Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Nickel Iron vs. Lead Acid - Off Grid battery debate

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by russ View Post
    Doing research on the net does not replace experience.
    Amen to that.

    Using Potash several times a week to make our soap products, I'd rather fool with it over Sulphuric Acid anyday...

    Of course baking soda and vinegar on hand just in case.

    And I have had some nasty spills. Just makes everything slimey. LOL... I have had NaOH and KOH spill on me and no burns to date. either I have tough skin or am smart enough to rinse immediately. LOL...

    And I do what most don't do, I mix this Alkali with an Acid every time I use it. I love the explosions. You get a feel for how the mix will expand and if you are good, you can CONTROL the combustion (as it were)

    Experience trumps Theory everyday...
    Off-Grid in the middle of nowhere.

    Comment


    • I'm a novice in this field, but keep us posted on the info you find out! Thanks

      Comment


      • Originally posted by giles117 View Post
        Amen to that.

        Using Potash several times a week to make our soap products, I'd rather fool with it over Sulphuric Acid anyday...

        Of course baking soda and vinegar on hand just in case.

        And I have had some nasty spills. Just makes everything slimey. LOL... I have had NaOH and KOH spill on me and no burns to date. either I have tough skin or am smart enough to rinse immediately. LOL...

        And I do what most don't do, I mix this Alkali with an Acid every time I use it. I love the explosions. You get a feel for how the mix will expand and if you are good, you can CONTROL the combustion (as it were)

        Experience trumps Theory everyday...
        Since the game that Mike is involved with takes stacks of Tens of Thousands to play most people are
        going to have to learn a little about medium-large NiFe Cells anyway they can.

        To study the Ni-Fe battery guarantee in force at the time of Mike's purchase is to know a good bit more as far as what to look for.


        Bill Blake

        Comment


        • Nickel iron batteries intrigue me, so I got a couple of the old Edison banks from what I believe were previously used in fork lifts. I've built up a good bit of experience and information while reconditioning these cells, and currently have 20 x C6 cells hooked up to 3 of my 195 watt panels to see what they are capable of. If anybody wants information and/or desires to involve me in this discussion, I'll be happy to respond as best I can.

          Mike,

          That's a lot of water consumption in your batteries!! but your cells are quite a bit bigger than mine and without knowing your power input parameters I can't tell if that is not to be expected. As you may already know, any charge applied to your cells above 1.48 volts per cell will result in splitting water so I really don't think you are dealing with carbonate issues, but rather hopefully just charging inefficiencies. (FYI - I'm not suggesting trickle charging but rather simply lending info.) What charge parameters are you using? What float voltage?

          You said something about getting a "carbonate test kit." I measure Free KOH & total alkalinity using a Barium Chloride quench, filtration, and titration method. The difference I attribute to carbonate. It's a kind of involved method, but since I work in a lab and have the solutions already prepared it isn't that big a deal for me. What test kit did you get? and what results have you observed.

          Bill,

          For the record, I'm not a Ni-Fe nut. I've got LA batteries too. I believe I can add quite a unique unbiased view on this subject as I'm simply in the investigative stages of what power storage I'm going to put in at our pond cabin this spring as it will be totally off-grid. I've been doing a lot of charge / discharge studies and have seen both good and bad with both technologies - unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps) my bent for this forum on the Ni-Fe view will be from the aspect of what you might be able to expect 50+ years down the road.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
            Nickel iron batteries intrigue me, so I got a couple of the old Edison banks from what I believe were previously used in fork lifts. I've built up a good bit of experience and information while reconditioning these cells, and currently have 20 x C6 cells hooked up to 3 of my 195 watt panels to see what they are capable of. If anybody wants information and/or desires to involve me in this discussion, I'll be happy to respond as best I can.

