May 02

EEStor Insider Report

 


[ad#post_ad]The secrecy of EEStor is understandable. They are working on a disruptive product that could profoundly alter energy storage as we know it.  A high energy and power density, lightweight storage unit that is several fold less expensive and longer-lived than the latest lithium ion batteries.

The Texas based company is founded and operated by Dick Weir formerly a hard disc storage material engineer.  His cofoudner is Carl Nelson, a materials scientist.

After more than ten years of effort and no known proof of the invention working, there was rumor a functional product would appear by the end of last year.  That date came and went silently. Zenn Motors is the Canadian company that own 10.7% of EEStor and has plans to sell EEStor-powered electric car drivetrains.  Zenn abandoned the sale of its low speed neighborhood vehicle putting all of its proverbial eggs and publicly traded stock into the EEStor basket.

Zenn no longer comments publicly on EEStor, nor does its other customer military powerhouse Lockheed Martin or investor Kleiner Perkins.  This informational dead zone and stealth mode extreme silence is a source of anxiety to Zenn investors and EV advocates alike who fear the technology will never come true.

Recently an enthusiast of EEStor, active on the fan site theeestory.com, through some detective work was able to contact a close relative of a high level manager at EEStor and reported that information on the EVcast podcast. It was an attempt to break through the secrecy and find out what is going on behind the scenes in that Texas storefront.

The report garnered considerable controversy on the validity of this source as well as the source’s information. Considering me a “trustworthy reporter” this EEStor fan/reporter (known as thuben or Fred) contacted me and provided the details of his contact. Using this information I was successfully able to hold a brief conversation with the gentleman.

I can confirm through both the admission of the individual and independent 3rd party Internet sources he is indeed a first degree relative of a senior manager at EEStor and knows Dick Weir well.

He does not live in Texas and admitted he has never visited EEStor’s facility. He also wished to remain anonymous, a request I shall honor. He said of EEStor’s work he had only “very basic knowledge that you could get off the Internet.”

He said he does not know if the company has any working prototypes, but claims they are working “at the pace they are working” to develop the new technology and that making both the product and equipment to build it is “a slow and tedious process.”

The source admitted it is possible EEStor “might not achieve a viable product,” though Weir remains excited about the possibility they will. He did not confirm that he had told Fred it would take one to two years to produce a working product, saying “I don’t know if even they could tell you when they will have a product.” He said the company had about one to two years of finances left.

Calling the process similar to “alchemy” he noted “if it were easy it would have been done by a lot of other countries and companies.”  He admitted EEStor’s secrecy is to prevent competitors from creating the same technology.

Finally he did admit they were still “getting the capacitor or dielectric to work,”  and mentioned there have been considerable unexpected “obstacles” on the way to commercialization.
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This entry was posted on Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 at 8:00 am and is filed under EEStor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 98


  1. 1
    ziv

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    May 2nd, 2010 (8:06 am)

    Wouldn’t it be great if they actually produced it at a price that blew the market away? If they are working in good faith, I wish them all the best.
    American produced energy from nuclear, hydro, wind, solar and a gradually diminishing use of coal stored in American manufactured ultra caps that beat every battery on the market today on price and weight. Yeah, that sounds like a good thing. If it was real.


  2. 2
    Jason M. Hendler

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    May 2nd, 2010 (8:14 am)

    Fortunately, the auto industry doesn’t have their eggs all in EEstor’s basket, and haven’t stopped working on batteries and fuel cells.


  3. 3
    Caff

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    May 2nd, 2010 (8:16 am)

    Is it real? That is the question. Why do tid bits of info come up just enough to spark your attention.


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    joe

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    May 2nd, 2010 (8:23 am)

    If EEStor can invent this this capacitor successfully, the world could change in many ways!

    Good luck EEStor!!!


  5. 5
    Paul

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    May 2nd, 2010 (8:37 am)

    So, an-other NO NEWS story on EEStor.

    Come on.,….. there is really nothing new to say is there?

    Why not report on something with some actual prospect of making a difference, like the Lithium metal-air batteries IBM are developing that can store more than 5,000 watt-hours per kilogram. (A123 M1 cells are around 120 wh/kg)

    There are the same technical challenges and questions about if and how they will make the technology work… but it’s in the open, not behind some VC / penny stock smoke screen.


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    BillR

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    May 2nd, 2010 (8:53 am)

    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE


  7. 7
    Lyle

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    May 2nd, 2010 (8:53 am)

    I apologize to any readers who find this story uninteresting or irrelevant.

    Personally I find the EEStor technology and drama quite compelling and I enjoy intermittently writing about it, which I have since 2007.

    If my apology doesn’t help, please have a look around, you will find about 1500 Volt related articles on this site too.

    🙂


  8. 8
    Tagamet

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    May 2nd, 2010 (8:59 am)

    Paul: So,an-otherNO NEWS story on EEStor.Come on.,….. there is really nothing new to say is there?Why not report on something with some actual prospect of making a difference, like the Lithium metal-air batteries IBM are developing that can store more than 5,000 watt-hours per kilogram. (A123 M1 cells are around 120 wh/kg)
    There are the same technical challenges and questions about if and how they will make the technology work… but it’s in the open, not behind some VC / penny stock smoke screen.  

