Battery Analysis

Battery Analysis


A Simplified Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach has shown that the energy requirement for batteries during operation is significantly more than the energy required to manufacture a battery in the first place.  Since the zinc-air battery may have a lower energy efficiency than the Vanadium RFB, then the LCA shows that the zinc-air battery may have a higher through life-cycle energy requirement.  This would currently dominate over any benefits to be derived from the manufacture of this Zinc-Air battery technological design.

To test the potential future competiveness of a POWAIR zinc air flow battery, outline designs were drawn up on the basis of realistically achievable performance improvements after an additional two to three years of development. These designs were costed and compared with vanadium redox flow batteries in terms of capital cost and energy efficiency which would be the dominant component of the operating cost.

At comparably high current densities of 100 mA/cm2 which are realistic for commercial batteries in 5 years time, then the capital cost of a zinc air battery was around 40% less. It was estimated that this would translate into a difference in selling price of 10 to 25%. Calculated on the lower energy efficiency of the zinc air battery, the lower capital cost would be negated after around 10 years of usage at 1 full charge and discharge per day, see Figure 16.

Figure 15  Capital cost comparison between POWAIR zinc air and vanadium flow batteries.


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