Nickel-metal hydride cells have an anode (negative) in a metal alloy capable of absorbing and releasing hydrogen, plus a nickel hydroxide cathode (positive), immersed in an alkaline electrolyte solution of potassium, sodium and lithium hydroxides. Nickel-metal hydride cells are rechargeable and deliver a voltage of 1.2 V.
The cells are maintenance-free but require precise charge level monitoring, to control gaseous exchanges with the outside and thus water consumption (for open cells, only slightly pressurized, owing to size). Charge monitoring also helps minimize heating under charge, to maximize capacity and service life. Sealed cells are in cylindrical shape with nickel steel can. They are used in many mobile and fixed professional and industrial applications.
The negative electrode reaction occurring in a NiMH cell
On the positive electrode, nickel oxyhydroxide (NiOOH) is formed,
The charge reaction is read left-to-right and the discharge reaction is read right-to-left.
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