Jan 10

Lockheed Martin Signs Agreement with EEStor

 
eestor2.jpg

Mostly, we talk about the Volt here, but relevant and related topics are often worth discussing.

We have previously discussed a secretive Texas company called EEStor, who are reported to be working on a new type of ultracapacitor that can hold 10x the energy in 1/10th the weight of typical batteries, at a fraction of the cost.

They have an agreement to produce caps for Zenn electric cars but to date have not shown any prototypes. This has led some to suspect EEStor as not having the technology they report.

Today, however, Lockheed Martin, the major U.S. military equipment manufacturer has announced a partnership agreement with EEStor to develop energy applications.

If these ultracaps can really deliver what they are projected to, they could offer a dramatic advantage for electric vehicles.

To that end, I interviewed Lionel Liebman, manager of Program Development – Applied Research at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

The entire interview can be seen by clicking below.

Can you tell me what your announcement was today?
Lockheed Martin and EEStor are working together to find areas for integrating their technology to a variety of power management platforms we’re working on.

Is it a financial contract?
We’re not taking any sort of ownership of EEStor. It is an exclusive rights agreement to allow us to market these technologies to a very limited number of potential customers including homeland security and the defense markets.

Lockheed Martin builds fighter jets and military equipment?
And missiles, rockets, ground equipment, vehicles, and systems sensors. Obviously everything that requires power to operate. Power is becoming a sticking point or burden to the warfighter and that’s one of the things were focused on is coming up with solutions that make the warfighter’s job easier and more efficient.

Are you looking to develop portable energy storage for the battlefield?
Yes there are opportunities not only to help in the area of relieving some of the dependence on fuel as energy. Also to increase the value of some of the renewable energy initiatives that are going on right now. Energy storage increase the value of these types of power generation technologies. EEStor’s technology can help in that area.

What have you seen from EEStor in terms of their technology?
We’ve visited their facility. We were very impressed. They are taking an approach that lends itself to a very quick ramp-up in production. We’ve seen a lot of their testing and efforts to measure the purity of the powders that they use, and the chemistry. Well be working with them very closely this year to develop prototypes in certain pursuits.

Have you been able to evaluate any of their current prototypes?
That’s an effort that’s ongoing. We’re really just getting started to integrate their technology into some of the efforts that we have going on here. That’s going to be something that we’re doing this year.

So its a collaborative effort to build the prototypes then?
That’s right.

Do they have something that they’ve tested that you’ve seen which makes you want to work with them?
We haven’t personally tested their prototypes yet. Its something that we’ll work on together this year.

How does Lockheed Martin feel about ultracaps and storage versus li-ion or NiMh batteries?
Lockheed Martin doesn’t have a bias. One way or another its really just a function of what does the customer want. For certain applications being able to provide pulse power is really really important, in another its not so much really pulse power but continuous power. If you talk to the Army they are really interested in hybridized solutions. Suffice it to say that EEStor’s technology is a piece of some of these systems solutions that we come up with. We are a system integrator so we look at the EEStor technology as a building block or a tool in a toolbox to provide the best solutions for the soldier.

Do you see the ultracap as a power solution or an energy solution?
The EEStor chemistry and architecture lends itself to both types of applications. Its a scalable technology. In the situation where you are trying to store energy, transport it without discharge obviously thats very attractive in the utility grid load leveling (situation). If your talking about powering for example a high energy weapon that requires a short burst of energy a capacitor is a great approach to do that. Capacitors are in hybridized systems today for that reason. The chemistry is great purely form the view of battery technology but its also very attractive for some of these extremely high pulse power applications.

Are you looking to use this technology in any vehicular type of application?
We have a number of platforms that were working on. Our applied research group is primarily focused on land forces power management which involves several area including vehicular power.

The needs of a consumer for a hybrid fuel-efficient car versus the need for a soldier in the battlefield are a bit different. The common theme there is ‘what can we do to make them more efficient’, and battery technology is important for that.

Are you confident that their technology will offer a greater amount of energy and power density than batteries?
Yes, and at a fraction of the cost.

Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?
Yes.

How does the the price of EEStor’s capacitors compare with Li-ion or NiMh batteries?
It really depends on the chemistry, the volume, the packaging, the application. It is really application-specific. It’s going to be lower price. Were not just concerned about hardware cost. Really what were focused on is logistics. Especially the logistics footprint in theater. That’s probably more important than material cost. And that one of the things that we think this technology can bring. Because it can be used for a variety of applications with a common architecture and chemistry. Its compact, its scalable and can be applied to a variety of applications. That obviously very attractive to a logistics community, to have more common components and that type of thing.

Is there a production plan for 2008?
Yes for EEStor. Their approach is when they start manufacturing these batteries, not just the cells, but also the package assembly, they will be in production. If you can get a visit to EEStor they’ll show you their process and everything they’ve got in place to support that. Assuming that everything comes together in terms of tests and qualifications and that sort of thing, they will be ready to ramp up very quickly, because of the nature if the architecture and scalability of what they are doing.

Can you say anything about the use of EEStor’s technology in commercial vehicles?
We are basically working with them exclusively and in the homeland security and defense department’s markets. The commercial vehicle market, that’s what EEStor will pursue. If their is a military application then we’re going to help them integrate their technology into those applications, but when it comes to commercial vehicles that’s EEStor’s responsibility.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2008 at 12:01 am and is filed under Battery, Competitors, Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 172


  1. 1
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (2:45 am)

    Thanks Lyle, very interesting. The world is an interesting place to live in especially when we have the chance to have http://www.gm-volt.com


  2. 2
    Jim I

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (7:07 am)

    I guess that “capacitance gel” is almost here!!!!

    It is an amazing time to be alive!


  3. 3
    Todd

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (7:40 am)

    I had pretty much written EEStor off as vaporware at this point. This is a fairly encouraging development. If they can deliver, it should vastly accelerate the electrification of transportation, not to mention speeding the adoption of home based solar (cheap storage).


  4. 4
    Matthijs

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (8:22 am)

    Will this agreement mean the end for this ultracaps in commercial vehicles?

    Maybe they can stop this technology or hold it off the market due to exclusive rights.


  5. 5
    Joshua Bretz

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (8:34 am)

    I think most people had written EEStor off, as you can see from some of the comments at MIT’s Tech Review site:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/18086/

    You can’t underestimate how big this is if EEStor pulls it off. It would replace batteries in any application that can justify the cost of extra power electronics. Hell, at that energy density, who will be the first to make an EEStor powered airplane?


  6. 6
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:05 am)

    [quote comment=”25878″]If they can deliver, it should vastly accelerate the electrification of transportation, not to mention speeding the adoption of home based solar (cheap storage).[/quote]

    Why do people seem to associate batteries with home solar systems? You only need batteries if you live off the grid. See here for details:
    http://www.affordable-solar.com/gt-intro.htm


  7. 7
    wow

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:30 am)

    Dave G,
    You only NEED batteries if you live off the grid, however if you are on the grid and if there is a CHEAP energy storage device available it will increase the Return on Investment of your solar panels because you’ll be storing what you don’t currently use for later use and therefore be getting more out of the same panels and be LESS on the grid. This also makes it easier for you to get totally off the grid if you want to; which before only made sense for isolated locations.


  8. 8
    J. P. Morgan

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:35 am)

    Lockheed interest is huge. The fact that they have investigated the technology and formalized an agreement means EESTORE is for real, not vaporware.

    We do not have an energy problem in the U.S., we have an energy storage problem. EESTORE may go a long way in solving that problem.

    Now, if they are able to pull this off, who wins, and who loses?


  9. 9
    Estero

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:44 am)

    Absolutely amazing! Thanks Lyle!

    Like Todd #3 and others, I too had pretty much written off EEStor for the near term. Guess some of us were to quick on that score.

    The most interesting part of the interview is the statements “Their (EEStor) approach is when they start manufacturing these batteries, not just the cells, but also the package assembly, they will be in production.” Sounds very encouraging!

    I just wish EEStor can bring their product to market soon enough for the Volt v1. Well, I can at least dream!


  10. 10
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:49 am)

    There is one thing that goes unnoticed often in ultracap discussions: a capacitor is not a battery. Let me explain.
    Capacitors discharge graph does not look anything like any battery discharge graph, meaning that power electronics drawing from there have to be completely different. In essence, to get constant voltage and constant power into a constant load from an ultracap, you need a DC-DC converter, which deals with a very wide range of voltages on the draw side.
    Not necessarily more complex or more expensive than battery management circuits for lithium batteries ( pretty much a fundamental requirement for any serious application ) but necessarily different. So the research and solutions so far put into predominantly battery-electric drivetrains will not directly transfer over to ultracap-powered ones.

    Efficient inverters for AC motor that draws from battery and one that draws from ultracap without intermediate converter stage are quite different.


  11. 11
    Dave B

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:51 am)

    [quote comment=”25904″]Lockheed interest is huge. The fact that they have investigated the technology and formalized an agreement means EESTORE is for real, not vaporware.

    We do not have an energy problem in the U.S., we have an energy storage problem. EESTORE may go a long way in solving that problem.

    Now, if they are able to pull this off, who wins, and who loses?[/quote]

    Agreed. Gives them credibility.


  12. 12
    Estero

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:56 am)

    Someone suggested in this forum sometime ago that if EEStor can pull this off we might see people with an ultracapacitor in their garage to recharge their Volt (or other EREV).

    We could also see a network of recharge stations with a bank of ultracapacitors for recharging EREV’s!

    The possibilities are unlimited!


  13. 13
    Estero

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:58 am)

    As a follow up to #12, this could quickly lead to EV’s rather than EREV’s.


  14. 14
    Estero

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (10:06 am)

    Does anyone have a link where I can get more information on Figure 3 and Figure 4 at the top of this post?


  15. 15
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (10:23 am)

    [quote comment=”25922″]Does anyone have a link where I can get more information on Figure 3 and Figure 4 at the top of this post?[/quote]

    Estero, I found figure 4 at
    http://www.rexresearch.com/weir/weir.htm

    Scroll down the page until you see the graphic. Above the graphic is a PDF link.
    There you will find figure 3. There is a lot to read and all of it is over my head.
    Perhaps this is what you are looking for? Good luck.


  16. 16
    Drake

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (10:28 am)

    This is very exciting news. Great interview Lyle.

    FTA:
    [quote]Are you confident that their technology will offer a greater amount of energy and power density than batteries?

    Yes, and at a fraction of the cost.

    Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?

    Yes.
    [/quote]

    All I can say is “wow”.

    With military funding behind it, there’s little chance that battery/ultracap/etc technology will lag. Just think of all of the applications:

    1) “Quiet tanks” – currently an M1 Abrams can be heard from literally miles away. Diesel Hummers aren’t much better. These vehicles could go into EV mode for the last few miles when on the assault.

    2) More personal electronics for the foot solider. More power density = lighter batteries. Imagine nigh vision goggles that only had to be charged once a month.

    3) Logistical improvements. For operation Iraqi Freedom, the army constructed an expensive gasoline pipeline from Kuwait all the way into the middle of Iraq because it turned out that would be cheaper than trucking in all of the thousands of gallons of gas the war effort was using daily. Imagine trucking in a couple of refrigerator-sized reactors instead and just charging up the vehicles.

    4) Energy weapons. Missile defense systems utilizing high-intensity lasers have proven successful. Making these systems mobile has been a major road block in fielding this tech.


  17. 17
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (10:57 am)

    [quote comment=”25902″]Dave G,
    You only NEED batteries if you live off the grid, however if you are on the grid and if there is a CHEAP energy storage device available it will increase the Return on Investment of your solar panels because you’ll be storing what you don’t currently use for later use and therefore be getting more out of the same panels and be LESS on the grid.[/quote]

    Using batteries in a home solar system actually gives you less Return on Investment. Specifically, your investment is more (cost of batteries) and your return is less (efficiency losses). Using a grid-tie solar system, electricity that you don’t use is sent direclty to the power company. Your electric meter spins backwards. With an off-grid battery system, there are more conversions between AC and DC and for different voltages, so the efficiency is less.

    Also note that grid-tie is good for the everyone else because it produces the most electricity when power scarce, like on hot sunny days. So grid-tie solar systems help prevent brown-outs and rolling black-outs.


  18. 18
    Ben D

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:06 am)

    I kept reading “naval rail gun” when he referred to interest in “pulse power”.


  19. 19
    Tim

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:13 am)

    10X the energy at 1/10th the weight at a fraction of the cost of batteries and it’s scalable?

    Energy is the ability to do work. (The depth of the water)
    Power is the rate at which work is done. (The speed of the river)

    Therefore fast charging/discharging ultracapacitors are normally best for power requirements such as storing electricity generated during hard braking and releasing it quickly during rapid acceleration.

    However a 40-lb EEStor ultracapacitor would be able to hold enough energy to go 400 miles between charges (400-lb Li-ion pack / 10 = 40-lb ultracapacitor).

    Power in this application is almost irrelevant because these ultracapacitors would be capable of producing far more power than the car would ever require. They would in fact be a drag racer’s dream and a controller’s nightmare!

    Why are they wasting so much time and money on Li-Ion when we should be concentrating on these?


