diy solar

diy solar

How to Build Your Own Nickel Iron Batteries?


New Member
Sep 28, 2019
After a lot of research into the advantages & disadvantages of using Nickel Iron batteries, I've decided they would fit my needs well.

A neighbor near me has had Nickel Iron batteries for quite a few years & they are working very well for him. He highly recommends them even over LiFePos.

My problem is the the cost. They are very expensive, much more than server rack LiFePo. I can't afford either the LiFePo or new Nickel Irons from the 1 or 2 USA distributors.

I am wondering if anyone knows how one could DIY and make them from scratch? This may be something I could afford.

Please share any instructions or info that I could use to attempt to DIY. I am very willing to spend the time to do it in order to save on cost.

I did a tear down of a Chinese cell. They cut a lot of corners for something so expensive.

Pretty much koh3 electrolyte, lithium hydroxide helps a lot to increase efficiency, Chinese cut back at one point to save money. 40 grams a liter. I would go for 80. Seems to keep the electrolyte from getting carbon build up.

Negative is fe3 aka rust. Cheap stuff.

The Chinese use foil thin steel, like a thin food can. Bendable but still has a little strength. Nickel plated and full of tiny needle small holes.

The most expensive part is the nickel hydroxide. I am pretty sure it’s nickel hydroxide 3. 11-12 grams per AH. They may have had other things in it like carbon so it could be less. Might want to check patents and white papers.
It was years ago when I checked. 11 dollars a lb if I bought from an American supplier in bulk. I want to say hunter chemicals. Chinese 5 dollars. You need roughly 230 dollars of nickel hydroxide to make 1 kWh of batteries so even a DIY cell is expensive. That is if it’s 11 grams per ah. I could have been wrong. Could have had carbon black.
I still have the cell. I’ll try and weight it again and see what’s what.

You can make it with pure nickel and sulfuric acid but I have no idea if you end up with equal weight of nickel to nickel hydroxide and good luck finding cheap unalloyed nickel sources. It’s hard enough to find anodes for nickel plating.