    Thankfully, there are many many areas of research which hold great promise to the electrification of transportation. If Lyle was to devote a post to each of them this would be a battery.com site. Vaporware or not, it’s tough to argue that EEStor’s success wouldn’t mark the largest breakthrough among those being worked on currently (no pun).
    Personally, I enjoy Volt specific topics, but that’s just me and I enjoy the diversity of daily topics brought to us by Lyle.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  9. 9
    Herm

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:00 am)

    its ok Lyle, we know its a slow news day 🙂


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    Tagamet

     

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:03 am)

    Tried to edit my last comment when I saw that Lyle had posted right before it, but – though plenty of time remained, no luck? Shrug.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  11. 11
    Larry

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:10 am)

    It’s OK Lyle. There are enough $millions$ of real money invested in EEStor to make the story compelling. I’m sure David Wier had a real ‘eureka’ moment when he was sure he has solved the world’s energy problem – just like Ponds and Fleishman did when they thought they’d discovered ‘Cold Fusion’.
    There are an awful lot of very smart people building capacitors around the world and EEStor has never answered the critical limiting issue of Dielectric Saturation publicly in any way that I’m aware of.

    I expect that by the time Weir discovered the basic flaw in his product he had already accepted and spent the money invested by Zenn and others. I’m afraid that Zenn motors will be the real victim of this story…


  12. 12
    carcus2

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:12 am)

    “Advances in battery technology are coming quickly. Nissan reportedly has tested a next-generation battery that would extend the Leaf’s range up to 186 miles while costing no more than ones used today.”

    Building a better car battery
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/16/autos/lithium_ion_batteries.fortune/index.htm


  13. 13
    statik

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:21 am)

    Lyle: I apologize to any readers who find this story uninteresting or irrelevant.Personally I find the EEStor technology and drama quite compelling and I enjoy intermittently writing about it, which I have since 2007.If my apology doesn’t help, please have a look around, you will find about 1500 Volt related articles on this site too.   (Quote)

    Figured I’d break a rule of mine, and give a opinion:

    I know I enjoy watching this unicorn story unfold. And either by luck or hard work (probably the latter) that unicorn seems to seek you out as well.

    These are original, investigatory pieces. They are much more challenging to produce than just regurgitating a press release, and personally I appreciate that kind of effort…especially on the weekend. I think the expectation of original content is what has brung (and continues to bring) so many to the site.

    The EEStor ‘saga’ is related to the Volt story, and if it is something you have the passion and the energy to write about…you keep them coming.

    /heck, write about cheese every now and then if you like…just don’t talk about ‘pointing the Brie – as then we would no longer be friends, (=


  14. 14
    Larry

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:42 am)

    I’m going on public record as predicting that David Wier will never create the ‘Dream Capacitor’ he promised -HOWEVER- I expect that he is using his investors’ money to create a high-voltage capacitor company that will at least be profitable.

    “If you end up with lemons, try to make lemonade”


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    ZeroAppoint

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:43 am)

    Once they have the capacitor working they just need the energy flux extractor and a Delorean.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:45 am)

    D***, Statik, I had to look that up. I am glad my friends run to Gruyere, Danish Blues and Pecorino. Nothing worse than being rude AND oblivious. LOL


  17. 17
    Rashiid Amul

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:45 am)

    Lyle: I apologize to any readers who find this story uninteresting or irrelevant.Personally I find the EEStor technology and drama quite compelling and I enjoy intermittently writing about it, which I have since 2007.If my apology doesn’t help, please have a look around, you will find about 1500 Volt related articles on this site too.   

    Lyle, I think we all wish for EEstor to be real. Thanks for posting the article.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:54 am)

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    CorvetteGuy

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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:55 am)

    ZNNMF:US is at $2.73 a share. Take note and let’s see what happens when they go to market with a successful product. It could happen.


  20. 20
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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:59 am)

    Lyle thank you for your valuable third party involvement. A third party was necessary with this story because of the passion of skeptics and believers. As I mention here http://bit.ly/dcC0XH (evcast.com site) What EV advocates have learned from the EV-1 experience and EV deployment of the last 10 years is that this time around we have to be much more active to promote the credibility EV players.

    For your readers that are interested in some noneestor innovative/startup energy storage technology; here are research projects funded by DOE http://arpa-e.energy.gov/Portals/0/documents/news/ARPA-ETableofProject%20Selection4-29-2010FINAL.PDF


  21. 21
    Herm

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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:01 am)

    carcus2: “Advances in battery technology are coming quickly. Nissan reportedly has tested a next-generation battery that would extend the Leaf’s range up to 186 miles while costing no more than ones used today.”

    There is a flood of battery improvements on the way, new announcements almost every day.. and guess what?, the stuff we have today is perfectly good already and its only going to get better.

    Cost to manufacture a single cell will continue to drop but eventually will reach a certain level (I have no idea what that is) but the performance of that particular cell will continue to increase.. energy density, power density, temperature stability, cycle count and calendar life.. its just a matter of material scientists plugging away at every little detail.


  22. 22
    Volt45

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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:08 am)

    Defending the complainers, the anticipation of waiting for the Volt, and we know that the tech is proven and on its way, is wrenching enough. We just have to be patient. But EEStor promised so much, and turned out to have so much weirdness and stench about it. It just feels like being somewhere between having your intelligence insulted and having your emotions played on.

    Having that said, bottom line: if you don’t want to read about it any more, um… Don’t read about it.
    What Lyle said.


  23. 23
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:11 am)

    Lyle: I apologize to any readers who find this story uninteresting or irrelevant.Personally I find the EEStor technology and drama quite compelling and I enjoy intermittently writing about it, which I have since 2007.If my apology doesn’t help, please have a look around, you will find about 1500 Volt related articles on this site too.   

