Energy Storage – Nickel Iron Batteries


Christopher Darker says forward to the past! With the astounding  Nickel / Iron EDISON cell batteries, with a proven 100 year life span!

Nickel Iron Battery

Energy Storage Batteries

The UNI-SUN 1100 ampere hour x 48volt nickel iron batteries installed at The Permaculture research Institute of Australia (1100 ampere hours x 48 volts = 52,800 watt-hours. - 52.8 KWH)

Nickel - iron battery cells. ( Ni-Fe ) The Nickel-iron cell, or "Edison" cell is the most durable of electrical accumulators, and when the correct plate type is selected, can deliver a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, on a par with the solar panels themselves. Batteries of Ni-Fe cells may be assembled by connecting in series ( one after another ) or parallel ( side by side ) Each cell has a potential difference of 1.2 Volts nominal. Therefore, 10 cells connected in series will yield 12 Volts. 8pxspace

Nickel Iron batteries arrive unfilled

We supply these cells unfilled, to avoid freight complications, safety issues and cost. The potassium hydroxide electrolyte is supplied in dry granular form, to be mixed with distilled water on site. Economical shipping rates available Australian customers, please add 10% GST. These cells are of the correct plate type for extreme lifespan in solar applications. They have double redundant terminals for electrical integrity and operator safety. They are extremely useful in industrial and remote area power applications.


TypeAmp-HrsDimensions LxWxHWeight KgUSD $ + GST
TypeAmp-HrsDimensions LxWxHWeight KgUSD $ + GST
Life Time 101085 x 39 x 126 USD 21.00
Life Time 3030145 x 54 x 248 USD 40.00
Life Time 40 40145 x 54 x 248USD 60.00
Life Time 4545142 x 67 x 223USD 75.00
Life Time 5050142 x 67 x 223USD 90.00
Life Time 6060136 x 51 x 368USD 110.00
Life Time 7070136 x 51 x 368USD 126.00
Life Time 8080139 x 79 x 362USD 144.00
Life Time 9090141 x 80 x 365 USD 155.00
Life Time 100100141 x 80 x 365 USD 135.00
Life Time 200200167 x 162 x 343USD 217.00
Life Time 300300277 x 139 x 450USD 289.00
Life Time 400400176 x 161 x 535USD 335.00
Life Time 500500291 x 174 x 505USD 389.00
Life Time 600600291 x 174 x 505USD 480.00
Life Time 700700399 x 184 x 562USD 564.00
Life Time 800800399 x 184 x 562USD 615.00
Life Time 900900399 x 184 x 562USD 680.00
Life Time 10001000399 x 184 x 572USD 731.00
Life Time 11001100399 x 184 x 572USD 825.00
Life Time 12001200399 x 184 x 572USD 875.00
Life Time 13001300399 x 184 x 572USD 950.00



Edison his battery and electric car

Thomas Edison with his Nickel Iron cell in 1901 and a 1905 electric car with "Edison cells"

Detroit Edison powered electric car

8pxspace Thomas Edison examining the Nickel- Iron battery pack at the front of a 1913 Detroit Electric car.  The remarkable right hand image shows an original example found in a barn in the 1950's  with its battery pack still in working order. In fact most of the early electric cars fitted with nickel-iron batteries that exist in museums still have the original batteries in working order.


Here is a fine, revealing drawing of the internal construction of the classical Edison cell.  Iron Oxide Cathode ( — ) plates are interleaved with Nickel / Nickel Hydrate Anode ( + ) plates. The entire plate assembly is bolted together and suspended within a solid steel container. Cells constructed in this manner have proven to yield an extraordinarily long life in the range of 70 to 100 years and there are many reported instances of cells being recovered from disused and abandoned underground mining locomotives, refilled, boost charged and put back into use. Also, Edison and Baker electric cars in museums still have functioning, original battery sets, over a century old.


