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Alcad battery from time capsule delivers excellent performance at 99 years old

Tests on industrial nickel cadmium battery recovered from a time capsule at an old Alcad factory in the UK show it can still deliver more than 50 percent of its original capacity

production in UK

Oskarshamn, Sweden, 28 September 2021Alcad rechargeable nickel cadmium batteries are known for their long life, which is often 25 years or more. However, the company’s engineers were astonished to find that one of its pocket plate batteries manufactured in the UK over 99 years ago is still capable of delivering more than 50 percent of its original capacity.

The comeback story begins in 1991, when workers renovating the old Alcad factory in Redditch, England discovered a time capsule hidden under the floor. Inside was a 20 Ah battery bearing a nameplate showing that it was manufactured in March 1922.

The recovered NiCad battery was given a thorough reconditiong service, including emptying and refreshing the electrolyte, and a series of charge and discharge cycles. It was then tested and found to deliver a remarkable 15 Ah capacity, just 5 Ah down from when it was brand new.

Two years later, in 1993, Alcad’s Redditch facility closed and manufacturing of its products transferred to its current highly automated factory in Oskarshamn, Sweden. 

In 2021, thirty years after it was discovered, curiosity drew Alcad’s engineers back to take another look at the battery, now 99 years old. Following reconditioning, tests showed the nickel cadmium battery had an available capacity of 10.9 Ah – slightly better than 50 percent of its orginal capacity.

José-Antonio Fortes, Managing Director of Alcad said: “Long life is far from unusual for Alcad NiCad batteries. It is not uncommon for us to find batteries out in the field that have been delivering reliable backup power for many decades, even in very demanding industrial applications. However, maintaining such good performance for nearly a century is certainly very special. This battery is a tribute to the excellence in design and manufacture practiced by our forebears that remains at the heart of Alcad today.”



Alcad is one of the world's major suppliers of advanced nickel cadmium batteries for industrial and commercial applications. The company offers an extensive range of cutting-edge battery solutions, designed to deliver high performance, safety and reliability.

 With a commercial presence in more than 80 countries worldwide, the Alcad team supports customers with a broad portfolio of services, from initial consultancy through sizing, installation and commissioning to after-sales with an uncompromising focus on quality.

 Alcad's long established ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified production sites and headquarters in Sweden incorporate a century of knowledge and experience to provide advanced nickel cadmium battery solutions for the global industrial standby market.



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