CUCC's cordless hammer drill does not perform nearly as well below ground as it does above. On a Churchill window ledge, something like twenty holes may be drilled in a piece of limestone, whereas down a cold, damp Austrian cave, less than ten can be obtained.
I have performed some tests to try to determine what factors cause this reduction in drill performance. The drill battery is a 24V Ni-cad, rated at 1.2 Ah. I used a pair of 60W car headlamps in series as a dummy load and discharged the battery under various conditions and after various storage conditions.
The 120W load will draw a current of about 5A, similar to the drill running under light load. After subjecting it to the test conditions I then discharged it through the headlamps and measured the time it took for the battery voltage to drop to first 20V and then 15V (time measured as minutes:seconds).
|20||-||0 mins||1 hour||14:40||16:51|
|20||-||0 mins||>8 hours||14:25||15:40|
|4||4||45 mins||2 hours||10:20||13:12|
|4||4||45 mins||>8 hours||12:30||14:20|
|20||20||8 days||>8 hours||10:55||11:55|
|20||4||8 days||>8 hours||11:11||11:37|
Hmm, the difficult bit. The two clear results are:
1) That the battery has quite an appreciable self discharge rate. After eight days storage at room temperature, 25% of the charge had gone.
2) That discharging the battery while it is cold considerably reduces the power available. At 4 degrees C, around 20% less power was available. Put together, these two results can largely account for the reduced battery power found in practice.
[The remaining loss (20-30%) may well be due to the leakage rate being higher in the damp cave conditions (This effect has been reported by the CNCC) - Ed]