Where to dispose of NiMH cells

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Kevin_PA
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Where to dispose of NiMH cells

I did a Leaf cell conversion last year and I have the old NiMH pack to dispose of.
Any ideas on where to dispose of it? It's too much for the normal battery recycling stations at retailers like Lowe's, etc.
But not enough to do a bulk ship to a recycler. (At least not without a huge charge for the shipping package.)
I'm in SE PA.

Kevin_in_VA
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

Have you tried posting them for free on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace? Might be some tinkerers that want to use them for a project. Though I suppose that also depends on how many cells are still usable. I still have my NiMH pack after replacing with Leaf modules. Contemplated electrifying a riding lawn mower with them, but that project is mostly shelved for now...

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2007 Vectrix VX-1 (19 gen2 Leaf modules, ESD charger)
2013 Nissan Leaf SV

israndy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

I don't wanna break up this Kevinsation, but I think Kevin in VA is right, Kevin in PA should see if someone wants them. I am doing a conversion to Leaf cells and I will take the good NiMH cells I get from the bikes and build a big battery to power my TV from after the sun goes down that charges from solar each day.

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Kevin_in_VA
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

Haha, indeed!

I'll be curious to see what you do/use for your solar build. And for what it's worth, I took lots of pictures when I converted to 19 Leaf modules, but never got around to formally documenting my build...

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2007 Vectrix VX-1 (19 gen2 Leaf modules, ESD charger)
2013 Nissan Leaf SV

israndy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

Would love to see those photos if you wanna upload them to google or something public (I use Imgur for most of my stuff).

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Kevin_PA
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

That's a good idea. I have already done some amount of checking of individual cells since I was considering building a couple of 12V packs for use with a trolling motor. I don't mind throwing out a few bad cells, but I replaced the NiMH pack once, so I have two full packs to dispose of.

BTW, from my conversion, I started with 19 Leaf modules and one died. (Half of one actually - there are two cells per module.) I reconfigured with just 18 and have been running that since. I prefer the 18 module configuration. The motor controller has a limiter function that greatly reduces the dynamic braking current if the pack voltage is above 140V. With 19 modules, the regen function is minimal and basically unusable. With 18 modules, at least for the lower half of the pack's discharge is below 140V so regen works properly. Not aware if any newer motor controller firmware addresses this issue. I used the most current firmware at the point that I did the conversion.

2007 VX-1

israndy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

Good info, thx. I did buy 19 cells and I tested them all so I will probably do like you and start with 19 and wait for a cell to go and then bypass it. My luck I'll lose two.

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Kevin_in_VA
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

@Kevin_PA: Regarding the minimal regenerative braking with 19 modules, were you using the Dugas Engineering firmware or Team Laird's firmware? Antiscab told me in the past that the Dugas firmware has less regen braking than Laird's. I've been running Laird's since my conversion in October 2019, but I'm not a huge fan of the KPH speedometer reading. Dugas will allow me to switch to MPH.

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2013 Nissan Leaf SV

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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

Here in Barcelona we usually ship these NIMH bateries to recycler, occasionally we offer them any owner still stuck with NIMH, who may need replacements. Members of vectrix group tried to use NIMH for solar storage, but this chemistry is kind of nighmare... self discharge, overheat, memory effect....

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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

I am in the process of finally attempting to build my 12v battery of NiMH cells as it seems my pack was in great shape other than a single cell, and wiring for 12v gives me a few extra cells. Not sure what part is nightmarish, I would think it would be better for this purpose than Lead Acid which you cannot deep discharge or Lithium Ion which are still expensive and you don't wanna charge above 80% unless you are going to use it immediately.

Not that I know how best to charge the giant batt, but I am gonna just use 45 and 55 amp RV battery chargers and see how I do. I will only be turning the chargers on when there is excess solar. Not sure how I will automate that, but I hope to figure it out in the not too distant future

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Kevin_in_VA
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

@Kevin_PA Heh, I too was thinking about creating a 12v trolling motor battery pack. Just need to get a boat and motor first! I've probably scrapped the idea of using my NiMH cells to build an electric riding mower.