  20. 20
    Joshua Bretz

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:17 am)

    Re. Post #19.

    Be careful – the energy density is 10x Lead-Acid, and 2x Li-Ion. Still amazing.


  21. 21
    Drake

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:17 am)

    [quote comment=”25944″]
    Power in this application is almost irrelevant because these ultracapacitors would be capable of producing far more power than the car would ever require. quote]

    I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but don’t put it past the American consumer to use (read: waste) any extra energy capacity. I mean why buy a 4-door Excursion when you could have a 6-door one? lol.


  22. 22
    Tim

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:20 am)

    Question: “Why are they wasting so much time and money on Li-Ion when we should be concentrating on these?”

    Answer: The military industrial complex ALWAYS gets the best tech first!

    “Grandma, you have such big teeth.” “All the better to eat you with my dear!”

    Damn, I’m answering my own questions now…


  23. 23
    Sam G

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:36 am)

    After Lockheed Martin announced that partnership, everyone seemed to be looking for EEStor stock which is not traded publicly as of yet. Closest thing they could find is Canadian partner ZENN cars who has been one of the several investors in EEStor. (ZNN) is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange – see
    http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/292614
    Stock went up 24% in one day – unbelievable.

    Obviously the public interest in this product is huge, and from what I can see the biggest news from Lyle’s interview is that the unicorn is real according to this Mr. Liebman from LM –

    Lyle asks: “Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?”

    Liebman answers: “Yes.”

    Holy crap.


  24. 24
    Tim

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:37 am)

    Drake (#21)

    “…don’t put it past the American consumer to use (read: waste) any extra energy capacity.”

    If they collect the electrons free from the PV collectors on the roof of their home, they can “waste” all the free, non polluting energy they want. Of course, it they were SMART, they would buy only the vehicle they NEED (not want) and sell the excess to the grid at peak rates for an extra income source and to reduce grid polluting generating requirements.

    Unfortunately, egos are fragile and not everyone is that intelligent, thoughtful or considerate.

    How many mansions do each the current crop of Presidential candidates own?


  25. 25
    kent beuchert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:38 am)

    Actually, EEStor’s devices have been mostly deescribed in the pas as hybrid capacitors, not pure capacitors, so none of the capicitor characteristics necessarily apply here. I’ve been backand forth on EEStor for the past 1 1/2 years and lately was rather pessimistic, since they had apparently missed their goal of supplying their main client (ZENN Motors, of Canada) with their promised 15KWhr EESU for testing before the end of 2007. But the last comments I heard (several months ago) from the CEO of ZENN was his statement that the devices work and will be “game changing,” which would be quite an understatement. I know everyone here is rooting for success for this Autin-based company to pull off what many, many knowledgeable folks had been skeptical about, mostly because the numbers that EEStor was claiming were so far in advance of anything anyone else had ever achieved in this technology. The head of EEStor has simply said publically that his devices work “as advertised.” Period. Let’s
    hope so.


  26. 26
    Drake

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:50 am)

    Tim #24 – I agree about the solar. Concering your original comment, I guess a more positive way to look at it would be that maybe we would only have to charge our EVs once a month (as opposed to filling up with gas once a week).

    Porting this tech over to cell phone might mean only having to charge it quarterly. How cool would that be?


  27. 27
    Mike756

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:51 am)

    I have been following EESTOR for over a year, and I, like many others, initially thought it was vaporware, but those answers from Lockheed Martin sound like they are pretty confident. I hope they really are as good as they say.


  28. 28
    OhmExcited

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:54 am)

    I apologize in advance if I’m wrong about this, but I believe EEStor signed an exclusive agreement with Feel Good Cars (Zenn Motor Company) in Canada, and that their car is not classed as the same type of vehicle as the Volt.

    The advantage of an ultracap IMO is not so much the amount of energy it can store, but the recharge speed. Your garage’s outlet physically does not have the current required to recharge a large storage device in a short amount of time. With ultracaps, banks of them could be installed at service stations. The electric grid keeps them topped off, and drivers can periodically come and recharge in a few minutes.


  29. 29
    Drake

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    OhmExcited #28 – why not just upgrade the outlet and/or line voltage in your garage? It sure beats paying $3.00+/gallon (btw, gasoline is predicted to increase 30% in 2008) for gas or $10,000 for a hydrogen producing machine.

    I wouldn’t mind making some improvements to my home to accomodate E-REVs/EVs. Heck, it’s bound to increase the property value as gasoline become more expensive.


  30. 30
    Jake

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (12:05 pm)

    [quote comment=”25965″]The electric grid keeps them topped off, and drivers can periodically come and recharge in a few minutes.[/quote]
    If the battery in the car can handle that high of a charge rate, of course. But yes, you bring up a very valid point. Even charging in an hour or something might be much faster than a normal household electrical circuit could provide, depending on the battery capacity.


  31. 31
    Neil

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (12:21 pm)

    Kent: Time to start researching recipes for baked crow. Here are some of your own words over the last year:

    “This is all crazy…has anyone checked the technology…I have been in Barium Titanate capacitors for 30 years..THIS WILL NOT WORK!!!”

    “EEStor will, in my opinion, never come to market. ”

    “There is no good evidence (or even reason) for believing the capacitor will succeed. I will be flabbergasted if it actually works. And so will plenty of capacitor engineers. EEStor has been making claims that no one believes.”

    “EEStor has earned a reputation as a company that claims to be secretive about its product but somehow manages to get all kinds of details out there spread
    all over themedia. I have seen nothing but empty promises and missed deadlines. I’m quite sure they have no working product and from the looks of the silly patent they were granted, they never will have. Sorry, but you’ll have to look elsewhere for an electric
    battery. “


  32. 32
    Brian M

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but Lockheed (a defense contractor) doesn’t care about cost nearly as much as GM. This may be good though, as EEStor may have a chance to reduce costs with some volume.


  33. 33
    Brian M

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    [quote comment=”25961″]Tim #24 – I agree about the solar. Concering your original comment, I guess a more positive way to look at it would be that maybe we would only have to charge our EVs once a month (as opposed to filling up with gas once a week).

    Porting this tech over to cell phone might mean only having to charge it quarterly. How cool would that be?[/quote]

    I may be wrong, but I think capacitors leak energy much faster than batteries. They are not meant for long-term storage.


  34. 34
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (1:02 pm)

    [quote comment=”25947″]Be careful – the energy density is 10x Lead-Acid, and 2x Li-Ion. Still amazing.[/quote]

    Thanks for the clarification. That one fooled me as well.


  35. 35
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (1:17 pm)

    Once again, its a lot of excitement over something that can be characterized as an incremental upgrade by now.

    2x li-ion energy density ? Which lithium ion ? There are at least five dominant lithium chemistries on the market, ranging from 80wh/k to over 200wh/kg. Which ones are we talking about ?
    Power density ? For EV applications even NiMH has more power density than you will ever need for car sized battery pack.

    Add to that the power electronics complications ( ultracap with decent storage likely means thousands of volts at peak charge and linear voltage drop when discharging ) and possibly not being able to fully use the entire energy at all, and on system level we may be looking at fairly modest advance over modern batteries.

    And thats not even touching the ever important cost. If A123 batteries or any other decent LiFePO4 was like $100/Kwh everybody and their dogs would be in EVs already.

    In other words, before we see a product, i will retain “lets wait and see” position on this.


  36. 36
    Tim

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (1:30 pm)

    Brian (#33)- In the case of an E-REV-40, “long term” storage may be a moot point. Anyway, ALL systems that store electrons leak. The important questions: “Is the leakage rate of this storage system acceptable for the assigned task?” and “Does its advantages (cost, weight, power & energy outweigh its shortcomings leakage, safety, thermo etc.?” Imagine this ultracapacitor shorting out and discharging ALL of its energy in one flash! OUCH!!!

    At the very least, these could be used in series with Li-Ion batteries so that more regen braking energy could be recycled and pack thermo could be better managed by controlling battery energy flow during acceleration & deceleration. At best, they could replace the Li-ion packs altogether.


  37. 37
    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (1:38 pm)

    ::At the very least, these could be used in series with Li-Ion batteries so that more regen braking energy could be recycled

    Depends on your lithium and on your pack. With really small packs like Prius, obviously the pack is too small to absorb full braking energy. With 40-PHEV like VOLT or full EV some lithium battery chemistries could absorb maximum deceleration energy right now ( maximum G given ABS brakes ) without breaking a sweat.


  38. 38
    Dwayne

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (1:55 pm)

    2x li-ion energy density ? Which lithium ion ? There are at least five dominant lithium chemistries on the market, ranging from 80wh/k to over 200wh/kg. Which ones are we talking about ?

    Lead Acid batterys are about 25-35 wH/Kg. So, They are talking 250 to 350 wh/KG.

    I would sure like to see a public demo of a cell. Also the leak rate will be critical.


  39. 39
    Joshua Bretz

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (2:00 pm)

    2x li-ion energy density ? Which lithium ion ? There are at least five dominant lithium chemistries on the market, ranging from 80wh/k to over 200wh/kg. Which ones are we talking about ?

    Good point. The number I’ve seen thrown around is 1MJ/kg (280Wh/kg).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEstor

    From reading EEStor patent applications, they’ve tried to reduce leakage by coating the BaTi(?) particles with glass, and so are claiming quite good self-discharge characteristics.

    The big question in my mind is temperature performance. I’m guessing that the cap doesn’t do well at temperature extremes.


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    Jan 10th, 2008 (2:04 pm)

    250wh/KG wouldnt be that much of an improvement over best lithium polymer cells at all, 200wh/kg is easily on the market and as high as 500wh/kg in the laboratories.

    Whether they are the “holy grail” or not depends on so many variables, cost being the most important of them, and they definitely wont be holy grail for all battery applications.

    I could see why military is interested, they need the insane power densities for stuff like energy weapons and so on, but for EV/PHEV application they may not be any grail at all.


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    Chris C

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (2:18 pm)

    So have you looked at the Zenn car? There’s a video on their web site where a Toronto TV host raves about the car then they take it for a drive. What’s not to like right?

    Then you read the specs and this thing tops out at a blistering speed of 25 mph! What? That’s not a car its golf cart!

    Can someone tell me why this is? I don’t understand why an electric car would be built to perform this badly.


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    Matagamasi

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (2:20 pm)

    Eestor’s U.S. patent 7,033,406 B2 dated 2006-APR-25 states in Table 1 that their EESU has the following properties:

    ENERGY: 52.2 kW*hr
    WEIGHT: 336 pounds
    VOLUME: 2,005 cubic inches
    DISCHARGE RATE: 0.1% every 30 days

    Compare to a lead acid (gel) battery shown in the same table:

    ENERGY: 52.2 kW*hr
    WEIGHT: 3,646 pounds
    VOLUME: 43,045 cubic inches
    DISCHARGE RATE: 1% every 30 days

    The discharge rate (leakage) of the EESU is about 1/10th that of a lead acid battery. The EESU should hold its charge for 10 times as long as a lead acid battery.

    Table 1 in the patent doesn’t show lithium ion batteries.


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    domenick

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (2:33 pm)

    Sometimes it’s just too difficult to not count unhatched chickens. So….

    Scoop of the year. Tech of the decade.


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    Jan 10th, 2008 (2:38 pm)

    Kert (#37), You are correct in that the new Li-Ion chemistries and designs have less resistance than older ones. Less resistance = less heat. Less heat = longer life, more efficiency and less complex thermal management systems.

    The big deal here is cost, weight, simplicity and lifespan. Electrons stored on the surface of a material as in a capacitor is always more efficiently transferred than electrons that must be stripped from within one material to be deposited into another as in a battery.

    This electron sequestration allows batteries to have less “leakage” whereas it’s the “surface” storage of capacitors which allow them to move energy more efficiently.

    Apparently, EEStor’s ultracapacitor is a hybrid. I’m no expert, but this appears to be a capacitor with battery chemistry that allows for shallow electron capture and sequestration within a thin coating of chemistry between the plates. I’m thinking of a “wide shallow pool” which captures and releases electrons with little resistance rather than the traditional “deep lake” battery which requires more work (and heat) to pull the electrons up from the depths. Nano materials are currently being used in Li-Ion batteries to reduce resistance, but this is the next logical step. Another approach to a “shallower pool” is silicon nonotubes and there was an article on this site relating to this subject.

    Ceramic capacitors are cheap. Coating them with the right nano-powder, separating with the right material and assembling them in to a stack should also be relatively simple process. Of course the devil is in the details and that is where Lockheed Martin comes in. Interesting stuff. we’ll probably see it in directed energy weapons before we get access to it.


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    JohnG

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (4:29 pm)

    Estero:

    Those figures are from EEStor’s International Publication no WO 2006/026136 A2


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    butters

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (4:39 pm)

    The C-rates for LiFePO4 or LiMn2O4 are such that the minimum energy capacity that provides enough power for an EV is around 16KWh. That’s why the Volt was designed around this number.

    If EEStore’s hybrid ultracap/battery technology can achieve higher energy density at a lower cost, then it can penetrate the full-power EV market. But its superior power density is not really a part of the equation at these pack sizes.

