Compared to lead-based or lithium batteries, nickel-cadmium cells can operate under much higher and much lower temperatures. Their lifespan commonly reaches 20 years or more, and they have only minimal maintenance requirements. The main reason for this is the electrochemical properties of the active materials in the Ni-Cd cell, but the design also plays an important role. The best example of a robust, precision-made, and therefore exceptionally reliable and low-maintenance Ni-Cd cell is the GAZ lomain range.
The design of the cells in the lomain range utilizes extensive experience with making and applying Ni-Cd technology that GAZ has developed over 115 years. Firstly, the cells have a large supply of electrolyte, which extends maintenance intervals, and the poles have a dual seal to prevent the carbonisation of the electrolyte. Other inventions include the use of a fleece separator that ensures gases released during charging are efficiently recombined. Its highly absorptive capacity also enables the electrolyte reserves to be utilized as efficiently as possible.
The design of the edge of the electrode is the best compromise between robustness and low weight. The edge of the electrode is connected to the terminal by a screw or by welding. This increases the mechanical stability of the cell, and so does the design of horizontal pockets made of perforated steel strips containing the active material.
Excellent reliability is one thing, but the best quality of the lomain cells is achieved with a valve-regulated venting system, which eliminates the need to replenish water during the cell’s standard lifespan and under normal operating conditions. The optimized electrode design prevents hydrogen evolution in normal charge conditions and increases the rechargeability even with lower rate constant voltage charging. This allows lomain batteries to operate in a narrow DC voltage window and can directly replace Lead-acid or VRLA batteries without any alteration of the existing DC system, or without the need of additional dropper diodes in chargers.
If the lomain batteries are operated in standard operating conditions with recommended manufacturer’s guidelines, their operation does in fact require only minimal or no maintenance without any compromise in performance.
The largest lomain cells have a capacity of up to 1,570 Ah and can therefore be used for very long periods of time without the necessity of topping up, even several months to years based on usage condition, under high operating temperatures without the need of HVAC, cooling-heating infrastructure, otherwise common in deserts and on tropical oil rigs. The highest permanent operating temperature of a lomain cell is 50°C, but for a limited time they can operate even at 70°C and, on the other end of the spectrum, at -50°C.
The reason for this is not only smart design, but also the high quality of the materials used, precision engineering, and, last but not least, stringent quality checks. The manufacturing process at the GAZ plant in Zwickau meets all the relevant international standards including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and IEC 62259, for which lomain cells have a type certificate. Because of their minimal maintenance requirements, GAZ lomain cells are the ideal solution for even the most demanding applications.