Author Topic: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not  (Read 6670 times)

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jlt

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NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« on: October 11, 2011, 08:50:29 AM »
NiFe battery's Are indestructible NOT. 

I left home for a week and forgot to shut down my 8ft  wind mill and 500 watt's of solar panels. That were charging my battery's.

They were boiled dry. I filled them up with water . but 1 cell was bad. I left battery to charge for a couple of days and then discovered Two more cells shorted out.

I then washed out all the cells and filled them up with new electrolyte . But 3 cells are still dead. 

So after wasting 12 gallons of electrolyte. It was lesson learned.Now i need a source for more electrolyte. 

TomW

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 09:37:02 AM »
Man, that sucks hard.

Sad to hear it.

Good luck with recovery.

Tom
Join in an alternative forum at Anotherpower.com

coldspot

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 10:15:34 AM »
jlt-
What Tom said!

I'm feeling for you man that is RUFF!

:(
$0.02

Bruce S

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 10:59:03 AM »
jlt;
Really sorry to see this
Is it possible to post some pics of them?
Can you open the cases? It may be that enough of "something" boiled that is causing the problem?
If the can be gotten into its possible to fix the internals, and least get something going.

Best of Luck
Bruce S

You can educate out ignorance, you can work out of poverty, BUT you cannot fix "stupid".
author "Bruce S"

Rabrsniver

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 02:47:32 PM »
I too have had issues with my NiFes. Three of them went bad WITHOUT going dry.

If you need KOH, try http://www.aaa-chemicals.com/potassium-hydroxide.html

As for LIOH, I have had a lot of trouble getting it. None of the companies I've found will ship to individuals. If you own a company or a friend that will purchase for you, try: http://www.alfa.com/

They are a distributor who purchases from http://www.fishersci.com/ecomm/servlet/fsproductdetail?storeId=10652&productId=767256&catalogId=29104&matchedCatNo=AC199542500||AC199540010||AC199540250&endecaSearchQuery=%23store%3DScientific%23N%3D0%23rpp%3D15&fromSearch=1&searchKey=lioh&highlightProductsItemsFlag=Y

I'm not sure if Fisher will sell direct. Anyway, this is how I finally got my chemicals after much searching and emailing.

Good luck,
John

PS If you can't find a way to get the LIOH directly, try purchasing from http://ironedison.com/about-us


Bruce S

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 04:01:08 PM »
NOW would be a good time for a poster named "   isoutar"
Seems these were the best thing since honey on toast.

Perhaps he will jump in here and help.
Have not seen him post a long time.

Sorry to see another owner with problems.
Bruce S
edit, fixed spelling
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 06:07:17 AM by Bruce S »
You can educate out ignorance, you can work out of poverty, BUT you cannot fix "stupid".
author "Bruce S"

jlt

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 04:56:46 AM »
Thanks for the reply' s. wish i could take them apart.

They are in metal cases .maybe of nickle. No idea how to weld it.

 I also  Have 50 smaller one's that need electrolyte. 

The problem with this type battery is the large voltage swing, from1.0 ---1.65 that's more than most inverters like.


Bruce S

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 06:10:33 AM »
With the large voltage swing, it could be though not the best way, to hook them to a SLA, even a couple Sam's 54Ahr FLA batteries and use those as a snubber ?
This I have done with NiCds and a smallish 18Ah SLA, works just fine.

Hopefully "iso will chime in to help.

Best of Luck
Bruce S
You can educate out ignorance, you can work out of poverty, BUT you cannot fix "stupid".
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SteveCH

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 10:21:03 AM »
Thanks for the reply' s. wish i could take them apart.

They are in metal cases .maybe of nickle. No idea how to weld it.

 I also  Have 50 smaller one's that need electrolyte. 

The problem with this type battery is the large voltage swing, from1.0 ---1.65 that's more than most inverters like.




Terrible situation. Hope you can get them working.

Are your windmill and PVs run through controllers? Wondering how the overcharge thing occurred.

I have a set of about 700 a/hr. All charging is by PV. Yes, some inverters won't work well. I went to an Outback VFX and it is doing very well. It will handle up to 17.0 volts, though I am charging my bank to 16.5 v. The inverter will shut down at 11.0 volts. I bought the Outback to replace a Trace which was not going to be happy at the higher voltage of full charge in the batteries.

Wishing you luck......

jlt

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2011, 07:22:40 AM »
I believe the problem started when one cell shorted out. then the morning star controller was not clamping output.