    Where this technology could come into play is in a fuel-electric vehicle, a non-plug-in configuration of E-Flex. Such a vehicle would require a small ~2KWh energy buffer between the fuel generator/cell and the electric drive, and batteries simply can’t provide enough power at such small capacities.

    In short, EEStor’s technology is most useful in providing enormous power bursts (e.g. naval rail gun) or getting relatively high power (e.g. EV) out of a small energy buffer. But if they can be made cheap and light enough, they could supplant batteries in EVs.

    They would also be useful as large energy buffers for rapid charge stations even if the EVs themselves use batteries. But if many drivers line up to buy half-megawatt charges, the station would still need a massive grid tie to keep their ultracap array replenished.

    So a very interesting potential consumer of ultracap technology is the electric utility industry, who could strategically position them throughout the grid to absorb peaks and valleys in demand. If rapid charge stations are to spring up across the country, then the grid is going to have to support a lot of bursty, high-capacity tie-ins.


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    Vic

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (4:44 pm)

    The physics works on paper, but in practice the EEStor capacitor as described in their patent would be a remarkable accomplishment. They need to contain 3500 volts across a very thin coating of barium titanate. To do this the material needs to be a single crystal. Their patent suggests rather low permeability glass filler — thus no single crystal. The capacitor will breakdown — rather violently — internally. They claim operation voltage of 3500 volts down to about 250. This is not a simple control or DC-DC conversion problem. Some people have used the term “vaporware” to describe this ledged technology. They’re being kind.


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    Joshua Bretz

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (4:50 pm)

    [quote comment=”26035″]They claim operation voltage of 3500 volts down to about 250. This is not a simple control or DC-DC conversion problem.[/quote]

    Bringing the cap from 3500V down to 1100V gets 90% of the energy out. This ~3:1 input range is not all that challenging for a DC/DC converter.


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    wow

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (4:58 pm)

    “Using batteries in a home solar system actually gives you less Return on Investment. Specifically, your investment is more (cost of batteries) and your return is less (efficiency losses).”

    You only use what’s in the battery at night, which is energy your panels produced over your demand and you were otherwise going to sell to the grid for a fraction of the cost you pay for electricity.

    “Using a grid-tie solar system, electricity that you don’t use is sent direclty to the power company.”

    It’s sent to the power company, but at a much lower price than you pay for it. When you get it back from your battery, it is worth multiple times more to you because otherwise you would have to pay multiple times more for the same electricity from the grid.

    “With an off-grid battery system, there are more conversions between AC and DC and for different voltages, so the efficiency is less.”

    Storage in the battery and then conversion to AC only occurs to that excess energy you were otherwise going to sell back to the grid at a fraction of a cost you pay for it. The losses due to conversion are less significant than the price difference between buying and selling on the grid.

    “Also note that grid-tie is good for the everyone else because it produces the most electricity when power scarce, like on hot sunny days. So grid-tie solar systems help prevent brown-outs and rolling black-outs.”

    Won’t argue with that, but also note that grid-tie with solar WITH energy storage is even better for this very same point.


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    kert

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (5:32 pm)

    “The C-rates for LiFePO4 or LiMn2O4 are such that the minimum energy capacity that provides enough power for an EV is around 16KWh”

    This number depends on your rated peak power of the drivetrain, and given cell C rating. They are different you know. For some LiFEPo4 its only ~2C or ~4C, while A123 is claimed to do 10C discharge.

    With smaller motor drawn, the balance number is smaller.
    I am getting far smaller pack for my own EV conversion which will still provide sufficient peak power draw.


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    Mark

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (6:20 pm)

    I’m still going to call this ‘vaporware’…This will NEVER go towards use in electric vehicles. The government has too much money to lose if people don’t need oil to drive.


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    Jon P.

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (6:51 pm)

    For the record i thought EEstor was a bunch of crap, but this changes everything.

    Lyle asks: “Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?”

    Liebman answers: “Yes.”

    He didn’t say well that’s what were shooting for, or our scientist think it’s possible, or any other wiggle statement.
    Yes is yes, cut and dry. Lockhead Martin, damn i couldn’t feel any better than if GM had just signed with them. Lockhead Martin dosen’t due smoke and mirrors, they due grossly overpriced Govt. contracts but not vaPOrizer.

    Holy Cow if they really make this work our lives are gonna change alot in the next 10 years. Forget cars how about phones you charge once a month, laptops that are twice as light and last 10 times as long.

    What an awesome time to be alive! & I’m only 28!!!!


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    Dwayne

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (7:08 pm)

    Ok let’s not get crazy here! EEstor is only talking about doubling the capacity of existing Li ion batteries. Your laptop goes from 2 hours to 4 hours – not a month! Nobody uses lead acid batteries in a laptop – or an EV for that matter. An increase from 40 to 80 miles in the Volt would be great news but it doesn’t mean we only charge the car once a week!


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    Jan 10th, 2008 (7:37 pm)

    If you had a capacitor in the car and capacitors at the “fueling” station would you be able to re-energize almost instantly ?


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    Jeff M

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (7:44 pm)

    #41 (Chris)… a top speed of 25mph… that sounds like the vehicle is an NEV (neighborhood electric vehicle)

    A couple other applications for super/ultra capacitors that I’ve read about…

    …in diesel-electric trains for regen, where as has been mentioned, too much power for batteries

    …in power company sub-stations for load balancing. Could be considered a little like what folks see V2G doing.

    Other super/ultra cap stories…

    Axion Power gets the lead out
    http://media.cleantech.com/node/1426

    Enova Systems to Debut Ultracapacitor Technology
    http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=16786

    Nano Battery is Paper-Thin
    http://tinyurl.com/2ax6ee


  56. 56
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (9:46 pm)

    RE #49 – wow

    Wow, I wonder if you have solar?
    I think that you misunderstand net metering. The period usually applies to a year, not overnight.

    I have about 13KW of solar power, which is more than twice the size of most residential solar systems. That’s enough to power a fleet of 6 Volts for 10,000 miles per year, or power my house, my heat pump, and one Volt. Or enough peak power to power the whole street (a small street)!

    It is VERY VERY rare for batteries to be worth while with residential solar.

    Uses for batteries:
    1) Off grid.
    2) Backup — a generator is usually more cost effective, unless you NEED millisecond switch over, or more than a couple of days run time.
    3) Net meter scheme where you are forced to use two separate meters (or a digital meter with directional charging), AND where time of use does NOT apply. I know of no such net meter scheme.

    Most net metering schemes wind the meter back at the SAME rate as forward in KWh. Yes you are paid a different rate for what you sell to what you buy. However, that only applies at the end of the year. So if I use 14,000KWh in a year, but generate 15,000KWh in a year, then I will be paid a below retail avoided cost rate for the 1,000KWh that I generated at excess at the end of the year. If I generate 13,999KWh then I pay for 1KWh in the year at normal retail rates, regardless of whether I generated at day or night.

    In those cases where digital meters record bi-directionally, they also usually include time of use, which means that they pay you more for day time generation than you pay for night time use.

    You’ve just got it wrong.

    There is one other case that I can think of. Imagine in 20 years if 50% of residences have solar power, and total peak power of solar is more than 100% of what the grid can consume. Then I can see a need to store the excess for over night use. We are so so so far from that position.

    In summary BATTERIES are NOT SUITABLE for grid tie. Take it from someone with 13KW of grid tie.


  57. 57
    Exciton

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (10:45 pm)

    It is still a vaporware. No prototypes, independent tests and very doubtful physics behind. No other team in the field of dielectric physics is even close to their stated values of energy density. There are strong arguments that it won’t function: Barium Titanate isn’t a linear dielectric therefore a textbook formula C=0.5 C V^2 is not applicable for BaTi. They base their claim on this formula, but for BaTi C itself is a function of voltage (field). It depends on how you apply the voltage (hysteresis). Based on study of their patent applications, my opinion is that this is very refined form of scum. Even Lockheed Martin is prone to such sophisticated form of disinformation.


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    Neil

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (11:51 pm)

    Lockheed Martin probably doesn’t pay out a cent until they have a working prototype.

    Exciton: I don’t suppose you’d like to post these allegations of fraud with your full name and address? It’s a bit early to be using the “scum” label without any proof.


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    blackcat

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (12:00 am)

    [quote comment=”26120″]… Based on study of their patent applications, my opinion is that this is very refined form of scum. Even Lockheed Martin is prone to such sophisticated form of disinformation.[/quote]

    So you think no one at Lockheed is quite as smart as you then?


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    Jan 11th, 2008 (12:44 am)

    It is not only my opinion, read carefully here http://tyler.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/11/1/3328442.html

    The whole issue sounds very convincing for any electrical engineer. I’m sure those guys have such level.
    The devil lies in detail might be unknown for Lockheed people. You have to know physics of perovskite compounds. This is a narrow research field, 40-60 people active in the world.


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    I_Spark

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (1:35 am)

    Nanowire battery can hold 10 times the charge of existing lithium-ion battery.

    News Article:
    http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/nanowire-010908.html


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    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (2:15 am)

    Arh, so Exciton, we are honored that one of the 40-60 people in the world with the appropriate knowledge is reading our forum.

    You are one of those few people in the world qualified in this area aren’t you?

    Of course we are all entitled to opinions. But let’s not be dismissive on either side.

    My job is mostly software debugging, and the number of times that I see supposedly qualified people screw up badly is stunning. Indeed identifying and fixing the mistakes of the “qualified” is my bread and butter work, and I have no shortage of work.

    I usually find that the mark of an expert is someone who is willing to own up to how little they actually know. Which is usually more than those claiming to be expert know.

    Look at Nano Solar, they have been secretive, but they’ve done just what they said they would do so far. There are good reasons for private companies to be secretive. They don’t want to reveal everything via patents either.


  63. 63
    tom

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (3:13 am)

    I think it is still to early to say we are saved but this news is very good. This ultra cap will go great with nano solar thin film solar panels. We are still looking at many years before we get our hands on either one but still the future is looking very bright. As for the gov not letting us use the tech is laughable, what will the gov do when gas is $5 to $6 dollar a gallon and a barrel of oil is $150 to $200 dollars a barrel. We still do have a lot of oil left but the cheap good stuff is declining fast this is why we have a supply problem right now, demand is higher the production right now. these techs will happen but in a slow and at times painful pace. We do live in exciting times but also very very scary times to, be perpared for the worse even if it never comes.


  64. 64
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    Jan 11th, 2008 (4:51 am)

    [quote comment=”26181″]Arh, so Exciton, we are honored that one of the 40-60 people in the world with the appropriate knowledge is reading our forum.

    You are one of those few people in the world qualified in this area aren’t you? [/quote]

    No, simply as any physicist in the world, I am able to understand the topic after some brief study, even if the physics of perovskites is not my field. I’had very rough knowledge of ferroelectrics before I stumbled upon the recent news.

    Look what other people say:
    https://e-reports-ext.llnl.gov/pdf/242927.pdf
    -read carefully the last page, the are only 3 of them excluding the title.

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10595&page=50

    Note the current (12-15 J/cc) and maximum achievable (80-100 J/cc) energy density. EEstor claims that they have x10 energy density then lead acid battery. This is 10x(0.17 MJ/L)= 1700 J/cc – 17 times more then the most favorable theoretical limit !

    [quote comment=”26181″]
    Look at Nano Solar, they have been secretive, but they’ve done just what they said they would do so far. There are good reasons for private companies to be secretive. They don’t want to reveal everything via patents either [/quote]

    The only secret they have is their production technology. CIGS itself is known, proven material. It can deliver promised performance. They aren’t only player in this field. Major selling point of Nanosolar is the low price due to their production technology. I have no problem with it so far.


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    Tachy

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (5:12 am)

    10X the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery is 100x the energy as the same weight of it. 0,03 kWh/kg * 100 = 3 kWh/kg.


  66. 66
    CapacitorMan

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (5:46 am)

    I agree with Exiton. I have worked in these devices for 40 years, and EEStor’s claims are beyond belief. Extraordinary claims will need more proof. To suddenly come out with a dielectric which is 400 times the dielectric constant of the industry is incredible, maybe not impossible, but…

    It does not add to the credibility, that they have claimed that increase for two radically different systems: Sintered BT capacitors with glass flux, and BT in plastic film. No attention paid to mixture rules, nor is the common formula acknowledged.

    The absolute key question is whether the capacitance stays constant, or nearly so with voltage, noone has said that yet. Still a lot of ambiguity in the interview:

    “Do they have something that they’ve tested that you’ve seen which makes you want to work with them?”
    “We haven’t personally tested their prototypes yet. Its something that we’ll work on together this year”

    Was that question answered?


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    JohnG

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (7:53 am)

    Neil:

    Don’t be too hard on the anonymous amongst us…some companies have rules against making public statements.

    In this litigious world, it appears the more expert one is considered to be, the less they should say


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    Dr. John

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (8:30 am)

    The technology in question is described in a US patent assigned to EEStor, #7,033,406. There are at least three associated published patent applications. They claims to use a ceramic dielectric in a multilayered design to create a high-quality electrostatic capacitor. They also state that this capacitor will be operated at near its breakdown voltage and that many small capacitors will be parallel connected to create what is essentially a large plate area. The information provided in the patent discusses the material system in considerable detail, but for our purposes here I focus directly on the design which is, again, a multi-layer electrostatic capacitor being operated at several kilovolts and comprised physically of thousands of smaller multilayer units connected in parallel to achieve the energy needed.

