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Nickel Iron Battery DIY-Cost, Electrolyte, and Inventor
We are living in a fast-paced and advanced time and era, where we want every task to be done with just a click. There is no point of denying in the fact that nowadays, devices are required to be operated with the help of a remote area out of the markets. In today’s time, people are switching to devices that are driven by batteries. This is because technological innovations and developments have made it easier to carry batteries instead of heavy and large-sized remotes. Now, you are no longer required to take chargers or fuel everywhere in order to operate your gadgets or appliances.
From the military to the automobile sector, everyone is using devices and types of equipment that can be taken into use with the help of a battery. Thanks to technology and innovation that now we can easily use different kinds of batteries in order to make our lives hassle-free. One such battery is the Nickel-Iron Battery, i.e., NiFe battery. This battery is gaining popularity each day due to its huge scope of use.
Why are nickel iron batteries so expensive?There is no point of debate in the fact that Nickel Iron batteries are more expensive than other remaining batteries, but there is a sound reason for the high cost of these batteries. There are some specific features of these batteries which are not found in other regular batteries. When it comes to the energy delivery capacity of the nickel iron battery, it is 30 kW to 50 kW. The charging efficiency of this battery is also impressive as it is approximately 65%, which means that 65 percent of the input electrical energy remains in the battery in the form of chemical energy during the process of its charging.
On the other hand, if we talk about the discharging efficiency, it is about 85 %. According to this, the NiFe battery is able to deliver 85 percent of the stored energy as the electrical energy. The remaining 15 percent of the battery gets discharged because of the self-discharging feature of this battery. You will be surprised to know that if these batteries are kept idle for 30 days, it will only going to lose 10 % to 15 % of their stored energy because of their self-discharging. One of the most important factors of any battery is its lifespan.
When it comes to the lifespan of the Nickel Iron battery, it is significantly much longer than other batteries that are available in the market. 30 to 100 years is the lifespan of such batteries, and there is no denying in the fact that it longer than the normal lifespan of a regular battery. 1.4 V is the nominal voltage rating per nickel iron cells; these are some of the features that are responsible for the high cost of the nickel iron batteries.
What kind of electrolyte is used for nickel iron batteries?Potassium hydroxide is the electrolyte that is used for nickel iron batteries. The basic components that are used in such batteries are nickel (III) hydroxide as the cathode and iron as the anode. Depending on the size and number of positive and negative plates, the capacity of the nickel iron battery is fixed. When it comes to the appearance of these plates in these battery cells, it is almost the same. Both positive and negative plates consist rectangle-shaped grid that is made up of nickel-plated iron, and each grid hole includes a fine perforated nickel-plated steel box. Both the plates look similar in appearance, but they still include various active materials.
The holed nickel plated steel box of the positive plate includes the combination of oxide of nickel and pulverized carbon. On the other hand, the negative plate includes fine scraps of the oxide of iron and some really fine dust of carbon. In order to increase the electrical conductivity of the nickel iron battery, fine dust of carbon along with other active material is included in both negative and positive plates.
As mentioned earlier, the nickel iron batteries have a feature, i.e., they are resilient to high temperature, vibration resistance, discharging, and overcharging; that is one of the main reason that these batteries are not cheap as compared to other lead acid batteries, and they have a wide range of use.
Who invented the nickel iron battery?This battery was introduced and invented by Thomas Edison in the year 1900. Due to this, nickel iron batteries are also called Edison batteries. These batteries were invented in order to provide an alternative for lead-acid batteries. By the year 1920, the Edison batteries were used in electric vehicles and appliances. Both cathode and anode are bathed in an alkaline solution.
The Nickel Iron battery is an extremely dynamic and robust battery. These batteries have a tendency to perform equally well even when they aren’t charged for a long period of time. The weight of NiFe battery is slightly higher than the other remaining batteries that is why these batteries are used in such devices where its weight does not hold any kind of importance, for example, in wind energy systems, solar power energy plants, fork lift trucks, railway vehicles, and other off-grid applications. The below mentioned are some points that show the benefits of nickel iron batteries; you can consider them before buying them for your desired use:
Much longer shelf life
Deep depth of discharge
No lead content
High safe storage temperature
Specific energy at recommended depth of discharge
Enabled with a high rate of charging
Increased volumetric energy at recommended depth of discharge
Much longer cycle life
High maximum operating temperature, i.e., air conditioning is not at all required.
No acid content
Long float charging life
The points that are mentioned above justify the expensive cost of nickel iron batteries. When these batteries are compared with other remaining batteries, you will observe that they have a lot of functions and features to offer as compared to other batteries.