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  • Originally posted by Sunking View Post
    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.
    I'm sure Exide has some unpublished trade secrets that they aquired with the purchase of Edison's technology, but do not fear - there is plenty we know about Edison's work that is not buried in the "Exide vaults".

    [B]Before I go too much further, since I haven't taken the opportunity to say this yet on this forum, [I]if all you are looking for is a simple storage media for your power needs that takes minimal attention then use LA or some other battery technology other than Ni-Fe[/I].[/B] But, since this [U]IS[/U] a Ni-Fe thread, if you are ready and willing to work it, understand it, and (yes) maintain it then Ni-Fe can be the right choice. I do not believe there is no "one size fits all" solution out there. The right choice depends on your individual needs and situation.

    If you really want to learn about Ni-Fe technology, here's a listing of the majority of Edison's Patents dealing with his battery initiatives including electroplating, etc that you can start with. You need those references too if you want to truly understand his battery construction and the limits of his technology as it was constructed when he was alive. The "good stuff" starts in 1901, but I give you a couple other references where Edison was working with Pb, Cu, and Zn. Please keep in mind these are the Edison references only, and the information inside them certainly in no way makes you an expert in the application of Nickel Iron redox chemistry for power storage (even if you believe you understand it throroughly). It is the beginning of a journey, not the end. Keep researching, get your hands on some cells and learn for yourself lest you be lead astray by self proclaimed experts, vendors, etc. There has been lots more knowlege accumulated since 1927. Don't limit yourself to the century old information.

    Edison Battery Patent Listings by Application Date:

    Pat Num App Date
    273,492 06/26/1882
    274,292 08/07/1882
    430,279 07/02/1889
    684,204 10/31/1900
    704,303 1/8/1901
    704,304 3/1/1901
    700,136 3/5/1901
    700,137 3/5/1901
    704,305 5/17/1901
    678,722 6/20/1901
    684,205 6/20/1901
    692,507 6/20/1901
    701,804 6/20/1901
    704,306 6/20/1901
    734,522 2/14/1902
    727,117 10/3/1902
    727,118 10/21/1902
    721,682 11/28/1902
    723,449 11/28/1902
    723,450 11/28/1902
    754,858 11/28/1902
    754,859 11/28/1902
    852,424 11/28/1902
    831,269 3/5/1903
    850,912 10/5/1903
    857,041 10/5/1903
    766,815 11/18/1903
    821,622 6/29/1904
    879,612 6/29/1904
    880,484 6/29/1904
    827,297 7/21/1904
    785,297 8/16/1904
    821,032 9/28/1904
    817,162 9/29/1904
    821,623 11/2/1904
    821,624 11/2/1904
    821,625 11/5/1904
    879,859 3/1/1905
    821,626 3/30/1905
    821,627 3/30/1905
    854,200 3/30/1905
    857,929 3/30/1905
    882,144 3/30/1905
    860,195 4/28/1905
    976,791 4/28/1905
    936,433 10/14/1905
    880,978 11/2/1905
    880,979 11/2/1905
    850,913 12/7/1905
    914,342 12/7/1905
    858,862 1/10/1906
    964,096 3/19/1906
    914,372 7/14/1906
    898,404 11/3/1906
    948,558 12/3/1906
    936,525 1/18/1907
    865,687 1/19/1907
    865,688 1/19/1907
    876,445 5/10/1907
    914,343 5/17/1907
    896,811 2/6/1908
    940,635 2/6/1908
    896,812 3/18/1908
    999,762 3/20/1908
    946,540 3/23/1908
    976,792 5/24/1910
    1,012,828 5/24/1910
    1,207,382 5/24/1910
    1,036,471 6/6/1910
    1,115,463 6/17/1910
    1,034,002 1/27/1911
    1,034,003 1/27/1911
    1,083,355 4/8/1911
    1,083,356 4/8/1911
    1,167,484 4/8/1911
    1,016,875 7/28/1911
    1,275,232 12/22/1911
    1,073,107 1/11/1912
    1,143,818 1/17/1912
    1,167,485 4/30/1912
    1,299,693 8/10/1914
    1,198,426 8/31/1914
    1,364,358 12/13/1915
    1,266,780 1/20/1917
    1,377,192 1/18/1919
    1,377,193 1/23/1919
    1,371,414 6/17/1919
    1,359,972 6/21/1919
    1,369,271 7/3/1919
    1,369,272 8/5/1919
    1,402,751 9/5/1919
    1,379,088 9/16/1919
    1,364,359 9/29/1919
    1,379,089 10/4/1919
    1,386,095 11/6/1919
    1,410,391 12/2/1919
    1,410,391 12/2/1919
    1,377,194 6/16/1920
    1,417,464 7/16/1920
    1,425,184 8/26/1920
    1,489,240 1/5/1921
    1,488,480 9/28/1921
    1,488,481 4/26/1922
    1,651,196 5/14/1923
    1,559,562 5/25/1923
    1,599,121 2/26/1924
    1,526,326 3/12/1924
    1,649,579 7/24/1925
    1,836,066 8/14/1926
    1,723,609 10/12/1927

