The Edison At The Battery

Share This Post

Edison’s Electric Car Battery Gets A Makeover

Edison Battery Construction Nickel Iron

Thomas Edison didn’t just have telegraphs and light bulbs on his mind the U.S. innovator marketed an electric car battery in the early 20th century. The same nickel-iron battery technology could soon make its return as a fast-charging power source for the 21st century.

The modern makeover of Edison’s battery can fully charge in about 2 minutes and dump its energy load in less than 30 seconds about 1,000 times faster compared with the original. Existing prototypes can only hold enough power for a flashlight, but Stanford University hope to scale up the fast-charging battery to make Edison’s dream competitive once more in electric cars.

“The Edison battery is very durable, but it has a number of drawbacks,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University. “A typical battery can take hours to charge, and the rate of discharge is also very slow.”

Edison’s battery got its needed boost in charging speed with the help of nanotechnology. Researchers bonded the battery’s metal particles with carbon nanomaterials graphene and multiwalled carbon nanotubes that can increase electrical conductivity.

“Our battery probably won’t be able to power an electric car by itself because the energy density is not ideal,” said Hailiang Wang, a graduate student at Stanford University and lead author on the group’s new paper. “But it could assist lithium-ion batteries by giving them a real power boost for faster acceleration and regenerative braking.”

Constructing An Experimental Edison Cell

Because I know first hand the ingenuity and depth of knowledge of Nuts & Volts readers, Id like to present the Edison cell to you in two ways. First, Id like to briefly cover the historical construction of the cell. I think this will spark some ideas and even possible improvements to the cell. Then, Id like to present the details of my own homemade cell experiments so you can construct one, as well.

The Alkaline Battery: 100 Years Of Innovation

With over a century of innovation and development behind it, the Alkaline Battery is now one of the most widely used batteries on the market. The basic design of an alkaline battery is outlined in the patent Edison filed on July 31, 1906. A batterys anode, cathode, and electrolyte are all required for its function. Nickel and iron are used to make the anode and cathode, respectively, and potassium hydroxide is used to make the electrolyte. Furthermore, the Alkaline Battery has a long lifespan and is extremely efficient. When used in normal operation, nickel-iron batteries typically last more than 20 years, and if they are changed, they can be revived.

Read Also: Car Battery Charging How Long

D Thomas Edison And Batteries

Thomas Edison had a focus on making a better battery for use in electric vehicles. Existing batteries like the Grenet Cell were made of glass and inadequate. Edison made his mark in the world of batteries with many improvements. The Edison-Lalande cell was a landmark improvement in batteries, it had improved durability and lasted about one year in storage. Edison had a long time interest in batteries of all sizes to power his inventions such as the electric pen. Edison’s last major improvement to batteries was the development of a practical iron-nickel battery . The early Edison NiFe batteries used thick glass housing to hold the potassium hydroxide electrolyte. Some models of these batteries could hold charge for many years. The railroad industry still uses decades-old NiFe batteries to back up switches and other apparatus due to its long term reliability.

Above: Original Edison batteries used in the 1914 Detroit Electric car owned by Steinmetz

The AA alkaline is the most common disposable battery in the world

Mixed Fortunes For Edisons Nickel

247 AUTOHOLIC: Vintage Thomas Alva Edison Battery

Edisons first rechargeable nickeliron batteries targeted the fledgling electric car market. However, defects plagued early batches, and customers changed brands complaining about failures.

Money became tight as the company exhausted its own resources. Eventually Edison had to fund operations from his own pocket. He finally produced a very efficient and durable nickel-iron-battery with lye as the electrolyte in 1910 according to Wikipedia.

You May Like: 2017 Ford Edge Key Fob Battery Replacement

Si Prefixes Applied To The Litre

The litre, though not an official SI unit, may be used with . The most commonly used derived unit is the millilitre, defined as one-thousandth of a litre, and also often referred to by the SI derived unit name “cubic centimetre”. It is a commonly used measure, especially in medicine, cooking and automotive engineering. Other units may be found in the table below, where the more often used terms are in bold. However, some authorities advise against some of them for example, in the United States, advocates using the millilitre or litre instead of the centilitre. There are two international standard symbols for the litre: L and l. In the United States the former is preferred because of the risk that the letter l and the 1 may be confused.


Who Owns Edison Battery

Our story is told here. Brandon and Maggie Williams own and operate Iron Edison. They have three children, and they work and live in Colorado. For the past decade, Brandon and Maggie have assisted thousands of people in meeting their goal of using solar and batteries to power their homes.

After years of experimentation, he invented the Alkaline Battery. It has now surpassed lead acid as the most widely used type of battery worldwide. It is simple to maintain and reliable. The alkaline battery has made electricity more efficient by revolutionising the way it is produced. This technology has enabled us to avoid battery acid fires and has made electricity storage more efficient than before. It is now commonly used as a component in portable devices such as cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras. We have also found new ways to generate electricity with the Alkaline Battery. As electric vehicles and electric bicycles become more common, so will their use. Edison is credited with developing the Alkaline Battery, and he dedicated himself to the development of the most advanced battery technology. He was a true pioneer in the electricity revolution.

