Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making a battery from NiCad cells

7 Nov 2012: Here's a bit more info about the NiCad cells. I seem to have about 80 of these, and am somewhat astonished that they claim to have a capacity of 20 amp hours each... or perhaps that's when they are lined up in strings of 10. That might be a theoretical maximum of 1600 amp-hours!
  [I had a comment from 'Sam' and he confirmed what I suggested, which is that in strings of 10, at 12 volts, that would be 160 amp hours.. singly at 1.2 volts they are 20000MAh but there wouldnt be much use for 1600 amphours at only 1.2 volts!]
   I have a plywood box that came from a skip and is nearly ideal for them to go into. I have to work out a way of connecting the terminals to make a perfect connection. Soldering perhaps, riveting possibly.
Here is a group of them, showing that ten cells line up perfectly across the width of the box. Going in the other direction, I need a partition between each line, and it may not be possible to fit all 80. As they may get a bit warm as they charge up, I can't use polystyrene (that they came with) so I need to find some thin plywood to make the partitions.Close up, one can see the large nickel tabs at the bottom (and top) of each cell, and these will have to be joined somehow. Our electronics technician at the department thinks that small rivets will be fine with plenty of vaseline or battery gel to maintain conductivity (avoiding corrosion).


  1. That is 1600Ah, but in 1,2V.

    That is 160Ah at 12 volts. Good thing is that you can use it pretty empty, so it´s equal in 200-300Ah normal acidlead battery.


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