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
      I'm sure Exide has some unpublished trade secrets that they aquired with the purchase of Edison's technology, but do not fear - there is plenty we know about Edison's work that is not buried in the "Exide vaults".
      Yes but Exide is one of the only places for 1-stop shopping. Otherwise you are in for months and months of searching for a lost cause. There is a reason Edison did not renew his patent, and Exide quit making them.
      MSEE, PE

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Sunking View Post
        Yes but Exide is one of the only places for 1-stop shopping. Otherwise you are in for months and months of searching for a lost cause. There is a reason Edison did not renew his patent, and Exide quit making them.
        Not sure what exactly you are inferring. Edison could not "renew" his patent. It ran out. During Edison's days, patents only protected you for 17 years (you only get 20 years now). You cannot extend patents indefinately. Once 1918 rolled around, Edison had to rely on his technology extensions (new patents), trade secret knowledge with regards to manufacturing, and other barriers to entry into the market such as cost.

        The flurry of patents in the 20's wasn't because the technology had so many problems as some might have you believe. It was quite the opposite. The technology was important to his company and a second series of patent extensions was desireable to keep competitors out.

        In my opinion, Exide dropped the product line after they bought it because it did not really fit their business model. We were quickly becoming a "throw away" society at that time and people didn't want to pay 5x the price for a product that might last 10x as long. Still, since you might want that competitor out of the market space to extend your own sales, you buy them and shut them down. Why else buy the product line, then cease it's manufacture? Exide isn't stupid.

        Comment


        • Back to the discussion...

          Originally posted by moguitar View Post
          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.
          As stated elsewhere, the scuttle butt is that Zappworks is reconditioning plates from old Edison cells & repackaging them in polyolefin cases. If true, you should take into account that Zappworks cells are already decades old. I doubt seriously that they are reloading the NiOH tubes but rather are simply acid cleaning them.

          Yes, Edison's plate designs have stood the test of time, but to say the ChangHong design will not do the same may be yet undetermined and unfair.


          Originally posted by moguitar View Post
          I have found they require up to monthly addition of distilled water, like lead acid.
          I water my Edison cells weekly. I don't think they will make it a month till I expose the top of the plates. Zappworks / ChangHong may give more headspace and permit less frequent watering. I do not know.


          Originally posted by moguitar View Post
          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.
          Yep on the low temp, self-discharge hasn't proven to be an issue in my solar useage as they are recharged most every day, and charge / discharge efficiency is definately inferior to LA.


          Originally posted by moguitar View Post
          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.
          The need for electrolyte changes should essentially be the same in both the ChangHong and Zappworks cells assuming similar maintanence / use conditions. Not sure what you are referring to about "1/4 layer of potassium hydroxide over the bottom and refill with distilled water". If you can post that reference, maybe it will help explain. If you've got kickout in the cell, it is probably not simply due to KOH unless you are wickedly cold. Could be precipitation however from common ion effect if you've been bodying up to keep "free KOH" in the appropriate range due to carbonate formation. Perhaps could also be oxidized species falling off the electrodes.

          Side note... If you want to know why ChangHong suggests 30% KOH versus Edison's original ~20%, it minimizes the freezing point of the solution and thus gives the solution better low temperature performance. Simple as that.

          http://koh.olinchloralkali.com/Techn...seDiagram.aspx


          Originally posted by moguitar View Post
          Probably good for 100 years....
          That is the 60 million $$ question - or $10k question anyway. And that's probably the sales pitch that initiated this "debate".

