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A sealed Nickel-Hydrogen (Ni/H2) secondary battery is a hybrid combining battery and fueling cell technologies. The nickel oxide poisitve electrode comes from the nickel-cadmium cell, and the hydrogen negative electrode from the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell. Major advantages and disadvantages are listed in Table 32.1 from this chapter.
Saliant features of this hybrid Ni/H2 battery are a long cycle life that exceeds any other maintenance-free secondary battery systems; high specific energy (gravimetric energy density) compared to other aqueous batteries; high power density (pulse or peak power capability); and a tolerance to overcharge and reversal. It is these features that make the NiH2 battery system the energy storage subsystem currently employed in many aerospace applications, such as geosynchronous earth-orbit (GEO) commercial communications satellites, and low earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, such as the Hubble space telescope.
Application of the NiH2 battery has mainly been directed toward the aerospace field. Recently, however, programs have been started for terrestrial applications, such as long-life stand-alone photovoltaic systems.