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 Zinc Chloride Batteries

Typical Zinc Chloride Battery (click for full cutaway view)The Zinc Chloride battery is a beefed up version of the general purpose Carbon Zinc battery. Variation in the chemical mix increases its capacity fifty percent. This kind of capacity makes it a better choice than Carbon Zinc because it can deliver more current. Zinc Chloride batteries are superior to Carbon Zinc in leak resistance.

Voltage decreases with each use until cutoff voltage is reached and the battery becomes useless. While Zinc Chloride batteries are labeled heavy duty, they do not withstand high temperatures much better than Carbon Zinc; however, they do perform better at low temperatures. Storage, or shelf life, is much longer than with Carbon Zinc batteries, but storing them at high temperature will shorten their life dramatically.

The cutaway at left shows the typical construction of a Zinc Chloride battery; click on the image to see a larger view with additional information.

Compared to Carbon Zinc, Zinc Chloride batteries weigh twenty percent more, offer a fifty percent increase in service capacity, have the ability to sustain higher current drain and perform better at lower temperatures. When the Enercell Battery Guidebook was produced, Zinc Chloride batteries cost sixty percent more than Carbon Zinc, and were available everywhere and in many sizes. As with Carbon Zinc, price, availability and size range were the three advantages of Zinc Chloride over Alkaline batteries. Advances in technology and manufacturing techniques have eliminated these advantages by lowering the costs of producing alkalines in a wide range of readily available sizes. RadioShack takes great pride in our battery line and strives to provide the best quality for the price to our customers. As Zinc Chloride no longer offers a significant advantage and has significant disadvantages in cylindrical batteries, cylindrical Zinc Chloride batteries are no longer carried by RadioShack. The only Zinc Chloride batteries presently sold are lantern batteries.

Zinc Chloride Battery Characteristics

Type Primary
Chemical Reaction 8MnO2 + 4Zn + ZnCl2 + 9H2O --> 8MnOOH + ZnCl2.4ZnO.5H2O
Operating Temperature 0║ F to 160║ F ( -17║ C to 71.1║ C)
Good low temperature performance.
Recommended for Motor driven toys, cassette players/recorders, radios, clocks, and calculators.
Initial Voltage Varies
Capacity Zinc Chloride batteries offer 50% higher capacity than Carbon Zinc under the same load. In  comparison, Alkaline batteries generally offer from 500% to 700% higher capacity then Carbon Zinc. These batteries do not have a standard capacity rating; see the Capacity heading for a full explanation.
Discharge Rate Sloping, does not fall off to as great a degree as Carbon Zinc, especially at higher current drain.
Internal Resistance Very low; increases with usage, storage or at low temperature.
Impedance Low.
Storage Life up to two years.
Storage Temperature -40║ F to 160║ F ( -40║ C to 71.1║ C)
Disposal Not recyclable; check with your local authority (city/county/parish) for proper disposal.
Other Notes The water in the cell is consumed by an oxide compound reaction, so that the cell is virtually dry at the end of its service life.

Zinc Chloride Battery Datasheets

Datasheet Battery Size RadioShack Cat. No. Quantity Per Pack.
6V Zinc Chloride Lantern Battery Datasheet Heavy-duty 6V Lantern 23-016 1
12V Zinc Chloride Lantern Battery Datasheet 12V Lantern disc'd  

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