    Hi Lyle, thanks, the histoty of svcientific discoveries is not a long quiet river, but full of unexpected bifurcations.

    We all hope that someday the energy storage story will be one not related to a problem of limited natural resources, until now even with lithium batteries this is not the case.
    So to kwow a little about EESTOR is better that to kwnowing nothing.

    Best regards,

    JC


  24. 24
    Exp_EngTech

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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:13 am)

    Just a quick post from my Hangar / Secret Lair …..

    As I finally admitted here the other week, I’m the test pilot of the EEStor powered Lockheed Martin Saucer Project.

    flyingsaucerplane.jpg

    The EEStor Technology does work quite well (beyond our wildest dreams). Currently, a single system is used to power the Flux Capacitor in the Warp Drive Unit. A second is scheduled for installation (soon) to power an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator and other new defensive sub systems (Photon Torpedo…).

    I need the Photon Torpedo to take out the Canada Geese that I sometimes encounter.
    Here is what they can do to conventional aircraft…..

    airplaneGooseMidAir1.jpg

    airplaneGooseMidAir3.jpg

    / have a good week everbody !


  25. 25
    John

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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:27 am)

    Lyle, please stop giving these people attention.

    It’s clearly a stock fraud, and you’re aiding and abetting them.

    There’s lots of exciting and real research in materials science to write about, conducted by credible people able to publish their work in respected journals because they have working prototypes and not science fiction patents.


  26. 26
    nasaman

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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:33 am)

    It might be wise for us all to recall that Dick Weir allegedly had a lot to do with increasing the effective packing density of magnetic hard drives, which helped take the original IBM PC from ~40K bytes to ~20T bytes of magnetic storage (i.e., an increase of ~500 million:1), in roughly the same physical space. Of course, that took a lot of effort by others too (over ~30 years).*

    *Several bloggers refer to Dick Weir’s apparent contribution to increased hard drive density, but I haven’t had time to check his hard drive experience out myself. However, its important to note that the physics of magnetic storage media is unrelated to & entirely different from that of electrostatic storage media, so any experience he might bring to EEStor is essentially unrelated from a purely technical standpoint.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:38 am)

    statik: The EEStor ’saga’ is related to the Volt story, and if it is something you have the passion and the energy to write about…you keep them coming.

    The sagas of EEstor producing an ultracapacitor and GM producing an affordable plug-in hybrid are both Tales worth telling. We’ll all keep coming to read, and it’s going to be Fantastic when we see which one happens first.

    Herm: There is a flood of battery improvements on the way, new announcements almost every day.. and guess what?, the stuff we have today is perfectly good already and its only going to get better.
    Cost to manufacture a single cell will continue to drop but eventually will reach a certain level (I have no idea what that is) but the performance of that particular cell will continue to increase.. energy density, power density, temperature stability, cycle count and calendar life.. its just a matter of material scientists plugging away at every little detail.  

    Oh yeah. . . . . and then there’s this approach. (**yawn**)


  28. 28
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:57 am)

    Methinks an inappropriate interest in EESTOR says something regrettable about interest in the Volt and (X)EVs in general. Let us not appear to be jesters. The future of EVs is real; EESTOR discredited its own technology when it partnered with Zenn. If there was any technical feasibility in their idea which they could demonstrate, wouldn’t they be able to attract serious attention for such a product? Voltage doesn’t like to be constrained – it forces electrons to flow; the claims for dielectric strength and capacity seem so far fetched as to be beyond the magical. For example, do you think a company like GE which makes high voltage capacitors for utility companies wouldn’t do everything in their power, which is considerable, to ‘capture’ these guys and their technology if they had any prospects of producing any worthwhile products? How about even small capacitors for smaller products? Would that be more achievable?
    God bless you Lyle, we love you but leave EESTOR behind – it makes the site look silly.


  29. 29
    Unni

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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:58 am)

    In other news seems Buick is developing CUV ( from gminsidenews ) . Seems orlando will live as Buick and GMC in US and rest of the world as orlando itself ( may be due to CAFE requirment – they have to move up the mpg ).

    So i am expecting Voltec orlando based Buick (5 seat ) and may be a Voltec based GMC Granite (5/ seat ) in US and rest of the world with orlando, Buick and Granite – ex: for canada – total yearly sales is only 350 -370k an year , so they can manage more products which are already available.


  30. 30
    Paul

     

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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:00 am)

    eeStore?
    Vaporware (so far)

    Any news on say, the Mini or others?

    Thanks,

    -p


  31. 31
    Schmeltz

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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:01 am)

    Keep the EEstor news coming Lyle. I hold a glimmer of hope with being mostly skeptical about it, but it stands as an interesting topic and highly relative to EV’s in general. Therefore, EEstor news has a place on this site too IMO. As I said, keep’em coming!


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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:05 am)

    Exp_EngTech: …
    I need the Photon Torpedo to take out the Canada Geese that I sometimes encounter.
    Here is what they can do to conventional aircraft…../ have a good week everbody !  

    WOW, that must have been an ostrich!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS


  33. 33
    pf

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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:07 am)

    Wow, it’s amazing how many un-informed opinions have been expressed here.

    First off, NASAman, why would you opine that DW’s experience in HDD manufacturing has no relevance, when you admit that you haven’t even looked into what kind of experience he has?

    Secondly, I don’t know where you got the name DAVID Weir, Larry, but the principal technologist involved in this story is DICK or RICHARD Weir.

