NiCd Nickel Cadmium Battery Memory Effect

- details of the memory effect associated with nickel cadmium or Nicad / NiCd batteries and how to avoid it & repair cells that exhibit the memory effect.

There is a lot of talk with Nickel Cadmium batteries about the memory effect, and whether it is of any importance to the average user. The NiCad memory effect was discovered when satellites started to use Nickel cadmium batteries. In this application these NiCd batteries were repeatedly partially discharged. Soon it was discovered that their overall capacity was reduced as they "remembered" the amount by which they were normally discharged.

For most normal applications it appears that the NiCd memory effect is not a major issue, although if the cell is run through a complete cycle occasionally, ensuring that it is completely discharged. If the cells are contained within a larger battery, it is helpful to discharge them separately (if possible) as this will ensure that no individual cells become reverse charged as some cells will contain slightly more charge than others. By performing the occasional complete discharge / charge cycle this may help reduce the NiCd memory effect if it is suspected.

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