Ni-Cad batteries

Introduction to Ni-Cad Batteries

Nickel-cadmium batteries (Ni-Cad) are an alternative to lead-acid batteries. They are more robust, and have a longer life in stationary applications. Although Ni-Cad batteries are considerably more expensive than lead-acid batteries, this longer life expectancy and the ability to be used in high power applications can make them less expensive throughout the entire operational life of the battery bank. This is particularly beneficial in rural Alaska where long operating life lowers the need for expensive transportation.

Ni-Cad Batteries in Alaska

In 2003, Golden Valley Electric Utility in Fairbanks installed a Ni-Cad battery system capable of providing 27 MW of power for 15 minutes to GEVA members. This gives the co-op a window in which backup generation can be brought online in the event of problems with the intertie or power supplied from other generation on the Raibelt. GVEA’s system has been operating successfully since installation and, as of 2010, has prevented 333 outages. A Ni-Cad battery bank was also installed as part of the high-penetration wind-diesel system in Wales. Designed to provide approximately 15 minutes of community load, this battery was to allow the system to ride out small lulls in wind power generation and start a diesel generator. However, the high penetration wind system is currently offline and diesel generators are used for all power generation. Unlike lead-acid batteries, Ni-Cad batteries are not as susceptible to temperature fluctuations, they also have good power density, very quick response time, and discharge consistently, making them appropriate for variety of storage applications.


Golden Valley Electric Utility installed a Ni-Cad battery
that has prevented over 333 power outages

Ni-Cad Battery Projects

Fairbanks (BESS)

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