@israndy I see you started a new thread with your 12v battery build, which is very helpful! https://visforvoltage.org/forum/14548-building-giant-nimh-12v-battery-old-vectrix-batts

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2007 Vectrix VX-1 (19 gen2 Leaf modules, ESD charger)
2013 Nissan Leaf SV

jjmwands
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

looks like i could use a couple of those in Denver,,,

IMG_5510jpeg.jpg

jm

israndy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

If you can figure out how to swap them w/o taking the metal banding apart. I watched a video of a guy using a jig to do it, but I would be surprised if I was ever able to put those batteries back together after taking them apart.

Of course if you mean a couple of those whole packs I am with you. I could probably have just removed the melted pack and replaced it with someone else's batteries and been fine, although would have an unbalanced pack at that point that could reverse charge some cells if I drain it too far. I guess that can always happen and is probably what happened to your batteries above.

At the moment I am super happy with my upgrade to lithium. I paid $700 for 19 gen 1 Nissan Leaf batteries, and probably something for the threaded rod, and I got a wireless battery meter from China for under $30. And a bunch of my time to figure out how it all goes together. But I just did a 50 mile highway trip that I would NEVER attempt on the Vectrix (except the first day I had it). Now I just need to get the old batteries working to store solar w/o killing themselves.

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scooterguy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

I took my old cells which I couldn't sell even for cheap to my local Metro transfer station ( dump) to the Hazardous waste area and they took them, also 18650 cells and large prismatic LFE cells. What they do with them I don't know. I'm in Portland OR

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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

If you were going to dump them I bet SOMEONE would have taken them off your hands. I just got back from a trip to Myrtle Creek for the new Supercharger opening, if I had known...

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jjmwands
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

no doubt, i could really use at least 3 cells, but probably just as easy to do the whole half tray (8), if anyone has one they could sell me (dunno about shipping batteries) id be happy to pay,,,

jm

scooterguy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

I disposed of them several years ago. It seemed a shame to me too but after a couple of years taking up room in my shop with no use for them I just got rid of them in a proper responsible way. What are they really good for? Everyone who does a lithium conversion has a hundred of them. They would now be 14 years old. I ran some in an overvolted EVT which kicked butt and sold a few but they take up a huge amount of space and are really heavy. My Vectrix now has a 10.5 KW pack that doesn't even fill the whole battery box and is lighter than the old 3.7 KW pack. They self discharge so fast that if the bike sits for any length of time you have to charge them. It was a chore just maintaining a charge on the cells in storage. They are obsolete in my opinion. Now we can get battery modules out of wrecked EVs at reasonable prices. I rest my case. Took the Vec for a nice 50 mile ride today, sweet! Nice that people still visit this site. Without the info here I would not be riding a Vectrix. There is really nothing else like it.

israndy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

https://visforvoltage.org/forum/14548-building-giant-nimh-12v-battery-old-vectrix-batts

My intent is to capture solar power that my electric company pays me 7¢/kWh for and use it later instead of paying 28¢/kWh that my power company charges me for using. I already had the inverter that has the Automatic Transfer Switch built in...

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jjmwands
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

so can you ship me a bundle of them? Denver?

thanks

jm1

scooterguy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

Have you actually tried to use them for solar storage yet? It seems possible. What I noticed was that if I charged them at a really low rate like .3 amps they would balance perfectly. The high cells dissipate their overcharge in heat. I don't remember how I did this but I think I used a 14.6 volt Lifepo4 charger that would not actually shut off. The lithium chargers don't shut off like a lead acid charger does. They just hold the voltage at the max voltage setting and the charge rate drops so it only maintains that voltage so the charge rate drops to a very low rate. I was amazed how perfectly they would balance and at a very low charge rate not much heat was produced. I don't remember how many cells I could charge at a time.

israndy
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Re: Where to dispose of NiMH cells

jjmwands said "so can you ship me a bundle of them? Denver?"

Who were you addressing?

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