Lithium Ion battery has been widely used in the industries to supply power source for truly portability of mobile devices. As the technology transition, there is a need to come out with a more powerful and safer battery solution especially when trying to handle much more power hungry applications. You may have heard about zinc-air battery technology for quite a while and good news now, an actual working prototype is currently on plan and will be ready for commercial market by next year.
The next generation Zinc-air battery was developed by SINTEF, a Norway based company and will be commercialized by a Swiss company known as ReVolt. According to the spokesperson, zinc-air battery can store three times more of energy capacity as compared to conventional Lithium Ion battery and yet, it is much more cost efficient, which is only half of what is needed to be invested on existing solution. For the start, the new prototype will be designed in smaller form factor to be used in hearing aids device before it is available in much power hungry devices such as smartphones or notebooks and eventually in automotive industries as a rechargeable battery pack for electric vehicles in one day. However, before it can be fully rolled up to other segments, there are some technical challenges especially the charging cycle is not up to expectation with only slightly more than hundred times before significant degradation is observed. In order for it to be comparable with existing Lithium Ion solution, ReVolt is hoping that it can at least able to hit 500 recharging cycle counts to be practically to be used consumer electronics products where frequent charging is required.
Regardless of what it is, this is definitely a great milestone to be able to see the actual commercial unit for hearing aids devices by next year while waiting for more mature technology proliferated to other usages to power up mobile phones, notebooks and electric vehicles in short future.