PeterDe

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 02:57:27 AM »
Nickle-Iron just like any other type of battery is not indestructible, nor is it totally tolerant of things that we can do to destroy them.  My experience with NiFe batteries is strictly limited to some experiments that we performed on some old Thomas Edisons that we got from a remote cabin.  They all were over 80 years old and all were able to be recovered, through following the instruction in a old Thomas Edison manual.  Many of these were dry when we received them , and none of them would hold a load.  Following the electrolyte replacement and charge discharge regime from the manual were able to be returned to useful cells.  Oops almost forgot there was one cell that just would not recover.  Since I was just using these as an experiment to see if NiFe cells followed the same aging rate as NiCad cells (1% deration per year) I utilized the IEEE 1106 fro NiCads as a guide for load testing.  The results were published at Batton 2011.  It was only talking about the Thomas Edison cells that I was working with, but the conclusion could be arrived a that when properly taken care of that technology can be relied on for a very long life as the internal normal aging/degradation is predictable.

If I was to be off grid and wanted my battery to last longer than I will be around, with what I know right now I would install a NiFe.  However one question that comes to mind is "is the new NiFe as good as the old Edison's"  I have no answer.  And yes they are expensive.  I would think that old NiCad's would last as long as well. 

You mention Isoutar and I have not heard from him in some time.  He is a good person that means well, maybe a little over aggressive in preaching what is environmentally responsible, but means well.  and yes he is a flag waving, card carrying NiFe proponent.

I agree that NiFe's are not indestructible, nothing is.  But to sort of insinuate that the technology is "??" due to actions on the part of the user is sort of like tossing a loaded shotgun into the back seat and it goes off and blows your arm off, and then blaming the gun manufacturer.  Not a good comparison, but you can see what I am saying. 

But you are correct they are not indestructible, nor do they not occasionally have some issues where cells will fail for whatever reason.  See John's post about his three cells.  If you think there are issues with NiFe cells, you might want to think about the issues that some are having with the "top of the line rolls stuff".

thirteen

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2012, 10:16:26 AM »
JLT  If they were boiled dry some of the inside of the cases or the top of the cases could have formed a coating causeing a short. Maybe try and gently hit the case with a hammer or rubber malet. If you take it apart there is alot of good apoxy's out there that you might be able to use to reseal the case if you open it carefully. Safety first. Just an idea to play with.
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richhagen

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 12:06:59 AM »
Since the salts that crystallize out when boiled dry could be causing the short, and the battery plate components should not be soluble in water, would filling them with warm distilled water and draining them a few times before refilling them with electrolyte cause any harm?  If not, it might be worth a try. 
A Joule saved is a Joule made!

jlt

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 08:14:56 AM »
  I did wash them out and put in new electrolyte. But three cells are still shorted.
    I have about 50 smaller Edison cells that were made in the 1930 to 1934 years . 
  They still work but have very low capacity.

    I just bought 4 12v rv battery's. to use with my 48 volt grid tie inverter.  The will be kept at float voltage  unless there is a grid  failure.

richhagen

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2012, 07:55:18 AM »
If you haven't seen this, Google Books has posted a copy of an old manual from the Edison Battery Company which explains quite a bit about the old NiFe cells they built.  It sounds like the ones you have and the failed ones are of similar design. 
The current link on Google should be this:
http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Edison_alkaline_storage_battery.html?id=IKIgAAAAMAAJ
If that does not work, just do a search in Google Books for Edison Alkaline Storage Battery.  Not sure if it would help you in rejuvenating the damaged cells, but it does contain quite a bit of information on their construction.
A Joule saved is a Joule made!

thirteen

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2012, 11:27:06 AM »
Would it be possible to take the batteries to a place and get them rebuilt. I've heard of people rebuilding old Edison batteries. I think there is a place Montana called Zapp that builds batteries maybe they would have a connection you could call. Just as an idea that might work.
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isoutar

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2012, 05:51:07 PM »
I heard my name ... I have been working on a satellite project at the University of Victoria (EcoSat project if anyone wants to look it up.    We are doing research on diamagnetism in space.   I am totally caught up in the project and have not been posting replies.

Back to NiFe ... the failed cells, if they are metal cased, are original Nickel Iron Cells from the Edison Storage Battery Company.    These went out of production in 1975.    The batteries you are using are 37 years old!   They have performed well over the years.   Or perhaps they are Russian ones?    Only the old Edison cells and the Russian Kursk Accumulator Works make the steel cased ones.

I agree ... Zapp might be able to recondition them but with an accident like that they might be ruined.   Zapp has reconditioned many old Edison cells before they started their own manufacturing.

For interest here is the Russian manufacturer which I have corresponded with successfully ...
http://www.accumkursk.ru

Ian Soutar
Vancouver Island
Canada.

