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Old 27-09-2018, 06:24   #1
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New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

There are multiple stories about a 'new' battery technology that is less expensive and about to get to market after field tests.

NYTIMES:
from a US based billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s new company NantEnergy.


CNBC:
Patrick Soon-Shiong on 'holy grail' zinc-air battery


PHYS.ORG:
Zinc-air batteries provide power in remote areas


Seattle Times:
Cheaper option to lithium-ion batteries unveiled as a step to a carbon-free grid

from above article:
Quote:
NantEnergy says the technology costs less than $100 per kilowatt-hour, a figure that some in the energy industry have cited as low enough to transform the electric grid into a round-the-clock carbon-free system.

The prevailing cost of lithium-ion technology varies, depending on the scale and application. Yogi Goswami, distinguished university professor and director of the Clean Energy Center at the University of South Florida, estimated that it is most likely $300 to $400 a kilowatt-hour.
Though it may be of interest....


safe sailing....
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Old 27-09-2018, 06:31   #2
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

and an image of one of the batteries they have been using:

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Old 27-09-2018, 07:11   #3
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

Very interesting. It sounds like it is still years away from being available for use on a boat, but the fact that the technology has been field tested extensively is encouraging. I didn't see any mention of weight but zinc is roughly 2/3 the weight of lead so there should be some weight savings depending on energy density.
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Old 27-09-2018, 09:15   #4
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by indimini View Post
Very interesting. It sounds like it is still years away from being available for use on a boat, but the fact that the technology has been field tested extensively is encouraging. I didn't see any mention of weight but zinc is roughly 2/3 the weight of lead so there should be some weight savings depending on energy density.
In the NYTimes article they talk about field testing for last 6 years,

Quote:
Tests of the zinc energy-storage systems have helped power villages in Africa and Asia as well as cellphone towers in the United States for the last six years, without any backup from utilities or the electric grid, Dr. Soon-Shiong said
On the company web page they talk about removable battery modules:

Quote:
Scalable Modular System
Our cell and system architecture makes it possible to add and remove modules as needed to match the power and energy demands of each application as well as make adjustments over time.

By developing our core Zinc-Air technology, power electronics and embedded software controls as a system, NantEnergy has created an energy storage solution that is scalable from kWh to MWh to GWh of capacity.
They have some photos of using the battery module in different cabinets (nothing showing the scale there...):


It appears that the battery module is not that big (as compared to a human hand...) ...



so.. hopefully not that far away.....
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Old 27-09-2018, 10:26   #5
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

Thanks

https://www.mpoweruk.com/zinc_air.htm


It tends to have high self-discharge, sensitive to temperature, tend to dry out and become unchargeable. Also recharge depends on access to air, would heeling and motion create problems?
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Old 27-09-2018, 16:37   #6
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
Thanks

https://www.mpoweruk.com/zinc_air.htm


It tends to have high self-discharge, sensitive to temperature, tend to dry out and become unchargeable. Also recharge depends on access to air, would heeling and motion create problems?
That is what is supposedly so revolutionary in these batteries... They are designed to recharge, able to deal in harsh environs (survived hurricane maria and florence). The one bit that they have a problem with... is that they are not small yet... (like for hearing aid batteries).... but they are at a great price point.... and appear to function... Healing should not be an issue, and motion should not be an issue... if they can work for cars as well....

The one interesting part is that there may be a problem with getting enough zinc...
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Old 27-09-2018, 18:00   #7
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

The excitement here is that someone has apparently figured out how to make a cheap zinc-air battery you can recharge. Until now, zinc-air batteries were like alkaline flashlight batteries. You couldn't recharge them. They've been around for decades.

They are frequently used by the CG in buoys. But here's a guy using them in his sailboat for weight savings.

https://www.sailmagazine.com/diy/ask...-air-batteries

Unfortunately, if this thing really works at that price, the utilities are going to take all they can make for use in grid storage. Sailboats are not going to be at the front of the line
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Old 28-09-2018, 09:38   #8
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

MIT Technology Review says too dry an airflow will dry out, too much moisture will saturate- maybe a problem on boats?
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Old 28-09-2018, 09:45   #9
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

Oops, if in sea bouys, I guess excessive moisture is not a problem.
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Old 28-09-2018, 10:31   #10
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

From the references you listed, thus far this very affordable zinc-air technology has not yet overcome the problem of rapid discharge and their relatively large dimension proportionate to storage capacity. So, for the time being it looks like a third world application for land-based success in areas remote from power grids with plenty of wind a/o sunshine. But, it's always interesting to stay abreast of new energy storage technology. Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 28-09-2018, 10:54   #11
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

New tech is great. One thing that gets missed in translation is battery post life disposal. How toxic are these batteries and what is the recycle potential?
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Old 28-09-2018, 11:40   #12
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

From https://www.mpoweruk.com/zinc_air.htm

The cell voltage for the chemistry is theoretically capable 1.65 Volts however almost all designs are optimised for less than 1.4 or 1.3 Volts in order to achieve longer lifetimes.

Advantages
High energy density but low power
Inexpensive materials
The zinc-air system, when sealed, has excellent shelf life, with a self-discharge rate of only 2 percent per year.
In relation to their physical size, Zinc/Air batteries store more energy per unit of weight (in terms of 220 Wh/kg) than almost any other primary type.
Primary cells available in a range of button and coin cell sizes.
Rechargeable high power cells available for traction applications.

Shortcomings
Sensitive to extreme temperature and humid conditions.
Carbon dioxide from the air forms carbonate which reduces conductivity.
High self discharge.
After activation, chemicals tend to dry out and the batteries have to be used quickly.
Although recharging is possible it is also inconvenient and is only suitable for high power types.
High internal resistance which means zinc air batteries must be huge to satisfy high current needs.
High power batteries such as those designed for traction applications use mechanical charging in which discharged zinc cartridges are replaced by fresh zinc cartridges. The used cartridges are subsequently recycled.

Applications
The system is well known as a primary battery.
Zinc air button cells are commonly used for watches and hearing aids.
Larger types are employed as prismatic or cylindrical cells for telecoms and railway remote signalling, safety lamps at road and rail construction sites or as power sources for electric fences.
Possible traction applications where "Mechanical Charging" cuts down on recharging time but little take up so far.

Costs
Low cost
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Old 28-09-2018, 15:11   #13
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Re: New Zinc Air Battery Tech.... looking good?

This doesn't sound so good compared to lifepo.

Quote:
High internal resistance which means zinc air batteries must be huge to satisfy high current needs.

Utahsailor

Quote:
MIT Technology Review says too dry an airflow will dry out, too much moisture will saturate- maybe a problem on boats?
Do you know which month?


Quote:
. How toxic are these batteries and what is the recycle potential?
That's one of the advantages, they are not nearly as toxic as lifepo and lead acid. Disposing of them is cleaner.


It would be great to learn more about this technology.
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