It's important to compare the available Amp hours in our battery to the available Amp hours in a lead acid battery. With our Nickel Iron batteries, you can discharge up to 80% of the total capacity without any damage the cell or it's future capacity. With a lead acid battery, it's recommended to use only 20-30% of the total battery capacity to get 5 years of life. This means over-sizing the lead acid battery, which causes problems with the number of parallel strings and with having the proper inputs to recharge a huge battery.
Our design philosophy is to recommend a balanced system. This includes having a battery that can be recharged in one day, with extra power to keep running your loads at the same time. In order to figure out exactly what size battery is right for you, please give us a quick call and we will help you very easily understand our calculations.
In general, let's compare our battery to a 24 Volt 1200 Amp hour lead acid battery. With a recommened depth of discharge of 30%, this lead acid battery would provide you with 360 Amp hours of available capacity. At the very most, you would have 600 Amp hours available if you discharged to 50%. This 50% DOD will absolutely shorten the life of a lead acid battery to less than 5 years.
To achieve the same capacity with Nickel Iron, I would recommend a 500-600Ah 24V Ni-Fe battery. The smaller 500Ah cell would be sufficient, and would provide 350Ah at 70% depth of discharge. The 600 Ah cell would be more than sufficient, and it offers a larger electrolyte capacity than the 500Ah cell size. With the 600Ah cell, the physical size of the cell is almost double the 500Ah cell, and there are industrial-sized lugs on the larger 600Ah cell. There is more info below on the different cell sizes.
In this example, the 600Ah cell would offer 480Ah of available capacity with 80% DOD and 300Ah at 50% DOD. With our Nickel Iron batteries, we are able to use a smaller battery that is going to offer much more capacity than an equivalent lead acid battery.
Iron Edison is the only company to have tested Nickel Iron battery at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO. Our test confirmed that the cells overperform at the 5, 10 and 20 hour discharge rates. Check your lead acid ratings, as most batteries are rated at the 20 or 100 hour discharge rate.
Our cells provide 100% of Amp hour and Watt hour capacity when discharged in 5 hours. When discharged over 20 hours (the lead acid standard), our batteries provide up to 119% of their rated capacity. This means you are getting almost 20% more capacity in every cell. There are absolutely no lead acid batteries can that stand up to this level of performance - especially when you look at capacity over time.
Please take a look at the cell sizes. All cells come in a clear case that lets you easily monitor electrolyte levels of your battery. There are multiple cell capacities that come in the same size container. We highly recommend using the 300Ah cell size or larger for almost every project.
The 100Ah cell and the 200Ah cell are great for a small remote pumping station or somewhere that space is tight. The 300Ah, 400Ah and 500Ah cell containers are nearly identical, and are a very popular size. This container features integrated handles that make setup very easy. This group of cells contains nearly 4x the volume of electrolyte when compared to the 200Ah cell.
For the 600Ah and 700Ah cells, the amount of electrolyte in each cell nearly doubles from the previous group. I really like the design of these cells, and recommend them whenever possible. The largest group of cells 800Ah, 900Ah and 1000Ah share the largest container.
Iron Edison recommends Nickel Iron (Ni-Fe) battery technology for your off-grid or renewable energy storage needs. Vastly out-lasting the 7 year life cycle of their lead-acid counterparts, Nickel-iron battery systems have an expected life of twenty five years or more and are quickly becoming the environmentally sensitive choice for off-grid and renewable energy storage applications.
Over a century ago, Thomas Edison found a battery design that he considered to be nearly perfect. Today, Iron Edison is proud to offer an updated version of this incredible design that is specifically manufactured for Renewable Energy systems.
The action which takes place in an Edison cell, both in charging and discharging, is a transfer of oxygen from one electrode to the other, or from one group of plates to the other, hence this type of cell is sometimes called and oxygenlift cell. In a charged cell, the active material of the positive plates is superoxidized, and that of the negative plates is in a spongy or deoxidized state.
The normal charge rate for the battery is C/5. This is the Capacity of the Battery (in Amp hours) / 5 hours from full to empty = The discharge current (your C-rate). For a 500 Ah battery, the C/5 rate is 500/5 = 100 Amps per hour of charge current. You can charge the battery using any MPPT or most PWM charge controllers and acheive specific charging voltage.
The Nickel Iron battery is able to withstand a Boost Charge, and these short duration high rate charges can be given provided that the temperature of the electrolyte does not exceed 115 F. These short charges are very efficient and cause no injury. Rates up to three times normal can be employed for periods of 30 minutes.
Normally, we charge the battery to a voltage of 1.65 Volt per cell (or just above). With a 12 V nominal battery, we use 10 x 1.2V cells. When charging, this 12V battery should acheive a voltage of 16.5 Volts.
When working with specific inverters, we may recommend using one fewer cell in series. This allows us to acheive the higher per-cell voltages wihtout going over the inverter limits. Because our batteries perform at up to 119% of rated capacity, the nominal loss of a single cell does not effect total capacity.
In general, these cells like to be worked! Charge them up and push your batteries hard with a heavy load. You will find that your battery performs better with heavy use than if you let it sit in float charge.
The only 2 places in the world that make new batteries are China and Russia. Sadly, US production ceased 40+ years ago. Look carefully at any American made batteries currently on the market - they are very old and have not been stored with any electrolyte. Without electrolyte, the the oxidation reaction that powers the Ni-Fe battery will quickly turn any plate to rust!
Our systems have components from all over the world. The battery racks are from Italy, the breakers are from South Africa. The breaker boxes can be US made. Your wire that you use to hook everything up may have come from any one of a dozen countries.
After throurough testing and with scores of happy customers, we produdly stand behind our brand-new batteries with a 10 year warranty. Learn more about what our customers are saying here: http://ironedison.com/testimonials
In discharging the positive plates deoxidize and the oxygen, with its natural affinity for iron, goes to the negative plates, oxidizing them. It is permissible to discharge continuously at any rate up to 25% above normal, and occasionally for short periods at rates up to six times normal.
The electrolyte is mixed onsite using the included KOH and LiOH. These are caustic chemicals, and we recommend following our directions carefully.
The electrolyte of the Nickel Iron cells does not enter into chemical combination to perform the functions of the cell, but acts merely as a conveyor; it therefore does not change in specific gravity during charge and discharge other than through evaporation and changes in temperature. Considerable variation in specific gravity is permissible, it having influence only on battery efficiency.
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