Last updated on June 20th, 2018
The Nickel Iron battery from ‘Iron Edison’ 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!
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 of the Nickel Iron Battery
-Rated for 11,000 cycles, or 30 years of daily discharge!
– Completely resistant to freezing.
– Tolerant to overcharge & over-discharge.
– Supports 80% depth of discharge.
– Daily deep discharging has no impact on battery cycle life.
– Fully compatible with industry leading inverters and charge controllers like Schneider, Outback, Magnum, MidNite Solar and SMA.
– 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%!
Nickel Iron Battery Maintenance
– They may require water every 6-8 weeks.
– Electrolyte refresh every 8-10 years to keep 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.
Price | Cost of Iron Nickel Batteries
For those who are serious about off grid systems, a cost analysis over an extended operational time will prove that Iron Nickel batteries outperform.
The initial outlay is a good chunk higher than lead acid batteries.
Again, the will likely be the last battery you’ll every buy.
They will last ~ 30 years while lead acid batteries will be done in ~ 5-7 years.
That means your replacement cost analysis of lead acid batteries should be multiplied 4 to 6 times in comparison.
But there’s another cost factor to compare: Capacity!
The Iron Nickel 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).
So after factoring both (replacement costs and capacity needs), the Nickel Iron battery 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…