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2012, 10:57:10 PM »
Hello.

FWIW from what I read, with alkaline based cells, carbon is the enemy to these cells and is why they shouldn't be stored without at least distilled H20.

richhagen

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2012, 12:17:59 PM »
Normally from what I have seen of old Soviet military radio cells, they actually were stored dry and sealed.  According to an old Edison manual those can be drained and stored without harm as well.  I would probably rinse them.  The normal carbonate fouling that they get is caused by Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reacting with the hydroxide in the solution to form water and Potassium carbonate which is less effective as an electrolyte than the Potassium hydroxide.  Potassium carbonate is soluble in water though so it is easily flushed out when you change the electrolyte. 
A Joule saved is a Joule made!

nifeman

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2012, 10:09:12 AM »
No flooded cells of any type should EVER go without their fluid in them when you are using them on a daily basis. PERIOD.
Nickel iron cells, although one of the most robust cells ever invented, will not last when abused, and abuse of any nickel iron cell would be operating it without and electrolyte in it.

As many before me have in this thread no battery (or cells) are indestructible! Nickel iron cells are no exception.

What i suggest to the original poster is to buy yourself a self watering system or make one yourself. But beware. There is only ONE battery self watering system that will work with alkaline cells! Then when you are away for long period you do not have to worry about any watering issues.

Over and out!

BillBlake

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2012, 11:31:02 PM »
NiFe battery's Are indestructible NOT. 

I left home for a week and forgot to shut down my 8ft  wind mill and 500 watt's of solar panels. That were charging my battery's.

They were boiled dry. I filled them up with water . but 1 cell was bad. I left battery to charge for a couple of days and then discovered Two more cells shorted out.

I then washed out all the cells and filled them up with new electrolyte . But 3 cells are still dead. 

So after wasting 12 gallons of electrolyte. It was lesson learned.Now i need a source for more electrolyte.

jlt,

If you still have the bad Ni-Fe Cells put them on ebay if you want to get rid of them.
They will sell with no problem just the way they are.
4 Cells would be even better.
Someone could experiment using a 6 Volt auto battery charger and some LCD bulbs.

Bill Blake

jlt

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 10:55:54 AM »
I cut one of the bad cells apart and found about 3/4 inch of black sludge and pieces of the plastic separators in the bottom of the can.

I believe The reason it Is shorted out the plates touched together.  One plate had
 some arcing marks on it. 

I do not believe that I could get all the sludge out by washing them out.
I am looking for some kind of plastic container To put the cell in and test it out.

BillBlake

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 12:54:48 PM »
I cut one of the bad cells apart and found about 3/4 inch of black sludge and pieces of the plastic separators in the bottom of the can.

I believe The reason it Is shorted out the plates touched together.  One plate had
 some arcing marks on it. 

I do not believe that I could get all the sludge out by washing them out.
I am looking for some kind of plastic container To put the cell in and test it out.

Even Glass containers if you have a safety reservoir and your careful. There are tricks out there or
the thousands of Edison plates Zapped by Zapp Works wouldn't have been Zapped. ::)

My hands are a bit tied because a research  friend became disabled from out of the blue and is threatening
to write a Home Power book with a lot on various battery systems as part of it.
He wants certain parts left out here.

What I can say is an idea of my own. Since they are nice metal "cans" why not put them in the oven filled with
electrolyte and keep them just short of boiling for 10 to 30 hours. Then flush them and do it again if you like it.
Perhaps just try one. This is assuming the separators can take it. What do you have to lose?

Why don't you and/or cut them off at the TOP if you want to cut?  Write me if you want pictures.

Remember that I get to say any da-n thing that I want (thanks Bruce) but I don't have to prove anything for you.  ;D
No Links. He he he.

Bill Blake

Bruce S

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2012, 02:27:51 PM »
Bill;
 Let's correct that by saying to keep it  on-topic and if the info looks wonky I'll be one quickly asking for proof.
NOT cart-blanc here  ;) 
You can educate out ignorance, you can work out of poverty, BUT you cannot fix "stupid".
author "Bruce S"

jlt

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2012, 07:36:04 AM »
I am going to wrap each plate with plastic window screen. The old separators are as brittle as apiece of spaghetti 

thirteen

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Re: NlFe dattery's are indestructible Not
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2012, 04:52:19 AM »
JLT could a person drill a hole in one corner of the battery and put a small plastic tubing down to the bottom of the container and flush the junk out of the bottom using a cleaner or new acid or something to lossen things up to get it clean! Or maybe a small suction line would work. Then seal the battery up. Just an idea to work with or toss.
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