            For the record, I'm not a Ni-Fe nut. I've got LA batteries too. I believe I can add quite a unique unbiased view on this subject as I'm simply in the investigative stages of what power storage I'm going to put in at our pond cabin this spring as it will be totally off-grid. I've been doing a lot of charge / discharge studies and have seen both good and bad with both technologies - unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps) my bent for this forum on the Ni-Fe view will be from the aspect of what you might be able to expect 50+ years down the road.
            I think any input you can provide, [I]based on actual testing even though it involves a limited number of cells and does not include the current production Changhong type[/I], will be welcome (to me anyway.) Although I am sure that the discussion will generate a lot of heat and gas too!
            SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by inetdog View Post
              I think any input you can provide, [I]based on actual testing even though it involves a limited number of cells and does not include the current production Changhong type[/I], will be welcome (to me anyway.) Although I am sure that the discussion will generate a lot of heat and gas too!
              In todays dollars it would probably run you hundreds of millions and hundreds of thousands of man hours to do as much
              testing as Mr. Edison and his gang already did with Nickel Iron Batteries.

              Don't forget the US Navy years and the US Navy Millions LONG after the 'Initial Years'.
              That's when we really shine.

              Why most of it seems to have become Lost knowledge is not my concern. Cracking the riddles to my own personal satisfaction was.
              As far as reader interest goes all I want to know is why do many of the nickel iron threads run into the thousands of views.
              Not just here but in other forums as well. This thread alone is near 21,000 views. Give me a break.

              Without a doubt one of the Ni-Fe posters that did my little gang the most good never got anything but a hard time in the forums that
              I found most of his posts in.
              This group had the Bull by the horns with 'Marcus' when he offered more and people went silent on him.
              During that time I was on a research project for my son and wasn't checking in at all. It's too bad for me.

              Look at the record for all the years that Beutilityfree and all the thousands of Nickel Iron Batteries that they claim were sold.
              Why has the output of experienced Ni-Fe posters been so incredibly stingy.
              There has been a bit of warm-up that the Ni-Fe Cells are coming in a number of forums.
              There has been a few cases when they thought that they had been beat by John Mario or were aggravated with
              Changhong Batteries in China.

              How many case histories on the Chinese Ni-Fe cells do we actually have in 17 years?
              Can you fill all your fingers?
              If you look though old HomePower Mags John was not actually the first guy to sell those Ni-Fe Cells so it's over 17 years.

              Never in US History has a gifted technology been so mutilated and pissed on than this deal.
              However I had to run out of time for it other than an occasionally post now. it was almost 3 months with only one post.
              It was a wonderful diverson and did it's job to advance other cutting edge research that would start to burn me every 7 months or so.
              Nothing I know of could have done such a great job and presented such great riddles built up over 100 years.

              Bill Blake

              Comment


              • Wrote you a lengthy reply, but it didn't post. Don't have enough energy to do it again right now.

                Summation, I don't intend on reinventing the wheel - simply seeing if I want to put it on my car. I agree with a lot of what you state above.

                P.S. Edison, in my opinion, was a ruthless business man famous for pounding square pegs in round holes. Looks like there are some that are following in his footsteps with the overselling of his technology even today.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
                  Edison, in my opinion, was a ruthless business man famous for pounding square pegs in round holes.
                  You just described most truly successful business people, sports people and on - No one calls Steve jobs, Larry Ellison (of Oracle), Micheal Schumacher (formula 1) or Tiger Woods nice guys - they call them the best at what they do. A few square pegs get reshaped - no big deal.
                  [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by russ View Post
                    A few square pegs get reshaped - no big deal.
                    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Unless you happen to be one of the pegs. [/FONT]
                    SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                    Comment


