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  • Data please. I have worked in chemical research for 35+ years and I live by facts and data. When i read patents I evaluate the data and compare it to their conclusions. I have learned not to accept just words so as to avoid the partial truths trap.

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    • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
      Data please.
      Bill,

      I have seen from some sites that you know of Edison's old thermal regeneration method. I would like to compare it to what I am doing with the batteries myself. Please post the specific conditions / procedure and I will compare it to what I am doing now.

      Thanks.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
        Data please. I have worked in chemical research for 35+ years and I live by facts and data. When i read patents I evaluate the data and compare it to their conclusions. I have learned not to accept just words so as to avoid the partial truths trap.
        Certainly Robert. Since you found that 1908 Patent just go forward 16 years to the 1924 Battery Patents and behold all that His Excellency
        Thomas A. had to say. There is an overwhelming amount of data for you that confirms every word ever spoken on this matter by
        old Bill, hisself.

        Confirmed data signed by 2 witnesses and Mr. Edison's Attorneys as well Mr. Edison himself.
        All under the threat of prison if it's not on the up and up.

        It's just words, as you say, based on many, many experiments over many years. However I doubt they are considered
        "the partial truths trap".

        Somebody was asleep at da switch on dis one. I studied Every Battery Patent Mr. Edison ever did and I want to dissect them all
        real fine like
        someday, when time permits, before saying too much and risk playing the fool on the world wide web.
        There is a whole lot to it. We have a long and slow - row to hoe. Thanks for your interest and Good Luck.


        Bill Blake

        Comment


        • Yep, already got 'em. Thanks.

          To me that is not the kind of data I seek. They are references of information, but what is missing (as in most old patents) is the data that backs them up (and details with regards to how the data was gathered). These are no exception. We know the technology has issues with the electrolyte - so do LA batteries (even more so). No battery is forever. No need for us to keep singing the same song over and over.

          If we want to evaluate how bad (or not bad) this technology is for the purpose we desire to use it in, we need people with personal "hands-on" experiences with these cells (or at least this technology) so as to share and compare data with. How long is that "very long period" that Edison referenced? Was it affected by physical use conditions? How hard were the batteries being pushed? What was the rate of decay vs charge / discharge characteristics employed? Is the rate of decay linear? How is it affected by amp draw? (FYI - My amp-hour ratings all all over the map depending on my draw rates.) Is iron poisioning worse when the cells sit charged or when they are being cycled daily? How is capactity loss affected with % discharge in the cycling. You are right in that it takes a long time to build this bank of information.

          I can read all the references I want about hunting, but to actually be a hunter I need to step into the woods with my weapon - AND - to be most efficient and effective, it would be nice to get some knowledge from one of the locals who have hunted the same woods before. Who else out there has personal experience?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
            Yep, already got 'em. Thanks.

            To me that is not the kind of data I seek. They are references of information, but what is missing (as in most old patents) is the data that backs them up (and details with regards to how the data was gathered). These are no exception. We know the technology has issues with the electrolyte - so do LA batteries (even more so). No battery is forever. No need for us to keep singing the same song over and over.

            If we want to evaluate how bad (or not bad) this technology is for the purpose we desire to use it in, we need people with personal "hands-on" experiences with these cells (or at least this technology) so as to share and compare data with. How long is that "very long period" that Edison referenced? Was it affected by physical use conditions? How hard were the batteries being pushed? What was the rate of decay vs charge / discharge characteristics employed? Is the rate of decay linear? How is it affected by amp draw? (FYI - My amp-hour ratings all all over the map depending on my draw rates.) Is iron poisioning worse when the cells sit charged or when they are being cycled daily? How is capactity loss affected with % discharge in the cycling. You are right in that it takes a long time to build this bank of information.

            I can read all the references I want about hunting, but to actually be a hunter I need to step into the woods with my weapon - AND - to be most efficient and effective, it would be nice to get some knowledge from one of the locals who have hunted the same woods before. Who else out there has personal experience?

            Sounds like you don't need any more info from me, Mr. Edison or anyone else.
            You can leave me out and tell everybody (who will listen) how Edison and his teams didn't really know about the Edison batteries -
            but you do. Your starting to sound like xxxxxx. [B]Mod note - you love to beat on that company but get a life - they may well deserve it but state proven facts only. [/B]
            Bill Blake
            Last edited by russ; 11-13-2012, 03:09 AM. Reason: Leave off names already!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sundetective View Post
              Sounds like you don't need any more info from me, Mr. Edison or anyone else.
              You can leave me out and tell everybody (who will listen) how Edison and his teams didn't really know about the Edison batteries -
              but you do.
              Bill Blake
              Wow... That was quite a sour response. I simply asked for current data and for people with experience to join in. I tried to move us forward in the discussion without ruffling feathers too much. Quess that didn't work out so well. I apologize if you took offense.

