Novel Methods to Improve Performance of Silver-Zinc Batteries

Period of Performance: 03/21/2012 - 03/21/2014

$730K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Yardney Technical Products, Inc.
2000 South County Trail
East Greenwich, RI 02818
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The goal of this project is to take silver-zinc battery technology to a new level for programs important to the Navy. Silver-Zinc batteries provide high energy and power density cells, and since the electrolyte is a water-based alkaline fluid, provide a comparatively safe battery. A disadvantage to this technology is large format cells, which are required to provide high power, do not provide comparable cycle life performance to competing systems. There are two main issues. One is the negative electrode, having redox products being zinc and zinc oxide, experiences non-uniform re-plating of the zinc upon charging. The mass tends toward the bottom of the current collector as the cell accumulates cycles. The other issue is the separator, commonly used cellophane, experiences degradation due to the strongly oxidative positive silver oxide electrode. The primary work will be to advance from the Phase I to the Phase II the further refinements of circumventing the shortcomings of silver/zinc. This includes incorporating binders with the negative electrodes to limit dissolution of the electrode while cycling and developing a non-cellulosic cellophane replacement. Also included will be advances in thermal pathway to remove heat from cells during discharge and providing an advanced silver/zinc battery management system.