NVC’s LiFeSAVER technology focuses on the exclusive use of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO₄) batteries in our emergency lighting products.
NVC Lighting is going cadmium free
We have already stopped using nickel-cadmium (NiCd)batteries in most of our emergency products and the process will be complete in 2021.
We are replacing NiCd with LiFePO4 lithium iron phosphate batteries. Why?
Lithium is more efficient than NiCd in two ways
Self discharge. All rechargeable batteries lose charge over time.
• Lithium loses 3-5% per month.
• NiCd losses up to 20% per month.
This means that the charger in an emergency fitting with NiCd batteries is working almost continually, but the charger in the equivalent lithium circuit is working at low current in short bursts.
Charge efficiency. Energy is lost as heat during the charging of any battery.
• Lithium loses 5%
• NiCd loses 15%
We tested our new non-maintained emergency bulkhead with lithium batteries against the older equivalent NiCd bulkhead. The energy saving was >40%.
Why does this matter?
Long life reliability
Lithium batteries have a life of 8-10 years. This is because they have very little memory effect so their capacity remains almost constant till they reach end of life,usually defined as 70% of rated capacity.
NiCd batteries have a life of 3-4 years. The capacity of NiCd declines rapidly with every charge/discharge cycle, so after a few years they no longer have sufficient capacity to last a full 3 hours and need to be changed.
This means that lithium is a more reliable power source for emergency lighting,so lives are safer during an evacuation.
It also means that 50% less material has to be sent for recycling.
Cadmium is banned under the RoHS Directive because it is a dangerous pollutant
Cadmium is highly toxic. Cadmium is poisonous to almost all animals and many plants and is very persistent in the environment.
NiCd batteries therefore have to be recycled with great care. Lithium batteries must also be recycled, but the materials used are less harmful than cadmium.
Cadmium's days are numbered. Now that less polluting alternatives to cadmium are available it is to be expected that the RoHS directive will be amended to eliminate the exemption that has been allowed till now (2020).
Lithium has a long future ahead. Lithium iron phosphate in particular is favoured for its safety, economy and efficiency and is being increasingly used in many applications, not just emergency lighting.
Lithium is the environmentally better choice, and it's future proof.
Find out more about Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO₄) batteries
Download our latest emergency lighting brochure
Fixtures are compliant with BS EN 60598
Lighting design is compliant with BS EN 1838 / BS 5266-4
Signage is compliant with the European Signs Directive, ISO7010 & BS 5266