    Finally, and as a bit of a side note Exp_EngTech, do yourself a favour and look up the Avro Flying Car on google. Avro Canada developed it in the early 1950’s, and eventually it was scrapped for political and technical reasons. If you figure this is a conspiracy theory, check out the Avro Arrow story, and decide for yourself. My point is that just because something sounds too good to be true, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.


  34. 34
    Roy H

     

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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:13 am)

    carcus2: “Advances in battery technology are coming quickly. Nissan reportedly has tested a next-generation battery that would extend the Leaf’s range up to 186 miles while costing no more than ones used today.”Building a better battery
    http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/16/autos/lithium_ion_batteries.fortune/index.htm  

    From your link:
    “Advances in battery technology are coming quickly. Nissan reportedly has tested a next-generation battery that would extend the Leaf’s range up to 186 miles while costing no more than ones used today. More improvements like that, and EVs will move much closer to the mainstream.”

    Nissan has been working on their batteries for a long time, and if they have decided that the liquid cooling/warming used by GM on the Volt is not required, I think we should at least give them the benefit of doubt.

    Battery technology is the core enabler of the EV revolution. I would like to see more battery specific blogs on this site. Specifically updates on Y Cui’s silicon nanowire anode and Dr. Nazar’s sulfur cathode.


  35. 35
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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:31 am)

    I have wasted far too much time on theeestory.com (as Innovator, my old handle here). And have gone through many ups and downs on my beliefs and expectations.

    I have not come to any firm conclusions and still believe there is some possibility of outright scam, but consider it to be unlikely. My current attitude is that, given it is real, it will not be the major break-through many hope for. This is based on two things:

    One that the power density, although higher than any current battery, is not higher than expected improvements in the next several years.

    Secondly I have the hardest problem with accepting the premise that they can manufacturer and assemble 30,000 capacitors in a module for a competitive price. AVX is one of the largest manufacturers of ceramic capacitors in the world, manufacturing small caps similar to EEStor’s proposed design (but at much lower capacity). They make billions (litterally) of these small caps. They cannot sell them as cheaply as EEStor claims they will be able to.

    Add to this the necessity of an expensive and heavy variable voltage dc/dc power supply to convert the 500 to 3500 volt EESU to a useable 500 volt supply for a motor controller, and the advantages of this design get narrowed down to extremely long life.

    My point is that when (if) this comes to market, you may find that the newer Lithium battery designs are a preferred choice.


  36. 36
    EEhenry

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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:35 am)

    This is for Mr. Nasaman,

    Are you aware Dick Weir’s hard drive company Tulip/Titanium went out of business and the inverstors in Tulip/Titanium lost their money.

    After that debacle, Dick and his 7 Weir’s +1 are now milking investors in this EESTor crap. Wouldn’t anyone be happy if they were living off investors money the last 20 years and nothing to show for? That is the Dick Weir story.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:41 am)

    Herm: There is a flood of battery improvements on the way, new announcements almost every day.. and guess what?, the stuff we have today is perfectly good already and its only going to get better.Cost to manufacture a single cell will continue to drop but eventually will reach a certain level (I have no idea what that is) but the performance of that particular cell will continue to increase.. energy density, power density, temperature stability, cycle count and calendar life.. its just a matter of material scientists plugging away at every little detail.  (Quote)

    Yes…another good opportunity to tie back to the Volt and note that the worst Voltecs, in many respects, will be the first Volts off the production line. They will be over-engineered in some ways but the control, genset, battery metrics, motors and EV chassis will only get better with technology advancements and interative design development.

    It may take a while for technology to mature and will probably be a long transition but the ICE-only days are numbered. I do think, once significant production is in place, the transition within each market segment will be a lot faster than many people think.


  38. 38
    Peacmakr

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    May 2nd, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    Don’t hold your breath. The Volt will work just fine and set the stage for better batteries and fuel cells. If this silver bullet works out so much the better, but it’s not essential at all.


  39. 39
    Unni

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    May 2nd, 2010 (12:38 pm)

    On this post : Absolutely i like the science-fiction news and i would like to thank lyle for posting. Reason is there were a lot science fictions in past and some of them came true and thatz the reason for us living in this level of life. So its nice to hear.

    dont over post/ just gas post but please keep on posting these kind of science news. Ex news which actually give me more info was the bloom box news : that was the first time i read on different types of fuel cells and why it cant be used in automotive. Till that time all the fuel cell news looked to me like hoax but now i know fuel cell is a simple way to get more efficiency ( 65%+ ) than just burning oil and getting output just based on the volume of expansion. Only problem is we have a long way to go to get it working ( i found fuel cells were discovered in some 18xx ). May the that was eestor at that time but we are almost coming to a commercial fuel cells now. Same will happen to eestor also ( read on capa bus which runs in china – they are on road ) Even we can have fuel cells using oil other gas forms ( CNG,natural gas ,diesel etc) which can do chemical reactions and give us electricity. Only problem now may be cost of technology.

