A refuelable zinc/air battery for fleet electric vehicle propulsion
A refuelable zinc/air battery for fleet electric vehicle propulsion We report the development and on-vehicle testing of an engineering prototype zinc/air battery. The battery is refueled by periodic exchange of spent electrolyte for zinc particles entrained in fresh electrolyte. The technology is intended to provide a capability for nearly continuous vehicle operation, using the fleet s home base for 10 minute refuelings and zinc recycling instead of commercial infrastructure. In the battery, the zinc fuel particles are stored in hoppers, from which they are gravity fed into individual cells and completely consumed during discharge. A six-celled (7V) engineering prototype battery was combined with a 6 V lead/acid battery to form a parallel hybrid unit, which was tested in series with the 216 V battery of an electric shuttle bus over a 75 mile circuit. The battery has an energy density of 140 Wh/kg and a mass density of 1.5 kg/L. Cost, energy efficiency, and alternative hybrid configurations are discussed.
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