                    • Iron Edison

                      I had contacted Iron Edison.com and got a quote on replacing my L16Ss. As close as I can remember it was 83% of my cost of 3 sets of L16s, without any tax credits that some people get. The problem is that I had made a custom shed and custom cabinet to fit the L16s and the space the equivalent Nickel Iron Batteries of similar performance was about 25% more. The is no way I can remodel the shed and cabinet, now. Oh well. It would have been nice if they were available in the AH sizes I needed back in 1998. Even then, though, I was strapped for money, and could not have afforded them.
                      I'm too old to rebuild, but if I could, I would have gone with them from the start. I also would have put thick aluminum foil under the sheet rock where the battery/inverter/charge controller/power center split cab insulated shed is attached to the house in an uninsulated area. Live and learn.
                      I contacted them again about the bank sizing and maintenance. I'll report anything different than that they apparently need a lot less maintenance, too.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by moguitar View Post
                        I had contacted Iron Edison.com and got a quote on replacing my L16Ss. As close as I can remember it was 83% of my cost of 3 sets of L16s, without any tax credits that some people get. The problem is that I had made a custom shed and custom cabinet to fit the L16s and the space the equivalent Nickel Iron Batteries of similar performance was about 25% more. The is no way I can remodel the shed and cabinet, now. Oh well. It would have been nice if they were available in the AH sizes I needed back in 1998. Even then, though, I was strapped for money, and could not have afforded them.
                        I'm too old to rebuild, but if I could, I would have gone with them from the start. I also would have put thick aluminum foil under the sheet rock where the battery/inverter/charge controller/power center split cab insulated shed is attached to the house in an uninsulated area. Live and learn.
                        I contacted them again about the bank sizing and maintenance. I'll report anything different than that they apparently need a lot less maintenance, too.
                        As the old timers would say "don't let that lie get out". Ni-Fe needs a whole lot, way more, maintenance and tons more money after you buy
                        them than Lead Acid ever dreamed of. When someone puts out an Edison Submarine Type Ni-Fe Cell (which simply means rapid and EASY fluid
                        additions and EXCHANGES using an air hose and PORTS) plus gets OFF of the Welded Plates and goes back to Edison's Hardware -
                        you will then be 'On Time'. Until then it seems a chumps game unfortunately.

                        Now that we know about the Iron Poisoning of the Positive Electrodes due to the true nature of the nasty electrolyte
                        (not lies and Iron Edison sales pitch)
                        few people will want to fool with the new Ni-Fe batteries. The old Edison's can be cleaned up, over and over, and are a good investment.
                        The Ni-Fe carbonate problem is just a window dressing to the real problems involving the electrolyte that slowly dissolves everything that
                        lays in it.

                        His Excellency, Thomas A. Edison started crying about all of it in writing by 1904 and was still crying about it years and years later.
                        The man was obsessed with crying about his struggle with the electrolyte but with a little work he also told you how to get singing
                        about feeling brand new again. His choices of metals was # 1 how fast does it dissolve in the nasty electrolyte, # 2 what does it cost
                        and # 3 what decade will old Bill 'Drop the Dime' on me.

                        As the Ni-Fe salesman know everything is in writing so they take a damn good whipping but still grab plenty of money out of people
                        so what the hay

                        This Poisoning problem and Nickel Iron Suicide was one of the Great Riddles that was revealed to you - on the house - right here at wonderful SolarPanelTalk Land. The KW Kid told me "It's like greasing a truck - you can't change dat nasty Ni-Fe Electrolyte too often".

                        http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/...sigb=12d9jfl3o

                        Bill Blake

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Sundetective View Post
                          Now that we know about the Iron Poisoning of the Positive Electrodes due to the true nature of the nasty electrolyte.... His Excellency, Thomas A. Edison started crying about all of it in writing by 1904 and was still crying about it years and years later.....
                          Hmm... Edision patented the use of Li as a electrolyte additive in 1908. Work almost a century later using EDAX and XRD (tools Edison never even dreamed of) confirm this was a major advancement in reduction of iron poisoning.

                          http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...13468686800561

                          Are you saying the Li addition into the electrolyte does not resolve this? I ask this question in all sincerity as my purpose in joining this forum is both to share and obtain information specifically for my solar systems and also discuss the Ni-Fe technology. Please elaborate on your knowledge of iron poisoning.

