What is the future of humanity?

Aug 2014
Each NiFe cell is only 1.2V so you need 40 of them for a 48V bank, which weighs over a ton.

The electrolyte has to be topped up weekly to avoid efficiency losses and it has to be replaced completely every year or so. It takes a long time to do this to a 40-cell bank and it is very messy.

They don't hold their charge - losing 1% or more every day.

They produce an enormous amount of hydrogen so they need outgassing every day to avoid efficiency losses and they require very good ventilation

They aren't compatible with standard inverters because the voltage output of NiFe batteries is so variable, which leads inverters to shut down long before the battery is fully discharged.

They are very slow to charge and discharge so you need more batteries and more solar panels to get the same output as a lead-acid battery system. In addition, these batteries cost 30% more than lead acid batteries. If you include the cost of transportation, NiFe batteries cost even more because even a small system weighs over a ton. They just aren't a cost effective solution.
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Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
the space and Hydrogen generation are no problem at all if used for large banks of back up
the low efficiency for charging doesn't matter for large system using solar or wind , typically there is an excess of electricity generated
the life cycle of lithium is grossly optimistic 5 years is the most one can reasonably expect
Ni/Fe batteries don't explode , Lithium do
price are dependent on mass production , this would decrease the cost
the components are readily available
the topping up might be a drag for average suburbian user but are no problem in an industrial sized unit

I got the impression you are considering an home installation , this I agree is unsuitable
for very large , Megawatt sized unit those problems are much less

I had to maintain large Uninterrupted Power System and their batteries , also diesel emergency generators start up batteries pack
it's all routine maintenance , I did it , a monkey could do it

If railways , which are fanatic about safety , reliability and cost , use them it's because they know something
Aug 2014
So get some if you want. They will never see widespread use for all the reasons listed. You didn't mention how you will address the inverter voltage issues. Older lithium ion batteries have the problems you mentioned but none of the newer lithium technologies do. I'm using Lithium Iron Phosphate. Less energy density but a deeper cycle, longer lifespan, and more stable. Guaranteed at least 80% of its capacity after ten years and completely maintenance free. The best solution for industrial scale storage is flow batteries.
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Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
We will never run out of crude. Peak demand will hit long before peak supply does. There will still be crude in the ground when we stop using it. At some point it will become uneconomical to extract the remaining reserves and we will complete the move to alternatives. We have already started to do this.
Given the current situation, is it way too optimistic that we can give up crude before it is too late?


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
Jimmy Cater in the mist of an oil embargo went solar
The History of Solar Panels on The White House

of course he was a submarine Navy man raised under the excellent if tyrannical rule of Hyman Rickover
an engineering and administrative genius , father of the nuclear navy and godfather of the nuclear power industry

his standard of excellence were such that he ordered to be personally on board every new sub on their first dive
and interviewed himself every new sea going officer , making them sweat and shake
he never lost a sub , never had a reactor accident , while bossing five presidents
treating his department as his own gulag and his officers as suspect of not being good enough to his exalted standard

he had his own view on oil depletion which he saw as inevitable and a coming crisis
" We live in what historians may some day call the Fossil Fuel Age. ......
....With high energy consumption goes a high standard of living.
Thus the enormous fossil energy which we in this country control feeds machines which make each of us master of an army of mechanical slaves.
Man's muscle power is rated at 35 watts continuously, or one-twentieth horsepower.
Machines therefore furnish every American industrial worker with energy equivalent to that of 244 men,
while at least 2,000 men push his automobile along the road, and his family is supplied with 33 faithful household helpers.
Each locomotive engineer controls energy equivalent to that of 100,000 men; each jet pilot of 700,000 men.
Truly, the humblest American enjoys the services of more slaves than were once owned by the richest nobles, and lives better than most ancient kings. ...

...The earth is finite. Fossil fuels are not renewable. In this respect our energy base differs from that of all earlier civilizations.
They could have maintained their energy supply by careful cultivation. We cannot.
Fuel that has been burned is gone forever. Fuel is even more evanescent than metals.
Metals, too, are non-renewable resources threatened with ultimate extinction, but something can be salvaged from scrap.
Fuel leaves no scrap and there is nothing man can do to rebuild exhausted fossil fuel reserves.

......Oil and natural gas will disappear first, coal last. There will be coal left in the earth, of course.
But it will be so difficult to mine that energy costs would rise to economically intolerable heights,
so that it would then become necessary either to discover new energy sources or to lower standards of living drastically.

Dec 2011
I believe that there is enough coal, oil and gas to fuel humanity's requirements almost indefinitely, but the problem is that these things are dirty and polluting, killing millions every year (see Air pollution). That's why we must move to renewable energy.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
replacing coal without nuclear would very expensive ,
it would result in a substantial drop in the spending power of most lower to middle class section of the community
unless this is acknowledged , it would lead to a political train wreck

energy consumption IS standard of living
Likes: macon

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