          "Good" is the word that is debateable in that sentence. I'd have to say if you're able to accept 25-50% of your original amp-hour capacity as a definition of "good", then I'll side with you on that statement. Guess it may have to be another 100 years before we know if we can do better.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
            The need for electrolyte changes should essentially be the same in both the ChangHong and Zappworks cells assuming similar maintanence / use conditions. Not sure what you are referring to about "1/4 layer of potassium hydroxide over the bottom and refill with distilled water". If you can post that reference, maybe it will help explain.
            That sounds frighteningly like advice to add the KOH powder the the dried cell and then add water, mixing them inside the battery. That sounds like an incredibly dangerous idea to me.
            SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

            Comment


            • I also hope that is not what the reference is suggesting as it'd be dangerous to the user AND the battery. The heat generation would be extreme. When I mix up electrolyte I start with a 50:50 mixture by weight of crushed ice and DI water, add the KOH Flake, add the LiOH powder, and cut to the final concentration with DI water again. The LiOH addition is the worst part. No matter how hard I try, some of the powder gets airborne and it'll run you out even with a dust mask on. If I weren't so cheap, I probably shoulda used a purchased LiOH solution.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
                I also hope that is not what the reference is suggesting as it'd be dangerous to the user AND the battery. The heat generation would be extreme. When I mix up electrolyte I start with a 50:50 mixture by weight of crushed ice and DI water, add the KOH Flake, add the LiOH powder, and cut to the final concentration with DI water again. The LiOH addition is the worst part. No matter how hard I try, some of the powder gets airborne and it'll run you out even with a dust mask on. If I weren't so cheap, I probably shoulda used a purchased LiOH solution.
                I assume that the old chemistry class admonition about always adding acid to water instead of water to acid applies equally well to mixing a strong base like KOH.

                If you add water to the flakes, you are likely to get a small steam explosion of the water, sending nasty stuff flying. Not to mention the local heating problem if you survive the first few moments.
                SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                Comment


                • There are a large host of alkaline material that react with water. Enjoy this you should get a bang out of it. ..

                  MSEE, PE

                  Comment


                  • Excellent

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by inetdog View Post
                      I assume that the old chemistry class admonition about always adding acid to water instead of water to acid applies equally well to mixing a strong base like KOH.

                      If you add water to the flakes, you are likely to get a small steam explosion of the water, sending nasty stuff flying. Not to mention the local heating problem if you survive the first few moments.
                      It looks like it's going to take fairly frequent (at least as often as was mentioned in the 1924 Edison Ni-Fe Batteries Book)
                      Electrolyte Changes - don't it.

                      Or fairly frequent Electrolyte Filtering as was talked about in

                      The Submarine Boat Type
                      of
                      Edison Storage Battery

                      by

                      Miller Reese Hutchison, E.E., Ph.D.
                      in 1915

                      Chief Engineer and Personal Representative of
                      His Excellency,
                      Thomas A. Edison

                      So until the next generation of Ni-Fe Cells is designed ( just a combination of OLD Edison ideas and old materials)

                      MORE Electrolyte mixing containers inside of a small swimming pool with just several inches of cool water that is being continuously
                      flushed with more cool water

                      (and drained with drain holes in the side) like a sink

                      will take much of the jive right out of the act.

                      Then listen to how good Changhong batteries did at 40 grams of LiOH per Liter (in writing) and don't fall victim to the greedy
                      USA salesman
                      and their 20 (or so) grams of LiOH per Liter.

                      Get Fresh, high quality chemicals and do a Carbonates Test IMMEDIATELY on enough for just one Cell.

                      You needs the test kit anyway - don't you ... as was said by The KW Kid.

                      You see just like in 'It's A Wonderful Life' ... It never really was as bad as you thought.

                      Now your over 23,000 views.


                      Bill Blake

                      Comment


                      • I purchased a 24 volt set of the ChangHong TN cells last year to play with at my weekend place. Since then most of my spare time has been been reconstructing and rewiring an unused barn on the property, including a secure section to house these. According to one of the ChangHong manuals I downloaded about two years ago (linked from microsec.net website) they can be stored dry for 4 years. (We'll see...) I stored the KOH flakes in 1.9 litre mason jars evacuated with a food-saver sealer with widemouth mason adapter. (The LiOH was trickier to seal) Was planning to fill the cells this coming spring but discovered this thread suggesting problems with electrolyte from China?

