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A Bulgarian research institute has developed novel Ni-Zn battery with improved characteristics having small size and low weight, in combination with high performance. The innovative solution has superior energy and power density in comparison to existing ones. Scientific and industrial partners are sought for further development and solving the existing technological problems of Ni-Zn batteries under a technical or research cooperation agreement.
A Bulgarian research institute with expertise in enhancing the performance characteristics of Ni-Zn rechargeable batteries through optimisation of the Zn electrode design and of its active material by various conductive additives has been developing a new approach to solve the problem with the high self-discharge and “shape change” of the Zn electrode during prolonged charge/discharge cycling as well as a shortened lifetime of the electrode due to Zn dendrites formation. The proposed innovative technology could boost the performance, reduce the price and increase the life of Ni-Zn batteries. The novelty of the innovation project is a new approach (technology) in resolving the existing technological problems of Ni-Zn batteries and the business opportunities that come from their market application. In this new Ni-Zn battery the following technological problems will be solved: formation of dendrites during charging of the battery, which can penetrate the separator and cause a short circuit in the system shortening the battery life; change of the shape of the electrode; solubility of active mass into electrolyte; This leads to the loss of active mass in the electrode contact or local thickening of the electrode.
This innovation would lead to more reliable, safe and compact battery with high specific energy and power and improved stability. These advantages would overcome a current technological challenge of the world economy in the field of energy supply for industrial applications. The development of the new Ni-Zn battery with improved characteristics will provide a unique portable power source for devices used in information technology and in renewable energy sources. These batteries could be an ideal solution for all end users of systems developed for the storage of energy generated from solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources. Another important application of these batteries is in maintaining "backup systems", providing power supply to nuclear power plants, transportation, defence and telecommunication systems, internet networks and everywhere to be assured power in extreme situations where conventional power could break down.
The institute is looking for scientific partners to overcome some challenges related to the zinc electrode such as dendrites formation that leads to short-circuits and reduce the battery life under a technology/research cooperation agreement.
Advantages & innovations
The Ni-Zn batteries offer many benefits for a variety of applications in high tech industrial systems and products, compared to other rechargeable batteries. The general advantages of Ni-Zn batteries are their small size and low weight, in combination with high performance and low price, easiness to manufacture, maintain and recycle. Ni-Zn offers superior energy and power density compared to lead-acid (Pb-Acid) and Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) and simultaneously avoids the high costs and safety issues associated with Li-ion batteries. The Ni-Zn batteries are the most recyclable batteries currently known - they contain zero lead, cadmium, mercury and metal hydrides or other environmentally hazardous materials hindering the recycling of the batteries. The Innovative solution is envisioned to overcome the existing technological limitations of Ni-Zn batteries and thus solve the problem of limited supply of supreme battery performance at a reasonable cost. The innovation is based on a combination of a few novelties in the battery design: Special current collector type "disordered 3D structure" of metal foams coated with metal, inhibiting gas evolution and the dissolution of Zinc active material in the electrolyte and treated with thin film of conducting polymer with controlled microstructure; A surface application of a suitable polymer and/or using special anionic conductive membranes and gel-like electrolytes ensuring appropriate OH-ion transport; New nickel electrode design, constituted from spherical particles and specific additives allowing improvement the performance especially at high and low temperatures; Conductive polymer with controlled microstructure.
Stage of development
Project already started
Contact / source: Enterprise Europe Network (europa.eu)
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