cobalt as their primary materials, while NiCad batteries use nickel and cadmium. This means that Li-ion batteries have a higher energy density and are less prone to corrosion.

Environmental Impact

NiCad batteries

Use nickel and cadmium as their primary materials. These materials can be toxic, and if not disposed of properly, they can have a negative impact on the environment.

Li-ion batteries

Use lithium and carbon as their primary materials. While lithium can be toxic if mishandled, it is much less harmful than nickel and cadmium. Carbon is a non-toxic material, making Li-ion batteries environmentally friendly.

Winner:

When it comes to environmental impact, Li-ion batteries are the clear winners.

Cost

NiCad batteries

use nickel and cadmium as their primary materials. This makes them more expensive in comparison with more traditional types of batteries

Li-ion batteries

use lithium and carbon as their primary materials. Although the material costs are not that high, the added protection needed for Li-ion batteries makes them more expensive to manufacture.

Winner:

NiCad batteries are cheaper than Li-ion batteries.

Also Read: AGM Vs. Lithium Batteries

Operation and Performance

NiCad batteries

Have a longer lifespan than Li-ion batteries, typically lasting between 500 and 1,000 charge cycles. This is due to the fact that NiCad batteries can withstand more charge/discharge cycles without losing too much capacity. 

Li-ion batteries,

On the other hand, have a shorter lifespan but offer more power and are less likely to suffer from memory effect. Memory effect is when a battery gradually loses its ability to hold a charge over time because it’s been repeatedly charged before it was completely discharged. 

Winner:

NiCad batteries have a longer lifespan than Li-ion batteries, but Li-ion batteries offer more power and are less likely to suffer from memory effect.

Sizes and Types

NiCad batteries

They are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from tiny button cells to large format batteries. They are also available in a range of chemistries, including nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) and nickel-cadmium (NiCd).

Li-ion batteries

These are available in a wide range of sizes, but not all chemistries are available in all sizes. The most common chemistries are lithium-ion (Li-ion) and lithium-polymer (Li-po).

Winner:

When it comes to size and type, NiCad batteries have the clear advantage. They are available in a variety of sizes and chemistries, while Li-ion batteries are only available in a few chemistries and sizes.

 Which is better: AGM or Lithium?

There is no clear winner when it comes to AGM vs Lithium batteries. Both have their pros and cons, and it ultimately depends on the specific needs of the application.

AGM batteries are more affordable, have a longer lifespan, and are easier to maintain. However, they don’t offer as much power as Lithium batteries and can be less reliable in extreme temperatures.

Lithium batteries are more expensive, but they offer more power and are less likely to suffer from memory effect. They also perform better in extreme temperatures than AGM batteries. However, they have a shorter lifespan and can be more difficult to maintain.

Conclusion

So, which nicad vs lithium ion batteries is right for you? That depends on your needs and budget. If you need a battery that will last a long time and don’t mind the extra bulk, NiCad might be the best choice. But if you need a smaller, lighter battery that will hold its charge longer, Li-ion is the way to go.

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