NiMH Batteries vs Lithium Ion

Taking a minute to read this brief article about lithium ion and NiMH batteries will save you time and money. Knowing the characteristics of your device's batteries helps you extend their lifespan and make the right choices when it comes to your devices. Lithium ion (Li-ion) and Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are different in terms of construction, characteristics and performance, so knowing their advantages and disadvantages will give you the edge in keeping your two-way radios and other portable devices operating at full capacity.

Lithium-ion batteries are made from highly reactive lithium and carbon, and they can store a significant amount of energy. A nickel metal hydride battery uses hydrogen for energy storage, along with nickel and some other type of metal such as titanium.

While Li-ion batteries are more expensive than NiMH batteries, they're smaller and lighter, making them ideal for compact two-way radios and other small devices. Both types of batteries have similar power capacity, but Li-ion batteries charge more quickly and have a longer life cycle than NiMH batteries. Also, nickel metal hydride batteries have an issues with what is known as "memory effect." While they have less of a problem with this as nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries, they still experience this phenomenon which causes the battery to not use its full capacity when it is recharged before it's completely empty. Li-ion batteries don't have any memory effect, and they also lose their charge more slowly when they're not being used. If you have NiMH batteries, you can overcome this problem by making sure the batteries are fully discharged before recharging. If your device uses li-ion batteries, make sure you keep the batteries charged if placed in storage for any length of time, as the battery may become damaged if stored at a very low level of discharge.

In terms of operating in extreme temperatures, Li-ion batteries perform well in cold weather, which makes them ideal for outdoor winter use. However, they might not be as stable in extreme high heat as NiMH batteries. Overall, both battery types are very durable.