Edison Drawing

The 300 Ampere-Hour cell is the smallest cell available with dual positive and dual negative terminals, Dual current paths ultimately provide greater system reliability and safety. This blue transparent cell casing is cast from durable ABS plastic for ease of discernment of the electrolyte levels. It also allows the plates themselves to be observed as well as the gassing levels which relates to the state of charge. This type of plastic is suitable for fixed, land based operation but not recommended for marine use or extremely cold , sub zero temperatures. 1.2 Volts x 300 Amp-hours = 360 watt-hours per cell, thus 10 cells in series will yield 12 Volts x 300 Amp-Hours = 3600 watt-hours - 3.6 Kilowatt-Hours energy storage. 8pxspace   NiFi Battery8pxspace8pxspace   This is a 500 Amp Hour cell in a Poly Propylene case. This material is inherently stronger and preferred by the military due to its extra stress and G force resistance in mobile applications, ships, submarines etc and for use in extremely cold conditions. The liquid electrolyte levels may still be discerned depending on the ambient lighting but accurate estimation requires removing the filler cap and looking down inside the cell.  So 1.2 Volts x 500 Amp-Hours = 600 watt-hours per cell and 10 cells connected in series = 12 Volts and 6000 watt-hours of ultimate energy storage. (6 Kilowatt-Hours)
Inside the “Ravioli like “ pockets are a compound of Nickel Oxides..  This large cell is comprised of three parallel plate groups , suspended from the Bus Bar Headers within an aqueous solution of Potassium Hydroxide ( KOH ) and a minuscule amount of LiOh ( Lithium Oxide ) as a catalyst to increase cell performance in colder Winter temperatures. Edison advised that the electrolyte, which is only a charge carrier and does not change its density or Specific Gravity ,on charge or discharge, be replaced every Seven (7) years. This is because the cells very slowly absorb Carbon Dioxide ( Co2) from the air , which in the longer term can degrade cell efficiency. 1.2 Volts x 1100 Ampere-Hours = 1320 watt-hours ( 1.32 KWH ) of bullet proof energy storage . In the image below, the  “POCKET PLATE” construction of the “POSITIVE PLATES” is clearly visible.
8pxspace 12-V-1100-A-H8pxspace   Here we have ten (10) of the monolithic 1.2 Volt , 1100 Ampere Hour cells ,representing a 12 VOLT battery block, connected in series. In which case + - + - + - + - + - + - + -+ - + -+ - = 12 volts across the entire bank. 12 VOLTS x 1100 AMPERE HOURS = 13, 200 watt-hours ( 13.2 KWH ) The cells are conservatively rated at the 5 hour discharge rate. Slower rates of discharge , typical of home energy use would yield up to 15,000 watt-hours ( 15 K.W.H )  The NIFE cell battery is the most durable of electrical accumulators and virtually unaffected by repeated deep discharge or overcharging, although consistent overcharging does cause water loss. 8pxspace

HAYDONS-12V-NiFe 8pxspace

A 12 VOLT 1100 AMPERE HOUR BATTERY installed in a cool and vault like manner under a home on Seven Hills road in SYDNEY.  The battery powers the entire home. The client Mr Mike Haydon is an enthusiast of MEGA 12 VOLT systems so we did it this way to emphasise the fact that 12 Volts can be used in this manner with correct attention to detail (OHMS LAW ) regarding all connections and cabling.
Flight deck
8pxspace MIDNITE M.P.P.T This is the “Flight Deck” lol , on the other side of the brick wall.  This image was taken as the system installation was being finalised in 2015.
Here we see two ( 2 ) solar battery charge controllers ( black units ) synched in parallel to charge at a maximum of 95 + 95 AMPS x 15 VOLTS = 2850 WATTS ( 2.85 KW )  Remember this system was undertaken for student training purposes with maximum AMPS to test OHMS LAW and wiring losses etc etc. It would have to be the most massive 12 VOLT home energy storage system in   SYDNEY.  On the left wall are the two (2) VICTRON Inverters . One is in fact an INVERTER / CHARGER. 8pxspace
10 x 100 Amp Hour, 1.2 Volt Nickel Iron cells, linked in series = 12 Volts x 100 A/H = 1200 Watt-Hours. (1.2 Kilowatt-Hours - kWh) The physical scale of the battery can be seen in relation to the iPhone 5 sat in front. If you are interested in using Thomas Edison’s LIFETIME energy storage solution, with an endurance equal or better than the solar panels themselves ( 30 + years ) then this is an ideal, economical entry point. For under Aus $2000 + a small solar charge regulator and Inverter,  you will be able to run all the lighting in your home devoid of the power grid, and likely have them buried with you to take to the after life . If you were to connect four (4) of these 12 Volt batteries in series, then you would obtain 48 Volts x 100 Amp hours = 4,800 watt-hours = 4.8 KWH . Adequate to run a complete small - medium home.   Compare that to the experimental Lithium batteries being offered by technical opportunists and cunning solar speculators , that will require to be replaced many times over, during the life of what I am offering you here.  There is no comparison  at all and you can find that out for yourselves with a relatively small investment and some astute open mindedness !
Christopher J Darker
Solar Scientist

Nickel Iron powered london transport locomotive


Nickel Iron battery powered London Transport locomotives

Ni Fi powered locos in the snow

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