    There are two major flaws one can identify immediately in the patent description. The first is that electrostatic capacitors cannot reliably operate near the breakdown voltage as claimed. In the interests of reliability such capacitors are typically operated at 1/10th or a lower percentage of the breakdown voltage. Since stored energy in a capacitor is proportional to the voltage squared, reducing the voltage to a more typical value drops the energy by a factor of 100. The 340 Wh/kg quoted, therefore, would amount to ~3.4 Wh/kg in real terms, a figure just slightly lower than typical for electrochemical capacitors (the so called ultra or super capacitors) already available.

    The second major flaw in the patent description is the fact that the technology is not scalable. In order to scale electrostatic capacitors, to be able to successfully parallel connect many of them, requires that they be self-clearing. Any single capacitor cell that breaks down must become an open circuit rather than a short circuit. Unfortunately, the technology described in the patent is not self-clearing and would create shorts. The sort of scaling required to connect a very large number of these small capacitors in parallel could not hope to be successful. On the other hand, metalized film capacitors are self-clearing, by design vaporizing the metal where dielectric breakdown sparks have ocurred in the film and thus failing as an open.

    In regard, finally, to reliability, it is generally the case that the more piece parts there are in a system, the lower its reliability. If thousands and thousands of small electrostatic capacitors are parallel connected as the patent describes, this cannot help but present a reliability problem. NASA always counts the number of piece parts in a system as a rule of thumb for reliability. This patent describes literally hundreds of thousands of ceramic capacitors parallel connected into a single energy storage device. Any one of those failing would likely cause the entire system to fail. Reliability is obviously an issue here.

    Some knowledgeable experts consider the EEStor technology simply a paper patent with major technical flaws and dismiss it out of hand. Others believe that the reliability issue by itself makes the technology suspect for use in large systems as described, in hybrid vehicles for instance. Comments by application engineers note in particular the high operating voltage (several kV)and the implementation problems this would create in a vehicle. The final chapter of this story has yet to be written.


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    Joshua Bretz

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (8:57 am)

    [quote comment=”26237″]There are two major flaws one can identify immediately in the patent description. The first is that electrostatic capacitors cannot reliably operate near the breakdown voltage as claimed. In the interests of reliability such capacitors are typically operated at 1/10th or a lower percentage of the breakdown voltage. Since stored energy in a capacitor is proportional to the voltage squared, reducing the voltage to a more typical value drops the energy by a factor of 100. The 340 Wh/kg quoted, therefore, would amount to ~3.4 Wh/kg in real terms, a figure just slightly lower than typical for electrochemical capacitors (the so called ultra or super capacitors) already available.[/quote]

    You’re right that this derating applies to ceramic caps. The actual breakdown is much higher than the rated voltage. But maybe it doesn’t apply to particles that are glass coated. After all, for there to be a change in the dielectric, doesn’t there have to be migration? And if each particle is glass encapsulated, doesn’t that prevent migration?

    [quote comment=”26237″]The second major flaw in the patent description is the fact that the technology is not scalable. In order to scale electrostatic capacitors, to be able to successfully parallel connect many of them, requires that they be self-clearing. Any single capacitor cell that breaks down must become an open circuit rather than a short circuit. Unfortunately, the technology described in the patent is not self-clearing and would create shorts. The sort of scaling required to connect a very large number of these small capacitors in parallel could not hope to be successful. On the other hand, metalized film capacitors are self-clearing, by design vaporizing the metal where dielectric breakdown sparks have ocurred in the film and thus failing as an open.[/quote]

    I’m pretty sure that when I read their patent applications a couple months ago, that a self-clearing mechanism was described. This is absolutely necessary, and I think it is obvious as to why.

    [quote comment=”26237″]In regard, finally, to reliability, it is generally the case that the more piece parts there are in a system, the lower its reliability. If thousands and thousands of small electrostatic capacitors are parallel connected as the patent describes, this cannot help but present a reliability problem. NASA always counts the number of piece parts in a system as a rule of thumb for reliability. This patent describes literally hundreds of thousands of ceramic capacitors parallel connected into a single energy storage device. Any one of those failing would likely cause the entire system to fail. Reliability is obviously an issue here.[/quote]

    Our company uses hundreds of millions of ceramic caps every year (worldwide usage is about 1 trillion per year). Being in a high-rel business, we track failures religiously. Ceramic caps have mechanical weaknesses, but when those issues are addressed, reliability is excellent.

    [quote comment=”26237″]The final chapter of this story has yet to be written.[/quote]


  70. […] A new deal with Lockheed Martin, one of the nation’s biggest defense contractors, should see EEStor capacitors hitting the market in late 2008. In an interview on the GM-Volt blog, a Lockheed exec says he’s evaluated the company’s production line, and thinks once it gets started making capacitors it will be able to “ramp up very quickly.” […]


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    Jan 11th, 2008 (9:50 am)

    JohnG: I agree that the anonymity of the web is great for whistle blowers. But, if you’re going to use labels like “scum” you’d better have some proof. Otherwise it’s just a cowardly anonymous attack that you’d never see if the person was right there in the room with them.

    Is it possible that they’ve left key technology and/or information out of their patent applications in order to delay competition?


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    Neutron Flux

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (10:34 am)

    I know this web site is filled with those hoping so much for the Holy Grail in Power Storage & this leaves people to grasp for, hope for & believe at times in figments. Just because a Defence contractor signs an agreement to co- develope a proto type that currently does not exist does not mean it ever will. For every break through there are how many failures? Do you really believe there has never been a defence contractor spending boondoggle? I see this as a great investment opportunity….To sell some stock short. While everyone is on a feeding frenzy driving up the stock price, in the end those who jump head first toward this promised Ultra Capacitor Holy Grail and put all their eggs into one basket will likely fund my new Chevy Volt! Thank you! PS I spent 10 years of life in the Defense Industry & saw prototype’s first hand in the reserves. Most of which are unique and not cost effective for the mass market. Military applications by their nature are not designed to be cost effective, what price do you put on a soldier/sailor’s life. Can you afford it or convince someone to fund it & will it accomplish the mission better than current methods. Hope I am wrong but not getting my hopes to high on this news.


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    Jan 11th, 2008 (10:59 am)

    Neil:

    “Is it possible that they’ve left key technology and/or information out of their patent applications in order to delay competition?”

    It’s possible, I suppose, but then why file a useless patent? The USPTO rules say that one must have sufficient information in the patent that “a person of ordinary skill in the art” can duplicate it….the so-called “best-mode”

    If one has invented a breakthrough product, they normally say, for example, “prior art dielectric with this high field capability only have a permittivity of 50, while this embodiment has one of 20,000″ and “prior art BT ceramics, when mixed with glass or plastic suffer a drastic drop in K, this one does not…”

    Curious, but time will tell.


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    wow

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (11:23 am)

    Mark Bartosik you are missing the most crucial part of this: we’re not talking about today’s batteries we’re talking about the Eestor doo-hicky.
    I’m NOT saying that today’s batteries are good ideas for solar systems, I’m saying that IF this EEstor thing is for real IT WILL BE good for solar systems because it changes all of the equations for how much batteries capacity costs, how well they perform, how long they will last, etc…

    I can certainly agree that I don’t know everything about the metering but that is besides the point.


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    greg woulf

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (11:36 am)

    I disagree with everyone. (not really)

    I think that I don’t know what’s possible and what’s not. To me the arguments that very knowledgeable capacitor scientists pose against the possibility of this EESTor capacitor are valid, but that none of the arguments I’ve heard remove the possibility entirely.

    If they’ve figured a way to overcome the field interference through glass, or other type of coating, without a corresponding reduction in the dielectric coefficient and if they’ve figured out how to stop cracking through thermal growth, or perhaps how to severely limit internal resistence so that there isn’t the temperature problems then maybe, just maybe they have something.

    That’s where I disagree with the experts, I think there might be a possibility.

    I’ve looked into Weir and think he’s totally legitimate. He’s respected in the hard drive industry, and has previous patents on record. While I know of no experience he’s had in the cap business, nothing about him personally points toward a scam.

    Where I disagree with the average poster is how long it should take to come to market. Developing a prototype into a production line for something like this is a huge step.

    Altairnano has a great battery that would change the world, but their battery is hand made. They can’t make it for less than $50k right now.

    so saying it should be out by 2008, or out at all, even if they have a breakthrough is premature. First they have to show that it can be produced, then they have to show it can be mass produced.

    On top of that, even if it’s totally real, they have to show it’s safe, no shorts, that it’s long lasting and that it maintains significant performance in that time.

    It gives me great hope that Lockheed is on board, but it also is a source of worry. If the gov’t decides that the technology could be used as a weapon that they don’t want other countries to have they’ll hide this fast.


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    Joshua Bretz

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    [quote comment=”26274″]…[that] Lockheed is on board … is a source of worry. If the gov’t decides that the technology could be used as a weapon that they don’t want other countries to have they’ll hide this fast.[/quote]

    Lockheed will likely have a lock on the technology, but only for military applications. Don’t forget that Zenn Motors invested in EEStor years ago. If Lockheed has success, then so will Zenn (and hopefully GM if they’re not to late).


  77. 77
    Paul Holmes

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (4:09 pm)

    Let’s put this in the Volt! Ya, so we can go 40 miles on PURE ELECTRICITY, and then get gas for the other 350 miles!!! It would be stupid to just have an electric car that can go 400 miles on a charge.

    … What?


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    Sam G

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (5:10 pm)

    [quote comment=”26253″]JohnG:

    Is it possible that they’ve left key technology and/or information out of their patent applications in order to delay competition?[/quote]

    That is exactly what I think – all of these arguments are based on a patent # that was registered years ago, correct? I’m assuming that the technology has advanced at EEStor and it seems likely that the original project may have proved impossible as described. I think we have yet to see the true product and it’s description unveiled later on. If I had to guess ’08 is probably a little optimistic for a release date.


  79. 79
    John Smith

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (7:42 pm)

    The guy at Lockheed Martin knows little about capacitors. He seems to admit as much. To me, it seems clear that he just took EEStor’s word for what they have done. I don’t see that this Lockheed Martin agreement adds any credibility at all to EEStor’s story.

    Myself, I think EEStor has nothing. Or I should say, I’ll believe it when I see it.


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    Paul Holmes

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (11:01 pm)

    THE guy at Lockheed? Which of the 140,000? There is no way that one man went and looked at EEStor and said, “golly, I hereby declare that Lockheed will partner with EESTor.”


  81. 81
    Paul Holmes

     

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    Jan 11th, 2008 (11:56 pm)

    I think that EEStor should sell their breakthrough technology to GM. That way, GM could sell it to Chevron, and then Chevron could sue Panasonic for making EEStor type capacitors. Then Chevron could sit on the technology, and only allow people to make EEStor units that can power cell phones. Then GM could dump the “Volt” and make a new really really big Tank car, and call it the “Tummer”.

    They do say that History repeats itself, so let’s just get this over with. Note, replace EEStor with Stan Ovshinsky’s NiMH batteries and you have a real world thing that happened a few years back.


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    Jeff M

     

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    Jan 12th, 2008 (12:04 am)

    Only 6 more years til the Chevron/Cobasys patent expires :(


  83. 83
    Paul Holmes

     

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    Jan 12th, 2008 (12:48 am)

    6 years. They won’t even need BIG NiMH batteries in 6 years, because they should have their 200,000 hydrogen fueling stations installed all around the country by then, and the $1,000,000 fuel cell cars should be only about $20,000. GM was right, pure electric cars can’t happen! Fuel cells are the way to go.

    I have special needs.


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    Jeffrey

     

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    Jan 12th, 2008 (4:19 am)

    Paul don’t be so fast. You should be praying right about now EESTOR isn’t for real. If its a fight the oil industry wants, then its a fight they’ll get. Poor souls.


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    John F.

     

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    Jan 12th, 2008 (10:44 am)

    “Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?”
    “Yes.”

    No.

    As Tachy pointed out above, that would mean 100x energy density. It isn’t. It’s 10x. I don’t know why EEStor and LM keep using that misleading description.


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    Lockheed Martin kooperiert mit EEstor « Plug-In Germany

     

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    Jan 12th, 2008 (10:55 am)

    […] bis jetzt Einen Kommentar hinterlassen RSS Feed für Kommentare zu diesem Beitrag. TrackBack URI Einen Kommentar hinterlassen Zeilen- und Absatzumbrüche automatisch, E-Mail-Adresse wirdnicht angezeigt, HTML-Tags zulässig: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> […]


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    Jan 12th, 2008 (12:37 pm)

    Don’t forget volume. If they say 10 times the energy density in 1/10th the weight, that implies that the volume is similar. So yes, by weight they would be 100x energy density, but by volume it’s only 10x. No misleading there.


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    John F.

     

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    Jan 12th, 2008 (1:07 pm)

    No, Neil. Look at the specs in the patent (excerpted in comment #42 above). For the same 52 kWh, the lead acid battery weighs 3,646, and the EESU weighs 336. That’s 10.85x.

