Panasonic Develops Industry's First Nickel-Cadmium Battery Operable at Minus 40
Osaka, Aug 8, 2013 - (JCN Newswire) - Panasonic Corporation today announced
the development of the industry's first*1 nickel-cadmium battery capable
of charging and discharging at temperatures as low as -40 deg C (-40 deg F).
The new Panasonic Cadnica GT Series batteries are designed to operate at a wide
range of temperatures, from extreme cold temperatures of -40 deg C to
temperatures as high as 60 deg C (140 deg F). Panasonic will start shipping
samples of the new Cadnica batteries in August 2013. Mass-production will begin
in the next fiscal year starting April 2014 with a monthly production of one
In recent years, in response to demand for infrastructure development and
disaster preparation, interest in backup power supplies for applications such
as for traffic signals, communication base stations and servers, emergency
lighting in cold-storage warehouses, and standalone power supply systems, such
as solar-powered street lights and power storage systems, is growing. However,
in regions where winter temperatures fall under -20 deg C (-4 deg F), such as
Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, the northern U.S., Russia, Canada
and the Nordic countries, it is difficult to get stable performance from
conventional secondary batteries*2 at such low temperatures. A special heater
can be added to such systems to maintain the battery temperature, but this also
adds to costs and makes the equipment larger.
Panasonic's new Cadnica GT Series batteries present solutions for these
challenges. Thanks to the newly-developed electrolyte management technology and
high-performance negative electrode, the batteries can charge and discharge in
a low-temperature environment of -40 deg C, substantially exceeding the
operating temperature range of conventional nickel-cadmium batteries*3,
allowing nickel-cadmium batteries to be used in a wide variety of locations in
cold weather regions, and contributing to cost reductions and the
simplification of such systems.
The new Cadnica GT Series batteries will come in three sizes: SC, C ad D.
Other applications of the new batteries include the use for equipment designed
for cold-weather regions such as radio devices, measuring instruments,
mountain-climbing equipment and ship lights; and backup power source used
outdoors such as disaster lighting systems and emergency lighting for tunnels.
Panasonic has been offering Cadnica nickel-cadmium batteries worldwide for
half a century since the company started mass-production in 1964. Cadnica
batteries boast outstanding features, such as large-current discharge and high
resistance to over-charging/discharging, which make the batteries a suitable
power source for applications such as power tools that call for high-rate
discharge capabilities and emergency lighting that requires long-term
Over the years, Panasonic has accumulated technology and know-how in
batteries, such as the proprietary positive electrode sintering technology*4
applied to nickel-cadmium batteries as well as automotive nickel-metal-hydride
batteries which use nickel in their positive electrodes. Building on such
expertise, Panasonic will continue to pursue technological innovation to bring
*1: In consumer-use, compact, sealed rechargeable batteries, as of August 8
2013, according to Panasonic data
*2: Consumer secondary batteries used for storage purposes (lead-acid,
lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydride batteries)
*3: In consumer nickel-cadmium batteries
*4: Technology for producing porous and strong nickel-based plate by sintering
nickel powder at high temperature
1. Industry's first nickel-cadmium batteries capable of charging and
discharging in minus 40 deg C low temperature
In general, the chemical reaction of the active material in a battery is
slower at lower temperatures, thus resulting in reduced battery performance.
Batteries using a water-soluble electrolyte such as a nickel-cadmium battery
lose their functionality in a low-temperature environment below -20 deg C
because the electrolyte freezes.
By adopting the newly-developed high-performance negative electrode, Panasonic
has succeeded in improving reactivity at lower temperatures. At the same time,
the company has succeeded in suppressing the freezing of the electrolyte by
using its positive electrode sintering technology and electrolyte management
technology. As a result, the company has achieved charging and discharging at a
low temperature of -40 deg C, substantially exceeding the operating temperature
(0 deg C for charging, -20 deg C for discharging) of the company's
conventional nickel-cadmium batteries.
The new Cadnica GT Series batteries can be used for a variety of cold
environment applications, such as as a backup power source for traffic,
disaster prevention and information communication equipment in cold weather
regions, and in guide lighting and emergency lighting in cold-storage
warehouses. These batteries do not require temperature-maintaining heaters,
thereby enabling simpler and lower-cost system designs and smaller installation
Technology enabling operations in a low-temperature environment
Development of high-performance negative electrode
As the reactivity of the active material of the negative electrode of
conventional nickel-cadmium batteries is reduced at low temperatures,
charging/discharging under 0 deg C was difficult with the previous products*3.
The newly developed high-performance negative electrode improves the
low-temperature performance by approximately 50% through the improved
reactivity of the finer active material.
Electrolyte management technology
Nickel-cadmium batteries use a water-soluble electrolyte which tends to freeze
in a low-temperature environment. By applying its battery technology and
know-how refined over many years, the company achieved a specification suitable
for operation at -40 deg C by optimizing the concentration of the electrolyte.
Proprietary positive electrode sintering technology
When a nickel-cadmium battery is overcharged at a low temperature, the
positive electrode active material generally swells, and its operational life
is shortened. The company achieved a positive electrode structure with improved
strength by applying its proprietary sintering technology to suppress the
swelling of the active material, thereby achieving a longer operation life at
2. Capable of charging/discharging not only at low temperature but also at
room temperature and even at a high temperature of 60 deg C
The same technology for optimizing operation in a high-temperature environment
used in the company's nickel-cadmium batteries has also been adopted in
the Cadnica GT Series, so that charging/discharging in a 60 deg C
high-temperature environment is possible without losing the high-temperature
performance of the existing Cadnica batteries. The batteries may also be used
at room temperature.
3. Maintaining the over-charging/discharging toughness and outstanding
discharging performance, unique to Panasonic's nickel-cadmium batteries
The Cadnica GT Series offers improved temperature characteristics while
maintaining the outstanding current discharge characteristics and
over-charging/discharging performance unique to Panasonic's existing
nickel-cadmium batteries. The new batteries also deliver the performance in a
power source for backup systems which require an instantaneous and stable
voltage, as well as products such as emergency lighting which require a trickle
charging to keep fully charged.
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering
of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential,
non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in
1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated
companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.30 trillion yen for
the year ended March 31, 2013. Committed to pursuing new value through
innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life
and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic,
please visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/ .
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