AER Energy Develops New Model 504 Prototype Zinc-Air Battery

February 23, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

AER Energy Resources Inc. (Atlanta, GA) recently announced that it has developed a prototype primary zinc-air cell with a volumetric energy density of 860Wh/l. The new cells, tested in AER Energy's laboratory, demonstrated a two-times increase in energy density versus AER Energy's prototype model 2208 cell.

According to the company, this high energy density is up to three times greater than typical rechargeable lithium-ion cells, lithium-polymer cells and primary alkaline cells, which equates to up to three times longer runtime with the zinc-air cells. The company claims that the prototype cell has less volume than an alkaline AA cell and contains nearly the same energy as an alkaline C cell. The new cell, model number 504, has a metal upper and lower case, which is intended to be produced on equipment similar to the high-volume, automated manufacturing equipment used to make the zinc-air button cells commonly used in hearing aids.

"We're excited about this development because it enables us to significantly increase battery energy," said Frank Harris, vice president of marketing and licensing at AER Energy. "This primary zinc-air cell coupled with our patented Diffusion Air Manager will allow us to demonstrate prototype batteries that can power cellular telephones for up to 20 hours of talk time, depending on the model of cellular telephone. And with the long in-service storage life provided by our Diffusion Air Manager, the user can have the flexibility of using this extended talk time over a period of a year or more instead of being limited to several weeks of use as with zinc-air batteries without Diffusion Air Managers. We believe our battery technology's small size, long runtime and long in-service storage life can allow low-cost zinc-air batteries to be used in consumer applications like cellular telephones, camcorders, hand-held PCs, portable audio devices and lighting products."