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Thread: Nickel Zinc

  1. #1
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    Nickel Zinc

    Anybody try NiZn batteries on their DIY projects?

    AA cells only, ~2500mAh per cell
    1.6V working voltage
    A "greener" rechargeable battery (so it is claimed)

    Seems like a cheap alternative to the 18650 multiple-cells-in-a-holder approach. I just ordered a few and will be using it on a compact 2-xpg parallel micropuck light project. They are available via Amazon for now. There is a brief wikipedia blurb available as well.
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    They are 2500mWH according to the packaging ...so only approx 1600mAH.

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    Whoopsie daisies
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    However, they still have similar energy in the AA pack size as an Eneloop (approx 2000mAH x 1.25V = 2500mWH), give or take a smidgen

    I guess there will be applications where the extra voltage would be an advantage?

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    1.6v......interesting. I've been happy with the 1.2v NiMH batts. for my light builds, but not so much in some cameras and other electronic gadgets. I have an older Canon digital camera that quickly gives me the "low batt." warning and soon shuts itself down when used with four 1.2v NiMHs. I guess it's seeing the 4.8v as low compared to the 6v from four alkalines. (yet my newer Canon runs happily on the four NiMHs).

    I wonder how their rate of discharge compares with the Eneloops? I switched over to eneloop-type AAs a couple years ago when my "regular" NiMH AAs couldn't supply current fast enough for one of my DIY lights.
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    I may have to run the eneloops head to head versus the NiZn batteries on this build. I expect to detect zero difference with the naked eye. I'll report back just as soon as my toddler and my job decide to throw me a free-time bone
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    NiZn should out preform the eneloopes by 30 or more percent. If they truly are 2500mAh then there is

    Ni-zn 2.5Ah x 1.6v = 4Wh
    Eneloop 2Ah x 1.25v = 2.5 WH

    Quite a difference. Now the Eneloops really are 2000mAh, but are these NiZn cells really 2500mAh? Time will tell. There is great promise with the NiZn chemistry. In general they have very low impedance and are a candidate to replace Lead acid car batteries. Much less BOOM potential then Lithium chemistries.
    Last edited by vroom9; 08-16-2010 at 10:06 PM.

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    Nay, Nay, and Thrice Nay .......... No! .... Now listen! ........ (Nostalgia, for all you old UK readers )



    2500mWh not 2500mAh











    Lets do the sums again, using generally published approximate figures:

    NiZN .......... 2500mWh = 1.6V * 1600mAh (approx)

    Eneloop ..... 2500mWh = 1.25V * 2000mAh (approx)



    So they both have around the same energy stored in the AA package.

    How that translates into run times for each type of cell for a particular application will vary according to several factors ...... like ..... the type of device powered, current draw, cut off voltage, temperature, pattern of usage, self discharge rates, age and condition of cell, charge state ........ and, no doubt, a whole host of other factors!

    There will be applications where the NiZN is preferable to the Eneloop, and vice-versa .... but not because of one having a higher energy storage than the other!

    It will be interesting to see how they compare for bike light usage with different light types.

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    The Powergenix NiZn cells have been discussed over at CandlePowerForums. If your particular device doesn't benefit from the higher voltage, then I would stick with LSD NiMH's.

    Some examples of devices that might benefit include:
    Boost LED drivers - tend to operate more efficiency with a higher source voltage
    Cameras - some cameras don't function properly with a NiMH's lower voltage. Personally, I think this is just laziness from the camera manufacturer.

    The self discharge of the Powergenix NiZn is pretty good - they claim 8% per month. It's still not as good as eneloop - which is closer to 1 to 1.5% per month. But it's way better than standard NiMH, which can be like 10 to 30% per DAY for the hi capacity versions.

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    whoops... double posted.
    Last edited by desolder; 08-18-2010 at 07:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desolder
    The Powergenix NiZn cells have been discussed over at CandlePowerForums. If your particular device doesn't benefit from the higher voltage, then I would stick with LSD NiMH's.

    Some examples of devices that might benefit include:
    Boost LED drivers - tend to operate more efficiency with a higher source voltage
    Cameras - some cameras don't function properly with a NiMH's lower voltage. Personally, I think this is just laziness from the camera manufacturer.

    The self discharge of the Powergenix NiZn is pretty good - they claim 8% per month. It's still not as good as eneloop - which is closer to 1 to 1.5% per month. But it's way better than standard NiMH, which can be like 10 to 30% per DAY for the hi capacity versions.
    Some food for thought....When you look at power equations > I sq x R or E sq / R....there looks to be an inverse relationship between "I" ( current ) and "E" ( voltage ). Since LED's are current controlled devices I would tend to think the battery with the better mAh rating would be better for lower current controlled devices...however, the catch is that most LED's require a driver that is very "voltage sensitive". How this comes into play would depend on the voltage requirement of the driver.