              The Ni-Fe batteries aren't all THAT bad (even the Chinese forms) or the technology wouldn't still be in production 100 years later. The market would see to that. You may not like a vendor or two, but in my opinion to discredit a technology's ability to serve the solar folks without solid research would be just downright foolish. Are there issues that concern me? Absolutely yes, but the discussion here into what really concerns me about this technology never got that far.

              As far as your comments I quote above, let me simply quote "His Excellency" himself from one of his own patents I tried to get discussed...

              "I am not able to explain why the addition of Lithium hydroxid as explained, to the electrolyte, should result in such striking and noticeable phenomena." - USPTO - No. 876,445.

              I'm not saying Edison was dumb, and even he says Lithium was more than "a BIT of a help". The reference I entered into this discussion thread with (from almost 8 decacades later) studies and explains that phenomena. It's a shame we didn't even get to delve into it's findings so as to discuss it's best utilization. Also, there are references still being published as recent as April of this year dealing with the core understandings of the redox chemistry itself. We didn't get to talk about that either. Lots more research underway at many, many universities.

              Do I know more about Edison's own battery than he did? I can say will all humility "Yes" - but not just because of myself, but because of the continuous work of others. We've got 100 years of experience by scores of researchers on him. Can his battery technology be improved? - No doubt in my mind that it can (and in some ways it already has). Is there still room in the patent space with reagards to this technology? Yep - and that's the goal of a lot of the current research.

              I should have looked more closely at the title of this thread "Nickel Iron vs. Lead Acid - Off Grid battery debate". The DEBATE word should have cued me in that firm opinions had already been set. Going forward, I'll try to limit my discussions on this board to more non controversial subjects such as array configurations, charge controller settings, etc. For the record, I'd like to leave this thread with one last thought as it has served me well over the years in my career:

              "It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast." - credit Konrad Lorenz - 1973 Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

              Comment


              • Robert - Not to worry - your discussion, points and questions are quite right.

                The constant beating on one company, even if deserved, are tiresome and do nothing.
                [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                Comment


                • Got some info from IE.com

                  I had emailed http://www.ironedison.com again on the maintenance and sizing compared to lead acid. I was told they need to be in vented containers/areas like the lead acid, also giving off hydrogen gas. They need distilled water added about half as often as lead acid, but I don't know about the quantity difference. In sizing, the AH of the nickel iron batteries they sell can be about 58% of the same requirements for lead acid like my L16Ss.
                  Too bad I can not re-size my battery cabinets for the larger area needed by changing to nickel iron batteries. However, if I was someone just starting a solar electric system, I would probably go with them. Then hope that 12.5 years or so later a newer, better battery system is not developed, and I am stuck with it for another 12.5 years.
                  Right now, I am hoping for a smaller compatible long lasting battery to replace the L16Ss. The others in the possible forecast look like they would need a whole different charge controller at the minimum, but maybe maintenance free. Cost comparison is important and unknown.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by moguitar View Post
                    <snip> However, if I was someone just starting a solar electric system, I would probably go with them. Then hope that 12.5 years or so later a newer, better battery system is not developed, and I am stuck with it for another 12.5 years.
                    Moguitar, Does this mean that you would hope to get 25 years of service out of the Chinese
                    Ni-Fe Batteries?

                    How far down would you plan on discharging the cells most of the time.
                    Did you look into the suggested charging rate yet.
                    Also who and when the charging rate (or rates) were suggested.

                    As far as charging efficiency goes do you feel that the DOD will make a dramatic difference
                    when comparing the Net results between Ni-Fe and Lead Acid.

                    I'm starting to wonder about using the low battery discharge scheme (in many cases)
                    more and more this year.
                    Of course with Ni-Fe you pay dearly not only at the high end of the charging scale
                    but also when charging at 50% DOD (or so) and below.

                    The charging of the Ni-Fe cells becomes less and less efficient as you drop the SOC (state of charge)
                    below a certain point according to Changhong Batteries that builds them.

                    Of coarse China can't match that old Mercury magic any longer.
                    The using of Mercury was long lived and a huge deal for Edison.
                    He made no secret of it.
                    I don't cherry pick his words. Quote and believe this one - but wait - don't believe that one.
                    Naaaahhh.
                    Until proven otherwise I believe he learned more as he went along just like we do.