    The volumetric energy density is 21.47x (43045/2005).

    You’ve been misled. 😉


  89. 89
    noel park

     

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    Jan 12th, 2008 (1:22 pm)

    Paul Holmes, #83:

    There was an interesting article in yesterday’s LA Times reporting that several of the few “Hydrogen Highway” refueling stations in “Kalifornia” have closed. Others, for which contracts to build and operate have been signed, have never been built and appear to be abandoned.

    The operators say that it is hard to remain in business when there are no cars to fuel. The car companies say that it is hard to sell cars when there is no place to refuel them.


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    Jan 12th, 2008 (1:32 pm)

    “For EV applications even NiMH has more power density than you will ever need for car sized battery pack.”

    That was a quote from above.

    What NiMH batteries can do in EV’s is a moot point thanks to GM.


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    Jan 12th, 2008 (1:47 pm)

    #89:

    Really! Hydrogen was the ultimate Bait and Switch at the California Air Resources Board. Thank you GM et. al. for being big fat liars.


  92. 92
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    Jan 12th, 2008 (1:50 pm)

    What we really need is some way to get electricity to all the homes, and that way, people could refuel at home! But that could never happen. It would take billions of dollars of government subsidy to install some sort of “plug” at the house that electrical current could flow through.


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    Jeffrey

     

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    Jan 12th, 2008 (2:08 pm)

    [quote comment=”26572″]What we really need is some way to get electricity to all the homes, and that way, people could refuel at home! But that could never happen. It would take billions of dollars of government subsidy to install some sort of “plug” at the house that electrical current could flow through.[/quote]

    Ok OK OK Enough. LMFAO


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    George

     

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    Jan 13th, 2008 (12:24 pm)

    I couldn’t allot the time to read all the posts after the one that questioned why the ZENN car had such a low top speed so my comments might have already been made.

    1. The current top speed of the ZENN car is simply an arbitrary software setting and can be manipulated with some rather simply software.

    2. The current setting is in place because of both range considerations because currently they employ lead acid storage and not the ultracap. The arbitrary low top speed is there to comply with “Low Speed Electric Vehicle (LEV)) statutes that allow the ZENN vehicle to run on US roads.

    When the range increases with the ultracap then look to see a change in the federal LEV statutes.

    With little or no increase in expense, Zenn can make this platform virtually any reasonable speed.


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    Steve

     

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    Jan 13th, 2008 (1:55 pm)

    When I think of ultracapacitors, the other advantage over batteries I think of is rapid charging rate for both regular recharge stations and regenerative braking.


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    L.WLBUNE

     

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    Jan 13th, 2008 (2:07 pm)

    THIS SITE DID NOT TELL US A THING THAT HAS BEEN BUILT ,TESTED .OR TRIED JUST SOME THING FOR THE MONEY HUNGRAY PRESS TO USE!!


  97. 97
    Ernie Firkin

     

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    Jan 13th, 2008 (3:26 pm)

    Is this compay on the stock exchange?


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    Jan 13th, 2008 (7:10 pm)

    [quote comment=”26840″]Is this compay on the stock exchange?[/quote]

    No. But Zenn is, and Zenn owns like 5% of EEStor.


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    Jan 13th, 2008 (7:11 pm)

    [quote comment=”26840″]Is this compay on the stock exchange?[/quote]

    Zenn is, and Zenn owns like 5% of EEStor. EEStor is not.


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    Charlie Coulomb

     

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    Jan 13th, 2008 (10:16 pm)

    A friend of mine recently observed that the kind of stored energy density touted by EEStor is readily available elsewhere. It’s called a “grenade”. ;->

    if EEStor comes anywhere close to what they claim (like within 10x), i do not want to be anywhere within a mile of Ground Zero when one of those devices suffers an internal short, “self-clearing” or not. di/dt is going to be *spectacular* and the resulting departure velocities are likely to be equally so.


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    EEstor Startup Profile : Texas Startup Blog

     

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    Jan 13th, 2008 (10:30 pm)

    […] Cedar Park, Texas based EEstor is getting noticed (especially by stock promoters of Zenn Motor).  On January 9th the company signed a deal with Lockheed-Martin for the exclusive rights to the technology for military applications.  EEstor claims to have developed a superior type of capacitor for electricity storage, which EEStor calls ‘Electrical Energy Storage Units’ (EESU). Its CEO and president is Richard Weir, who is also the inventor named on their principal technology patent.  The company is funded by Kleiner Perkins ($?) and Zenn Motor ($2.5MM). […]


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    JohnG

     

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    Jan 14th, 2008 (10:55 am)

    Greg:

    “If they’ve figured a way to overcome the field interference through glass, or other type of coating, without a corresponding reduction in the dielectric coefficient and if they’ve figured out how to stop cracking through thermal growth, or perhaps how to severely limit internal resistence so that there isn’t the temperature problems then maybe, just maybe they have something.”

    BUT, if one has discovered how to control these phenomena, that’s what would/should be patented. There are far greater uses for it then capacitor enhancement. Thats even invisibility cloaking stuff….I’m being a little facetious here, but do you see my point? Something is not adding up.


  103. […] For the past year or so, the EEStor technology has been riding high and low as claims are reported and targets are assumed to be missed. The latest news about Lockheed signing to co-develop products for the U.S. Defense Department and U.S. Homeland Security Department is welcome news for the enthusiasts. There seems to be a broad front of consumers lead by sophisticated and competent mechanical and engineering people behind the drive to hybrid transportation used in automobiles and light truck products. One website that attracts the group is the independent site “GM-Volt” where news and information about the promised Chevy hybrid, thought to be a series design, called the “Volt” is closely followed. GM-Volt has a posting about the Lockheed Martin/EEStor agreement with an interview by Lyle Dennis talking with Lionel Liebman, manager of Program Development – Applied Research at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The interview’s highlights are that the agreement is a collaborative effort to build prototypes, Lockheed is in the agreement not for a preference but for most appropriate technology applications, they see the EEStor products as something that may fill both the need for capacitors and batteries, and that the costs would be lower than batteries or capacitors. […]


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    doggydogworld

     

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    Jan 15th, 2008 (11:38 am)

    Lyle, thanks so much for this interview. My first impression on reading this news at another site was “Wow, it looks like EEStor does have something after all”. But as your interview makes clear, Lockheed hasn’t even seen a working prototype.

    EEStor remains an enigma. Their claims violate known properties of coated dielectrics. Their primary patent is a joke. They haven’t shown a working prototype to anyone. 99.99% of entities with those characteristics are frauds or delusions.

    But what if EEStor is part of the 0.01%? What if they really did find a loophole which lets them coat barium titanate to guard against breakdown without reducing dielectric strength? The world would change. Sure, deep skepticism is fully warranted here. But it’s OK to dream a little.


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    EEStor Hopeful

     

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    Jan 15th, 2008 (6:11 pm)

    Reuters:

    “EEStor has 1 patent
    issued, with an additional 17 patents in process.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS169754+09-Jan-2008+PRN20080109


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    Rich Rosenthal

     

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    Jan 17th, 2008 (6:48 pm)

    Is it possible for Lockheed to be sold the emporer’s new clothes? Seems to me that a google search and a few hours of reading the many articles by apparently knowlegeable critics would cue any agent of Lockheed to look past the claims and seek a physical verification of this technology. Not a prototype but a working sample of the capacitor. It may have been the ZENN device on a bench. I am curious if anyone has seen anyone working at EEstor because the development schedule to produce the device and the conversion electronics would be brutal. I would expect severe bags under the eyes and children who didn’t recognize their parents at this point. Has anyone noted any activity in Texas?


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    Rich Rosenthal

     

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    Jan 17th, 2008 (6:57 pm)

    Also, did the charging and recharging of the device signal the UFOs that visited texas recently?
    Don’t want to mess with aliens!
    Kidding aside, I would expect that the device is real and living up to some expectations and I would expect substantial production delays. Perhaps Mr. Weir is accustomed to the typical silicon valley development cycle and not the cycle for something that is so unknown.
    Good luck on the device (and can I have one in my EV soon?)


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    Roger B.

     

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    Jan 19th, 2008 (2:36 am)

    whats interesting is when Mr. Liebman was asked (Quote)What have you seen from EEStor in terms of their technology? (Unquote)
    Answer: We’ve visited their facility. We were very impressed. …

    From a company like Lockheed Martin, knowing what they want, what they need to know and see thats pretty impressive.

    Having seen EEStor’s prototypes but not tested them personally is an honest answer, but to be impressed without actually testing the prototypes themselves is to me almost the real thing.


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    EEstore ultra-capacitors - Page 4 - Tesla Motors Club Forum

     

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    Jan 24th, 2008 (8:12 am)

    […] New hope for a successful EEStore? GM-Volt.com Lockheed Martin Signs Agreement with EEStor […]


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    Julius

     

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    Jan 24th, 2008 (5:16 pm)

    It is appropriate that a military equipment manufacturer has an interest in the EEStor capacitor, as it is gonna make quite an explotion when they try to charge it with all that energy.

    EEStor has at least one priceless asset, that is their marketing and sales department.


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    Koen van Vlaenderen

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    Jan 25th, 2008 (4:13 am)

    Suppose the eestor device can be manufactured with specs according to claims,
    I hope it will be a save device, approved for general use.

    Then it contributes to peace greatly by making us much more independent of fossile fuels, and ultimately there is no need anymore for a ‘Lockheed Martin’ or DODs in general, which will save us (the tax payers) a tremendous amount of money.

    Imagine, an eestor cap at home, charged by the latest cheap photovoltaic panels, then quickly transfer this energy with a 2000 volt link to your Eestor cap installed in your car, without overheating lead wires.
    I start a new company named “elink 2000″ :-).


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    Greg

     

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    Jan 28th, 2008 (7:06 pm)

    If this battery is what they claim, I can assure you that the government and the DOD etc. are not going to allow it to be produced for public consumption. The tax loss and the job loss to an invention like this would be tremendous. Imagine cheap energy for homes and cars…….the big oil companies and governments aren’t going to allow it for a long time, at least until they can figure out how to recoup there monies lost to this leap forward.


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    Jan 29th, 2008 (12:40 pm)

    Ahhh, the conspiracy theories come out. If EEStor is for real, there won’t be any loss of jobs, or cheap energy because of it. Keep in mind, this is an energy storage device. It doesn’t make the energy you store in it any cheaper. It is just an improvement on existing technology (a big one maybe, but an improvement non the less). If anything it will create jobs by improving devices enough to encourage people to upgrade. If you could get new laptop that’s just as fast, 10% cheaper, can last twice as long with a 1 min recharge time would you consider upgrading? How about your cell phone, twice the talk time, and it needs plugged in for 30 seconds to fully recharge? Not to mention EV and PHEV cars, cheaper Hybrid Buses, maybe weed eaters can switch to electric… Lots of things can come from this tech, but it doesn’t displace the need for energy generation.

    What it might allow is the impetus to skip the backwards step of a “Hydrogen Economy”. Talk about a bad technology, the hydrogen as a means of energy storage is a cash cow and a waste of resources. Guess where 95% of the Hydrogen in the US comes from? Could it be Natural Gas? What is done with the carbon dioxide removed from the natural gas during the reforming process? Probably released into the atmosphere, just like it would if you had burned the natural gas in the first place.

    It’s also interesting that EEStor is spinning the public through it’s “one priceless asset, that is their marketing and sales department.” Is that the same department that has put out 5 press releases in 2 years, and has made no other public public statements or “leaks”? GM’s marketing department is showing the Volt on national TV like we will be able to pick one up at the dealer next week. Talk about a marketing department getting mileage out of something they can’t commercially produce today.


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    Paul

     

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    Jan 29th, 2008 (10:58 pm)

    Good post Matt! Hydrogen does seem to be a monumentally bad idea for energy storage.


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    Richard Glow

     

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    Jan 30th, 2008 (8:31 pm)

    As a non scientist person who used to follow the energy situation with great interest since the mid 1970’s I view the EEStor electric storeage device with doubt based on the hype of 30 years ago and on the posts of knowledgeable people such as Exciton. That being said I believe that for every 20 to 30 hyped “breakthroughs” there will be one gem in the group. The problem is determining which one is the gem.

    This is why I believe the federal government needs to fund research but not get too deep into specifying which technology to use nationally. Ultimately I believe EV will win out.

    Battery/electric storeage solutions are critical to our nation and needs to be a very high priority to free us from dependence on the Middle East. We have the technology to produce clean energy – solar and nuclear – we just need a way to use that energy in vehicles. My motto be skeptical, but keep an open mind to recognize the one in 30 gems (doubt that EEStor is it – but there are other technologies by other companies in the works).

    What are the prospects for some other “battery/capacitor” technologies highlighted recently on the Discovery Channel’s “EcoTech” shows?

    “Dr. Angela Belcher first, who figured out a way to isolate the proteins that make a seashell and whether they could work with other types of elements. She picked viruses and looked for those that would bond with electro magnetic materials. She made a virus battery. It explained in detail how the virus made a battery; a lithium rechargeable ion battery made of very, very thin clear material. This inexpensive battery is also extremely lightweight”.