                          Here's my current information on this subject. If this is not what people want, let me know and I'll shut up

                          The same "iron poisoning" affects NiCads as well - most specifically the industrial pocket plate designs. It is well known that the oxides of iron formed by corrosion (or Fe oxides preloaded into the system) are a barrier to further iron dissolution and thus help to prevent or minimize the iron poisoning effect (which is due to the corrosion of UNoxidized iron). The degree of corrosion that occurs will depend quite strongly on how easily any protective oxide is reduced to bare metal or oxide is displaced such that bare metal is exposed. That is also why Edison nickel plated most of the internals of this battery thus leading to the necessity of a postive cased system. It may have started out just to keep the battery from corroding through and leaking, but it also had the distinct advantage of reducing the iron poisoning effect.

                          It is important to prevent physical agitation of the system if you want to minimize the iron poisoning whether your negative electrode be Fe or Cd-Fe hydroxide. This reduces the shedding of iron due to physical force as FeO and Fe(OH)2 are powders. That's good news for the Solar crowd as our batteries pretty much stay put. We can expect a major decrease in iron poisoning as compared to the forklift or railroad applications the cells were / are often used in. Does it totally stop it? No. But it IS a major help.

                          NOTE: While I'm on this subject, I read some sources where people say to shake all the old "carbon" out of the Edison cells when you recondition them. That's a bit of a sticky wicket. The black that comes out of the cells is not carbon and it's not carbonate as some have told me. It's iron oxide - probably a mixture of FeO and Fe(OH)2. (Put a magnet on it.) It's quite likely sourced from both iron that has sheded from the negative electrode from agitation during it's history of use and also some of the desired iron oxide that is/was currently protective the negative electrode before you picked up the cell and dumped it out. BE CAREFUL WHEN DOING ELECTROLYTE CHANGES AS WELL. you want to minimize the loss of that iron oxide as it is your friend As Bill has stated before... Additon of drain taps on the Chinese cells would help in allowing you to drain and refill without disturbing the oxide layers. More than just convienence. It would be a long term performance improver.

                          Back to subject.... Whether you are cleaning old batteries or starting up new Fe-Ni batteries, it is important that you carefully form the plates to minimize the amount of iron poisoning you get in startup. You've most likely heard before that the plates on new cells must be "fully formed" for the batteries to perform, but I personally did not recognize the importance of HOW to form the plates with respect to the the subject of iron poisoning (nor did I even have a clue that it could be a factor). Some of the NiCad research by Tseung and Parker at North Hampton City University in London stress the importance of carefully forming the negative electrode so as to minimize shedding of the active / protective oxide materials. They suggested (and employed) four cycles charged at a C-10 rate for 14 hr (with discharge) followed by four charge cycles at a C-5 rate for seven hours. I cannot off the top of my head remember if the Chinese suppier recommends something similar.

                          Bottom line - from the research I've read - you will never totally eliminate iron poisioning but with proper electrolyte mixtures, proper forming procedures, and permanent installations you can minimize it to the point that it really should not be an issue in your lifetime.

                          Comment


                          • This is getting interesting.
                            SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Robert1234 View Post
                              Hmm... Edision patented the use of Li as a electrolyte additive in 1908. Work almost a century later using EDAX and XRD (tools Edison never even dreamed of) confirm this was a major advancement in reduction of iron poisoning.

                              http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...13468686800561

                              Are you saying the Li addition into the electrolyte does not resolve this? I ask this question in all sincerity as my purpose in joining this forum is both to share and obtain information specifically for my solar systems and also discuss the Ni-Fe technology. Please elaborate on your knowledge of iron poisoning.

                              Here's my current information on this subject. If this is not what people want, let me know and I'll shut up

                              The same "iron poisoning" affects NiCads as well - most specifically the industrial pocket plate designs. It is well known that the oxides of iron formed by corrosion (or Fe oxides preloaded into the system) are a barrier to further iron dissolution and thus help to prevent or minimize the iron poisoning effect (which is due to the corrosion of UNoxidized iron). The degree of corrosion that occurs will depend quite strongly on how easily any protective oxide is reduced to bare metal or oxide is displaced such that bare metal is exposed. That is also why Edison nickel plated most of the internals of this battery thus leading to the necessity of a postive cased system. It may have started out just to keep the battery from corroding through and leaking, but it also had the distinct advantage of reducing the iron poisoning effect.

