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OSE Battery
  • considering the GVCS machine development plan this year, wouldn't it be more urgent to develop the battery sooner rather than later. Considering the cost of solar panels have come down to $1 per Watt from $20 per Watt 5 years ago, the only component of a off grid power system that hasn't reduced in price are batteries. As a potential larger market to fund further GVCS machines, developing a competitive large capacity non polluting battery would seem a more speeder way to achieve the funding goals.

    the ridiculous cost of batteries is the only thing preventing me and i assume others from going off grid. 
  • 24 Comments sorted by
  • Vote Up0Vote Down February 2013
    I'm new at opensourceecology and I want to ask what the project status of the OSE Battery is?
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    February 2013
    TonyFord: the Nickel Iron battery is currently under research. Probably needs more attention from chemical & electrical engineers.
  • In the Nickel-iron battery, is the energy stored in the metal plates, or in the electrolyte solution? To expand the battery capacity, do you add more metal or add more liquid? I'm a bit confused as to where and how the energy is actually stored.
  • Please just watch this video and wonder at how close we are to cheap diy batteries:

    Well worth the 5m
  • Aaron, see their latest paper, where they not only detailed a scalable production process, but analysed the electrical properties of their 'Laser-Scribed Graphene Micro-SuperCapacitors using different coatings and electrolyte gels.
    I was happy to see that they could use something like PVA + H2SO4 as a hydrogel electrolyte film, but I was kinda disgusted that they were using Polyimide tape (which is extremely difficult to recycle, let alone degrade or destroy) and "fumed silica (FS) nanopowder with the ionic liquid (IL) 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide" as an ionogel, after saying in the aforementioned video that their capacitors could be composted once they wear out (which to be fair would take many thousands of cycles).

    Figure 7: Energy and power densities of Laser-Scribed Graphene
    Micro-SuperCapacitors compared with commercially available
    energy-storage systems.
    "LSG-MSCs exhibit ultrahigh power and energy densities compared with a
    commercially available AC-SC, an aluminium electrolytic capacitor and a
    lithium thin-film battery. LSG micro-devices can deliver ultrahigh power
    density comparable to those of an aluminium electrolytic capacitor,
    while providing three orders of magnitude higher energy density."

    That's still two orders of magnitude below the energy density (note 1 MJ/l ≈ 0.28 kWh/l = 0.28 Wh/cm3) of lead-acid batteries at best, but these were with some very basic rectangular shapes. I hypothesise that if the pattern scribed was pushed to the limits of what interface length the laser can produce, perhaps with two spirals following each other towards the disc centre so that the laser-scribed lines are aligned almost radially, then you might be able to get reasonable storage out of it.
    At present though, the price on small quantities of Graphite Oxide makes them quite an expensive solution for storing energy, even if the high resilience and low entry-cost of R&D/manufacturing might seem tempting (after a 10 second search, I find that I can get a brand new lightscribe external dvd drive delivered to me for £10 via ebay, but finding a good price on graphite oxide takes a lot longer and probably involves alibaba).

    Heres a place that sells chemicals.

  • Welp they dont sell the oxide. But they sell the stuff for the hummers process

    Some links

  • Roth, if I understand correctly the nickle diode changes from nickel II to nickel III and back. The electrolyte just facilitates the back and forth to the iron. I assume if there wasnt enough though it couldnt move enough making it the limiting factor
  • I just made a really crappy but (apparently) working battery with a paperclip (iron electrode), a US Nickel coin (nickel electrode), and drain cleaner (NaOH/KOH Electrolyte)
  • sweet, pics?
  • It's not much to look at right now - currently it's just a nickel (quarters apparently work also - that silvery finish on US coins has some nickel stuff in it) sitting in a steel can (the can acts as the iron electrode), with a perforated PVC barrier stopping the coin from hitting the side of the can (thus shorting the battery). I can report a couple of things from this:

    -I ran the battery all the way down, but I don't see any signs of chemical change in the coin or the steel can. It's there, though.
    -PVC does not appear to be affected by the electrolyte. This means that PVC pipe could serve as the container for the battery
    -the Electrolyte is super slippery and gross. Don't spill it! (and DONT get it in your eyes. you can go blind. Wear safety goggles.)
  • can u test the voltage? i read idealy its supposed to have 1.2 volts per cell. might be interesting to see if youre getting there.

    hers some discussion about car batteries:

    im drawing a 10 cell battery that could fit in 180 x 180 x 110 print volume of my printer.

  • I'm getting conflicting results for voltage between coins. Still trying to find out why.
  • hello everyone, I'm new in this forum. I write from Spain, I live offgrid for 4 years.
    I would like to ask why OSE does not consider the construction of lead / acid batteries with the "Planté" method.

    They are relatively easy to build with few resources available. Moreover, the manufacturer is not in contact with the oxides of lead in no time.

    it is also possible after many decades reconvert l 'lead oxide in pure lead to 99% using the technique of "reduction of oxides."

    In my Italian forum we discussed a lot of this problem and is at an advanced stage to build the first version.

    here some photosé#p9036


    and others ideas



  • hi max, thanks for the links to the forum. that looks awesome. will be cool to see how it turns out.
  • i posted a short little concluding review of the focus session on the battery.

  • Great Dorkmo, so when will the next phase begin as per your notes?
  • im sorta thinking next week ill really dig into what materials are needed for the cathode and anode. probably start on the weekend. if anyone wants to i might do a google hangout or something. really just want to get something that works and hopefully iterations can develop from there.

    i did do a 3d print of the bottom of the case. looks decent but i had some peeling issues. thinking about doing a hexagon version but might revisit that later on.
  • Based on this paper:

    it appears that the iron electrode is not elemental iron but an iron oxide (rust?).
    and the nickel electrode is not nickel metal but nickel hydroxide, a green powder.

    So we'd need a way to get that green powder cheaply. Rust shouldn't be hard to come by, if indeed rust is the right stuff.
  • im not sure where i found the link originally but this patent describes a process that galvanizes regular nickel with nickel hydroxide.

    involves an electrical process and bleach

    says its temporary but in certain conditions it lasts longer.
    would it be worth testing this? or should we just look for a source already in the form we want.

  • Bleach? a quick skimming of that patent shows them using NaOH and diethlyene glycol, with no mention of bleach (NaClO)

    My chemistry knowledge is weak, but it appears that the hydroxides on the ends of the diethlyne glycol are ripped off by the electrical process and bonded to the nickel. (?)

    anyways, that diethlyne glycol stuff has been implicated in all sorts of horrible deaths......
  • If you want to know about why and how Edison created the Iron-Nickel battery start from the original documentation put out by the Edison Battery Company.

    Here is a document that describes the plant where they were made and how.   Until you can create the original all you are doing is wasting your time.

    Bob Teeter
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    February 2015
    Bob, nice link. Does the book provide technical detail to replicate the battery? That is, more than just conceptual working mechanisms like found in patents? I agree with you, unless we understand how Edison made his, and what improvement we are proposing - we should start with creating the original. It would be useful to do an explainer video on Edison's state of art. I have started playing with PowToons video explainer software - - as a means to explain complex topics in about 1-2 minutes. If we can summarize the book in 1.5 minutes, that could get developers down the road a head start. I am assuming that nobody has yet done an amazing short explainer on the nickel iron battery. This approach to explainer vides could really move the project forward if adopted widely.


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