    So please keep posting similar technology news also ( i know hard core guys are going to mark me with a lot negatives )


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    Streetlight

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    May 2nd, 2010 (1:16 pm)

    Interesting term – a first degree relative. The valid point being the source has contact with EEStor’s Leader and inventor. The report’s quite passive. My instinct is KP will support Weir’s financial challenges. If that’s true (or if its other heavyweight partner stays on), EEStor has a chance. Having myself pulled an elusive rabbit out of a lab – twice – I am deeply empathetic.
    Let me offer another view. As an EE/IE, in my IE days lots of work as a facility master. This background was always valuable as I did my own facility management. I could make sure my people felt good about coming to work. So first Dick get rid of that awful store front shop. There must be tons of decent R&D space available. Open up your lab. Under 5000 sq.ft. is just too cramped. I seemed always to be able to find really nice R&D space (Sunnyvale-Mt. View Cal.) at much less cost than full-service office. This’ll give you a roomy private office. Set up a library. A sound-proof conference room. Be kind to yourself. Take off a little time. (I played a private card game one night a week. At least one round of golf/week. I also did my own IP security.) I don’t know your hardware needs but my policy was to keep as much in-house machining as practical – my second time around I erected inside of 2000 sq.ft. – a combo tooling/model shop/pilot production manual machine shop – making every product milestone.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    I’d rather have posts more directly related to the Volt but ya know what? There isn’t enough happening for a great Volt related post every day. I think Lyle does a fantastic job of coming up with interesting topics so hats off to him. Plus, as statik has mentioned, EESTOR is definitely EV related so it’s not really OT. Personally EESTOR seems like an interesting story, but the Zenn connection sort of flips it into scammer territory for me.

    On another slightly OT topic, Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa has just discovered that GM’s repayment of its loan simply involved moving taxpayer funds from one account to another. Who would ever have imagined? I’m all in favor of awarding the distinguished senator from Iowa the “Slo Bro” award for taking a week, rather than the seconds it took most, to figure out the obvious, and for then making himself look even more challenged by claiming that the Treasury was “covering up” the facts. (“I had to dig for a week to figure this out”). Ba ha ha ha ha ha! Story can be found here (it beats watching the grass grow):
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/business/02gret.html?scp=3&sq=grassley&st=cse


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    May 2nd, 2010 (1:58 pm)

    Roy H: My point is that when (if) this comes to market, you may find that the newer Lithium battery designs are a preferred choice.  (Quote)

    I’ve read a few of the more skeptical eestory.com bloggers comment that eventually, by the time the EEStor battery technology actually makes it to market in a mass-production fashion, that EEStor may not even be necessary, given anticipated improvements in the price, weight, etc. for lithiom ion batteries and other up-and-coming energy-storage technologies.

    Besides, GM has said that they would consider in the future swapping batteries in their Volt and putting in EEStor, IF the EEStor technology worked…which I hope it does.

    EEStor reminds me of hydrogen fuel cells; another futuristic technology which always seems at least a decade or two away, and one which to be successful, requires that other competing technologies in the interim must remain static.

    EEStor also fits the definition in urbandictionary.com of a “protohype.”

    Protohype (noun): “The process of leaking a prototype device to generate buzz about a product you don’t quite yet have ready for market to a friendly tech website who will promote the gizmo well before it’s ready to go.”

    I say keep readers posted about EEStor’s progress, or lack thereof, but just don’t give the story too much weight at the expense of other stories. Remember, a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush, and the Volt’s release in November is clearly a case of the bird in the hand!

    Regards, George, Sudbury, Canada…go Volt!!


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    May 2nd, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    Lyle,
    Please keep reporting on what you find out about EESTOR. Just the possibility that this technology exists is enough to keep me interested. Even if the ultimate dream battery (capacitor) doesn’t come to fruition, I would think the research will only advance the energy storage industry. If nothing else, it makes other battery tech start-ups that much more motivated for a breakthrough.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (2:13 pm)

    Eh…I’m still holding out for Blacklight Power.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (2:45 pm)

    You know I don’t think this piece was worth putting on the GM Volt. It’s essentially the same story we’ve been hearing for several years. Its the old lead to golds and I don’t see much progress on that one either. On the other hand it may be possible to develop this product but not by EESTOR. Maybe its time for EESTOR to sell their technological rights to someone else before a better product than their EESU comes to market. Its time for EESTOR to get off the pot.

    Hmmm…I wonder if Bernie Madoff or the Wall Street bankers were behind this scheme ?


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    May 2nd, 2010 (2:50 pm)

    statik: I think the expectation of original content is what has brung (and continues to bring) so many to the site.

    I don’t think “brung” is a word, but I agree w/the statement. I ususally get the latest/original Volt info here. Then it slowly seeps into the rest of the internet world.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (2:50 pm)

    ziv: Wouldn’t it be great if they actually produced it at a price that blew the market away? If they are working in good faith,

    Wouldn’t it be great if they actually produced it at a price that blew the market away? If they are working in good faith,
    Get real


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    May 2nd, 2010 (2:56 pm)

    This EESTORY is just like a recurring bad dream. If it were possible we would have seen it by now; produced by some big firm like Toyoto or Honda. In the distant future we may see a product like this but that may only happen when we understand dark matter and dark energy. Until then our best bet is a way betterlithium ion battery.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    ________________________________________________________
    EEStor…you so funny…but are you for real?

    The guys behind EEStor have thrown up every classic scam red-flag known; to such a degree that EEstor seems eager to be labeled a scam. Even the patent fillings EEStor has made have a stench of scam to them.

    If EEStor improvably proves to not be a scam, then the only sensical explanation to their behavior would be that EEStor is purposely profiling itself as a classic scam in order to hide a legitimate enterprise…that’s a far stretch for one to have to travel for one to place a bet that EEStor is not a scam.

    The future viability of Electric Cars gets down to the battery. Although the Electric Car was invented before the gas car, the gas car won in the marketplace because of the inherent limitations of chemistry based batteries. Modern chemistry based batteries better manage those inherent limitations but those limitations set by material physics still exist and continue to render BEV Electric Cars out of reach from mass market share adoption.

