Thin, flexible printed energy storage devices are required to provide power for many large-area printed electronic devices being developed. Energy harvesting and consumption have been in place for some time, but a suitable, printed rechargeable store of energy is lacking. Supercapacitors have been presented as a possible solution, and are indeed suitable for a limited number of applications, but suffer from short energy retention times due to leakage currents and low energy densities. A few printed batteries, based on zinc chemistry are present, but are non-rechargeable and designed for single use. Following on from the development of a printable zinc based chemistry - which is rechargeable - the FlexEn project aimed to produce pastes to demonstrate the viability of screen printing for producing rechargeable batteries which can be easily integrated with other printed devices.
- Formulate rechargeable, printable zinc-based electrodes into pastes suitable for screen printing
- Formulated all electrode components for zinc based batteries into screen printable pastes - with optimised rheology and particle size.
- Commercial printing press tests demonstrated electrochemical performance of screen printed electrodes.
The project and battery capabilities attracted investor interest, resulting in the formation of a start-up company, Zinergy, that is developing printed, flexible batteries.