Toshiba Develops New Dry Battery

March 21, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Toshiba Battery Co. Ltd. (Japan) has developed a new dry battery that provides about five times the service life of alkaline batteries, which the company will market in March 2002. When four of the new batteries are used in a digital stills camera, the service life is five times longer than the life provided by conventional alkaline batteries. The new batteries can handle up to about 420 shots, instead of the standard 80 shots.

The new battery is actually a combination of alkaline batteries and NiMH rechargeable batteries. The cathode is the same nickel oxyhydroxide (NiOOH) as used in NiMH rechargeable batteries, while the anode is the zinc from alkaline batteries. The electrolyte is potassium hydroxide (KOH). The newly developed battery maintains a high output current for a long period, achieved by packing a NiOOH crystal with a high density into the case and optimizing the shape of the zinc anode. The standby time is shorter than the standby time needed with conventional batteries.

Toshiba Battery has filed for 34 patents related to the new battery, and plans to license the technology to other battery manufacturers. It also plans to work with digital camera manufacturers during and beyond the design stages to utilize the battery to its full potential.