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Thread: Zinc-air batteries

  1. #1
    2008 Roadster #181 DaveD's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Redmond, WA

    Zinc-air batteries

    Technology Review: High-Energy Batteries Coming to Market

    A Swiss company says it has developed rechargeable zinc-air batteries that can store three times the energy of lithium ion batteries, by volume, while costing only half as much.
    In the company's planned vehicle battery, the amount of zinc slurry can be much greater than the amount of material in the air electrode, increasing energy density. Indeed, the system would be like a fuel-cell system or a conventional engine, in that the zinc slurry would essentially act as a fuel--pumping through the air electrode like the hydrogen in a fuel cell or the gasoline in a combustion engine. McDougal says the batteries could also last longer--from 2,000 to 10,000 cycles. And, if one part fails--such as the air electrode--it could be replaced, eliminating the need to buy a whole new battery.

  2. #2
    It look from the article like they'll have power density problems:

    As with fuel cells, this system may need to be paired with another type of battery for bursts of acceleration or to capture energy from processes such as braking.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Queens, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by bolosky View Post
    It look from the article like they'll have power density problems:
    It seems common with all high energy density technologies. You can have either superior energy OR power density. Tesla managed to achieve good balance, but such solution is not cheap.

    Part of technology evolution maybe finding the right balance between two sources of energy with different operational characteristics.

    BTW, Technology Review expands a bit on Fluidic Energy's plans
    With the ability to eliminate evaporation, boost voltage and eliminate dendrites, "we're working now on taking it to the next level," says Friesen. "It's about taking everything we've done over the last four years and leveraging that work into a battery that looks and feels just like a lithium battery, but has energy densities far beyond that."

    This would mean that energy storage would no longer be a limiting factor for renewable energy, and electric vehicles that could travel 400 to 500 miles on a single charge, he says, "at a cost just a little over lead-acid batteries."
    Sounds good, Sir, now please get back to work

  4. #4
    Guru theganjaguru's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    La Jolla, CA

    Zinc Air Battery on a Tesla?

    It looks like they have taken this to the next level...

    Could Zinc batteries be part of the Model X and future Tesla products?

    $12,000, 340 Mile Zinc-Air Battery Could Hit Markets Next Year - Gas 2

  5. #5
    curious member
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    Oct 2012
    Michigan, United States
    there is no information on any batterywith an air anode with performance anywhere close tobeing pushed into development. what is missing in every single caseis an electrolyte which allows metal deposition/dissolution for anextended number of cycles without being evaporated to air and withoutbeing decomposed by superoxide radicals ( like in the Li air case).In addition, if you read the published work on these batteries theyall discharge at very, very, very, very low rates (so there is apower penalty - like it was mentioned).

    the typical response of batterydevelopment teams who do not have a decent synthetic chemist is tomove to ionic electrolytes (which would evaporate slower). theproblem with ionic electrolytes is that because it is composed ofcharged species, when an electric field is applied, the ionic specieswhich takes part in the electrochemical even has very low mobilitybecause the other ions which make up the electrolyte move under thefield instead, so again, you have a kinetic penalty. As you can seethis is not a good way to solve the problem.

    in my opinion, while attractive atfirst glance, "open" systems like those with an aircathodes have intrinsic problems which will always render theminferior to other closed systems. in addition, air contains oxygen,which forms radicals under voltage, which denature everything theytouch... so, if somone figures this problem out... they also cureparkinsons, cancer and maybe aging.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Serge View Post
    It seems common with all high energy density technologies. You can have either superior energy OR power density.
    What if they paired the battery with some ultra capacitors to solve that problem?

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