Nickel and zinc instead of lithium ions: Researchers from the US Navy have presented a new energy storage or battery revolution that cannot explode. Many tests have already been successful, but there is a catch.
Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous. They are plugged into our smartphones, are charged well by us … and if everything goes well, they do not explode. Sometimes but unfortunately already! Reason enough for the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) to look for alternatives.
New method for old technology
Batteries based on nickel and zinc is nothing new. But when it comes to charging, lithium-ion batteries are far ahead: Over time, nickel-zinc batteries develop conductive dendrites, which can lead to short circuits. With the new method of the NRL, this could be prevented for the first time over a longer period of time. A nice side effect is that even normal batteries (so no batteries) so longer hold.
Nickel, zinc, and a “3D sponge”
The researchers of the US Navy have developed a “3D sponge”, which distributes the current evenly on the zinc anode. Even if it is only advanced tests, the batteries could keep up with over 100 charges with lithium-ion batteries. However, lithium-ion batteries are still ahead in the case of continued use. This is exactly what the researchers are working on – 100 charging processes are far too little for everyday use.
Less weight, do not explosions
They do not explode and are even lighter than conventional energy storage devices. The new “Ni-3D Zn” mentioned batteries could indeed revolutionize the battery market. Not only smartphones and other small electrical appliances could benefit, but the results of the US Navy researchers will also look very closely at the electric car market.
Market launch not before the end of 2019
According to Dr. Jeffrey Long of the NRL, “Ni-3D Zn” is a “real alternative”, which is safer and can also remove restrictions on transport, for example in the aircraft. A fast introduction on the market is however probably excluded. It is assumed that the new batteries will not be sold until the end of 2019.