                              It is important to prevent physical agitation of the system if you want to minimize the iron poisoning whether your negative electrode be Fe or Cd-Fe hydroxide. This reduces the shedding of iron due to physical force as FeO and Fe(OH)2 are powders. That's good news for the Solar crowd as our batteries pretty much stay put. We can expect a major decrease in iron poisoning as compared to the forklift or railroad applications the cells were / are often used in. Does it totally stop it? No. But it IS a major help.

                              NOTE: While I'm on this subject, I read some sources where people say to shake all the old "carbon" out of the Edison cells when you recondition them. That's a bit of a sticky wicket. The black that comes out of the cells is not carbon and it's not carbonate as some have told me. It's iron oxide - probably a mixture of FeO and Fe(OH)2. (Put a magnet on it.) It's quite likely sourced from both iron that has sheded from the negative electrode from agitation during it's history of use and also some of the desired iron oxide that is/was currently protective the negative electrode before you picked up the cell and dumped it out. BE CAREFUL WHEN DOING ELECTROLYTE CHANGES AS WELL. you want to minimize the loss of that iron oxide as it is your friend As Bill has stated before... Additon of drain taps on the Chinese cells would help in allowing you to drain and refill without disturbing the oxide layers. More than just convienence. It would be a long term performance improver.

                              Back to subject.... Whether you are cleaning old batteries or starting up new Fe-Ni batteries, it is important that you carefully form the plates to minimize the amount of iron poisoning you get in startup. You've most likely heard before that the plates on new cells must be "fully formed" for the batteries to perform, but I personally did not recognize the importance of HOW to form the plates with respect to the the subject of iron poisoning (nor did I even have a clue that it could be a factor). Some of the NiCad research by Tseung and Parker at North Hampton City University in London stress the importance of carefully forming the negative electrode so as to minimize shedding of the active / protective oxide materials. They suggested (and employed) four cycles charged at a C-10 rate for 14 hr (with discharge) followed by four charge cycles at a C-5 rate for seven hours. I cannot off the top of my head remember if the Chinese suppier recommends something similar.

                              Bottom line - from the research I've read - you will never totally eliminate iron poisioning but with proper electrolyte mixtures, proper forming procedures, and permanent installations you can minimize it to the point that it really should not be an issue in your lifetime.
                              Iron poisoning sure was an issue in Mr. Edison's life and his gangs life for many, many years after 1908.
                              LiOH was a BIT of a help and that's all it was is exactly what old Bill is saying.

                              They put brutal numbers of hours into fighting "poisoning" from a number of metals over the years. Iron was just one of them.
                              Also graphite in the beginning but it was just WAY too fast as far as melting away inside the nasty Alkaline Electrolyte.

                              Don't forget the "impurities and foreign matter" that Edison liked to cry and cry about.

                              His Excellency Thomas A. cried using that term for many years as well. How many decades, not years, did he cry about it?

                              The only thing that stopped the crying was:

                              #1 They finally figured out how to clean up the positive elements and be able to run the batteries into the ground yet again. (Right on!)
                              #2 He started working on new battery technology which seems to be some thinking similar to the hot new Nickel Iron Technology
                              that was in the news recently. #3 Mr. Edison then passed away.

                              Robert you may want to study a bit more before making too many Nickel Iron Battery proclamations.
                              Then report back to the group as the thousands of views build up.
                              There were so many tales and partial truths over the years that it's easy to fall into the 'veneer of knowledge trap' with this one.
                              It takes context thinking and not going overboard when Mr. Edison gets a little excited because he can reverse himself easy enough.
                              Bismuth was the BIG thing for both the Positive AND the Negative Elements in 1908. In a few years he would have a new 'marvel'.
                              Then another. Then another. I like your style. Thanks.


                              Bill Blake

                              Comment


                              • Bill - You seem to have something in common with Edison then - crying.
                                [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X