Nickel-cadmium batteries are among the most reliable power sources on the market today, mainly because they are one of the few types of batteries on the market today that can be charged at extremely fast rates without placing undue stress upon the battery.
A nickel-cadmium battery is also extremely tough and resistant to damage, and can be easily reconditioned where a lithium-ion battery would not respond to reconditioning.
So, knowing how to recondition a nickel-cadmium battery can be extremely useful, especially when the nickel-cadmium battery responds so well to the reconditioning process.
There's a new procedure that has been developed recently that uses a power surge to recondition a nickel-cadmium battery.
This method not only regenerates the battery, but also increases the power output of the battery itself. One of the applications this is used in is remote control vehicles, which often draw large amounts of power. For example, a model car can draw thirty amperes, and requires this power to be delivered for at least four minutes or so. This enormous amount of power, amounting to nearly two-hundred watts, is put out by a relatively small 7.2 volt battery.
While this is an adequate amount of power, and while the nickel-cadmium battery works very well even in this rather demanding application, nevertheless, there are those who feel that they would like a little more capacity from the nickel-cadmium cell.
A new system has been developed to try to draw this capacity from the cell, and that is to charge a forty-seven thousand microfarad capacitor.
This capacitor is charged to ninety volts and then the power is released into a 1.2V nickel-cadmium cell. After this, you put the cell through its normal cycle, and then charge the capacitor again, and apply the voltage once more. At this point, the cell can be put into service, and you will see a considerable power increase in the cell.
Please bear in mind that this power increase is immediate to applying the power surge, and that with age and time, the capacity will drop just as the capacity of all batteries does.
While applying a power surge to the cell is an excellent way to increase power capacity, you must not ignore the reconditioning process that keeps most nickel-cadmium batteries operating to full capacity.
In short, this involves deep discharging the battery and then recharging it to its entire capacity four times a year. You must not do this more than four times a year, as it can lead to degradation and stress upon the battery. Note that this deep discharge can remove issues in the battery that result from storage even before it was bought.
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