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Evolution Of Rechargeable NiMH Batteries

Rechargeable NiMH Batteries have become all-encompassing in today's technological climate, powering everything from laptops and cellular phones to hybrid electric vehicles.

The development of a NiMH battery traces its origin to the nickel-hydrogen batteries used for aerospace applications. Nickel-hydrogen batteries were specifically suited to aerospace applications because of their exceptional life cycle and acceptable specific energy.

But, the drawbacks were poor volumetric efficiency and the need for tanks of hydrogen gas and platinum catalysts. NiMH batteries overcame this problem by configuring a battery using metal hydride storage materials as one of the electrodes.

The sustained work done in multi-component metal hydride alloys has been singularly responsible for the current generation of high performance and durable Rechargeable NiMH Batteries. These are in use today in nearly every application you can think of.

The NiMH battery is actually an alkaline storage battery because it uses potassium hydroxide as the electrolyte. Rechargeable alkaline batteries found wide application for the following key reasons.

* High electrolyte conductivity.

* The battery system can be sealed to plug leakage problems.

* Operable over wide temperature ranges.

* Longer life and durability compensating for higher initial costs.

* Higher energy density and lower cost per watt-hour.

One significant technological development in Rechargeable NiMH Batteries is in the field of battery packs used in hybrid electric vehicles. The battery packs are now considerably reduced in size, weight, and cost, without compromising in power, reliability, and life expectancy.