Rechargeable batteries are everywhere these days: cordless tools, laptop computers, cordless phones, and cell phones, just to name a few.
Rechargeable batteries for use with consumer electronic products are of four basic types:
- Nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd),
- Nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH)
- Lithium-ion (Li-Ion).
- Lithium polymer (Li-Po)
Although these four types of batteries will not look much different from the outside, there are significant differences among them. We will explain a bit about each of them now.
Also, Ni-Cd batteries can only undergo a limited number of discharge-recharge cycles before they need to be replaced. They often last only one to two years.
Ni-MH (Nickel-metal hydride) Batteries
Also, they can go through more discharge-recharge cycles than Ni-Cd batteries. Their typical useful life is more like 3 to 4 years. On the downside, Ni-MH batteries discharge more when not in use than Ni-Cds.
After about a week of not being used, a fully charged Ni-MH battery will have lost about 20% of its charge. Also, Ni-MH batteries cost more than Ni-Cd batteries, but their longer life tends to more than compensate for that.
Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) batteries
These type of batteries are now extensively used in Electric Vehicles like Tesla Cars.
Li-Po (Lithium Polymer) Batteries
But they’re not without their downside. Mishandling of these batteries can lead to fire, explosions and toxic smoke inhalation.