We’re delighted to sponsor battery tech that powers wearable medical devices

Australian Battery Society - Innovator Award Winner Junnan

At Energy Renaissance, we are proud to sponsor and support the winners of the Australian Battery SocietyEnergy Renaissance Innovator Award. We are excited to introduce you to another of our award recipients, Junnan Hao. Junnan is a postdotocal researcher at the University of Adelaide working on the optimization of aqueous Zn-ion batteries. Junnan plans to use the award towards the design of high-safety wearable aqueous-based Zn-ion batteries. In this project, high-safety and high-energy-density wearable ZIBs will be designed to power wearable medical devices, which can not only significantly enrich the family of wearable medical devices but also play a pivotal role in monitoring our body health to help protect against the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Tell us about your research and what inspired you to work on this topic?

My research focuses on developing high-safety and low-cost aqueous batteries. Aqueous batteries have been regarded as the most promising alternative to lithium-ion batteries for large-scale applications in terms of safety, productivity, and economic and ecological aspects. Benefiting from the water-based electrolyte, there are no safety concerns, such as fire or explosion, even with a short circuit of the battery. The insensitivity of the electrolyte to moisture and oxygen also guarantees the easy battery assembly that can take place in an ambient atmosphere, which significantly enhances the efficiency of battery manufacture and cuts down the battery fabricating cost. Moreover, the electrode materials are not dependent on scarce or poisonous resources, contributing to reducing CO2 emission and environmental pollution.

What is the most exciting thing you are doing as part of your studies?

During my studies, there are lots of exciting things, such as reading a good paper, proposing new experimental ideas, achieving good experimental results, publishing my research results, hearing news about new battery techniques, etc. However, the most exciting thing should be that my “fantastic” idea was confirmed by the experimental results. This feeling can make me exciting for a long time.

How has the Energy Renaissance Innovator Award funding helped you?

I really appreciate the Australian Battery Society for granting me this award. This award funding can assist me a lot, such as in purchasing chemicals, lab consumables, etc. More importantly, it can support me to participate in national/international conferences by covering transportation or accommodation, which gives me an opportunity to give the presentation and communicate with peer researchers face to face.

What impact do you think your studies will have on energy storage in the future, especially for the commercialisation of your energy storage technology in Australia?

In the past five years (2016-2022), I focused on developing the new-type battery system, which is a high-safety and low-cost aqueous Zn-ion battery (ZIB), to replace the traditional Li-ion batteries, e.g. for applications in a solar panel system. For a 6.6kwh household solar system, the battery is the most expensive part, whose price (AUD$7500) is approximately 2.5 times higher than the solar panel. Once the commonly used Li-ion battery was replaced by the aqueous Zn-ion batteries, the battery price will be cut down by three quarters (AUD$2500), which will significantly promote the “green” power generation and reduce environmental pollution.