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Panasonic develops first nickel-cadmium battery operable at -40 degrees Celsius

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Panasonic Corp on Thursday announced the development of the industry's first nickel-cadmium battery capable of charging and discharging at temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius.

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. Panasonic said it will start shipping samples of the new Cadnica batteries later this month. Mass-production will begin in the next fiscal year starting April 2014 with a monthly production of one million pieces.

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, such as Hokkaido, 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.

Thanks to the newly-developed electrolyte management technology and high-performance negative electrode, the new 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, 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.

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