The Nickel-iron battery is a very robust battery which is tolerant of mistreatment, like overcharge, over discharge, short-circuiting and thermal shock, and can have very long life. It is often used in backup situations where it can be continuously charged and can last for 20-50 years. Its limitations are a low specific energy, poor charge retention, poor low-temperature performance and its high cost of manufacture. Its chemical composition is nickel(III) oxide-hydroxide for the cathode, iron for the anode, and potassium hydroxide for the electrolyte. This battery chemistry has been produced since 1903.
Wet lead acid
Wet lead acid battery: The major advantage of the wet cell lead acid battery is its low cost - a large battery (e.g. 70 Ah) is relatively cheap when compared to other chemistries. However, this battery chemistry has lower energy density than other battery chemistries available today. Its most common application is a starter battery for vehicles, but they can also be used in alarm systems, uninterruptible power supplies and for energy storage for buildings not connected to the electrical grid. The lead-acid battery chemistry was invented in 1859.
Gel battery: A type of VRLA battery that uses gelified electrolyte. Unlike a traditional wet cell lead-acid battery, the cells of a gel battery are valve-regulated. Its applications include automobiles, motorcycle, boats, aircraft, and other motorized vehicles.
Absorbed glass mat
Absorbed glass mat: A type of VRLA battery. The plates in an AGM battery may be flat like wet cell lead-acid batteries, or they may be wound in tight spirals. In cylindrical AGM's, the plates are thin and wound, like most consumer disposable and rechargeable cells, into spirals so they are also sometimes referred to as spiral wound. Its chemical composition are electrolytes absorbed into a fiberglass mat.
Nickel-cadmium battery: This chemistry gives the longest cycle life of any currently available battery (over 1,500 cycles), but has low energy density compared with some of the other chemistries. Batteries using older technology suffer from memory effect, but this has been reduced drastically in modern batteries. Cadmium is toxic to most life forms, so it poses environmental concerns. Its chemical composition is nickel for the cathode and cadmium for the anode. It is used in many domestic applications, but is being superseded by Li-ion and Ni-MH types. It has been mass produced since 1946.
Nickel metal hydride
Nickel metal hydride battery: Similar to a nickel-cadmium battery (NiCd) but it uses a hydride absorbing alloy for the anode, which makes it less detrimental to the environment. In addition, a NiMH battery can have two to three times the capacity of an equivalent size NiCd and the memory effect is not as significant. However, compared with lithium ion chemistry, the volumetric energy density is lower and self-discharge is higher. Its chemical composition is nickel for the cathode and a hydride absorbing alloy for the anode. Applications for the battery include hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, Toyota RAV4-EV all-electric plug-in Electric car, and consumer electronics. It was made available in 1983. The most advanced versions, up to 105 amp-hours, were made by a partnership between Panasonic and Toyota. These are the standard battery for all-electric EVs capable of lasting longer than the life of the vehicle while yielding a range more than 100 miles on a charge, adequate acceleration, and modest weight.
Lithium ion battery: A relatively modern battery chemistry that offers a very high charge density (i.e. a light battery will store a lot of energy) and which does not suffer from any memory effect whatsoever. Its chemical composition is LiCoO2, LiMn2O4, LiNiO2 or Li-Ph for the cathode and carbon for the anode. Applications include laptop computers, camera phones, some rechargeable MP3 players, and most other portable, rechargeable digital equipment. Tesla, Reva and Kewet are all releasing new lithium ion battery electric car models in 2007. Lithium ion batteries were introduced around 1990. The problems with Lithium batteries include volatility, thermal runaway, high cost and limited shelf and cycle life.
Lithium ion polymer
Lithium ion polymer battery: Similar characteristics to lithium-ion, but with slightly less charge density and a greater life cycle degradation rate. An advantage over regular lithium-ion is ultra-slim design, as little as 1 mm thick. Disadvantages would be if the battery discharges below a certain voltage it may never be able to hold a charge again, also if overcharged the battery becomes extremely unstable and may explode. Applications include ultra-slim cells for personal digital assistants (PDA). They were released in 1996.
Sodium-sulfur battery: Exhibits a high energy density, high efficiency of charge/discharge (89—92%), long cycle life, and is made from inexpensive, non-toxic materials. However, the operating temperature of 300 to 350 °C and the highly corrosive nature of sodium make it suitable only for large-scale non-mobile applications. A suggested application is grid energy storage in the electric grid.
Nickel-zinc battery: A type of rechargeable battery commonly used in the light electric vehicle sector. The battery is still not commonly found in the mass market, but they are considered as the next generation batteries used for high drain applications, and are expected to replace lead-acid batteries because of their higher energy density and higher power to mass ratio, up to 75% lighter for the same power. In addition they are expected to be priced somewhere in between nickel-cadmium and lead-acid batteries, but have twice the energy storing capacity of nickel-cadmium batteries. Problems with Nickel-zinc include relatively high cost with limited life expectancy.
Molten salt battery: High temperature battery that offers both a higher energy density through the proper selection of reactant pairs as well as a higher power density by means of a high conductivity molten salt electrolyte. They are used in services where high energy density and high power density are required. These features make rechargeable molten salt batteries the most promising batteries for powering electric vehicles. However, operating temperatures of 400 to 700°C bring problems with thermal management and safety, and places more stringent requirements on the rest of the battery components. Its composition includes a molten salt electrolyte.
Super iron battery: A new class of rechargeable electric battery. "Super-iron" is a moniker for a special kind of ferrate salt (iron(VI)): potassium ferrate or barium ferrate, as used in this new class of batteries. As of 2004, chemist Stuart Licht of the University of Massachusetts in Boston was leading research into a Super-iron battery.
Zinc bromide battery: A type of hybrid flow battery. A solution of zinc bromide is stored in two tanks. When the battery is charged or discharged the electrolytes are pumped through a reactor and back into the tanks. One tank is used to store the electrolyte for the positive electrode reactions and the other for the negative. Its composition includes the zinc bromide electrolyte.
Rechargeable alkaline battery: A variety of alkaline battery that can be recharged. It was first released in 1993, but is now out of production in most parts of the world. It is still being sold in Canada under the brand Pure Energy.