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Old 10th Aug 2018, 9:17 pm   #21
trickie_dickie
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

NiFe cells were also used on Class 321 four car trains as back-up power for lighting. I was recently gutted when working on these trains at Milton Keynes where they had hundreds destined for scrap. I wanted quite a few for my solar PV project but couldn't get them because I don't have a waste disposal license or transport. If i'd known before the job finished I probably could have had the lot. All they needed was a clean up and fresh electrolyte. I hope the scrap dealer who got them knew what they are worth.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 9:20 pm   #22
Andrew B
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

I had one of them NiFe cells, it came from a mines backup lighting system, I just got the one for lighting glowplug on a model engine.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 9:23 pm   #23
trickie_dickie
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

Quote:
Originally Posted by beamcurrent View Post
Thanks for the replies. Attached is a picture of the Ni-Cad battery and you can see the differences in level especially the second cell from the left is much higher that the others. My concern was how it got to be this high level.

The right most one may have a leak as I can't see any electrolyte in it? I think I will have to take it apart to see. This may be awhile before it makes it to the top of the to-do list. Fortunately I have some spare cells from the original build back in the 1980s!

It may be of interest to know that this was the standby lighting battery in my vintage OB van and has come to attention because we plan to restore the van to it's original condition see the partially written website. www.mcr21.org.uk

When It comes to charging I do have a clever "PAG" multi function charger that claims to restore batteries, we'll see.
They look like NiFe cells to me. As they are, measure the voltage of any of the cells. If they're about 1.2volts they are probably NiFe. !.5v means they are NiCad.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 11:08 pm   #24
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

Shouldn't that be the other way around? In any case, the voltages are very similar so it might not be easy to identify them that way.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 11:27 pm   #25
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

You could be right.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 11:59 pm   #26
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

Just had another look through my 1940's book ("Accumulator Charging", W.S.Ibbotson, Pitman, 7th Edition, 1941). Confusingly, the Nickel-Iron cell is referred to as the "Edison Nickel-Iron Alkaline Cell", or Edison cell for short, while the Nickel-Cadmium cell is called the " "NIFE" Nickel-Cadmium Cell ", or "NIFE" cell for short. "NIFE" always appears in quotes, suggesting it might at that time have been used as a trade mark for Nickel-Cadmium batteries and not, as the letters in quotes suggest, Nickel-Iron batteries. It is therefore possible that the NIFE batteries that other posts have mentioned as having been used in electric vehicles were actually Nickel-Cadmium batteries. Externally, they seem to be pretty well identical.
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File Type: pdf Edison and NIFE .pdf (1.55 MB, 14 views)

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Old 12th Aug 2018, 11:08 am   #27
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

So "NIFE" was a trademark used for various chemistries but NiFe is specifically Nickel Iron.

Presumably NiFe couldn't be registered as a trademark any more than ballpoint as opposed to "Biro".
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 12:31 pm   #28
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

If I remember correctly, a few Australian aviation ground DME's used a 42 volt battery of "NIFE" brand wet nickel cadmium cells, some up until about 1990, as standby power.
They were rugged and reliable, and would last almost forever.
They were about 30 x 100 mm and about 250 mm high, in a light blue plastic case.


I had to clean up a bank once in North Queensland.
I seem to remember they had terminal posts with an unusual thread (for its day), ie BSF, as I had to buy a tap and die-nut.
And we refilled the electrolyte.
A special hydrometer was used, not so much for checking state of charge, but to make up the replacement electrolyte.
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 11:41 am   #29
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Default Re: Nickel Cadmium vented cell battery, advice sought

I'd recommend pipetting over electrolyte to keep plates covered. You really do need to SG measure each cell to determine if it is just evaporation over time (my expectation). You have to use a clean pipette and if SG is high then add battery grade deionised water. The cell voltage and temp and SG will confirm the cell type.

NiCd like these were used in some high-grade applications, back in the days when 20+ yr service life was a requirement.
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