NiMH Batteries

Nickel Metal Hydride NiMH Batteries

If you are looking for a NiMh Battery that is designed and assembled to meet your own specific needs, whether it's for a new application or to replace an existing application that requires an upgrade to it's mobile power source, then get in touch with PMBL.

Alternatively, you may be unsure as to which battery technology is the right one for your product, if so PMBL can help.

PMBL design, assemble an manufacture Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Battery Packs, Batteries and Chargers and have full production and testing facilities in the UK.

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What are NiMH Batteries?

The basic concept of the NiMH system started in the 1970s as a means of discovering how to store hydrogen for the nickel-hydrogen battery. Today, nickel hydrogen batteries are mainly used for satellite applications.

As part of the above research Nickel-metal-hydride batteries evolved which are similar to sealed nickel-cadmium batteries, but differ from them in that instead of cadmium, hydrogen is used as the active element as a hydrogen-absorbing negative electrode (anode). The electrolyte is an inorganic alkaline (potassium hydroxide) aqueous solution. Cell voltage is 1.2 Volts.

Now that the technology is reasonably mature, NiMH batteries have found use in many high voltage / high current applications. The energy density is more than double that of Lead acid and 40% higher than that of Ni-Cd’s and there is potential for yet higher capacities. They accept both higher charge and discharge rates and micro-cycles thus enabling applications which were previously not practical.

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The success of the NiMH has been driven by both its high energy density, the use of environmentally friendly metals, (heavy metals have been eliminated) safety in use as well as its excellent value for money, good safety and reliability record.

The question is often asked, “Has NiMH improved over the last few years? Experts agree that considerable improvements have been achieved, but some limitations remain. Most of the shortcomings are native to the nickel-based technology and are shared with the Ni-Cd battery. Although accepted that NiMH is an interim step to lithium battery technology, it will remain popular due to its good volumetric energy density, good cycle life performance, as well having the advantages of good safety and reliability when compared with Lithium based cells especially in the case of an accident or abuse due to the use of more benign active chemicals. Also battery packs don't need the complex battery management system (BMS) essential with Lithium batteries.

Initially more expensive than the Ni-Cd, the price of the NiMH has dropped and is now almost at par value. This was made possible with high volume production. With a lower demand for Ni-Cd, there will be a tendency for its price to increase.

PMBL can manufacture your NiMH batteries with cells from VARTA, GP, SAFT, Panasonic and many more.

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Key Features Of NiMH Batteries :

NiMH Advantages

  • Excellent safety and reliability record
  • 30 - 40 % higher capacity over a standard Ni-Cd. Allowing longer run-times or down-sizing of battery packs. The Ni-MH system has potential for yet higher energy densities.
  • Environmentally friendly - contains no heavy metals.
  • Simple storage and transportation - transportation conditions are not subject to regulatory control
  • Less prone to memory than the Ni-Cd.
  • Periodic exercise cycles are required less often.
  • Many cell sizes available
  • Standard consumer types, as well as special types such as Low self-discharge, High-rate and Super-High rate discharge, High and Wide temperature types.
  • 1.2 VPC means easy variations in battery pack voltage.
  • Simple charging solutions available
  • No complicated PCB mounted electronics required for individual cell charge

NiMH Limitations

  • New chemical additives improve the self-discharge but at the expense of lower energy density.
  • Performance degrades if stored at elevated temperatures - the NiMH should be stored in a cool place and at a state-of-charge of about 40 %.
  • About 20 % more expensive than Ni-Cd - NiMH batteries designed for high current draw are more expensive than the regular version.

For more information about the NiMH Batteries and how they can help you build your application or if you would like advice from one of our Battery Specialists, please get in touch.

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