With over eleven million lithium-ion batteries recalled for product safety issues, portable device manufacturers recognize the pressing need for an intrinsically safe, high-performance battery technology. Silver-zinc rechargeable batteries meet the growing desire for intrinsically safe rechargeable batteries while at the same time not sacrificing the runtime performance that customers expect.
Silver Zinc battery is a type of rechargeable battery with silver oxide , zinc oxide as electrodes and alkaline electrolyte. Silver Zinc batteries have been mainly used in military equipment and various space ships and submarines because of their low self discharge rate, high energy density and reliability.
Silver-zinc batteries have a long record of safe service in commercial, aerospace and military applications. Primary batteries comprised of silver-zinc have been used for decades in portable electronics applications, such as cameras, where high current drain is needed. Manned space flight missions beginning with the Mercury (Figure 1) program have successfully deployed rechargeable silver-zinc batteries without any incidents. The military has used silver-zinc batteries in missiles, torpedoes and submarines for over 50 years.
Silver-zinc batteries use a water-based electrolyte that is nonflammable, while the flash point of the electrolyte used in lithium-ion batteries is below room temperature. The flash point is the lowest temperature at which flames will propagate through the vapors of the solvents used in lithium-ion batteries. It is the flammability of these vapors that leads to the spectacular jets of flame seen coming from lithium-ion batteries when they catastrophically fail. There is currently no way to produce high-performance lithium-ion cells without the use of these flammable solvents. It is clear that the stability of the silver-zinc battery materials and the complete nonflammability of the silver-zinc electrolyte make it an intrinsically safe battery technology. They are also the best choice where batteries with high volumetric energy density and intrinsic safety are required.
Silver Zinc batteries have the potential EMF of about 1.5 V per cell.
Although the efficiency varies according to the construction; they offer very good ampere-hour and watt-hour efficiency as compared to other types of rechargeable cells and batteries. They also offer very good capacity per weight as compared to other batteries. Their self discharge rate is very low ( About 5% per year) and their energy density can go as high as up to 150 watt/ Kilo Gram weight of cell. They can also withstand high current discharge and can also be operated in a diverse range of temperature.
The lifetime of a Silver zinc battery under wet condition is about 1-2 years and under dry storage is about 5 years. The silver zinc batteries make use of silver which is a high priced metal so , the cost of a Zinc Silver battery is very high as compared to other batteries.
ZPower, a California company, is developing a Silver-Zinc battery - with a very responsible twist. They promise to be the first battery manufacturer to buy back the batteries after they've been depleted, to recycle the silver. How much? Ross Duebner, CEO of ZPower, isn't promising, but says it'll be in the tens of dollars. They can do it, because they find that their battery is about 95% recyclable by weight. Lithium Ion batteries may be recycled as well, but it's only technically true. What happens with them is that they're melted down for their lithium and cobalt, and the other parts of the battery help fuel the fires that do it, so TECHNICALLY they're being recycled... kinda...sorta... right? Meanwhile, Silver-Zinc batteries have no toxic chemicals in them, and no dangerous heavy metals. Moreover, once the silver is mined, by recycling it, silver-zinc batteries become a closed loop, a renewable source of rechargeable batteries.
ZPower is a leading developer of rechargeable, silver-zinc batteries for microbattery applications. The company provides a total solution for hearing instrument and medical device manufacturers which includes advanced silver-zinc battery technology and electronics. The ZPower solution simplifies new product development and speeds time-to-market. For end users, ZPower batteries deliver unmatched performance, improved user experience and are better for the environment.
It is the company's goal to improve things with its ZPower Rechargeable System. ZPower batteries online are said to offer a reliable full-day charge, and patients need only return once a year to their hearing care professional to have the battery replaced. In addition, the old battery is fully recyclable, which means fewer batteries going into landfills.
ZPower offers the #1 rechargeable battery for hearing instruments. We've developed a battery that is simply better ... for patients, performance and the environment.