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Living Energy Lights is a business venture based in Louisa, Virginia, USA, operated by the ecologically-minded intentional community Living Energy Farm.  (And yes, some of their community's members are here on permies.com!)  Living Energy Lights products are centered around complete decentralized DC micro-grid electric power solutions which are perfect for cabins, homesteads and small communities.  

Their "Iron Sun" series are complete solar systems.  They are inexpensive, virtually maintenance free 12V Nickel-Iron battery (NiFe) systems which can last decades longer than other systems, complete with solar panel, battery, LED lighting, wiring, switches, etc. which are capable of powering USB devices, charging cell phones and laptops, running small DC fans, or standard car "cigarette lighter" outlet devices.

Current products include:

ProductDescriptionCost (shipping not incl.)Link
Iron Sun Cabin Kit12V, 20w panel, 10Ah NiFe battery set, lighting, USB, etc.~$300link
Iron Sun Small House Kit12v, 50w solar panel, 20Ah NiFe battery set, lighting, USB, etc.~$475link
Iron Sun Homestead Kit12v, 200w solar panel, 100Ah Nife battery set, charge controller, circuit breaker, USB, etc~$2400link
Sundanzer Refrigerator"Direct Daylight Drive" solar refrigerator...no battery system required!~$1040link


LEL's 12V, 10Ah NiFe batteries can also be purchased à la carte here for developing your own DIY solar creations, along with other solar accessories.




Living Energy Farm is also a proponent of "Daylight Drive" systems, which are battery free and powered when the sun shines with $0 power bill.


The following video isn't from LEL, but does show Geoff Lawton discussing the ethics and longevity of NiFe batteries:


COMMENTS:
 
Posts: 270
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Love NiFe batteries. They last forever and have a forgiving maintenance requirement. But they have to be matched to your application. They have a lower discharge rate than LiOn, and are quite heavy in comparison. But that service life, nothing beats it.
 
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Location: Devon UK
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Is it possible to replace Lead/Acid Gel batteries with NiFe units?
I have a storage system using 16 x 4 volt lead/acid gel units which are charged from a solar PV array. These supply our overnight requirements and any day time usage is only limited by sun shine availability. Any excess power is fed into the National Grid system, once batteries are fully charged.
The current batteries are registering 90% efficiency after 6 years of constant use, so some deterioration which will eventually require replacement of the units. The NiFE units sound as if they could have a much longer working life so I am hoping to substitute an equivalent NiFe storage facility for the existing units.
Is there anything which could prevent/upset the substitution? Anything to be warned about?
Many thanks in anticipation of advice given.
 
pollinator
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It looks like folks have replaced some lead acid batteries with NiFe, like Dave over here on this thread:

https://permies.com/p/282285

Dave on another thread wrote:I replaced a 1400 amp lead acid bank with a 500 amp NiFe and we are using our genset about a quarter as much as the previous owners and our family is 3 times the size. Like I said I'll not be going back to lead batteries, this seems to be a perfect application for the NiFe technology.


Grid tie is great! But I can't speak to grid-tie battery systems or swaps, sadly.  But that thread covers NiFe in more detail, though, and there may be some good gems and knowledge nuggets.  So great question, and if you find the answer come on back and let us know!
 
God is a comedian playing for an audience that is afraid to laugh - Voltair. tiny ad:
Building Your Permaculture Property | Free Permaculture Summit | April 23-25
https://permies.com/t/159045/Building-Permaculture-Property-Free-Permaculture
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