Also Check: How To Change The Battery In Honeywell Thermostat

Are Edison Batteries A Good Choice For The Off Grid Ham

There is a lot to consider before jumping into nickel-iron batteries. Whether or not they are a good option for you depends on your situation, needs, and budget. More importantly, are you willing to give up the battery technology youre currently using and replace it with something totally different? Laying out all the pros and cons may help you decide.

Things That May Not Matter Depending On Your Situation

Saying Goodbye To The Edison Batteries

There are a few things about nickel-iron batteries that can be either pros or cons, or may not matter one way or the other, depending on your needs and priorities:

Low energy density: This may not matter if you have a lot of storage space and do not require portability. As illustrated in the table above, nickel-iron batteries are quite large and heavy for the energy they produce. Its more than double the weight of a flooded lead battery of the same capacity, and about five times that of lithium!

True cost of ownership: When amortized over their service life, the real cost of Edison battery ownership is comparable to conventional batteries. Its also a hedge against inflation. But for the average off grid ham, its quite a stretch to justify laying out thousands of dollars today in exchange for a payback spread over decades.

Very high up-front cost: Prepare for massive sticker shock. In 2020 a standard 100 amp-hour flooded deep cycle lead battery costs, oh maybe $100.00 or so? A lithium is around $875.00. A similar capacity nickel-iron version will hit you for over $1000.00. Thats not a typo. On the upside, the Edison battery may last beyond your lifetime. Off grid hams have to decide for themselves if the long term savings is greater than the one time front-loaded cost.

Recommended Reading: Changing Battery On Nissan Key Fob

Edison Battery For Sale

If youre in the market for an Edison battery, youll find plenty of options to choose from. These batteries are available in a variety of sizes and capacities, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Youll also find that prices vary depending on the brand and model of battery you choose.

It is designed to be used in renewable energy systems. Twelve volt, 24 volt, and 48 volt configurations have amp-hour capacities ranging from 100 to 1000 amperes. A battery that needs to be recharged once per day can last for over 30 years . A 12V 300Ah NiFe battery has a total capacity of 3.6 kiloWatt-hrs , as well as a actual capacity of 2.88 kWhs at 80%.

How Long Does An Edison Battery Last

Nickel-Alkaline batteries, also known as Edison batteries or nickel-iron batteries, are rechargeable batteries with long life expectancy, high discharge rates , and durability. Despite being able to withstand overcharging, overdischarge, and short-circuiting, the battery has a 20-year or longer life expectancy.

The battery developed by Thomas Edison was the subject of a presentation at the American Institute of Electrical Engineers annual meeting in New York City on May 21. Mr. Arthur E. Kennelly was in attendance to read the paper. As part of his search for a suitable cell, he set out to find a cell with the following advantages: an absence of deterioration due to work and a large storage capacity per unit mass. It is a superoxide of nickel with a positive pole that has the formula NiO. A cell exists. A nickeHron cell, on the other hand, is a name given to the structural material nickel-steel. Potash is the electrolyte in this case. A solution with a weight of 10 percent to 40 percent potassium hydroxide, but with at least 20 percent of potassium hydroxide.

The positive and negative plates are mechanically identical and can be distinguished by their similarities in the eye. It transports oxygen throughout the cell. The nickel is temporarily delivered to the oxygen-removal device by charging it and removing the oxygen from the iron. Then, when the nickel is discharged, the oxygen is allowed to return to the iron, resulting in a natural affinity between iron and oxygen.

Don’t Miss: Dead Cell In Car Battery

Edison Cell: The Electrodes

A cutaway of an actual Edison battery is shown in Figure 1. Edisons battery had alternating plates with metal packets which contained nickel II hydroxide 2) for the positive plate, and the iron oxide for the negative plate. In later designs, Edison used perforated tubes for his anode , instead of packets to hold nickel oxide for the positive plate.

FIGURE 1. Edison Cell cut-away.

Nickel II hydroxide is a very poor conductor, so in order to make electrical contact with it Edison used 32 layers per centimeter of alternating nickel flake and nickel II hydroxide inside the nickel tubes . So, the positive electrode works by allowing electrolyte in through the perforations in the nickel tube when submerged, and the nickel tubing and nickel flake make contact with the nickel II hydroxide to pass the charges back and forth. Each 10 cm of 6.3 mm tubing will produce a full 1.25 Ah capacity!

FIGURE 2. Anode cut-away showing layers.

Forming the negative electrode requires only filling tubes with the pure iron oxide under pressure. Gassing in the cell increases when the negative electrode is charged. So, the negative electrode is typically 30% larger than the positive electrode. This serves to minimize gassing inside the cell because the cell reaches full charge before the negative electrode reaches capacity.

How Edison Came To The Party Too Late

Edison: The Nickel Iron battery invented 120 years ago

But by then electric starters for gasoline engines were rolling out, and these soon took over from electric motors. This signaled the end of Thomas-Edisons nickel-ion endeavors in that regard.

