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Nickel Iron vs. Lead Acid - Off Grid battery debate

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  • If it were me I woul dnot even consider NiFe batteries. Just way too expensive, too much work, too little power. They were originally invented for the EV. Edison Electric aka GE never sold off patent rights decades ago and gave it up as a lost cause, and now anyone chi-com can make them. EV's are back, but not NiFe. I would use LiFePo4 (LFP) before I even considered NiFe. LFP is less expensive, little maintenance, deliver high power, and no special charge requirements.
    MSEE, PE

    Comment


    • Sunking,

      After 17 years those old Ni-Fe Patents were not worth a dime.
      It became 20 years in 1995.
      Perhaps your thinking of a Trademark.

      Some people worry about batteries where a single malfunction
      Could cost them the whole bank.

      They had it down real sweet with the Edison Submarine Boat
      Nickel Iron Batteries.

      They were big, bad, easy fill, easy drain, easily rejuvinated back to
      Near new condition - just because the Captain said so.

      They could even use them as CO2 scrubbers to save Lives.
      They had Filters to clean-up the electrolyte.
      They had it all.

      Took millions and it took years of War effort AFTER the First and 2nd
      Rounds of Years and Millions in Ni-Fe development.
      It was the Third Coming of magnificent survival technology.

      Some young guys with balls need to bring it back.
      Can I get a witness

      What happened? How could it all be Lost Knowledge now ?

      Bill Blake

      Comment


      • Sun Detective to my knowledge NiFe has never been used in the USN submarine fleet going back to WW-I, to this day they still use FLA batteries for many reasons. Real important reason is lead palys well with Gamma radiation and does not deteriorate like iron under thhe presence. Internal resistance of NiFe is extremely high making them unusable in high power applications.

        The USN and Enersys are now testing and developing VRLA batteries to be used in the USN fleet, but that is going to take another 10 to 15 years of testing before the Navy even considers it. They are testing a Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL). Look i tup and see for yourself. TPPL has higher energy density than FLA and even lower internal resistance.

        As for commercial and industrial applications, NiFe is DOA. No one uses it other than some very old mining and rail signalling applications, but they are not replaced when they reach end of service. If NiFe had any real application especially as energy storage in power generation don't you think someone would be testing and developing? Fact is there is ZERO interest, ZERO money, and Zero research going into NiFe. That ought to tell everyone something about them.

        As for solar, they hold no advantage for anyone. FLA has fair charge efficiency, not great but fair. NiFe has terrible charge efficiency which means you must compensate with higher panel wattages, that means Mo Money. They also have fairly high internal resistances. much higher than FLA. That means you cannot put much Load Current on them without significant voltage sag. Again FLA only has fair to poor intenral resistance and has to be limited to C/8 maximum discharge rates before you start exceeding 2 to 3% voltage sag. NiFe is limited to around a maximum C/20 discharge rate before you exceed 2 to 3% voltage drop. Only way to compensate for the voltage sag is by over sizing the NiFe bank which adds up to astronomical expense as NiFe cost are roughly 400% higher than FLA and 200% higher than LFP.

        Economics and technical specs are just not there for NiFe. Only real application for NiFe is where charge efficiency, economics, low maintenance, and high demand are of no concern. I can only think of two or three applications that fit. Emergency lighting, mining lighting, and railroad signalling where discharge rates are extremely low and cost does not matter.

        Sorry guys but if you do your homework, you will discover what I am saying is spot on. Those that support NiFe either have not done their homework, in denial, or have a vested interest in them.
        MSEE, PE

        Comment


        • Sunking,

          Perhaps it would be best if you to Listen to the Book from
          The right hand man of His Excellency - his da-n self.

          'The Submarine Boat Type of Edison Storage Battery

          By Doctor Miller Reese Hutchison... Chief Engineer to and

          Personal Representive of Thomas A. Edison'.

          It gets no higher.

          Bill Blake

          Comment


          • Cells for submarine use were constructed, though probably not many. Extensive testing of the suitability of Edison cells for submarines occurred on SS-25, prior to WWI. There was a H2 explosion, presumably due to the additional amount of it formed by the batteries while charging. SS - 48 was to have the cells installed, though if they were, they were removed before commissioning. They were decided against. Three submarines from allied European powers were said to have used them, but I haven't been able to track down what boats, from what nations.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sundetective View Post
              What happened? How could it all be Lost Knowledge now ?

              Bill Blake
              What happened now Blathering Bill?
              [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

              Comment


              • the Legendary Captain / Admiral Charles M. "Savvy" Cooke Jr.

                Some of that Getting ready for WWI Story was brushed on in the

                'Nickel Iron (Ni-Fe) Battery Life Cycle Chart .. From the Manufacturer'

                Thread Located in the Fieldlines Forum.

                The Hydrogen problem was a ventilation issue that was predicted by
                The Legendary (eventual)

                Admiral Charles M. "Savvy" Cooke Jr.

                There was a lot of politics involved aside from any merits of the Ni-Fe.
                It no Lie.

