Talk:Nickel–iron battery

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Undocumented claim removed[edit]

NiFe has low power density, and lowest energy density of all rechargeable systems.

This does not stand to reason. NiCd has double the power density of lead, and it would surprise me if NiFe would be significantly worse. -- Egil 19:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

It's the case, remember it's a mass/energy ratio, but I'll leave it out 'till I dig up a ref. --DV8 2XL 19:26, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
lead acid 30 Wh/kg, so NiFe is at least better than that, if the 50 Wh/kg on this page is correct.Greglocock 22:44, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

The details in the beutilityfree broucher indicate the energy density is not more than 30Wh/kg.
eg. 4.5 kg(dry), 4.l litre, 1.2volt(not 12v) cell rated 122Ah is over 5kg(wet)
-i'll guess at least 5.5kg judging from the space indicated in the cutaway
122Ah*1.2v =146Wh (per ~5.5Kg)
-depending on discharge rate could vary 10% either way.
These details indicate energy density is 25-30Wh/kg, 35-40Wh/l That sounds just about right from what i recall reading elsewhere, its a great battery technology but not high energy density.-- (talk) 13:49, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

This article is about the type generally. There are two fatal flaws with picking a random battery out of a catalog and declare that to be the energy/power density for the entire type. #1 you must compare applications. BeUtilityFree is for homepower, where energy/power density just doesn't matter, so it's intentionally neglected in favor of stout construction and huge electrolyte reserves. A nickel-iron battery optimized for an electric airplane would be built quite differently. #2 compare similar eras of design. Other battery types have had billions of dollars in research to use modern technology to adapt them to modern sensibilities, nickel-iron has not changed since 1925, so not a valid comparison. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:46, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

lithium hydroxide electrolyte[edit]

This could probably go here, from Talk:Lithium_ion_battery#Invented by Thomas Edison?, I especially thought that this quote rings true in modern Li advances, production, and application.

The increase in capacity of an Edison cell in which lithium hydroxid is used, amounts to about ten per cent., while the increase of the time over which the capacity may be maintained is remarkable, and of the highest commercial importance.

Though if only related on an elemental lever... --D0li0 11:08, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I removed the following text by User:Avé:

Thomas Alva Edison used (and preferred) Li-Ion batteries in his electric vehicles. While powered by Lithium Ion batteries, neither his electric trains that circumnavigated the Menlo Park lab/facility, nor the electric autos gained commercial success, it is worthy to note Henry Ford worked for Edison prior to starting Ford Motor Co.

The Detroit Electric car shown in that 1913 photograph predates commercial Li-ion batteries by almost 80 years. It was available with either lead-acid or nickel-iron batteries, as shown in this advertisement. Nickel-iron batteries were invented by Edison in 1901 and manufactured at the Edison Storage Battery Company.

I was unable to find any sources that suggest Edison invented the Lithium-ion battery. As part of my search, I reviewed all U.S. patents granted to Edison with titles containing variations of the words battery, electrode, or electrolyte. There are 94 such patents. And though I found no description of a device similar to a modern Li-ion battery, I did find references to lithium compounds Edison used in the construction of his nickel-iron batteries. Specifically, Edison discovered he could increase the capacity and longevity of nickel-iron batteries by supplementing the alkaline electrolyte with a small amount of lithium hydroxide. This discovery is presented in the following patent:

  • 876,445 Electrolyte for Alkaline Storage Batteries Use of lithium hydroxide in alkaline electrolytes.
    The increase in capacity of an Edison cell in which lithium hydroxid is used, amounts to about ten per cent., while the increase of the time over which the capacity may be maintained is remarkable, and of the highest commercial importance. (pg 1, ln 46)

I also found five other patents in which Edison describes an alkaline electrolyte containing a small amount of lithium hydroxide:

  • 1,073,107 Storage Battery Construction of small storage batteries.
    partly filled with the electrolyte 4, which consists preferably of a solution of potassium hydroxid in distilled water with a small percentage of lithia. (pg 1, ln 55)
  • 1,167,485 Storage Battery Use of cerium oxide as a cathode material rather than the usual nickel oxide.
    For the electrolyte I prefer to employ a solution of potassium or sodium hydroxid, to which may be added a small percentage of lithium hydroxid (pg 1, ln 86)
  • 1,299,693 Storage Battery Addition of tin oxide to iron cathodes.
    For the electrolyte I prefer to employ a solution of potassium or sodium hydroxid, to which may be added a small percentage of lithium hydroxid (pg 1, ln 92)
    An electrolyte containing lithium hydroxide is also mentioned in claims 18–22 and 28.
  • 1,379,088 Storage Battery High discharge rate batteries for starting the Ford car.
    such electrolyte preferably consisting of a 21% solution of caustic potash containing about 2% by weight of lithium hydroxid. (pg 2, ln 123)
  • 1,377,194 Storage Battery Continuation of 1,379,088.
    …such electrolyte preferably consisting of a 21% solution of caustic potash or a 15% solution of caustic soda, containing about 2% by weight of lithium hydroxid. (pg 4, ln 46)

I also found a patent describing the extraction of potassium and lithium from silicate ore. This suggests Edison used lithium in significant amounts, probably in the manufacture of storage batteries.