However, Edisons battery achieved greater success in other applications. These included electric and diesel-electric rail vehicles, backup power for railroad crossing signals, and even lamps used in mines.

More Information

Recommended Reading: 2017 Ford Explorer Key Fob Battery

The Advantages Of The Edison Battery


The Edison battery is a type of lead-acid battery that was invented by Thomas Edison in 1881. It is one of the oldest types of batteries still in use today. The Edison battery has a number of advantages over other types of batteries, including its high energy density, its low cost, and its long life.

Thomas Edison was responsible for the design and manufacture of the Edison battery, which was used for a variety of devices in the nineteenth century. Their sole purpose is to defend their railroad system and provide a backup for their military. Battery cells last 10 to 20 times longer than lead acid batteries and require less maintenance. I began researching the Edison battery concept a few years back, after stumbling upon it for the first time. Im going to test out some guitar strings purchased from ebay that appear to be nickel-based. If they work, I will order the Nickel from China and purchase the iron sheet and potash in addition to the Nickel from China. NiFe batteries have a number of advantages over lead-acid batteries, but the primary disadvantage is that they would most likely be made on your own.

More Than A Century Later Engineers Would Discover The Nickel

Unfortunately, by the time Edison had a more refined prototype, electric vehicles were on the way out in favour of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles that could go longer distances before needing to refuel or recharge. Edison’s deal with Ford Motors fell by the wayside, though his battery continued to be used in certain niches such as railroad signalling, where its bulky size was not a hindrance.

But more than a century later, engineers would rediscover the nickel-iron battery as something of a diamond in the rough. Now it is being investigated as an answer to an enduring challenge for renewable energy: smoothing out the intermittent nature of clean energy sources like wind and solar. And hydrogen, once considered a worrisome byproduct, could turn out to be one of the most useful things about these batteries.

What used to be a dangerous quirk of the Edison battery has turned out to be remarkably useful

Speeding forward to the mid 2010s, a research team at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands happened upon a use for the nickel-iron battery based on the hydrogen produced. When electricity passes through the battery as its being recharged, it undergoes a chemical reaction that releases hydrogen and oxygen. The team recognised the reaction as reminiscent of the one used to release hydrogen from water, known as electrolysis.

You May Like: Best Battery Backup For Sump Pump

Edisons Alkaline Batteries Are The Best

Despite the fact that other types of batteries do not have the same advantages as Alkaline batteries, they continue to be an excellent choice. The batteries are very efficient, store a lot of energy per unit of mass, and are extremely resistant to discharge and charging. They are also relatively inexpensive to produce due to their low cost of production.

A Quick History Lesson

Edison Batteries vs Lead Acid Batteries: Off-Grid with The Traditional Catholic Homestead

Edison batteries, also known by the common noun nickel-iron batteries, were patented by Thomas Edison in 1901. This seems odd because Edison did not actually invent the device. That credit goes to Swedish researcher Waldemar Junger in 1899. The nickel-iron battery was supposed to be an improved version of the nickel-cadmium battery, which Junger also invented. He was never able to develop his nickel-iron battery into a practical technology so he abandoned the idea entirely, although he got far enough to earn a patent. Along comes Edison who brought his own ideas to the product, resulting in separate patents for what became the proper noun Edison battery.

Edison batteries were popular in early electric cars, then quickly faded into obscurity as gas engines took over the automotive market. For many decades after that, only niche applications used iron-nickel technology. Edison-branded batteries ended production in 1975 while other manufacturers continued to make generic versions in limited quantities to serve the few clients who still used them.

For the purpose of this article I will use the terms Edison and nickel-iron interchangeably.

Read Also: Sam’s Club Hearing Aid Batteries

Apartments Near Atlanta Ga

At Edison at the Battery, our upscale community will provide our residents with all that they need for a life of luxury and ease. In each of our one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom homes and throughout our community, the amazing amenities around every corner will enhance every living experience. While our beautiful homes will make it hard to leave, residents wont be able to resist exploring the surrounding area and seeing all that it holds, including all of the dining options. See the restaurants and eateries nearby and find your new home at our apartments near Atlanta, GA!

Find the best Tex Mex in the area at Pappasitos Cantina. The bright and lively atmosphere makes the restaurant the perfect place to go for every occasion. Their menu features a wide selection of favorites like nachos, quesadillas, fajitas, and tacos, as well as several other options that will accommodate every style of diner. The restaurant also has an expansive drink menu that is filled with the best margaritas, beer, and other drinks so that you can find the best drink to complement your meal. At Pappasitos, you will feel right at home in the welcoming atmosphere.

With our ideal location, you can explore all of the exciting dining options, as well as all that there is to do near our apartments near Atlanta, GA. Come home to Edison at the Battery and contact us today for more information!

Related Posts

Surface Pro 8 Battery Life

Microsoft Surface...

Iphone 13 Pro Max Battery Life Hours

Understanding Iphone...