Nickel Iron (NiFe) Energy Storage Batteries

As Nickel Iron (NiFe) Batteries have the best & most proven track record to out-last all other chemical batteries.

I am looking for Clarity on why the government Clean Energy Council don’t acknowledge NiFe batteries in there approved battery list ?

The CEC approved battery list only lists Lithium battery systems as they are the only batteries which are applicable under the new CEC battery ‘best practice guide’. All other serviceable batteries including lead-acid, sodium-ion, Nickel Iron etc are covered under the new battery standard AS1539:2019 section 6.

Haven’t heard much about Nickel Iron batteries? There must be a reason they are not commonly used, perhaps it’s charging time or lower efficiency?

NiFe batteries are/were commonly uses in Commercial & Industrial applications, the latest designs are a better version of the American patented Edison battery, that is now over 100 years old technology.

I understand there life cycle is superior to ALL Lithium batteries in terms of longevity.

They can take a lot of abuse it terms of Over charging & Drainage, as the Electrolyte is what holds the Energy, and reportedly the Electrolyte only needs to be replaced each 7~15 years to provide a like New battery again, depending on the depth of discharge (DOD).

However, the main drawback appears to be/is the Weight & the Footprint required to locate them.

Thanks, I will look up (google) the New battery standard AS1359:2019 !

Do you know if Super Capacitor (SC) storage banks come under the New battery standard ?

As I heard in the rumour mill that Elon Musk (TESLA guy) recently Purchased “Maxwell”, a SC Manufacturer, as they are said to be the latest & greatest energy storage modules & pack a punch of 55Wh/kg.

Hi Svarky,

I looked up New battery standard AS1359:2019, but could not locate the doc, the links relate to GenSets.

Is there a link you can supply to this document or table it here ?
Regards.

Sorry, I mixed up the numbers (was a bit tired)… It’s AS/NZS 5139:2019. ‘Electrical Installations - Safety of battery systems for use with power conversion equipment’.

This is the latest battery installation standard for AUS and NZ, it’s expensive to buy ($300) and covers the installation requirements of all battery chemistries.

I did some more research into Nickel Iron batteries, also known as Nickel Alkaline batteries.
They do have a very long life (up to 20 years) and are known to be very reliable but it appears the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

The biggest problems with NiFe batteries appear to be the low efficiency, slow rate of charge, and wide operating voltage range. Under high load or demand spikes the voltage drops rapidly and many inverters will cutout due to low voltage. If you had a very low constant demand, then NiFe batteries would be suitable. However, most household loads are very irregular (electric appliances like toasters, kettles, etc) so they battery voltage would drop and efficiency would plummet.

I have used sodium-ion batteries and they had similar issues and were very difficult to use, eventually they were replaced due to the constant issues with inverter shutdown.

Also the cost of NiFe seems to be around 20 to 30% higher than lead-acid batteries.

Do you mean people have to pay $300 to obtain the government standards AS1359:2019 documentation or it costs $300 for the installation ?

I hear that only happens with under size kWh banks & low voltage systems under 48V DC.

I know people that have NiFe & NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) battery banks that are over 30yrs old, that were previously used in Government & Telco companies, that when there performance dropped they threw them out, when only the Electrolyte needed to be changed, for a like new battery again, they are still going strong.

Not sure what industrial Lead Acid batteries cost, I would be interested knowing the kWh Cost $ ?
I used to melt Lead 45 years ago with my dad & renew the Plates in the Tar top Truck batteries.

NiFe & LiFe & LiFePo4 are all around $550kWh, I understand/believe these have a 7~12 year life cycle if not abused.

I am just about to purchase a 3.8kWh Dry-cell Graphene Super Capacitor Module, these are currently double the cost of NiFe, but are guaranteed to cycle 50’000 times or 12years warranty sounds good on the surface.

Yes, a single copy of the standard costs $300! Yes it ridiculous to say the least. This is what happens you privatise government agencies.

Very interested to hear how it performs. Is it the KiloWatt labs (hybrid) super-cap battery, or another manufacturer?

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No, i am purchasing from a Chinese capacitor manufacture, not the Indian Retailer.
I was told by one manufacturer that they used to manufacture there kilowattlabs capacitors, then got cheaper ones manufactured elsewhere & started assembling in the middle east I recall, then reportedly they started failing or were catching on fire or something like that.

Supposedly those modules were used by Optus, & reportedly Optus is now purchasing there modules.

This technology is really worth investigating, as they claim to have 30’000~50’000 cycle life & supposedly can be charged 10 times quicker than conventional batteries…
I am going to use this in my 4X4WD for cooking, fridges & lighting etc, so I don’t need to carry LPG gas bottles, and can be charged by a Solar Panel.

"privatise government agencies"
That screams of cronieisum …“a job for the Boys” !

Really who will pay $300 for what should be a legal guideline document to be followed …I Assume.

I did several searches, and came back with a public white-paper Draft documentation, asking for professions in the industry to contribute there knowledge, now they want to be paid for what I strongly feel should NOT have a cost to obtain what is basically guidelines, no more!

As Batteries are as dumb as Dog poo, and have been around for over a 100 years, Lithium-ion batteries are the real issue as they need a BMS (battery management system) to control the danger of a runaway battery, like what can happen with the Samsung phone batteries …Lithium-ion energy Storage is just on a larger scale!

It will only be a matter of time before the Guidelines become public circulated.
Anyone have one have a link to one ?

The draft regs were published as AS/NZS 5139:2017. I don’t know how much they changed before being finalized. They are available here: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/forms-and-resources/newsletter/esafe-newsletters/esafe-editions/esafe-electrical/2017-bulletins/have-your-say-on-new-standard-for-installing-battery-energy-storage-systems