    An Electric Car utilizing a battery designed around high density low cost solid state ultracapacitors is alluring. Gone away would be all those pesky limitations of chemistry based batteries. We all want to believe there is an EEstor out there able to unshackle the Electric Car. Until such a solid state battery reaches market, EREV is the practical solution for the majority of us early adopters.

    Even though EEStor is quacking like a duck named Scam, there is legitimate progress on several fronts being made on ultracapacitors that may eventually set free the Electric Car. Here is one of those examples:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/25170/?a=f
    __________________________________________________________


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    May 2nd, 2010 (3:03 pm)

    Lyle, You don’t need to apologize for the post. There are plenty of us that would like occasional updates, even if there isn’t really anything new to report. EESTOR would be a game changer for all electric vehicles and could quite possibly be the one technology(apologies to Voltec) that could rapidly transform the entire automobile industry. I don’t think too many of us are holding our breath, but if they ever really got this thing to work, think of the possibilities.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    Rooster: Eh…I’m still holding out for Blacklight Power.  

    Good point. Blacklight Power is at least as likely as EEStor. Both claim great advances in understanding physics. Blacklight, has much farther reaching possibilities, i.e. You could drive your car for a 1000 miles with 1 gallon of water (or is it 10000 miles,whatever).

    They have now sold several licences the first was a year ago. No news what so ever from these licencees. How long does it take for them to build/install their new power plant? I contacted the first and they responded saying their agreement included a requirement that they say nothing, that all relevant news must be disseminated by Blacklight Power.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (3:34 pm)

    More on Blacklight Power. This more for humor than information.
    Quote from Blacklight site:

    “The hydrino reactions are maintained and regenerated continuously in each cell wherein heat from the power production phase of a thermally reversible cycle provides the energy for regeneration of the initial reactants from the products. Since the reactants undergo both modes simultaneously in each cell, the thermal power output from each cell is constant.”

    To their credit, this is the first time I have spotted a direct contradiction of conservation of energy. Their normal explanation states that hydrogen is consumed and the product is hydrinos with large amounts of excess heat.

    Second quote:
    “Rather than being limited by conventional thermal-based systems, a paradigm shifting technology called CIHT is enabled by the unique attributes of the catalyzed hydrino transition. The exchange reactions are the basis of a unique electrochemical cell wherein the power is developed by the reaction of hydrogen to form hydrinos. Being direct electric, the capital costs are projected to be about $25/kW electric, about two percent of thermal systems, with no infrastructure requirements, and the system is deployable for essentially any application at any scale.”

    So now they claim to have a system like a fuel cell that produces electricity instead of heat. Now the Volt has a 150kW motor so at $25/kW = $3750. This is less than the present cost of batteries on the Volt, and you only have to fuel it with a little bit of water. Since they claim this is available now, let’s go for it! Other important details, it is small and light weight approximately equivalent to the ICE in the Volt.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (3:39 pm)

    CDAVIS: ________________________________________________________EEStor…you so funny…but are you for real?The guys behind EEStor have thrown up every classic scam red-flag known; to such a degree that EEstor seems eager to be labeled a scam. Even the patent fillings EEStor has made have a stench of scam to them.If EEStor improvably proves to not be a scam, then the only sensical explanation to their behavior would be that EEStor is purposely profiling itself as a classic scam in order to hide a legitimate enterprise…that’s a far stretch for one to have to travel for one to place a bet that EEStor is not a scam.The future viability of Electric Cars gets down to the battery. Although the Electric Car was invented before the gas car, the gas car won in the marketplace because of the inherent limitations of chemistry based batteries. Modern chemistry based batteries better manage those inherent limitations but those limitations set by material physics still exist and continue to render BEV Electric Cars out of reach from mass market share adoption.An Electric Car utilizing a battery designed around high density low cost solid state ultracapacitors is alluring. Gone away would be all those pesky limitations of chemistry based batteries. We all want to believe there is an EEstor out there able to unshackle the Electric Car. Until such a solid state battery reaches market, EREV is the practical solution for the majority of us early adopters.Even though EEStor is quacking like a duck named Scam, there is legitimate progress on several fronts being made on ultracapacitors that may eventually set free the Electric Car. Here is one of those examples:http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/25170/?a=f__________________________________________________________  (Quote)


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    May 2nd, 2010 (4:32 pm)

    CDAVIS: An Electric Car utilizing a battery designed around high density low cost solid state ultracapacitors is alluring. Gone away would be all those pesky limitations of chemistry based batteries.

    If EEStor becomes real, I think the biggest will be lifetime. A solid dielectric cap isn’t harmed by running dead. Gone are the worries about cycle life, limited depth of discharge and temperature management.

    Even if EEStor only matches the energy density metrics of Li-ION, it could beat the Li-ION batteries on this alone.

    CDAVIS: We all want to believe there is an EEstor out there able to unshackle the Electric Car. Until such a solid state battery reaches market, EREV is the practical solution for the majority of us early adopters.

    EEStor may not make a home run that totally beats chemical batteries, but only bests them by a bit. The EREV could be around for a while.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (4:36 pm)

    Tom M: Lyle, You don’t need to apologize for the post. There are plenty of us that would like occasional updates, even if there isn’t really anything new to report. EESTOR would be a game changer for all electric vehicles and could quite possibly be the one technology(apologies to Voltec) that could rapidly transform the entire automobile industry. I don’t think too many of us are holding our breath, but if they ever really got this thing to work, think of the possibilities.  (Quote)

    I think the apology was appropriate 😉


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    May 2nd, 2010 (4:39 pm)

    Matthew B: If EEStor becomes real, I think the biggest will be lifetime. A solid dielectric cap isn’t harmed by running dead. Gone are the worries about cycle life, limited depth of discharge and temperature management.

