ZPower claims its silver-zinc batteries last 40% longer than lithium-ion

October 8, 2008 by Lisa Zyga weblog
ZPower
ZPower´s silver-zinc battery chemistry uses the latest in advanced polymers, nanotechnology, power electronics and processing methods to create a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 40% longer than lithium-ion batteries. Image: ZPower.

A company called ZPower has designed batteries with silver- and zinc-based electrodes that it says will offer up to 40% more computer time per charge than today´s lithium-ion batteries. Consumers won´t have to wait long to see if the new batteries live up to the claim, as ZPower plans to release the first silver-zinc battery-powered laptop in 2009.

The Camarillo, California company´s CEO, Ross Dueber, is discussing the technology at Batteries 2008, a conference located in Nice, France, starting today. Batteries 2008 is a worldwide exhibition focused on power supply, with more than 400 attendees.

Silver-zinc batteries are not new - they were used on NASA´s Apollo spacecraft in the 1960s and 1970s - but until recently they could only be recharged a few times before they stopped working. At the conference, Dueber will explain the improvements to and advantages of silver-zinc batteries for applications such as notebook computers, mobile phones, and other consumer electronics.

The biggest advantage is the batteries´ longer lifetime, which is due in part by using special polymers in the zinc anode, which inhibit dendrites from growing. In lithium-ion batteries, dendrites tend to form after extended use, distorting the anode and decreasing battery lifetime.

As Dueber explains, silver-zinc batteries are also safer than lithium-ion batteries. Because silver-zinc batteries have a water-based chemistry, they are nonflammable and so they shouldn´t burst into flames. This will help them avoid several of the safety recalls that plagued some lithium-ion products.

Another benefit is that silver-zinc batteries are easy to recycle. ZPower claims that silver-zinc batteries can last for 200 or more power cycles at 100% discharge, and thousands of cycles at intermediate discharge. When the batteries do reach the end of their useful life, they are up to 95% recyclable since they contain no toxic chemicals. Most of the silver and zinc can be easily recovered and reused, cutting both environmental and economic costs. Although the cost of silver itself is high, ZPower plans on implementing a trade-in recycle policy that will help to offset costs.

Currently, one downside of the new technology is that the silver-zinc batteries operate at a different voltage from lithium-ion batteries, so the two aren´t interchangeable. Manufacturers will have to adjust their computers to work with the new batteries, but ZPower is also collaborating with computer suppliers to develop laptops that are compatible with both batteries.

The first computer to be powered by silver-zinc batteries has not yet been named, but the company says that it will be "a major notebook computer."

More information: ZPowerBattery.com

via: Gizmodo

Related Stories

Recommended for you

A not-quite-random walk demystifies the algorithm

December 15, 2017

The algorithm is having a cultural moment. Originally a math and computer science term, algorithms are now used to account for everything from military drone strikes and financial market forecasts to Google search results.

US faces moment of truth on 'net neutrality'

December 14, 2017

The acrimonious battle over "net neutrality" in America comes to a head Thursday with a US agency set to vote to roll back rules enacted two years earlier aimed at preventing a "two-speed" internet.

FCC votes along party lines to end 'net neutrality' (Update)

December 14, 2017

The Federal Communications Commission repealed the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules Thursday, giving internet service providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit ...

The wet road to fast and stable batteries

December 14, 2017

An international team of scientists—including several researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory—has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation ...

5 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Oct 08, 2008
Will it power an auto? The trade in feature is most desirable there. An extra thousand bucks is more easily obtained there!
Paradox
5 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2008
This looks promising, less weight too...
http://www.osti.g...mid.html
Yelmurc
1 / 5 (2) Oct 09, 2008
"The first computer to be powered by silver-zinc batteries has not yet been named, but the company says that it will be "a major notebook computer." "

I hope its Apple
TrustTheONE
2 / 5 (1) Oct 09, 2008
I wonder what will be the cost of all that silver....
zwave
2.5 / 5 (2) Oct 09, 2008
"I wonder what will be the cost of all that silver"

Whatever the market value is.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.