                They tried to hang the whole deal on Savvy but people knew better deep down.
                He and his entire Submarine crew are pure Legend.

                There is a nice taste about Commander / Captain / Four Star Admiral Charles "Savvy" Cooke
                In the Fieldlines Thread.

                Old Bill Blake

                Comment


                • I sometimes wish I still worked at the Naval History and Heritage Command. They have all of those old deck logs on file. It would be an interesting few hours, reading them.

                  Comment


                  • Many of the stories I see about how well NiFes do, that have lasted for many years, are from people with the old, original Edison cells. Is there anything in their manufacture that would suggest that they would be particularly more robust than the current offerings from Florida, China, or Russia? What about the Zappworks battery? Are they still refurbished old cells, or are they manufacturing to Edison's specifications?

                    There is a dearth of real information about these cells out there, and darn it!, I'm a drunken public affairs type... (currently non-praticing) not a battery engineer.

                    Comment


                    • Bill this is just plain ole everyday silly. You are just trying to divert attention away from facts. The USN has never ever commissioned a USS with NiFe batteries and never will period. Since the 70's there are are 3 batteries approved end of story. Those are [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]PDX-57, ASB-49, and LLL-69 all made by Exide. Example the PDX-59 is used on Ohio Class [/FONT][/COLOR][FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][COLOR=#000000]submarines[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman]. They are 2 volt, 10,000 AH cells weighing 210 pounds. The engine room used 209 of them in series.

                      [/FONT][/COLOR]The only other battery under consideration is a pure lead AGM VRLA battery being developed by the only approved manufacture Exide. They have been testing for 10 years and have another 5 to 10 years before getting the OK for DOD. That is a fact. Look it up yourself

                      There is no research or development on NiFe. Just a handful of companies and distributors trying to cash in on peoples ignorance. No utility or industry use them anymore because they are relics and cannot match price and performance of today's lead acid and lithium. Even mining and railroads quit using them which was their forte. Those industries now use wet NiCd large format cells.

                      You argument is on the same lines of 8-Track and Cassette tapes will make a comeback and be the standard recording media. It aint going to happen. Lithium and Lead Carbon at this time are the future. Lead Carbon in utility and RE applications, and lithium for mobile applications. For at least the next 30 years USS will be lead acid. It takes a minimum of 10 years of R&D plus another 20 years of real time data to get on a sub. NiFe is DOA in industry. It was buried with Edison.
                      MSEE, PE

                      Comment


                      • Most people are not worried about having a Submarine but may like
                        Survival batteries IF THEY WERE RIGHT.

                        The question remains does the book I talk about exist or not ??
                        [HTML][/HTML]
                        Did they outfit the E2 Submarine with Nickel Iron Cells or not ?

                        Did Mr. Edison start production on Submarine Ni-Fe batteries for the US Navy
                        Before the E2 explosion or not. Did they stop production on the
                        Detroit Electric Car batteries because of the 15 million dollar Navy contract ?

                        You want to talk about all the Ni-Fe Lies and con jobs.
                        Who ever explained them more than old Bill did?

                        It's old news. Everyone ran out of time for it.

                        I'm talkin bout the Lost Survival Technology that was in the E2.
                        So they vent it this time in the battery shed.
                        Big deal.

                        Bill Blake

                        Comment


                        • Coming up on 5 years

                          A few pages back Mike indicated that at 5 years in he could decide if he chose wisely....is this the year of enlightenment?
                          Scott

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by sahucker View Post
                            A few pages back Mike indicated that at 5 years in he could decide if he chose wisely....is this the year of enlightenment?
                            Scott
                            Nope, still the dark ages. I believe Mike got his iron in 2012?
                            SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by sahucker View Post
                              A few pages back Mike indicated that at 5 years in he could decide if he chose wisely....is this the year of enlightenment?
                              Scott
                              I have talked to Mike a few times. He wil have to speak for himself, but I get the impression if he had to do it over again knowing what he knows now would have gone a different direction. NiFe just has way too many negatives.
                              MSEE, PE

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                                I have talked to Mike a few times. He wil have to speak for himself, but I get the impression if he had to do it over again knowing what he knows now would have gone a different direction. NiFe just has way too many negatives.
                                I spent 2Mh reading this entire thread. My fire has died down to 95%DOD and my back hurts from slouching here on the couch.

                                My guess would be you are on the right track. I'm reading about high water consumption, buying 100 gallons of distilled water at $1/gallon and squeezing it into cells, conducting pseudo-lab tests every 200 cycles, possible replacement of electrolyte, low efficiency at the upper half of the capacity, etc etc.

                                There is a lot of information here, test results, blather, an alleged ringer, a tragic accident and jail sentence. Quite a thread.

                                [B]Edit [/B]- should add that I came to this thread after tripping across the Iron website. It is a bit hard to navigate, but I found NiFe and LFP battery solutions sold there, and came back here to see what was under the Ni thread to find out more about NiFe. This site has a lot to offer.

                                Comment

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