    “Dr. Nyet Ming Chang created a new generation of lithium ion batteries using olivines. His battery powered motorcycle went 0-60 mph in 1.4 seconds but the battery discharged so quickly it burned up the engine. His own plug in car gets 150 mpg “.

    How about coupling the 100mpg (gas) Hypercar (low cost carbon fiber body and super streamlined) with olivines battery? What an EV concept if it works and sounds like they are further along than EEStor/Zenn with protyping.


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    Jessie

     

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    Feb 2nd, 2008 (2:13 am)

    Jessie…

    Thanks for the info. By the way, I am a big fan of your site. Keep up the great work….


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    solutions

     

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    Feb 3rd, 2008 (12:10 am)

    As someone who is familiar with the techniques and chemistry behind EEStor, I am very doubtful about their claims. I have been tracking them for some time and upon hearing the news that Lockheed-Martin was partnering with them would, on the surface, seem to give credibility. But as you read through the answers supplied by Mr. Liebman of Lockheed, the responses are the same party line from EEStor. The comments from Liebman reveal that Lockheed has not tested the materials, nor seen working prototypes. The sense is that Lockheed doesn’t want to miss out on a potential up-coming technology, which is very typical of big business. The focus seems to be on programmatics, such as the possible applications and not the true functionality- quite a signicant difference. Also, there has been no mention of an exchange of money at this time. If Lockheed has actually put large funds into EEStor, rather than just a paper agreement, would clarify things. The limited “results” that EEStor has revealed (and that they say are in line with their scheduled development) are that the base powder, barium titanate, has been produced to high purity. The testing of the powder shows nothing about how it is combined with the other materials and that it demonstrates a high energy storage ability. The powders are part of a “balloon” problem in that as one electrical parameter is improved, another is corrupted- that is the unfortunate chemistry: push in one side of the balloon, the other side pops out. Those that have experience in high-K materials and perovskites will understand this. I am surprised EEStor has been able to win over Lockheed, Zenn, and Kleiner/Perkins- they have not done their technical homework, but rather have let the business people become enamored with a great sell job.


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    Dr. John

     

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    Feb 3rd, 2008 (8:24 pm)

    The “Capacitor Tech Talk” column (on page 145) of the most recent BEST magazine (www.bestmag.co.uk) identifies materials and engineering issues that raise doubts about the EEstor technology. Technical arguments raised in this magazine are aligned with comments made by “solutions”.


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    Feb 10th, 2008 (9:09 pm)

    Dr John:

    I tried accessing that paper in BEST magazine, it will cost $150. Can you give more details?


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    Rich Rosenthal

     

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    Feb 13th, 2008 (4:45 pm)

    At this point in time, EEstor has made its powders and could have made a device so EEstor knows if it works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work why would eestor keep it quiet? why would it enter into agreements with Zenn, GM and Lockheed Martin?
    I guess they may think(oops… believe), given time, they could make it work like Bush and Iraq?
    What possible motivation could they have in covering up a failed technology?


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    Feb 27th, 2008 (9:44 am)

    How about until their options mature?


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    WCHicks

     

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    Feb 29th, 2008 (3:47 pm)

    Here is an EEStor patent application with 17 claims.

    http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?wo=2006026136&IA=WO2006026136&DISPLAY=STATUS

    So this looks much different than the last time I was in a capacitor factory which was about 20 years ago.
    Maybe some of the experts could comment on this patent.


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    Smells!

     

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    Mar 4th, 2008 (12:51 am)

    Lots of fabulously high claims not supported by the laws of physics as we know them….looks like a duck!

    Nobody has ever seen a prototype and RealSoonNow(tm) deadlines passing by every time….quacks like a duck!

    Might be duck!


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    Soylent

     

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    Mar 6th, 2008 (6:01 pm)

    "Why do people seem to associate batteries with home solar systems? You only need batteries if you live off the grid."

    Because solar is intermittent and unreliable. It doesn’t matter to you that solar is unreliable if you are on the grid; but it matters for the power companies.

    If you don’t deal with it, they have to. What they’ll do in the short term is increase overproduction to have more margin for error, use more expensive natural gas fired plants (or hydro-electric, though that’s a limited resource).

    The net result is that you barely reduce carbon emissions and drive up  the cost of electric power for everyone else.

    Solar will never be of any use to society until the storage problem is solved.


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    WCHicks

     

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    Mar 10th, 2008 (2:57 pm)

    SmellsThank you for your clear and concise discussion of the relevant claims.  I think that many of us missed the relationship to water foul.  Maybe you can elucidate which laws of physics are violated here.


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    RwW

     

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    Mar 28th, 2008 (2:05 pm)

    Being from New England I’m not too excited about the performance of lithium ions in the winter.  Yes A123 is right around the corner from me.  Can someone elaborate about the expected cold weather performance of supercaps? 


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    Paul

     

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    Mar 28th, 2008 (2:25 pm)

    They have excellent cold weather characteristics.  Unaffected by the cold.  Check out MIT’s supercaps for more info.


  128. […] EEStor is a secretive company claiming to have a breakthrough technology for energy storage in a specialized ultrcapacitor, rather than battery. They have not given interviews, but Lockheed-Martin has a contract with them (see post). […]


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    Why haven't we run out of oil, yet? - Pontiac Solstice Forum

     

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    Apr 1st, 2008 (8:47 pm)

    […] will be irrelevant when the super-capacitor cars dominate in 20 years.. GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Concept Site


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    BillWilliam

     

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    May 12th, 2008 (5:23 pm)

    The main thing that separates LI ion from EEStor is cost. The 123 system for an EV is tens of thousands of dollars. The cost of a 52 kwh EEStor would be about $3500 if I remember what I read in their patent app. correctly. They have missed an important deadline so I’m not holding my breath till they hit the market. You can list me as hopeful but doubtful.


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    May 12th, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    Several people have brought up temperature performance. This is a critical issue for the barium titanate type of capacitor. They must be maintained around 70 F to work. There is so much energy in it a little could be used to maintain that temp with out being too much of a draw. But such control would be required.


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    applewoodcourt

     

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    May 12th, 2008 (5:46 pm)

    Interestingly, Zenn’s stock has been in a strong upward trend in the past month. I own a few thousand shares of Zenn stock which I purchased just below $4 and the stock closed at $5 today – and reached an all time high of 5.80 last week. (The 5.80 was probably the result of day traders manipulating it up, but overall, the stock has made a nice move in recent months).


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    John

     

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    May 21st, 2008 (4:00 am)

    Very exciting technology. It will probably work great with hybrids for now and pure electric auto later. I wouldn’t like the small errand running cars. Where I live, I need a lot of power, so I can get to work on time.


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    Say Nay?

     

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    May 22nd, 2008 (5:29 pm)

    Interesting story:

    As an ultracap scientist has noted,

    “The energy is not proportional to the voltage squared. That is EEStors problem. Energy is equal to 1/2CV2 only for linear dielectrics. Barium titanate is highly nonlinear, and the energy is approximately proportion to V, not V squared for a high field application like energy storage. EEStor only calculates energy storage — never measures it, so they don’t have to face this reality. By the way — this creates a factor of several hundred difference between their calculated energy density, and the actual (which I have measured in the lab, and has been verified many times since)”

    AND,

    “The approach being taken is laughable. All of the “production milestones” are related to producing powders with a certain purity or eventually — meeting a permittivity target. But the initial permittivity at low field doesn’t matter a bit. The higher it is, the faster it drops with field. It would take less than two days work to make a small pellet of a current EEStor capacitor material, and actually measure permittivity versus electric field up to the breakdown voltage. Then you could see exactly how much energy is stored, and exactly how fast the permittivity decreases with field. Funny how this data is never taken.”

    So, even just testing a small amount of the ceramic in front of an audience would show whether or not it can actually do what everyone else who has worked with barium titanate says it cannot.
    Reply

    It’s happened before by cobraphx  01/25/2008 4:32 PM

    Everytime I hear this stuff about the math in the patent and experts in the field it reminds me of the Blue LED. Does anyone remember the birth of the Blue LED? It was perfected by Shuji Nakamura while working at Nichia (A small, pretty much unknown Japanese chemical company). Nakamura took a path most scientists in the field had discounted as unworkable. But this lone researcher and his hunch payed off.

    —“Meanwhile, back in November 1993, Nichia announced its blue LED, promising at the same time that a blue laser was under development. Nichia’s devices are made from an entirely different compound material, gallium nitride. The announcement caught the rest of the industry with its pants down. Gallium nitride had long been written off as fatally flawed. Making a diode requires both positive and negative types of material, and no one had been able to make positive-type gallium nitride.”—

    —–” 
    Interview at: http://www.sciencewatch.com/jan-feb2000/sw_jan-feb2000_page4.htm
      SW:  What was it about zinc selenide that made it seem so superior?

      Nakamura: The crystal quality of zinc selenide is very good. The dislocation density, which is a measure of the number of defects in the crystal, was less than 10^3 per cubic centimeter. Gallium nitride was more than 10^10 per cubic centimeter. And when people wanted to make reliable LEDs and laser diodes, they knew that the dislocation density has to be lower than 10^3 or even 10^2. This is just physics.

        SW: That sounds almost insurmountable. How did you get around that defect problem?

      Nakamura: Well,first I needed a MOCVD reactor. MOCVD stands for “metal organic chemical vapor deposition.” Since I had money now, I bought a commercial reactor and used it to grow gallium nitride crystals, but I couldn’t get them to grow on the substrate. So I spent two years modifying my commercial reactor and succeeded in making what I called the two-flow MOCVD reactor. Usually a MOCVD has only one gas flow. That’s a reactive gas that blows parallel to the substrate. I added another subflow, with an inactive gas blowing perpendicular to the substrate. That suppressed the large thermal convection you get when you’re trying to grow a crystal at 1,000 degrees. Using this two-flow MOCVD I succeeded in 1991 in making the highest quality of gallium nitride crystals in the world. The dislocatoin density was still 10^10. But there’s another measure of crystal quality, which is hole mobility, and I achieved a hole mobility of 200. That was a world record. The highest hole mobility ever achieved with gallium nitride was 100.

      SW:  So the two-flow MOCVD reactor was the key breakthrough?

      Nakamura: Yes—suddenly it was easy to make any type of gallium nitride. In 1991, I made n-type gallium nitride. The following year I succeeded making p-type using a thermal annealing technique. Now all gallium nitride researchers use my technique for p-type gallium nitride. Another big breakthrough was making the first single crystal of indium gallium nitride, which we needed for an emitting layer. Finally at the end of 1993, I succeeded in making the first commercial-based blue LEDs.”——

    Seems to me industry expert’s aren’t always right. Especially when they say, “this material can’t do x because of y”. Same was said of gallium nitride, can’t make a diode because of defects. Sometimes another property can be leveraged, or the side effect of a undesirable property can be mitigated like in Blue LED. Properties of materials change when talking about the nano-scale (EEStor is using barium titanate nanoparticles). Look at carbon nanotubes, a block of carbon is weak, but a bundle of carbon nanotubes is very strong.

    Keep in mind that there isn’t a single advantage to EEStor to show anything to anyone outside an NDA. Can anyone name a single thing? Will you boycott their tech because they didn’t prove it worked before it was commercially available? The market is so huge, they can’t possibly meet demand if when they start production. They don’t need to buy goodwill, or build customer confidence. By giving out information, they do risk other companies catching up to them. If you leak the key information about why it works in spite the math, how long would it be before one of the capacitor experts duplicated it? Of course this is all moot if their tech doesn’t work. EEStor isn’t Nichia, but it’s possible that they are the next Nichia.


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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (6:09 am)

    The blue LED did not violate any laws of physics. (Obviously) .

    The high permitivitty Barium Titanate gets it from an electrical assymetry in the crystal. When you put that into a high field, the charges move back, dropping the K. I don’t care how brilliant the idea is, if you assume you can create a situation where charges dont move under the influence of an electric field, you have a problem.

    They have not yet made a dielectric, and they can’t with those charcteristics.


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    Rick

     

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    Jun 11th, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    Thanks for the reporting on this exciting development. But please, could you have someone proofread your transcript? It’s got so many homonym errors that it’s actually difficult to read. Please check your use of “its” vs. “it’s”, “their,” “they’re” and “there”, “were” vs. “we’re”, “your,” “you’re,” etc.


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    solutions

     

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    Jun 11th, 2008 (11:55 pm)

    For those who wanted to know about the patent and see behind the curtain…

    A grain of barium titanate is coated with an aluminum oxide powder so as to increase the breakdown voltage. This grain is then coated with a layer of glass to fill air voids and supposedly ensure the high operating voltage by reducing air pockets. The original barium titanate grain can demonstrate a permittivity value of greater than 20,000. Of itself, the grain would most likely not withstand more than 0.2-0.4 MV/cm. The patent claim is that the breakdown voltage is increased to 3-5MV/cm- highly unlikely. A pure crystal of barium titanate could potentially achieve this (Bowman, et al), but not in a production amount, nor by the coating process (core shell) that is suggested.

    When the grain is coated, the logarithmic mixing applies. The affect of this is that the materials will mix in proportion to a log function, with the low k-value aluminum oxide and glass reducing the overall permittivity to around 3000, or less.

