The topic will include the history of these batteries which were invented by
Edison in 1902. In 1972 the Exide Battery Company bought the technology from
the Edison Storage Battery Company and immediately took them off the market …
just before solar energy became practical. Ian will be discussing this
history, showing example batteries and showing pictures of the system
installed in his house.
Ian Soutar is a mechatronics product designer and founded Microsec
Research and Development Inc. in 1986. In the early 1980s he worked at the
NRC and developed solar thermal products through Norsun Solar in Ottawa
and later worked at the National Research Council of Canada on solar
thermal and solar voltaic research. He has been awarded some half dozen
patents for designs over the last 20 years and specializes in finding
the simplest approach to solving problems with microcontrollers or single
chip computers. Radio and communication technology are a special area of
interest. Ian is currently involved with Palcan Fuel Cells developing a
control system to simplify the usage of hydrogen systems by making them
almost as easy to use as batteries.
In 2007 Ian worked with Jim Harrington of Victoria to create Canada’s first
hydrogen assisted sailboat. Ian is also the founder of the Nickel Iron Battery
Association which is re-introducing the Edison Cell to the Solar Industry for
the storage of power. These remarkable batteries have a lifespan that can
reach 100 years and are the only environmentally friendly battery known.
Currently Microsec R&D Inc. is focusing on alternate energy control systems
design. Ian is a beekeeper and is working to discover ways to prevent the
“Colony Collapse Syndrome” that has killed many honeybees recently.
Ian has patents on a number of devices ranging from medical and industrial
tools, games, agricultural tools and communication systems. He specializes
also in radio communication.