The Nickel Iron battery from Iron Edison of Denver, Colorado, is an updated version of Thomas Edison’s battery design that he considered to be nearly perfect.
For Off-Grid energy storage and renewable energy systems, this battery will likely be the last one you’ll ever buy. Why? Because it’s nearly indestructible and lasts up to 30 years!
(UPDATED 2019) COST ANALYSIS (further down the page)
Edison’s battery recipe used iron oxide and nickel hydrate, without the corrosive acid-based electrolyte used in today’s lead acid batteries.
The result was the long life Nickel-Iron-Alkaline cell.
The Nickel Iron battery features the longest life span of any battery ever invented.
You might want to read that again…
Advantages | Specs
- Rated for 11,000 cycles, or 30 years of daily discharge!
- Completely resistant to freezing.
- Operating temperature range of -22 to +140F (-30 to +60C)
- Tolerant to overcharge & over-discharge.
- Supports 80% depth of discharge.
- Discharging a Nickel Iron battery 80% or more will not negatively impact its life expectancy .
- Daily deep discharging has no impact on battery cycle life.
- Fully compatible with industry leading inverters and charge controllers like Schneider, Outback Power, Magnum Energy, MidNite Solar and SMA, just to name a few.
- Available in 12, 24, and 48 Volt configurations.
- Retains ~ 88% of capacity at 32 °F whereas lead acid is typically significantly worse.
- Capacity is ~ 118% of rated at 68 °F whereas lead acid 100% capacity is typically at a higher temperature.
Iron Edison is the only company to have tested the Nickel Iron battery at National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. Tests confirm that the cells over-perform at the 5, 10 and 20 hour discharge rates by nearly 20%!
– They may require water every 1 – 3 months.
– Electrolyte replacement every 10 years for optimal performance and energy capacity.
– They do have some hydrogen off-gassing and require a ventilated area.
They are ideal for Off-Grid applications where they stay healthy in a constant-charging environment that would be destructive to other battery types.
Nickel Iron Battery Price
For those who are serious about Off-Grid systems, a cost analysis over an extended operational time will prove that they outperform.
The initial outlay will be higher than lead acid batteries. But, wait, check out this “back of the envelope” cost analysis:
200 AH, 48V Nickel Iron battery ($9295)
9600 Watt Hours (7.68 kWh usable at 80% discharge)
Cost per year over 30 years = $309/yr.
Cost per day over 30 years = 85 cents
$0.85/7.68kWh = 11 cents per kWh!
That figure likely translates similarly even with other capacity sizes.
Again, they will likely be the last battery you’ll every buy. Unlike a lead acid battery bank.
Nickel Iron will last ~ 30 years while lead acid batteries only ~ 5-7 years.
That means your replacement cost analysis of lead acid batteries should be multiplied 4 to 6 times in comparison over the lifetime of a nickel iron battery bank.
But there’s another cost factor to compare: Capacity!
The Nickel Iron battery far outperforms regarding usable capacity (80% usable) while lead acid should NOT be discharged beyond 50% and recommended to only discharge 30% for longest life.
That’s a BIG difference when you’re factoring in cost (the number of batteries you’ll need to achieve a given capacity).
IronEdison.com | Leading Supplier of Nickel Iron Batteries in North America
So after factoring both (replacement costs and capacity needs), this battery type might be a good choice for your Off-Grid energy storage.
Brandon over at IronEdision.com will gladly answer ANY of your questions about this or any other alternative energy needs. They’re located in the Denver area and will be glad to help.
They also have Lithium Iron batteries, but that will be another post…
Continue reading: Lithium Iron Battery For Solar Off-Grid Alternative Energy Systems