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Nickel Iron vs. Lead Acid - Off Grid battery debate

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  • So, time for an update. I've been using my NiFe cells since Feb and they're performing very well. I did not bother with the initial forming charge. I decided to let the daily usage take care of that. You can tell I'm a bit of a maverick I've attached a graph for the past few days. You can see I use about 30% of their capacity each day and not all days top them up. See my previous post for graph colours. (Ignore orange). We've had great sunshine this year in Ireland and the panels are giving us plenty of energy. The only downside I can see with NiFe is that the charge/discharge efficiency is around 60% (grey line). But a couple of extra panels sorts this out. And to be honest, I haven't noticed it at all. Compared with lead-acid, these babies are a game changer. And if they last as many years as the manufacturer says, then the total cost of ownership is going to be orders of magnitude less than lead-acid. NiFe do gas slightly. I've had to top them up once since Feb (10ltr). I'm using deionised water for half of them and condensed water from a dehumidifier for the other half. We'll see how things compare in a year or so.
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    • Are you filtering the humidifier water? Straight from the coil there may be significant amounts of dust and organic contaminants.
      SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by inetdog View Post
        Are you filtering the humidifier water? Straight from the coil there may be significant amounts of dust and organic contaminants.
        No. The dehumidifier has a set of air filters before the coils. And after 2 years of constant use, there is almost no perceivable residue in the container. So I really don't think I'd be able to filter it any better. I'm a little concerned about carbonic acid though. But the pH is 7 so it can't be too bad. I'll be checking the SG as I go.

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        • Mike, is it about time for another update on your system?
          SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by inetdog View Post
            Mike, is it about time for another update on your system?
            After installing the auto watering system, which is more efficient in that i can overfill 6 cells at a time when the stupid floats stick, there's not much else to report. 2 years ago, I replaced the fluid (electrolyte) in the cells ( a week long process with mixing, cooling, dumping old, refilling and bolting the bank into place )

            I've purchased and am configuring new Schneider PC charge controller 150-60 and a new XW6848pro inverter, to replace old (still working, 10 year old gear), hopefully installing in the next 2 weeks. Keeping the old gear as "hot" spares. I figure better to replace when I can plan, instead of in a panic when something fails.
            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


            • Thanks, Mike. Just curious how you dumped the old electrolyte, which was not particularly toxic except for its pH.
              SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

              Comment


              • I turned it into fertilizer to both neutralize our acid rain and add potassium to the soils.
                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 turned it into fertilizer to both neutralize our acid rain and add potassium to the soils.
                  Sounds like really expensive Chinese fertilizer....
                  SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                  Comment


                  • Just worn out electrolyte.
                    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

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