Nickel Iron Batteries


nickel liron batteries
Nickel Iron batteries in rack look neat, clean and organized

The Nickel Iron Battery is quite possibly the Last Solar Battery you will ever buy

More than a century ago, after thousands of experiments, Thomas Edison found a battery design that he considered to be nearly perfect. Edison’s winning recipe used iron oxide and nickel hydrate, without the corrosive acid-based electrolyte used in lead acid batteries. The result was the long life Nickel-Iron-Alkaline cell.

1. With an electrolyte change every 8-10 years, they will last up to 40 years.
2. You can add more banks of batteries at any time.
3. No damage to batteries with full depth of discharge or overcharging.
4. The alkaline electrolyte is a metal preserver, instead of a metal destroyer like lead acid batteries.
5. 12, 24, and 48 volt applications. (Most Lithium batteries come in 48 volts only).
6. Cost of ownership is less than a lead acid battery over the life of the battery.
7. Nearly indestructible.
8. Large storage capacity (sizes go up to 38.4 kWh).
9. Rated for 11,000 cycles at 80% discharge compared to 5,500 to 8,000 cycles for lithium and about 3500 cycles for a good flooded lead acid battery at 50% discharge. Do the math and you will see that the Nickel Iron battery is the longest lasting battery you can get.
10. No need to equalize them because the plates don’t sulfate like lead acid batteries.
11. Faster charge time is great for Hawaii days where there may be sun for only a few hours.

Problems with Lead Acid Batteries

Sadly, lead acid batteries are failure prone, a maintenance nightmare and far from perfect. With these acid-based batteries, simply charging and discharging causes significant chemical degradation. Electrical capacity decreases starting the first day you use them until you’re left with useless boxes of sludge and each entire battery must be replaced in only five to seven years or less. That could be as many as six or more complete battery replacements during the life of your solar system.

For example: I purchased four L16 lead acid batteries for $1200. They lasted 5 years (and for some people I know that didn’t keep them charged during periods of cloudy weather, they only lasted 2 and 3 years). For 40 years I would have to buy 7 sets of these for a cost of 7 x 1200 = $8400. for an annual cost of $210. With nickel-Iron batteries my battery investment for 40 years would be $4880. (shipping added) for an annual cost of $122.

Now there is an updated version of the incredible Nickel Iron battery design that is specifically manufactured for Renewable Energy systems. Even better, it’s a drop-in replacement for old lead acid batteries. Simply replace your old, failing lead acid batteries with the new Iron Edison brand Nickel Iron batteries and say goodbye to lead acid hassles forever.

The long life, chemical resilience and non-deteriorating design of the Nickel Iron battery is perfect for both new systems and upgrading existing systems. Either way, it’s the longest lasting battery available, and the last battery you’ll need to buy.

Long Life, Long Warranty

Supporting a daily 80% depth of discharge, Nickel Iron Batteries should last 30 years or more, and come with a 10 year warranty.
Nickel-Iron Batteries come in 12, 24, or 48 volts and in 100 to 1000 amp hour banks. Each battery is 1.2 volts, so a 12 volt system is 10 batteries, 24 volt system is 20 batteries, and 48 volt system is 40 batteries.

“Our philosophy is education-based. We are very knowledgeable; we know what works and what is compatible. We would rather sell you something that meets your needs, and we will research compatibility with whatever you already have”. -Timna, Design Team Manager

We’re happy to answer questions about operation and optimization. Some of our customers want to participate in installation, monitor their systems, tweak settings, and are very hands-on. We support that.” -Rhodes, Tech Support Manager.

When you call, you will speak to Charlie at Charlie’s Electric Fencing to answer your initial questions. Then you can speak to one of our design team members. Batteries can be shipped to all islands. Prices below do not include shipping to Hawaii. Complete off-grid systems available too.

Nickel Iron Batteries come in different sizes depending upon capacity

What size battery do you need? You can figure that yourself by looking at your charge controller to see how much power you collect daily and how many days storage you need, or our design team can figure that for you.

12V 100Ah NiFe Battery 80Ah/ .96 usable kWh at 80% DoD $970
12V 200Ah NiFe Battery 160Ah/ 1.9 usable kWh at 80% DoD $1,940
12V 300Ah NiFe Battery 240Ah/ 2.9 usable kWh at 80% DoD $2,910
12V 400Ah NiFe Battery 320 Ah/ 3.8 usable kWh at 80% DoD $3,880
12V 500Ah NiFe Battery 400 Ah/ 4.8 usable kWh at 80% DoD $4,850
12V 600Ah NiFe Battery 480Ah/5.8 usable kWh at 80% DoD $5,820
12V 700Ah NiFe Battery 560Ah/6.7 usable kWh at 80% DoD $6,790
12V 800Ah NiFe Battery 640Ah/7.7 usable kWh at 80% DoD $7,760
12V 900Ah NiFe Battery 720Ah/ 8.6 usable kWh at 80% DoD $8,730
12V 1,000Ah NiFe Battery 800Ah/9.6 usable kWh at 80% DoD $9,700

