Since I wished to construct a battery to power an inverter, I was very much drawn to the NIFE Edison battery (the “immortal” battery). However, as the price of these units are prohibitively high, I decided to build an Edison single cell first, before embarking on making an entire battery. I made two "pillows": one containing Iron Oxide in low carbon steel can, and the other of Nickel Hydroxide in a Nickel- plated can (both perforated). The electrolyte was Potassium Hydroxide (Caustic Potash) of a specific gravity of around 1: 2. Result: a cell which has excellent charge retention; but very little capacity to drive a current of say 200ma for more than a half hour or so! My question to my fellow technical boffins is: what improvements can I make to my homemade Edison cell so as to extend its capacity - to drive said current for a longer period? Your answers would be most appreciated. Mr Dorian Stonehouse, Carmarthenshire, Wales). email@example.com
A photo of your arrangment would be helpfull. On reading the description, adequate surface area exposed to a sufficient quantity of electrolyte could be an issue. That would be basic operation of a chemical battery though, so i am at a loss.
I have a copy of the rebuild manual for the old edison batteries made of plated plates and wood seperators. Its been a while, but it covers the conditions that hinder operation and the fashioning of replacement parts.
This is an area where many of us should study. We built simple saltwater batteries from paper towel, dis-similar metal washers and saltwater in electronics at technical school, but power and storage was only enough to demonstrate the principle.
As simple as they are, rechargable elecro-chemical storage batteries are an applied science.
Love to see some details and information compiled here by educated folk on the subject and some projects.
To increase your current delivery, you need to reduce the internal resistance of the battery somehow. Either by using different materials, or constructing the cell so there is less distance between the plates.
To increase the battery charge capacity, you need larger plates so they can store more charge. You can achieve this by increasing the cell size, or make another cell like the original and connect it in parallel.