First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

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First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:15 pm

First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, St. Louis-based Energizer announced that they would be releasing Zinc Air (Zn-O2) Prismatic batteries. This morning a package arrived from Energizer, and inside the metal display case was a real Energizer PP355 Zinc Air Prismatic 1.4V battery! Read on to see what makes this battery special in one of the first hands-on looks at the Zinc Air Prismatic Battery.

The Zinc Air system requires oxygen from the air as “fuel” to operate. The air access holes under the tape have been included to support the maximum rate capability of the battery. When the battery tab is removed, the battery is “fully open”. The rate of oxygen flow required is proportional to the discharge rate. Therefore, limiting the amount of air access to a zinc air battery can increase the useful life of the battery from 1 – 3 months with no air management to 1 – 2 years using air management. The Energizer PP355 battery has an air requirement of 1.3 cc air/min @ 25 mA, so there is a minimum amount needed for the battery to operate. By using air as fuel it will leave design companies with the ability to custom tailor a battery to their device, which is very innovative.


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Article Title: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery
Article URL: http://legitreviews.com/article/887/1/
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby jakegub » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:29 pm

This was the weirdest email I've gotten in a long time. Does LR request these products or did a battery just happen to show up? I'm not uber-familiar with how batteries work, but is there any chance of these things becoming rechargeable or is the lack of rechargeability part of their charm? Seems like everyone's clamoring for reusable things and these are designed to be disposable.
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:47 pm

Jakegub,

It was something interesting we saw at CES a few weeks back and I gave my card to Energizer. They contacted me after the show and I thought it would be something interesting for our readers. I like to keep up on technology and this is a very new battery that is said to be coming in many common devices. When I looked at their presentation I saw Jabra Bluetooth headsets and since we look at Jabra products I figured it would be worth our time to introduce the technology. I also really like the fact that it is safer for the environment since it is environmentally benign... Think of all the millions of motherboards that are sold every year (over 100 million) that come with the normal Alkaline type battery (zinc and manganese oxide). The manganese oxide is insoluble in water and is harmful to humans:

On a health hazard spectrum of 0 - 3 Manganese and compounds registers 1.3. A score of 3 represents a very high hazard to health, 2 represents a medium hazard and 1 is harmful to health. Factors that are taken into account to obtain this ranking include the extent of the material's toxic or poisonous nature and/or its lack of toxicity, and the evaluation of its tendency to cause, or not cause cancer and/or birth defects. It does not take into account exposure to the substance. Human exposure is reflected in the NPI rank given to this substance (see comparative data below). A substance that scores highly as a health hazard is arsenic at 2.3 and one of the lowest scores is ammonia at 1.0.Health Hazard Rating


Hope you enjoyed the article as weird as it may have seemed. Just wanted to give you a heads up that it was coming and go more in-depth like other sites have done months ago with a PR photo and nothing in their hand - http://gizmodo.com/5104493/energizer-to ... ies-at-ces
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby Zertz » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:43 pm

Seeing a battery review seems kind of weird, but that's a very interesting breakthrough!
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby jakegub » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:44 pm

Nate,

Absolutely enjoyed the article. I love product variety too. I feel like there is going to be a big market for battery development with all the Hybrid vehicles and consumer electronics. Even solar power needs some way to be collected and stored.

Are there plans to make these in standard sizes like AA, AAA, C, etc.?
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby Zertz » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:46 pm

jakegub wrote:Nate,
Are there plans to make these in standard sizes like AA, AAA, C, etc.?


It seems like the traditional cylinder shape would hinder the "air intake" the battery requires
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby gwolfman » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:30 am

Zertz wrote:Seeing a battery review seems kind of weird, but that's a very interesting breakthrough!