    Although the coating materials may be able to withstand the high fields, the grain of barium titanate can not and will short. EEStor has changed the binding material from glass to a plastic in more recent patent applications, since the plastic can handle potentially higher voltages, but this still does not relieve the basic grain properties.


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    Scott

     

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    Jun 14th, 2008 (6:23 am)

    I sense that there are some people on this forum that know a lot more than i about capacitors, batteries etc.

    I am not smart enough to work out which company will finally come up with a better battery or ultracapacitor. What seems inevitable to me is that it will happen. Between PCs, mobile phones and now HEVs the R&D effort is just to strong to not produce results.

    My question then is when this happens, would are the remaining obstacles to electric vehicles dominating the market?

    Distribution infrastructure exists (assuming overnight charge with offpeak power), electricty is cheaper than petrol/diesel on a per unit useable energy basis and electric drive efficiencies & reliability leave ICEs for dead.

    What am I missing?


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    Phil

     

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    Jun 14th, 2008 (4:06 pm)

    >Lyle asks: “Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?”

    >Liebman answers: “Yes.”

    The heavy lead nucleas as applied in the near obsolete lead-acid battery is a historical albatross in the context of new battery technology. Keep it honest and use the lightest chemical cells in practical use, i.e. lithium as the benchmark. Anyhow, I hope these ultracaps have some years of Moore’s Law trajectory potential.


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    Larry

     

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    Jun 16th, 2008 (7:16 pm)

    To Scott,
    I have followed many of the pros and cons of the electric scene for some time now and believe the following:

    The Chevy Volt concept is the most practical and quick way to go “electric” (plug in hybrid with a gas engine and large battery capacity with a home charging unit). At least 40 mile range per charge. This seems like a low distance but in reality will reduce gasoline consumption enormously.

    Here is why:
    1. The overnight electric charge will take care a huge amount of the daily commuting nationally. Even if your daily round trip is 60 miles then two thirds of the trip is powered by battery charged by the electric power grid at night meaning home grown power.

    2. The gasoline engine will let you go on longer trips than would otherwise be possible with battery only power. The gasoline engine will prevent you from being stranded when the battery runs down. The Chevy Volt range is 40 plus 560 miles from the gas engine is 600 total miles between gas/electric fill ups.

    3. The national infrastructure need not be changed – this is a huge point (we will still use the existing gasoline stations for gasoline (or diesel) to power smaller internal combustion engines in these vehicles). Other all electric alternatives are very “iffy”. Israel is planning on doing the all electric battery swap out method which may be practical for them (small country – few stations – and not very many trips into neighboring countries) but I believe it is not practical for the US to use the battery swap out method – at least not in the near future – maybe down the road.

    4. This compromise (gas and plug in battery) concept allows fast implementation nationally.

    You asked what is missing?
    Here are what I believe are the key missing points – the good news is that all should be achievable:

    1. We need to dramatically increase electric power production nationally to charge the enormous amount of energy that these vehicles require in the new Lithium Ion (or better) batteries.

    Initially this will not be an issue with relatively few Plug-in Hybrids (ie Chevy Volts) in use, but to make a significant difference in reducing oil consumption with say 50 million (or more) of these vehicles charging up every night we may need to double (or more) electric power generation.

    This means we absolutely must go nuclear and fast! Wind and solar and clean coal burning (if we can achieve it) will definitely help, but nuclear is proven – it generates enormous power (steam driven turbines) – it has some issues with spent fuel storeage but this can be overcome (ie: France) and nuclear does not pollute the atmosphere which is a huge issue these days.

    2. Vehicle cost. Lithum Ion batteries are extremely expensive. The initial offerings of the Chevy Volt may be too expensive for most of us to afford, but those that can (thank goodness for capitalism – no sarcasm here) will buy (hopefully) and get the production volumes up which will reduce costs for the rest of us. This is very important because if the Chevy Volt fails financially we all lose. A lot depends on the price of gasoline at the time the Volt etc is introduced. Even more breakthru battery technology/production is needed to get the cost down and capacity up.

    3. Standardized and secure charging units. Many people do not live in a house but rent apartments. Apartment dwellers will have a problem running a cord out a window to charge their vehicles (and liability problems – someone trips on a cord – apartment owners will not allow this). We need incentives to encourage Apartment complexes to install standardized plug in charging points with perhaps credit card swipes and a password lock to prevent others from stealing your electricity from the outlet. This needs to be figured out how to do this so regardless of manufacture the vehicle can use the same outlet.

    Eventually I see motels providing this feature as an enhancement to get you to stay at their motel (similar to way that manyl now have wireless internet as a competitive requirement).

    4. Safety – from what I have read, the Japanese manufacturers are very concerned about the Lithum Ion batteries tendency to overheat and explode. There will be an enormous amount of energy in these batteries – many times more energy than in your standard car battery. This could be a show stopper and must be addressed. Other technologies may solve this. The “Firefly” battery is a very interesting development (low cost foam graphite lead acid, safe, much more powerful than standard lead acid but not as powerful as the Lithum Ion battery). The Firefly people show numbers that appear that it can potenially be as powerful as Lithum Ion but currently that appears not to be the case.

    There is sure to be other issues (political and social) but above are the main technical issues that I can think of.

    5. My biggest fear is that gasoline prices will drop to three dollar a gallon or below (short term) and thus squelch a lot of development. I have no problem with the gas prices dropping to that level after 20 years – after we have bought our plug-in hybrids!

    However I am very concerned about what will happen to the trucking industry (and airline industry) – I just can’t see electric 18 wheeler plug in hybrids! Their trips are all relatively long – don’t know what the short term solution for them is.

    The high oil prices are hurting the truckers and when the transportation costs are passed on it causes all goods and services to be increased (inflation). I’m caught between a rock and a hard place on the issue of gasoline prices. On the one hand I like the fact that electric vehicles will emerge due to high prices, but on the other hand the trucking costs, personal transportation costs and inflation are scary and hurting us all.

    The price of crude has been bid up so rapidly that it could also come down rapidly – no one thinks this could happen, but few thought the dot coms would crash after their big run up either. Nearly all oil contracts have the “spot market” and/or “futures” prices factored in so if a drop in prices start it could be rapid.

    Time will tell. Sorry for the long post – got carried away.


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    Jun 25th, 2008 (8:27 am)

    Thanks for the great interview and the following discussion.

    Just a couple of points that I thought were not well addressed in this discussion:

    – A couple of posters expressed that Li-Ion batteries large enough to power an EV for several hundred miles would have enough power capability, making the supposed higher power of the EEStor superfluous. It sounds to me as if such a view considers ONLY the power requirements of acceleration and breaking without considering power requirements of rapid charging. Frankly, even if the A123Systems battery can charge at a 10C rate, that still results in a minimum 6 minute rapid charging time, which is much longer than normal automobile fueling. The ability to fully charge in 3 minutes or less is an important requirement to allow EV rapid-charge infrastructure to start to be built in an effort to allow EVs to venture outside of a 100-mile radius of home.

    – Many of the criticisms against EEStor’s claims have been leveled against the physical issues related to operation at high voltages, including severe reductions in permittivity, current leakage and high-voltage breakdown. However, EEStor has reported *MEASURING* both permittivity and leakage current at high voltage:

    http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?wo=2006026136&IA=WO2006026136&DISPLAY=DESC

    “The following data indicates the relativity permittivity of ten single-coated composition-modified barium titanate powder batches. Batches Relativity Permittivity @ 85° C 1. 19,901 2. 19,889 3. 19,878 4. 19,867 5. 19,834 6. 19,855 7. 19,873 8. 19,856 9. 19,845 10. 19,809

    Average relativity permittivity = 19,861

    The following data indicates the relativity permittivity of ten components measured at 85° C, then 85° C and 3500 V, and the last test 85° C and 5000 V. Components 850 C 85° C – 3500 V 85° C – 5000 V 1. 19,871 19,841 19,820 2. 19,895 19,866 19,848 3. 19,868 19,835 19,815 4. 19,845 19,818 19,801 5. 19,881 19,849 19,827 6. 19,856 19,828 19,806 7. 19,874 19,832 19,821 8. 19,869 19,836 19,824 9. 19,854 19,824 19,808 10. 19,877 19,841 19,814 Average K 19,869 19,837 19,818 Results indicates that the composition-modified barium titanate powder that has been coated with 100 A Of AUO3, immersed into a matrix of PET plastic, and has been polarized provides a dielectric saturation that is above the 5000 V limit and the relative permittivity is highly insensitive to both voltage and temperature.

    Leakage current of ten EESUs that contain 31,351 components each and having the capability of storing 52.22 kW»h of electrical energy measured at 85° C and 3500 V. EESU Leakage Current – μA 1. 4.22 2. 4.13 3. 4.34 4. 4.46 5. 4.18 6. 4.25 7. 4.31 8. 4.48 9. 4.22 10. 4.35

    Average leakage current 4.28

    Voltage breakdown of ten components with and average dielectric thickness of 9.81 μm measured at a temperature of 85° C. Component Voltage Breakdown — 106 V/cm 1. 5.48 2. 5.75 3. 5.39 4. 5.44 5. 5.36 6. 5.63 7. 5.77 8. 5.37 9. 5.64 10. 5.88″

    Average voltage breakdown 5.57″

    Please note the quote “…the relative permittivity is highly insensitive to both voltage and temperature.”

    Given that the company is claiming MEASURED data, I would say that they MUST have something to measure. I think we should be either discussing whether these are fraudulent claims of measurement or discuss the actual measurements themselves. IMO, if these measurement results are real, then the overall claims of the EEStor are pretty believable.

    – I’ve been wondering if the types of technology used in manufacturing the coatings of hard disk drives are being applied here, given the background of the primary contibutors. Such coatings seem to be quite advanced in terms of grain size control, smoothness, quality, etc.

    Thoughts?

    Reg


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    Jun 25th, 2008 (9:03 am)

    When other people have tried to duplicate the results of that patent, they got very different MEASURED results. One was a PhD thesis that was well monitored.

    Remember, EEStor is claiming two different technologies, one is BT mixed in plastic, (the one you quoted) with aluminun electrodes, a form of plastic FILM capacitor, and the other BT coated with glass, and made into a ceramic mulitlayer with nickel electrodes, much like the MLC capacitors made by the zillions. In both instances they claim permittivities around 20,000 with no significant loss of capacitance at high fields.

    When others have tried either technique, the energy storage behavior is much, much less.

    In both cases, their “composition modified Barium Titanate” is a well documented ceramic that varies a lot with temperature and voltage. They can’t change that behavior by coating it with anything.

    If they had anything like what they claimed, and demostrated it to any one of the dozen US capacitor manufactures, they could have named their price. If real, it has the potential to put them all out of business, sinces it is “claimed” to have 400 times the efficiency of any dielectric around. Why would they want to build their own facility, when the over $100 milllion investment has already been made by so many?

    They also could demonstrate it to John McCain, who yesterday offered $300 million for a breakthrough energy storage device.

    The investments made in EEStor so far are pretty puny against the industry’s real numbers. Things do not add up.

    There is some similarity to disc drives, both require the abiity to make very small, uniform particles. Both industries are quite sophisticated in that regard, and can make similar very thin structures.

    Then, the other question must be addressed, if they had this prototype, why did they not show it? According to the Zenn report last month, EEStor still has not measured the permittivity. They have only gotten as far as making the BT, some thirty difficult steps from a capacitor.

    So, form your own conclusion. Mine is not kind.


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    RegGuheert

     

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    Jun 25th, 2008 (1:07 pm)

    Thanks for the follow-up, John!

    I’m not saying you are wrong here. Not at all. I’m just pointing out that EEStor is claiming to have measured 10 different samples and also to have performed 1 million cycles on at least one sample. That leaves only two possibilities in my mind: 1) They are lying or 2) They have actually built at least 10 capacitors that they charged to 5000V. All other conclusions are variations of these two. I find it interesting that the discussion remains purely theoretical in this thread while no one is discussing the details of these measurement results.

    For instance, why does the text in the link claim the device “is highly insensitive to…temperature.” if they only measured the device at 85C?

    I do find it funny that 2007 came and went and now ZENN is saying they expect to receive product at the end of 2008. Same story, only one year later.

    Also, the EEStor CEO has claimed in several reports that he will meet all requirements, or some such. It’s certainly hard to judge the validity of such a statement, given that they have not laid out a schedule of milestones for all to see.

    Regarding your comment about other tests of the same material. Do you know if any of the other tests were performed on material of the same purity level (99.9993% IIRC)?

    Anyway, this is a very interesting story. Now that I have stumbled upon it, I will certainly follow it to see where it goes.

    Thanks again,

    Reg


  144. 144
    johng

     

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    Jun 25th, 2008 (1:55 pm)

    To give them their due, the measurement at 85°C is common to show whether there is a thermal effect. They know the 25° number, so the delta is claimed to be small.

    On the purity question, yes, that is common. The purity has to be kept that high or better, and even the specific ratio of Ba to Ti is kept within 3 decimals. The strange thing is, though, we start with that purity, and then add a few percent of other oxides, so its seems almost academic, but still needed. Its a real challenge to maintain those kind of levels, which is why its almost all done in super-clean rooms and special equipment. BT is pretty abrasive, so even the containers are crucial.