Curiously, five of these patents use the word prefer or preferably when describing the use of lithium hydroxide. This wording is mirrored in the Wikipedia text. Perhaps the nickel-iron batteries described in these patents were mistakenly believed to be Li-ion batteries?

I believe the addition of lithium hydroxide as described in patent 876,445 doesn't alter the basic chemistry of the nickel-iron cell. These batteries are nothing like modern Li-ion cells; they're more closely related to NiCds. —Ryanrs 14:58, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The external link to 'Modern nickel-iron battery data' is 404 for me at 22-10-2006. 17 PM CET. Can somebody look into that?

It works for me at 26-11-2006 11 AM CST.

The external links to all lead to a "spam?" page. The wayback machine doesn't have any useful pages and the only page that leads to anything is May 25, 2005. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Woodsjay (talkcontribs) 12:44, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Charge Efficiency[edit]

The BeUtilityFree page cited for some other facts on this page says about their NiFe batteries: "New they are about 90 percent efficient then as they age they level off to about 80% efficient" (

The MPower site says NiFe batteries have "Low coulombic efficiency, typically less than 65%" (

Are these figures measuring the same thing? If so they seem to be in conflict. BeUtilityFree's figures put NiFe batteries in a range that is competitive with lead acid cells (70-90% efficient) whereas MPower's figures put them below that range.

I can't tell for sure what MPower does or if they deal with NiFe batteries on a regular basis. BeUtilityFree evidently works with these batteries currently and so is producing numbers from their own research (though it is effectively sales literature, and so may be somewhat optimistic).

Are there any other primary sources for information about modern commercially produced NiFe batteries that could resolve this conflict? (talk) 22:03, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

It's worse than that. Charge efficiency also varies by state of charge. Basically an empty battery is very efficient, and a nearly full one is less efficient because (gosh) it's nearly full. Primary research on this effect on lead-acid: The crux of the article is that higher the State Of Charge you are at, the worse your efficiency is. A "75% efficient" battery might be 95% efficient from flat to 50% SOC, but only 40% efficient from 80-100% SOC. That's a huge issue if you're sizing a solar system, especially for a lead-acid battery which is damaged unless you keep it near 100% SOC.
Here is anecdotal evidence that the same effect (good and bad) exists for nickel-iron, with near 100% efficient charging at low state of charge, and poor efficiency near 100% SOC: ... And here we have a problem of apples and oranges, because we don't know the testing regime which produced the figure: hypothetically if BeUtilityFree tests efficiency from zero, but MPower tests a more "real world" number from 60-100%, what number do we quote for the article? And how do we fairly compare it to competing technologies? What I learned in the government article above is that nickel-iron's reputation for poor efficiency is largely anecdotal, and lead has the same problem in roughly same severity. (talk) 08:58, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Nature communications article[edit]

I do not have access anything but the abstract, but the article should probably be changed to reflect their findings. Key points are 120 Wh/kg and 15 kW/kg, the use of Iron oxide/graphene hybrid anode, and the use of nanoscale material to achieve this result.

- (talk) 01:50, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

All BeUtilityFree references are 404[edit]

There are 6 references to "A description of the Chinese nickel–iron battery from BeUtilityFree" but the link is 404 — Preceding unsigned comment added by WBrando (talkcontribs) 15:51, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Also, there is a reference to "Nickel Iron Battery Frequently Asked Questions" BeUtilityFree that is 404 not found — Preceding unsigned comment added by WBrando (talkcontribs) 15:54, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Energy Density data has no calculations[edit]

The top right section of the page shows Energy Density data, with no supporting calculations. These may be estimates?

Energy Density data(Watt hrs per kilogram)can be found here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by WBrando (talkcontribs) 15:57, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Manufacturers list[edit]

Perhaps a list of manufacturers can be added ?:

09:33, 24 July 2015 (UTC)~

Actually I was thinking we should keep all mention of specific manufacturers out under WP:NOTCATALOG.

”Jungner's work was largely unknown in the US until the 1940s, when nickel–cadmium batteries went into production there”[edit]

This is clearly incorrect since GE got sued for infringing on Jungner’s patent Jungner can’t have been unknown in the US. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 17 February 2020 (UTC)