    I think the point is, is it likely to happen in the next hundred years ?


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    May 2nd, 2010 (4:52 pm)

    The EEStor saga is like the cold fusion “discovery” back in the early 90’s, only it’s stretched out over years rather than weeks to its obvious conclusion. For sanity’s sake I wish we could hit the fast-forward button.
    Sorry Lyle, I have to admit I sympathize with those who find these stories tiresome. Your investigation was original and newsworthy but personally I would prefer posts about more relevant and probable battery discoveries. There are a lot out there, and some of them may likely affect Voltec technology. Any chance we could see more of those? Maybe we could have a “battery Sunday” column. Certainly we don’t want this to turn into a battery site and a there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little EEStor here and there. It would just be great to get the biggest battery story of the week from you and your GM Volt perspective on it. What do you think?


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    May 2nd, 2010 (5:01 pm)

    I’m curious, why the negative votes? Because my posts are off topic?


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    May 2nd, 2010 (5:13 pm)

    Ed M:
    I think the point is, is it likely to happen in the next hundred years ?  

    No clue, which is why I put the qualifiers on my post.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (6:42 pm)

    This talk of EEStor makes one wonder how the GEN 1 Volt battery will compare with the GEN 2 battery. Someone here mentioned a possible change in the cooling system.

    Knew the GEN 1 Volt battery would deliver 40 miles. In 2008 a person I spoke with in L.A. said they had inside information on the GEN 1. And that it would deliver 40 miles due to better than expected IN and OUT flow rates. This was accomplished with a recent advance in battery connector technology.

    What will GM do when 1000 USA/Canada Chevy dealers ask for delivery of 10 Volt per month? And the matching international draw?

    Latest best guess estimates are for a sticker of $35,900 for the Volt. Add 10% in costs (tax ect.) $39,490. Less $7500 Federal credit $31,990. Less $5000 State credit = $26,990 out of pocket.

    4 cylinder Accord or a Volt? You kidding me?

    =D-Volt

    Volt%20Global%20Green.jpg


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    May 2nd, 2010 (6:52 pm)

    Lyle:
    I apologize to any readers who find this story uninteresting or irrelevant.
    Personally I find the EEStor technology and drama quite compellingand I enjoy intermittently writing about it, which I have since 2007.
    If my apology doesn’t help, please have a look around, you will find about 1500 Volt related articles on this site too.   

    Dear Neurologist,

    Did we strike a nerve?

    Lyle,

    It appears that you have gone the extra mile in your investigation to find out more about EEStor. I agree, that if this technology can be perfected, then it will be extremely disruputive, and change the game for EV’s.

    Now, with that said, many of us have been looking for some sign of progress.

    With the Volt, GM started testing batteries in their lab several years ago. Then they used Malibu mules to gather data on the powertrain (with NiMH batteries). Next came Cruze bodied prototypes, which some in the media were allowed to drive (EV mode only). The IV’s followed, again with the media test driving in both EV and CS modes. Now, pre-production models are rolling off the line, and will likely be driven by the media before long.

    So, with the Volt, we see a steady forward progress, with confirmation by 3rd parties (the media).

    Where is the progress or 3rd party confirmations for EEStor?

    Sorry, but some of us can’t help but think there are issues or perhaps fatal flaws in the EEStor technology.

    But don’t feel dejected, Lyle, because you do one hell of a job to keep a full time job and still bring new content to this site every day. Our gripes are not with you, but the lack of real evidence presented by EEStor regarding the validity of their technology.

    Bill


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    May 2nd, 2010 (7:08 pm)

    Everyone seems to think we need some type of new technology breakthrough to make electric drive viable, but I think Li/Ion will work just fine. In 5 years, Li/Ion will be 1/2 the price it is today. By 2020, it will drop to 1/4 the current price. Once high volume production begins, the manufacturing engineers will find clever ways to get the cost lower and the quality higher. And once a lot of electric drive cars have been on the road for a while, development engineers will know what parts of the battery are over-designed, and that will streamline cost and weight as well. So the path we are on will improve Li/Ion a great deal. A new storage technology with vast improvements would certainly make things better, but we can live without it.

    The cost of EEStor is still not known. Yes, the raw materials are cheap, but the purity levels required could make it really expensive. For example, look at silicon chips. The raw materials are literally dirt cheap, but purified silicon wafers are really expensive. That’s what makes photo-voltaics expensive. And they’ve had decades to cost optimize the process. The problem is purity levels that high require lots of time and energy to produce, which translates to cost.

    So by the time EEStor gets real, the cost per usable kWh may not be that much of an advantage.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (7:25 pm)

    Dave K.: Latest best guess estimates are for a sticker of $35,900 for the Volt.

    According to Lyle, the Volt will be priced in the low 30s, which would make it mid-20s after the tax credit:
    http://gm-volt.com/2010/01/27/gm-ceo-ed-whitacre-is-a-strong-fan-of-the-volt/
    “Though various bloggers quoting GM spokespeople have attempted to refute Mr. Whitacre’s comment to me about the Volt selling in the low 30s, I still stand by his statement. None of the naysayers were present for the call nor spent time in GM’s boardroom. The $7500 tax credit was not mentioned or inferred. Of course, we’ll have to wait until summer to see for sure.”


