Nickel Zinc Battery (NiZn Battery) is a low-cost high energy density high-discharge fully recyclable rechargeable battery technology. Nickel Zinc (NiZn) Battery was first introduced by Thomas Edison almost a hundred years ago. Thomas Edison recognized the potential of nickel-zinc electrochemistry. While the low cost, high energy density characteristics were promising, Thomas Edison explored Nickel Zinc Batteries development for use in heavy load, high power, high energy demand applications such as powering electric vehicles (EV).

Nickel-Zinc Battery is the most recyclable battery chemistry on the market. Unlike many other materials, both nickel and zinc can be recycled again and again while maintaining their physical and chemical properties, as there remains the same amount of each element at the end of a particular product cycle as at the beginning.

Nickel-Zinc Batteries are chemically very similar to nickel-cadmium. Both use an alkaline electrolyte and a nickel electrode but differ significantly in their voltage. Nickel-zinc batteries have a charge/discharge curve similar to 1.2V NiCd or NiMH cells—but with a higher 1.6V nominal voltage. With the additional 0.4V per cell, an inherent value of the nickel-zinc cell lies in the reduced cell count required for a multi-cell battery. For higher voltage applications the advantages associated with fewer cells are quickly apparent through a smaller footprint, lighter weight, and lower impedance battery.

Advantages of Nickel Zinc (NiZn) Batteries

  • High Energy Density – Nickel Zinc (NiZn) Batteries offer more energy density compared to traditional nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery when measured by either weight (Watt hours per kilogram) or by volume (Watt hours per liter).
  • High Power Density – Nickel Zinc (NiZn) Battery delivers a higher voltage in a smaller and lighter package than other rechargeable batteries.
  • Lower Cost – Inherently less expensive, zinc provides a significant cost savings over other rechargeable batteries.
  • Recycling Nickel Zinc (NiZn) Batteries – Nickel-Zinc Battery is the most recyclable battery chemistry on the market.
  • Improved Safety – NiZn is a proven safe chemistry that is abuse-tolerant.
  • Speedy Recharge – Nickel Zinc Battery is capable of completely recharging in less than two hours and achieves 80% recharge within one hour, a key benefit for cordless power tools, electronics and many other applications.
  • Battery Cycle Life – The service life of the Nickel Zinc Battery meets or beats that of most NiCd batteries in typical applications.
  • Long Shelf Life – Superior to lead-acid batteries which will sulfate over time limiting their shelf life, the Nickel Zinc Battery has a significantly longer shelf life.
  • Environmentally Green Battery – Both nickel and zinc are non-toxic and recycled easily and inexpensively. The zinc electrode contains no lead, cadmium or mercury, and presents no threat to the environment, making it an ideal replacement for lead and cadmium batteries.

Applications of Nickel Zinc (NiZn) Batteries

Typical applications of Nickel Zinc Batteries are: cordless power tools, cordless telephone, digital cameras, battery operated lawn and garden tools, professional photography, flashlights, medical instruments such as surgical tools, electric bike, and light electric vehicle sectors. Presently Nickel-Zinc battery technology has limited consumer availability, with only AA cells offered for the digital camera market in some camera stores, or other outlet stores. Both D-cells and sub-C cells are currently used in commercial applications.