  145. 145
    oxidegeek

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (12:11 pm)

    another minor detail – time dependent dielectric breakdown (tddb)…
    even if you keep the voltage below the breakdown value
    (let’s say 1/2 Vbreakdown) there are a few lucky electrons that get injected into the dielectric which will accelerate across the dielectric and smash into the other interface (or into other atoms in the dielectric) and cause damage. This accumulates over time (microseconds, hours, days, etc.) and the dielectric will finally fail. You would usually try to keep your max operating voltage at about 1/10 Vbd to have long enough lifetime…
    ~10um dielectric and 5e6 V/cm breakdown gives 5000V across the cap – 3500V is still at 70% of the breakdown field.


  146. 146
    oxidegeek

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (2:33 pm)

    that said –
    I’m really hopeful that this
    (or something like it) will work out.


  147. 147
    noel park

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (4:17 pm)

    “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.”


  148. 148
    joey

     

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    Jul 1st, 2008 (6:21 pm)

    why I don’t believe: 15 kwh, 8 hour recharge on houseold current?maybe on a 20 amp circuit — 52 kwh, 6 minutes?? maybe at transmission line voltage, but I don’t want to see the flashovers (my numbers lost the tabs in the email,)

    kwh 15 52
    watt hours 15000 52000
    watt minutes 900000 3120000
    volts ` 120 40000
    amp minutes 7500 78
    minutes allowed 480 6
    no loss amps 15.625 13


  149. 149
    joey

     

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    Jul 2nd, 2008 (12:45 am)

    a little clearer, I think 38 kilovolts is an actual transmission line voltage. If your going to “plug in” you need a #10 or so flexible cable to handle the 20 or so amps. sorry again about spacing. I took out the tabs & inserted spaces but they disappear too.

    lead acid EESTOR
    kwh 15 52
    watt hours 15000 52000
    watt minutes 900000 3120000
    volts 120 38000
    amp minutes 7500 82.1
    minutes to charge 480 6
    no loss amps 15.625 13.7


  150. 150
    Mike

     

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    Jul 11th, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    Also, eestor has built a new production facility in Cedar Park for the construction of it’s new EESU. this has been commented on all over the net. and LM confirmed that they have been to the new facility and it is nearing completion. so this is fact.

    as far as cost and size of the facility, this has not been stated, but it has to be huge because it includes the purification line as well as assembly.


  151. 151
    Bill Joerger

     

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    Jul 25th, 2008 (1:51 pm)

    A question for you technocrats…. Would it not be feasible with a vast multitude of ultra-capacitors such as what EEStor claims, to in the future, be able to harness and store electricity from lightning storms?


  152. 152
    mzungu

     

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    Aug 4th, 2008 (3:25 pm)

    I can see u-cap-based EVs becoming viable if supported by a distributed recharging system utilizing technology similar to:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiTricity

    …quick recharge times necessary. Imagine your EV getting recharged as you wait at a stoplight on the way to and from work. No need to plug in at all. All paid for by some kind of toll system on an as-used basis.


  153. 153
    Oolagah

     

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    Aug 15th, 2008 (6:59 pm)

    I’ve figured out how they do it. Instead of keeping it a secret, I decided to make a video and show the world. Here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIb91pwUmB8

    Brad


  154. 154
    nekote

     

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    Aug 25th, 2008 (9:26 am)

    So very glad to see a number of posters spotted that erroneous “10x energy *at* 1/10th the weight” (100x) mis-speak / urban myth and duly noted and corrected it!

    Quoting Larry at post #140:
    “1. We need to dramatically increase electric power production nationally to charge the … batteries.”

    Thankfully, not the case!

    http://www.pnl.gov/energy/eed/etd/pdfs/phev_feasibility_analysis_combined.pdf

    That November 2007 study (3 papers in that one .pdf) concluded that, except for regional variations, 73% of LDV (Light Duty Vehicles) in the US could be recharged daily, at off-peak / night, with the ***existing*** grid infrastructure!

    So many, many millions of EVs can be on the road, before new grid / power plant infrastructure might have to be built (excluding spot exceptions).


  155. 155
    RmW

     

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    Aug 25th, 2008 (12:56 pm)

    I agree with nekote except that there are situation where we have repeated hot nights as in a heat wave and even night demand for electric is high. There could be severe strains on the electrical grid across the country. Massive outages due to competing demands of A/C and autos. Imagine not being able to go to work because you couldn’t charge your car!

    So I’m betting that we will see much more home electric generation in the near future. Natural gas in particular. Even for those who don’t have electric cars there will be increased risk of outages. I myself am planning on buying a decent natural gas generator for my house so that I can use it not only during emergencies, which I’m guessing will be more frequent, but when electric supply prices spike during these periods. We are already seeing spiking prices in TX.


  156. 156
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    Aug 25th, 2008 (1:09 pm)

    Mitsubishi is delaying its all electric car entry into the US while it works with CA electric utilities on electric grid demand. See Wall Street Journal article reference below (the quote from the CEO is toward the end):

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121961239951067233.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    This also gives credence to a “Dual Fuel” auto like the Volt that will not rely totally on plug in electric.


  157. 157
    Larry

     

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    Aug 25th, 2008 (2:20 pm)

    Reply to post 154. The article about the nightime capacity to generate electricity without building new power plants is excellent. Thanks Nekote.

    But, we will still need a dramatic increase in electric power “generation”. The article that nekote references is mainly addressing “capacity”. Whereas the actual amount of electricity “production” needed for electric vehicles (burning much more coal) is confirmed by the article.

    What the study is saying in a nutshell is that we will have to generate a lot more electricy but not have to build more plants to do it (by generating during off peak hours). However most Nuclear plants already tend (must?) to run at a level rate but the coal fired plants are the under utilized during the night and can be ramped up at night (ie: burn more coal).

    The article confirms that there will be an increase of nearly 20 percent particulate matter (and some other gases) from these plants. The environmental trade off is still very favorable due to the enormous reduction of the noxious gases from current combustion vehicles.

    My comment: Why not build more nuclear plants to fill the need for increased electrical “production” for environmental reasons alone?

    Note: recommend all to reread post 140 about the need for more electricity. Also see post 154 and the link to the study.

    Of interest: According to some scientists the particulate matter from coal fired plants causes global dimming (cooling – a good thing) but the dimming (less sunlight) causes less evaporation and thus reduction in rain (a bad thing – draughts). So, do we cool and dry the earth with more coal fired production?


  158. 158
    nekote

     

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    Aug 25th, 2008 (2:34 pm)

    RmW,
    yep, certain regional issues, such as peak loads with very hot nights, certainly could cause big problems. It certainly would be nice if there was a mechanism to motivate people to prioritize how much power / recharge they might use during peak demand. Classic argument for (adjustable) peak pricing. :(

    As to Mistubishi delaying its all electric car (MiEV) into the US, at 1:27 or so of the clip, Mr. Masuko only said an “agreement with electric power company in CA” to investigate US market. Nothing more specific than that.

    Some other cite as to the particular grid concerns available?

    As to dual fuel – every car carrying around a generation plant that it seldom uses doesn’t make much sense, to me, if the battery range / recharge time / available infra-structure yields service comparable to today’s usage / experience.


  159. 159
    Larry

     

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    Aug 26th, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    Quote:
    “As to dual fuel – every car carrying around a generation plant that it seldom uses doesn’t make much sense, to me, if the battery range / recharge time / available infra-structure yields service comparable to today’s usage / experience”

    Reply to above post 158:
    Those are 3 mighty big “IFs”. Each one is a major challenge and may take 10 to 20 years to achieve all three! I would hate for us to wait that long to get a vehicle when the chevy volt can cut the gas consumption by 70 percent (or more) for many of us and be available within two years. Also I would not buy the volt if it didn’t have a gasoline engine as backup power. Allows the security of not being stranded on the highway and allows longer trips. It makes a lot of sense to have two power supplies for now.

    “Seldom uses” – Reply: I live 30 miles from work and would use the gasoline engine every day for a third of my driving. Even if they got the range upto 100 miles on a nightly charge I would still need the gasoline engine for special events that take me 70 miles from home (there and back equals 140 miles so the battery alone would not suffice).


  160. 160
    nekote

     

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    Aug 26th, 2008 (5:40 pm)

    This EEstor unit purports to store enough electricity for 300 miles.
    And to be capable of a full recharge in 5 minutes.

    The chicken and egg problem for them will be the “gas” station.
    Infrastructure / locations to fully recharge an empty tank.
    In *5* minutes or so, that is.
    For that statistically rare long range trip to GrandMa’s house.

    In such a short amount of time, that’s at the 1/2 MegaWatt level!
    Probably accessing the internal 3500 V terminals!
    Even at 3500 V, for 5 minutes, it’s 180 Amps!
    No 5 minute full recharges at home! :(


  161. 161
    Rico Reed

     

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    Aug 29th, 2008 (9:43 am)

    The seemingly unexplainable home recharge times could be simply provided by a home recharge appliance containing a bank of super caps slightly larger and higher voltage than the car’s pack.
    The home solar potential use of super caps needs to be tempered by the fact that most states have some sort of solar incentive now. These vary widely but here in Washington I presently get paid much more for adding my inter-tied solar to the grid than what grid power costs me. Therefore there is no advantage to me to add more battery than what I may need for outages nor is there any incentive to go off grid.


  162. […] http://gm-volt.com/2008/01/10/lockheed-martin-signs-agreement-with-eestor/ addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zenncarblog.com%2Feestor%2Finteresting-lockheed-martin-interview-concerning-eestor'; addthis_title = ‘Interesting+Lockheed+Martin+Interview+Concerning+Eestor'; addthis_pub = ”; […]


  163. 163
    Greg Z

     

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    Oct 22nd, 2008 (1:35 pm)

    OK so the jury is still out with eestor but there are some other technologies that may be relevant.

    Here is MIT validating Ultra Capacitor Technology
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/4252623.html
    And how about this company that claims to be able to make hydrogen on demand so the storage problems are eliminated.
    http://gas2.org/2008/03/19/how-biodiesel-fuel-cells-could-power-the-future-and-your-car

    Would love to see comments on these too as it never makes sense to put all our eggs in the Eestor basket!


  164. 164
    Kai

     

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    Oct 23rd, 2008 (8:32 pm)

    why did the hevy volt change their look. I loved the original concept with a sporty style to a hybrid, which no one had seen. Now i see the commercial for the Volt and it is a wanna be Prius. With a 4 door box style i am very disappointed! i was looking forward to seeing a sporty hybrid brought onto the market, and know it would sell great! I am sure now though that some other non-american company such as toyota will come out with one and the American car companies will be behind again! Chevy! this was your chance to take a stab at the Japanese car makers and you screwed it up! you should at least offer the sporty style as an option!


  165. 165
    christian Lalonde

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    Jan 20th, 2009 (1:56 pm)

    Well , I do not understand that there is no small version ( let say a cell of less than 1 kg) of the concept of the Ultra capacitor build by eestor to proove that the technology works.
    Like anything else before you claim anything , proof of the concept should be done using small scale unit. Anybody can put a patent on paper but there is a giant leap to go from a paper claim and building it and making it work.

    All of this make me believe that this all thing is a bad JOKE …


  166. 166
    Mike

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (3:51 pm)

    Christian,

    A patent cannot be filed for an “idea”, it must be accompanied by a physical implementation. So no, not anyone can put a patent on paper if they don’t have one built already.


  167. 167
    dennis

     

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    Mar 4th, 2009 (5:35 pm)

    ROSWELL


  168. 168
    Diego Bank

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    Mar 5th, 2009 (5:17 pm)

    I personally found the current state of capacitor-technology to be rather unadvanced. The majority of capacitors do not use corrugation nor high-resistivity matrixes. In other words… Capacitors may have as much “space” to improve upon as transistors did in the 19th Century.

    I believe in the validity of EEStor’s claim(s) due to the facts that:
    1) The company is environmentally-oriented, as am I (there has to be a solution to batteries – which are toxic and cannot be recycled).
    2) It does not host any marketing or advertising claims.
    3) ThEEStory forums looked quite good.

    If this stock goes public, I am placing as much as my networth as I can on it (not that I have a high networth to begin with). Regarding Zenn electric, I will wait until I see more legislation supporting electric cars, as they are currently illegal where I live.


  169. 169
    Ralph

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    Mar 27th, 2009 (10:23 am)

    Lockheeds new policy is to not talk about eestor anymore. Its probably caused them enough embarrassment. Lionel Liebman should be fired.


  170. 170
    OldNeil

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    Apr 16th, 2009 (3:39 pm)

    That policy didn’t stop them from mentioning EEStor by name in their April news letter.


  171. 171
    Future Super Battery - PreCentral Forums

     

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    Sep 20th, 2009 (10:02 pm)

    […] public. And to date they have had no public demonstrations of their prototypes. However, they have partnered with Lockheed Martin, where LM gets exclusive use of EEStor capacitors in military applications. That brings a lot of […]


  172. 172
    Alderink

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    Nov 9th, 2009 (8:17 am)

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