I agree. I haven't heard of this type of battery before; it was intriguing. We do need new types of batteries too; I mean, we've been using the same 'ol things forever already.
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby mattgmann » Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:03 am

When I was in the military, we tested and used zinc air batteries. In certain applications they were acceptable, but have some serious limitations. The power output HIGHLY depends on how much air the battery gets. They are light, but are larger than their lithium counterparts. I generally used them when on extended missions. They would provide 2-4 times the life of a BB-5590, and were lighter in the pack. They took up more space in the pack though, and were not completely reliable. Generally I avoided them, but they were helpful when I knew I was going to be in situations where I wouldn't be resupplied for many days, and couldn't physically carry the weight of the lithium batteries I would need. It's a cool technology, but the applications seem very limited. I don't know of anyone who will want to replace their cell phone battery every couple of days. Not to mention, if it's in your pocket without proper ventilation, it will die. They don't like damp weather. Also, once it's activated, there's no way to stop the reaction. Personally, I just can't see where these will be useful in the consumer outlet. They don't make alot of sense for portable devices IMO. Maybe it'd be nice to have a backup battery in case the cell phone died, but I certainly wouldn't rely on the zinc air battery for anything important.
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:03 am

Thanks for joining the forums and posting your comments. I was actually reading about the military uses of zinc air batteries the other day -

http://www.defense-update.com/products/ ... ry-new.htm
http://www.electric-fuel.com/defense/UVS02.pdf

I was shocked to see this:

We anticipate that the first fieldable batteries can be ready in 2004.


Looks like the military has been tinkering with zinc air batteries for some time already, but like you mentioned they have limitations. I also read that the Army alone buys about 350,000 BA-5590 per year at a cost of about $100 each (includes $30 each for disposal), so we can see how much money this market could make.

As for stopping the reaction... if you completely cut off the supply of Oxygen wouldn't the reaction end? It would eventually have to come to a stop again.
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby B.Slisk » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:56 pm

I have to be missing some thing here as the first time I used Zink/Air batteries was about 10 years ago. I bought a pack of VARTA V 675 A Zinc-Air 1.4V batteries (I still have the actual package!) to use in my Aimpoint 3000 sight. These batteries were intended for hearing aids but worked fine for my use.

The fact that they were air activated was actually a bonus as the Aimpoint 3000 does not turn itself off if left unattended. As the battery compartment is airtight once the lid is screwed on, these batteries will only deliver power for a limited time. This is enough to power the sight for about two hour's continuously and that was ample time for my intended use. The next time I just took out the batteries for a minute or so and put them back in again and they were good to go another couple of hours.

With my limited use the two batteries in the Aimpoint were still working after at least 2 years.

A little googling tells me that it was probably 9 years ago...

1/24/2000

Varta Batteries Introduces New High-tech Hearing Aid Batteries for Longer Life


Acoustic Special is the name of the new generation of hearing aid batteries from Varta. Technologically advanced, the new microbatteries set a high-end benchmark in the hearing aid market and guarantee excellent sound quality.

http://www.audiologyonline.com/news/new ... news_id=83
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby mattgmann » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:42 pm

I suppose the reaction would stop if you cut it off completely. Didn't realise BA 5590s cost so much. I'm responsible for the use of hundreds...if not thousands of them. Didn't realize disposal was such a big deal either. I guess lithium is probably hard to handle. I didn't mean to sound pessimistic about the zinc air batteries; it's always nice to see a new technology get a foothold. I'm just not sure what applications they'll work well for. Also, I seem to remember a problem with them overheating when getting too much air. I kept the batteries in a pack while in use, but sometimes had to restrict the air by putting it in a freezer bag. To be honest, they really were a pain. They were about twice the size of a bb-590, and a different form factor, so they did not fit in any radios. You had to have an adapter cable, and hook up the battery as a separate module. Being foot mobile, that wasn't the best situation for me. I was the exception though, as I always had at least 2, if not 3 radios on my person, + mucho otro battery operated gear associated with forward air control. I don't remember getting any guidance on disposal of the zinc air batteries.
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby DX » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:12 pm

rechargeable?
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby vicaphit » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:17 pm

Doesn't look like they are rechargable.

They do seem rather cheap though, so would you really need a rechargable?
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby DX » Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:59 pm

would be nice when scaled up in size to have a laptop battery of that capacity be rechargeable. It would be great to get three times the juice from a charge than with current tech.
Last edited by DX on Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Look: Energizer Zinc Air Prismatic Battery

Postby vicaphit » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:42 pm

Or even if it wasnt rechargeable, having a cheap battery backup in your laptop bag would be nice just in case you needed it.
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