24V 100Ah NiFe Battery 80Ah/ 1.9 usable kWh at 80% DoD $1,940
24V 200Ah NiFe Battery 160 Ah/ 3.8 usable kWh at 80% DoD $3,880
24V 300Ah NiFe Battery 240Ah/ 5.8 usable kWh at 80% DoD $5,820
24V 400Ah NiFe Battery 320Ah/ 7.7 usable kWh at 80% DoD $7,760
24V 500Ah NiFe Battery 400Ah/ 9.6 usable kWh at 80% DoD $9,700
24V 600Ah NiFe Battery 480Ah/ 11.5 usable kWh at 80% DoD $11,400
24V 700Ah NiFe Battery 560Ah/ 13.4 usable kWh at 80% DoD $13,300
24V 800Ah NiFe Battery 640Ah/15.4 usable kWh at 80% DoD $15,200
24V 900Ah NiFe Battery 720Ah/17.3 usable kWh at 80% DoD $17,100
24V 1,000Ah NiFe Battery 800Ah/ 19.2 usable kWh at 80% DoD $18,600

48V 100Ah NiFe Battery 80Ah/ 3.8 usable kWh at 80% DoD $3,880
48V 200Ah NiFe Battery 160Ah/ 7.7 usable kWh at 80% DoD $7,760
48V 300Ah NiFe Battery 240Ah/ 11.5 usable kWh at 80% DoD $11,400
48V 400Ah NiFe Battery 320Ah/ 15.4 usable kWh at 80% DoD $15,200
48V 500Ah NiFe Battery 400Ah/ 19.2 usable kWh at 80% DoD $18,600
48V 600Ah NiFe Battery 480Ah/ 23.0 usable kWh at 80% DoD $22,320
48V 700Ah NiFe Battery 560Ah/ 26.9 usable kWh at 80% DoD $26,040
48V 800Ah NiFe Battery 640Ah/ 30.7 usable kWh at 80% DoD $29,440
48V 900Ah NiFe Battery 720Ah/ 34.6 usable kWh at 80% DoD $33,120
48V 1,000Ah NiFe Battery 800Ah/ 38.4 usable kWh at 80% DoD $36,800

Sample system sizing

12v 100 ah batteries and 340 watts solar panels
12v 200 ah batteries and 600 watts solar panels
12v 300 ah batteries and  1200 watts solar panels
24v 200 ah batteries and 1800 watts solar panels
24v 300 ah batteries and 2400 watts solar panels
24v 500 ah batteries and 4800 watts solar panels
48v 500 ah batteries and 6700 watts solar panels

Battery racks are required for the warranty

It’s important to keep your Iron Edison battery straight and level. As the cells warm and cool, the plastic shell expands and contracts. If the cells are not aligned properly, there is pressure on the corners of the cells, causing them to crack and potentially fail. Placing a long row of cells on the ground is not recommended.

Solar Battery Chemistry Comparison:
Cycle life: Nickel Iron – 11,000 cycles at 50% dod, 11,000 cycles at 80% dod                              (dod is depth of discharge)
Lithium Iron – 5,000 cycles at 50% dod, 2,000 cycles at 80%
Lead Acid – 1,000 cycles at 50% dod, 200 cycles at 80%
Cost: Nickel Iron – $1 per usable watt hour over 30 year life. Higher upfront                       cost, lower total cost of ownership.
Lithium Iron – $1.50 per usable watt hour over typical 15 year life. No                                  maintenance related re-occurring costs.
Lead Acid – $2. to $5. per usable watt hour for 5 replacement sets over 30                       years. Highest total cost of ownership.
Charge rate: Nickel Iron – Likes to be worked. Prefers charge rates between                                    C/2 and C/6.
Lithium Iron – Excels at high rates. Can be charged and discharged up to C/1
Lead Acid – Prefers slow rates. Loses capacity linearly with higher rates.

What do customers have to say about Nickel Iron Batteries?

David G., Hawaii, 300 Amp hour, 48 Volt: Cost was not why I bought Ni-Fe batteries, it was in consideration of the environment. It would be cheaper for me to use utility power, but that’s not why I do it. I do it because we have a power monopoly here in Hawaii, I don’t support monopolies, no matter what the price is. I was worried about batteries not delivering high current, they do. I was surprised when the battery capacity got better with hard use. I’m learning that the battery likes to be cycled hard.

Joe O., 300 Amp hour, 24 Volt: I like that I don’t have to worry about running these batteries under 50% state of charge. We have drawn our battery all the way down, with no ill effects on the capacity. Flooded lead acids would have likely been destroyed, or at least we would have taken a few years off their life span!

Cliff K., 100 Amp hour, 12 Volt: I wanted a battery that I no longer had to be concerned with state of charge, stratification, or sulphation, so I purchased the Iron Edison Nickel Iron battery. It was a good experience working with Brandon and Maggie as well.

Nickel Iron Batteries – A real owner’s perspective video on youtube: