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The Nickel-Iron-Alkaline Storage Battery

Author: E.E. Kimberly

The nickel-iron-alkaline storage battery was invented by Thomas A. Edison in an attempt to develop a battery in which the chemical reaction is completely reversible. The details of such a battery are shown in Fig. 22-3. The positive plates consist of perforated steel tubes containing nickel hydrate, and the negative plates are steel sheets with perforated pockets containing iron oxide. The electrolyte is an aqueous solution of potassium and lithium hydroxide. The chemical equation of charge and discharge is as follows:


In this equation the hydroxide concentration (SKOH) is the same whether the battery is charged or discharged. Hence, the state of charge of a nickel-iron-alkaline battery cannot be determined by hydrometer readings. The most convenient method of determining the state of charge at any time is to charge and discharge the battery through an ampere-hour meter arranged to compensate for the additional ampere-hours required for charge.

Fig. 22-3. Nickel-Iron-Alkaline (Edison) Battery

Last Update: 2010-10-05