    The major advantage of the NiZn ( as I see it ) seems to be it's ability to provide more current in higher I-drive applications due to it's lower internal resistance. This is not so important where LED's are concerned, at least for the time being. As far as I'm concerned the lower self-discharge factor of the Eneloop type cell and the fact that it has more potential recharge cycles available makes it the winner if just by a nose.

    Still...I would love to see how a set of 4 NiZn cells would fair in a head to head test vs. 4 Eneloop AA's using the Dinotte 200L 4 AA light engine.
    Since the driver is designed to run with a 6 volt maximum input, I would think running 4 x NiZn AA's ( @ 6.4 volts ) would just make it without causing to much problems with the driver. With 4 x Eneloops AA's the run time before self power down is almost exactly 2hrs,...not bad for 2000mAh cells. If the NiZn cells could beat that I would be very surprised.

    Dang it...I just might have to buy some to try it out, the curiosity is killing me...umm...now why do you think that is? What the hell, green is one of my favorite colors anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Still...I would love to see how a set of 4 NiZn cells would fair in a head to head test vs. 4 Eneloop AA's using the Dinotte 200L 4 AA light engine.
    A lot will depend on the driver. If it's a buck switching regulator, then the two batteries will perform almost equally. The Powergenix battery may have a slight runtime advantage because the higher battery voltage will translate to a lower battery current, and thus reduced I-squared-R losses in the wiring.

    If it's a linear regulator (e.g.AMC7135), the Powergenix batteries will be at a huge disadvantage, because the extra battery voltage is burned off as heat. As you wrote above, the battery with the best amp-hour rating will win in this scenario.

    Based on this post (http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=210005) the older Dinotte Ultra-V used the Zetex C310 controller in buck mode. The 200L probably uses the same circuit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobblehat
    2500mWh not 2500mAh
    .
    I guess I fell for the wonderful (not) marketing.

    I've never seen batteries rated that way on consumer packaging. That's what I get for not reading the fine print.

    The NiZn chemistry still has a lot of promise. This is the first generation of the cells and they are just about as good as NiMh. They should get better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vroom9
    I guess I fell for the wonderful (not) marketing.

    I've never seen batteries rated that way on consumer packaging. That's what I get for not reading the fine print.

    The NiZn chemistry still has a lot of promise. This is the first generation of the cells and they are just about as good as NiMh. They should get better.
    Don't feel bad. BatterySpace does the same thing. Sometimes they list the Watt-hrs and sometimes the Amp-hrs. Personally I rather favor the Ah rating ( or mAh rating ) if you will.

    About the Dinotte 200L;

    desolder wrote:
    A lot will depend on the driver. If it's a buck switching regulator, then the two batteries will perform almost equally. The Powergenix battery may have a slight runtime advantage because the higher battery voltage will translate to a lower battery current, and thus reduced I-squared-R losses in the wiring.
    I think they are most likely using Buck drivers. I would ask Dinotte the question but Dinotte NEVER answers any technical questions concerning their lights....at least none of the questions that I have ever asked. Some have probably ventured to power the 4 x AA light engine using a 8.4 volt peak, Li-ion battery. Now that is what you call taking a chance! Not the kind of thing I would do! The 0.4 volt over-voltage the NiZn cells offer in this ( 4 cell ) configuration is only 0.1 volt over the standard 5% tolerance of the *driver maximum input voltage.. 6 volts. ( * this is of course a guess-timate on my part as it could possible be higher. ) Personally, I would be willing to roll the dice in this application if I thought it might get another 15 minutes on high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desolder
    A lot will depend on the driver...
    I plan on pairing the batteries with a micropuck in boost or parallel boost mode. From my idiot's analysis of the Vin/Amps-out graphs in the Additional Applications pdf for that driver, it looks like I should get more light with a greater Vin. Whether the light output boost is detectable by naked eye or whether it is worth the increased battery consumption, I have no idea. But, what the hey, why not try?
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    I plan on pairing the batteries with a micropuck in boost or parallel boost mode.
    The datasheet states the maximum input voltage in boost mode is 3V, and 2x NiZn when freshly charged will easily exceed that, so just be aware there is a danger of blowing them up with NiZn in boost mode. If you're worried, then you should use them in buck/boost configuration instead. Efficiency is a few percent less, but it can now safely run between 1 to 7 volts input.

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