                    People talk about experience.
                    Changhong and Edison both had plenty of millions of dollars worth
                    of experience and usually had a good reason to tell anybody anything.
                    A lot of kindness of the heart doesn't seem to have EVER been a big part of it.
                    Some Ni-Fe knowledge (that a regular person could use) is being reversed rather
                    than being expanded upon. Old Bill tries to store a tad of it.

                    You pushed the thread past 22,000 views.


                    Bill Blake

                    Comment


                    • All I know about nickel-iron is mostly from http://www.ironedison.com and emails from them. They claim 25 year service life and I believe have a 20 year warranty. I can't change now anyway because of the bigger size for equivalent to my 8-L16S 24VDC main system and 4-L16S 12VDC garage/addition system. I built custom cabinets for them.
                      In originally researching from the Solar Living Sourcebook back in 1994, the longest life batteries then were sodium batteries, but they were expensive and big.
                      Anyone who is researching doing an off grid system should not only look at their pocketbook, but what is going to be the best long term investment. Less maintenance is nice, too.
                      The iron edison batteries look good and sound good from them, but they are salesmen and profiteers. I shopped around a lot for all my system components and looked at feedback from others as much as possible along with advice from experts like the people at Real Goods. Now, if thinking of nickel iron, I would do the same. Shop around, look at the experience of others, and try not to get hit by profiteers who so proliferate the alternative energy business.
                      I am also aware of the ridiculous huge trade imbalance with China, and think it should be even or stop.
                      If Iron Edison's claims are true, and they are US made, and if I was starting a new system, with enough money, I would go for them. If they are over-priced phonies from China---no. Personally, overseas shipping should revert back to sails IMHO.
                      My present L16Ss are made and recycled in the USA, and I don't mind checking specific gravity and putting in distilled water once a month in summer and once every two months in winter. To me, it is just part of being off grid independent since 1998.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by moguitar View Post
                        All I know about nickel-iron is mostly from http://www.ironedison.com and emails from them.
                        There lies the crux of your problem. Your only source is biased and has a vested interest.
                        MSEE, PE

                        Comment


                        • Are there any other sources for nickel iron batteries?? Not just sales, but unbiased INFO. Like I said, you have to shop around and get all the info you can before laying out the cash.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by moguitar View Post
                            Are there any other sources for nickel iron batteries?? Not just sales, but unbiased INFO. Like I said, you have to shop around and get all the info you can before laying out the cash.
                            Try getting a good notebook and ask Google and other search engines questions.
                            Keep a list of your questions and some notes.

                            For example:

                            Life cycles of Nickel Iron Battery

                            https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp...w=1006&bih=526

                            You may also want to start keeping some good Bookmarks.
                            Though there are things about Internet Explorer that can piss people off I don't see
                            any competition that is even close for breaking down and categorizing Bookmarks.
                            The Instant Favorites Bar across the top of your screen will also
                            Do You Solid.

                            Bill Blake

                            Comment


                            • All the Edison's Papers are owned and buried deep in Exide archives. You can find bits a pieces on the web but it will take a Researches effort to find it all.
                              MSEE, PE

                              Comment


                              • After further reading, the two main sellers use the cheaper built Chinese jobs. Zappworks out of Montana are the only US manufacturers and use longer lasting construction. Even the Chinese ones have a minimum 15 year warranty. I have found they require up to monthly addition of distilled water, like lead acid. They have poor low temperature performance, so need to be in a heated area, and discharge on their own more, with 10% less efficiency than lead acid. Otherwise, they also may need inverters that will go lower in voltage. Amp hour sizing can be quite a bit less. My 780AH lead acid bank can be 250 AH Ni-Fe. I emailed zappworks with my garage system specs and asked about the sizing, physical and amp hour, and if I can use the same charge controller, charger, and inverters.
                                I'll report back what they say, but I won't be changing out my 14-L16Ss in three systems. I want to keep all my batteries the same, so that I can throw in one or more from another system to keep the main system operational while I go get new batteries 40 miles away. My main system would be basically impossible because of limited room and the fact it can get well below the 60*F minimum for Ni-Fe to get full power. The Ni-Fe good ones by Zapps need an electrolyte change every 20 years with a 1/4 layer of potassium hydroxide over the bottom and refill with distilled water. Probably good for 100 years, so definitely for someone thinking far ahead and has a LOT of money.
                                Here is another conversation going online about them from earlier this year;
                                http://www.fieldlines.com/index.php?topic=146519.0

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