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Replace NiCD Battery with Lithium-Replacement and Difference

Replace NiCD Battery with Lithium-Replacement and Difference

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Nickel cadmium (NiCD) and Lithium batteries are both used in electronic devices and light duty mechanical tools as a source of power to keep these devices running. These two batteries are different especially in their internal chemistry which leads to other key differences in their performance and maintenance.

These differences in the internal chemistry means the maximum and minimum operation temperatures and humidity of these two battery technologies can not be the same. This is because the chemical components in the batteries behave differently when subjected to extremely high and low temperatures. In this article, I will share with you the major differences between these two battery technologies and whether you can replace NiCD battery with a Lithium-ion battery.

Can you replace your NiCD batteries with lithium?

Replacing NiCD batteries is very possible as long the ones you are replacing with can fit in the device and also have the same voltage as the NiCD batteries. The most important thing is the batteries to have the same technology. So, it doesn’t change performance no matter the battery technology you’re using. The only thing that will change is how long the battery will last on a single charge. So, replacing your NiCD will give you the following benefits;

  • Lithium-ion batteries can withstand operating in a wide temperature compare to NiCD batteries. This means if you intend to operate in temperatures that are way higher than the room temperature, you are safer using your devices with Lithium-ion batteries than NiCD.

  • They don’t have memory effect. Memory effect is when the battery is not able to clearly recall the points of maximum charge and discharge. This leads to displaying improper battery percentages

  • Lithium-ion batteries are also lighter and smaller thanks to their high energy density. This will eventually make your device to be lighter compared to when you are using NiCD batteries

  • Lithium-ion batteries also have a lower tendency of self-discharge. This means you can store the batteries for some time and they won’t lose any significant amount of charge.

  • Despite the above benefits, you will have to pay almost twice more if you intend to replace your NiCD batteries with Lithium-ion batteries. But the investment can be worth it in the long run

    How do you replace NiCD batteries with lithium?

    Lithium batteries are generally smaller and also have higher capacities than NiCD batteries. In most cases, you may have to replace every 3 NiCD batteries with 1 lithium battery to give you the same power. So, to replace NiCD batteries with Lithium batteries, here are the steps you will have to go through

    • Cautiously disassemble the battery pack. Most packs are sealed with glue so you may have to use some significant amount of force to unseal them.

    • Take a look at the voltage of the batteries you are removing and make sure the Lithium replacements also have the same voltage. Replacing batteries with a wrong voltage will heavily affect performance or even burn the circuits of your device.

    • Assemble the batteries together and fully charge them to equalize their charge. The batteries can be assembled together using the same conductor that was on the original batteries. Simply solder this same conductor onto the terminals

    • Put the batteries back into the battery pack and fit them in the machine again

    What is the difference between lithium and NiCD batteries?

    Both types of technologies do the same job but they have differences in the way they are made which significantly affects their durability; Here are some of the differences

  • Internal chemistry.

    As far as internal chemistry is concerned, Lithium-ion batteries use graphite as the anode (negative terminal), lithium oxide as the cathode (positive terminal) and lithium salt as the electrolyte. On the other hand, NiCD batteries use cadmium for the?anode, nickel oxyhydroxide for the cathode and aqueous potassium hydroxide as the electrolyte.

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