NiCad vs. Seal Lead Acid Battery

What is the difference?

Tue May 14, 2019

What is a NiCad Battery?

NiCad, short for Nickel-Cadmium, utilizes nickel oxide hydroxide and an metallic cadmium  to create electrolytes. It is a cost effective rechargeable battery making it a good investment for long term use. NiCad batteries are often used in LED emergency lighting, standby power systems and uninterruptible power supply applications. NiCad Batteries have a dormant and/or active life span between 7-10 years. NiCad batteries are more difficult to damage than other batteries, tolerating deep discharge for long periods. 

 

What is a Sealed Lead Acid Battery?

A Sealed Lead Acid battery or SLA battery is composed of metal plates, lead, and lead oxide solution with a 35% sulfuric acid to 65% water ratio. SLA batteries are safer than normal lead acid batteries because it has sulfuric acid electrolyte thickened so that it can’t spill out. Like NiCad batteries, SLA batteries are rechargeable but are much heavier and are extremely bulky. SLA batteries only have a sitting shelf life of 18-20 months and an active shelf life between 4-6 years, but also require monthly, bi-yearly and annual testing to prevent the battery from completely discharging.

 

Why Choose NiCad over Sealed Lead Acid

NiCad batteries have a much higher energy density and tend to be much smaller and lighter than the comparable Sealed lead–acid battery leaving a smaller carbon footprint.  NiCad batteries have a steady voltage of 1.2v per cell up until it is almost completely depleted; this means it has a powerful delivery throughout the entirety of its use unlike the SLA battery which will terminate voltage delivery once the voltage drops . NiCad also has low internal resistance making it capable to discharge a lot of power quickly and if properly cared for can be recharged 3 to 5 times more than the SLA. Last but not least NiCad batteries are composed with much less water ration than SLA batteries making them less susceptible to cold weather.