                        My interest in these is the promise of being able to shut them off for months at a time without irreparable harm. I am many years away from thoughts of (voluntary) retirement so must be prepared to move and convert the old family home back to an occasional "summer cottage" again if/when necessary. (Thus a serious lead-acid system seemed a bad idea)

                        My location is not off-grid (although grid-off is a too frequent occurrence on the island where the old homestead is located). My plan was to get a 24 volt inverter and use the charger to float charge these as a backup source. I have since decided against a 24 volt system since the cells are too hard to locate and replace; at 12 V if some cells go bad I can reconfigure the best of the remaining cells.

                        I am not the slightest bit interested in any promises of "warranty" so am willing to experiment with these if any can suggest a useful long-term experiment(s). I do have some of the mythical unicorn oil (ie float oil), but probably not enough for all the cells long term if it is fact no longer available.

                        Any suggestions for good sources of replacement electrolyte or the chemicals required to do the electrolyte testing would be welcome.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
                          I also hope that is not what the reference is suggesting as it'd be dangerous to the user AND the battery. The heat generation would be extreme. When I mix up electrolyte I start with a 50:50 mixture by weight of crushed ice and DI water, add the KOH Flake, add the LiOH powder, and cut to the final concentration with DI water again. The LiOH addition is the worst part. No matter how hard I try, some of the powder gets airborne and it'll run you out even with a dust mask on. If I weren't so cheap, I probably shoulda used a purchased LiOH solution.
                          I mixed mine in a 5 gal bucket, with about 4 gallons of distilled water. I used a drywall mud mixer on a battery drill, and spun it up, and dumped in the flake, preventing a "clump" of flake from forming is key, if you keep it seperated, it just heats the water, if it clumps together, it WILL start boiling. Only took about 45 seconds to stir it in, and then wait and wait till it's cool enough to put into the battery. And once mixed and hot, don't try to move the bucket of boiling hot "lye" !
                          Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                          || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                          || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                          solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                          gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                            I mixed mine in a 5 gal bucket, with about 4 gallons of distilled water. I used a drywall mud mixer on a battery drill, and spun it up, and dumped in the flake, preventing a "clump" of flake from forming is key, if you keep it seperated, it just heats the water, if it clumps together, it WILL start boiling. Only took about 45 seconds to stir it in, and then wait and wait till it's cool enough to put into the battery. And once mixed and hot, don't try to move the bucket of boiling hot "lye" !

                            The 850X Manual was nice but we need More.

                            Take another look at The Edison Alkaline Storage Battery

                            by The Technical Staff of the Edison Storage Battery Company

                            dated 1924.

                            Go to the 6th paragraph on Page 35.

                            Now you know all that 10 - 15 - 20 years was Always shuck

                            and Jive.


                            http://www.lizardfire.com/hydroxy/Th...ge_Battery.pdf


                            In light of what Mr. Edison HAD to say (and swear to) in order to get his various Patents

                            (I would guess that's the ONE and ONLY reason we Ever heard anything)

                            changing the Ni-Fe Electrolyte sooner rather than later is going to pay, old Bill say.

                            Especially since the Chinese Changhong Ni-Fe batteries use welded plates that CAN NOT take

                            advantage of the Magic Ni-Fe Elements Revival Baths that Mr. Edison and his gang worked

                            so hard and so long to perfect for around a couple of decades.

                            If only your Ni-Fe batteries can perform like this for well over 30 years!


                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGeKX...eature=related

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvIydHPhb98


                            Just keep mixin - till you just can't mix it no more


                            Bill Blake

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Sundetective View Post
                              ....Especially since the Chinese Changhong Ni-Fe batteries use welded plates that CAN NOT take advantage of the Magic Ni-Fe Elements Revival Baths that Mr. Edison and his gang worked so hard and so long to perfect for around a couple of decades.
                              Can you please present your findings where these cells cannot be revived?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
                                Can you please present your findings where these cells cannot be revived?
                                Better yet.
                                Where did you hear the Changhong Ni-Fe Cells were ever revived even one time in history?
                                How do you separate the Chinese Elements and then get them back together again -
                                I asks.


                                Bill Blake

                                Comment

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