Panasonic begins developing zinc-air flow batteries for renewable energy storage – pv magazine International

Panasonic is expanding the development of a zinc-air battery technology it currently uses for hearing enhancement equipment. He said the new devices, which will be designed for renewable energy storage, will be safer than their lithium-ion counterparts, with high energy densities.

Japanese electronics maker Panasonic said this week that it had started developing zinc-air flow battery (ZAFB) for storage of large-scale renewable energy projects.

Based on the zinc-air secondary battery technology that we have developed over many years, we aim to establish a low-cost, high-capacity energy storage technology with a new “flow” design, the company said in a statement.

Panasonic’s zinc-air batteries are currently used in hearing enhancement equipment.

“They deliver a consistent level of power, ensuring your hearing aid works well at all times,” the company said. “Zinc Air batteries are particularly suitable for hearing aids. They have a high energy density. Batteries of equal size can hold twice as much energy as a lithium-ion battery.

Panasonic said the new devices will be safer than lithium-ion batteries because the electrolyte in which the zinc is soaked is a water-based liquid, and the possibility of ignition is extremely low.

A ZAFB consists of two electrodes – a Zn anode and an air cathode. The anode and cathode are separated by a separator allowing ions to transfer through the cell. Aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH) is commonly used as an electrolyte.

In batteries with a “flow-through” design, the cell and reservoir are independent of each other, so capacity can easily be increased by increasing the size of the reservoir,” Panasonic said. “During charging, zinc oxide (ZnO) is chemically transformed into zinc to store electricity and, during the discharge phase, when zinc becomes zinc oxide again under the action of oxygen contained in the air, stored electrons are released, so that electricity can be extracted. ”

The company said the research project has the support of Japan’s Ministry of the Environment. He did not provide any additional technical details.

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