Battery Types Explained: NiMH vs Li-Ion

Posted October 10, 2016

It’s still surprising to see that there are still NiMH (nickel–metal hydride) batteries being used in some non-industrial Bluetooth scanners

Cons of NiMH batteries include:

  • NiMH suffers from “memory effect.” Memory effect describes the specific situation in which NiMH batteries gradually lose their maximum energy capacity if they are repeatedly recharged after being only partially discharged. The battery appears to “remember” the smaller capacity.
  • High self-discharge rate.  NiMH batteries lose their charge as they sit.
  • It takes longer to charge them.
  • Cannot operate at extreme temperatures. At extreme temperatures, NiMH voltage output will drop.

Advantages of NiMH:

  • It’s cheaper.

Advantages of Li-Ion:

  • Smaller and lighter.
  • Faster recharge.
  • Minimal discharge when not in use.
  • Temperature tolerance. It can tolerate low temperature and warmer environments compared to NiMH cells.
  • It is not susceptible to voltage depression, aka memory effect.

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