Zinc Air primary
(non-rechargeable) battery is a 12/24 Volt, 800 Watt-hour battery
pack, approximately the size and weight of a notebook computer.
The battery is based on the new generation of lightweight, 30
ampere-hours cells developed by Electric Fuel. Rated at 350 wh/kg,
the battery typically provided 4 to 6 times the run time of
conventional BA-5590 offering longer mission endurance, improved
safety and redundancy and considerable logistics saving. BA-8180/U
is typically used with portable equipment, in locations where
reliable electrical power is not available, or where long
endurance operation of equipment is required - such as with long
range patrols, and special operations teams, where the battery
pack is carried in a rucksack, adjacent to the radio pack. In
satellite communications applications, PSC-5 SATCOM terminals
operated continuously for four days, powered by a hybrid
zinc-air/lead-acid pack. The battery is used as an external power
source, where it replace standard power packs such as BA-5590/U,
BA-5390/U and BA-3590/U by using compatible adapters that fits
into the battery compartment and plugs into the external source.
Similar adapters can replace BB-390A/U, BB-5990/U, BB-690/Y and
BB-2590/U rechargeable batteries. Zinc-air batteries are
considerably safer in combat situations and more environmentally
friendly than lithium batteries. The US Army Communications
Electronic Command (CECOM) orders started in 2003 after extensive
testing and positive experience with troops during operations in
Iraq and Afghanistan. In training, Zinc-Air packs powered PRC-119
radio sets for an average period of 6 - 9 days. Arotech reported
in November 2003 an order of $5.2 worth of BA-8180/U zinc-air
primary batteries, in addition to an ongoing 2003 order
worth $4.1 million. The US Army plans to buy 150,000 BA-8180/U
batteries under a sole source program announced in November 2003.
Arotech established a new production line for the battery in
Arotech's Battery Division Receives
CECOM Military Battery Research Contract; Phase I of Program for
New Fourth Generation Electric Fuel Zinc Air Cell Has Commenced
On October. 14, 2004 the company announced a new R&D awarded by
the US Army Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM), for
the development of a fourth generation, portable Zinc Air battery
pack aimed specifically at at the Future Force Warrior program.
The new batteries will generate 12 or 24 Volt and have a total
capacity of approximately 400Wh. Battery Energy Density will be
above 300Wh/kg. The program is formed into three phases, starting
with phase one, which will optionally be followed by the second
and third phases.
The 3rd generation cells now in production for the Electric Fuel
BA-8180/U military zinc air battery are mono-cells (single air
cathode) with plastic casing encapsulating the anodic zinc
reactant. The new 4th generation bi-cell (dual air cathode) will
utilize a folded air cathode without plastic casing material,
increasing the respective energy density. The power density is
expected to double.
"Our goal for the new Electric Fuel cell is for it to become the
building block of a new generation of batteries with more energy,
to better serve our armed forces." said Robert S. Ehrlich, Arotech
Chairman and CEO.