Low cost primary alkaline dry cells are probably the most common primary power source at present. They are clean, robust, have no appreciable thermal, electromagnetic or noise signature and can easily be carried. Drawbacks include a relatively limited power output, a shorter shelf life and operational life than lithium systems, and increasingly inadequate gravimetric and volumetric energy density.
For high energy density and high power applications, the main solution is to use more expensive cells such as lithium-sulfur di. High operational costs, safety, and disposal issues prevent wider use of the latter systems.
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