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    May 2nd, 2010 (7:47 pm)

    CDAVIS: We all want to believe there is an EEstor out there able to unshackle the Electric Car. Until such a solid state battery reaches market, EREV is the practical solution for the majority of us early adopters.

    First, EREV is not just for early adopters. EREV is a mainstream technology. There’s no reason the average Joe wouldn’t want one today.

    Second, even if EEStor was real today, I believe there are other issues that will shackle pure BEVs, namely: fast charging safety issues, battery swapping business issues, and issues with building an entirely new filling station infrastructure.

    So I see EREV as both the near-term and long-term solution.

    Or to put it another way, I think we have bigger fish to fry. U.S. oil consumption breaks down roughly as follows:
    • 45% gasoline (mostly for passenger vehicles)
    • 17% diesel (mostly for heavy duty long distance travel)
    • 5% jet fuel
    • 7% home heating oil
    • 2% electricity
    • 22% other (industrial fuel oil, plastics, petro-chemical, etc.)

    Looking at these numbers, it becomes obvious that there is no one solution that will reduce oil usage by 2/3. Energy independence will require multiple solutions.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    I am concerned that Lyle may have been set up for this interview. EEStor has frequently “leaked” information and it could be that this is their way of breaking the silence. IOW Dick Wier could have coached this relative on what he could or could not say. Unexpected obstacles are to be expected. but problems with the “capacitor or dielectric” is something Dick Wier has repeatedly said was solved. Either he was lying or this might be construed as problems with the automated process of assembling the capacitors. Each capacitor consists of 100 layers of conductors and dielectric as depicted at the beginning of this blog. There is some confusion on my part about the necessity of baking each layer, one at a time or all together? Surely if done one layer at a time it would drive costs through the roof. Regardless of what the problem is, this has now set up the expectation for a lengthly wait and given some assurance that they are still hard at work on it. I wonder if ZENN can survive the wait?


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    May 2nd, 2010 (7:53 pm)

    I do enjoy the occasional EEStory.

    Keep them coming Lyle.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:04 pm)

    Hey Lyle,
    EESTOR is always a topic that brings up the current advancements in battery tech.
    The comparative specs seem to be getting closer and closer every year. Pretty soon, it seems,
    the whole EESTOR storage unit specs may finally be essentially nearly matched if not totally eclipsed by battery tech.
    In any case, few EE people around Austin talk about them anymore.

    For DonC.
    So, if GM took some funds from the NewGM stock-secured-assets, to liquidate the unsecured debt, then, how can you say that this is an accounting trick??? They have secured all loans!
    It would be the same as your taking out a second mortgage on your house to pay off your high interest unsecured credit cards. The reason I say high interest, is because the unsecured GM debt has a different kind of high interest, public high interest, the undesirable kind that many would not want them to have (the unsecured debt). So, not a trick at all, just the right moral thing to do.
    I do not know why there is apparently a failure to understand this.

    But what I really want in addition to a Volt, is a stock certificate with the NewGM Corporate Seal affixed to it, and, I want a Bob Lutz signature “front and center” upon it. Maybe we can buy stock in increments as low as $2,500 and be able to get a certificate like that.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (9:58 pm)

    EEStore news is good stuff — yea, it may never exist but the ultra-capacitor would be so COOL!
    As for Illudium, it has interesting characteristics — and could be put to use in a modulator — modulating a pulse. This was investigated back in the ’30s — nothing came of it. With all the advancements in nanotech, a flux-capacitor or ultra-capacitor or ..? may be around the corner.

    Please keep an eye out in left field, that is where the next big thing is gonna come from. Interesting times…

    Exp_EngTech: Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator

    Now that is funny! “That creature has stolen the space modulator!”; Marvin

    Wow, 3500V! I don’t think stepping down that voltage for electric motors would be desirable — motors LOVE high voltage, the higher the better! Make some SERIOUS magnetic fields — motors can be smaller, …

    Roy H: 500 to 3500 volt EESU


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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:19 pm)

    If EEStor happens, more power to — well, all of us.

    However, we dare not hold up the electrification of the automobile waiting for what could well be a missing pot of gold at the end of some rainbow.

    Even if true, EEStor is unlikely to happen at the kind of scales which would immediately replace Li/Ion technology; but then, it wouldn’t have to: a small surge battery made of the near-infinite-life material would greatly improve regeneration, and allow a genset to come closer to the average power requirement of an EREV (improving CS-mode efficiency while reducing weight). A strong case for EEStor / Li/Ion hybrid EREVs could be made for well over a decade, while the new technology ramps up. Remember, Lithium Ion batteries powered a lot of things before Tesla dared to put them in a car.

    EEStor would only help the electrification of the automobile, but the good news is that it’s absence will not hobble it, either. I put it this way because, while EEStor would be a good thing if true, it does not appear very likely to me. Optimism is an especially hard thing to find, in darkness.

    lousloot:
    Wow, 3500V! I don’t think stepping down that voltage for electric motors would be desirable — motors LOVE high voltage, the higher the better! Make some SERIOUS magnetic fields — motors can be smaller, …

    My understanding is that the strength of an electromagnet is determined by the current (not the voltage) of the powering electricity (an electric motor works via the sequential operation of an electromagnetic field). In addition, the higher the voltage, the more difficult it would become to insulate the closely packed windings.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (10:42 pm)

    Dan Petit: So, if GM took some funds from the NewGM stock-secured-assets, to liquidate the unsecured debt, then, how can you say that this is an accounting trick???

    Dan, I didn’t say it was an accounting trick. Heck, it wasn’t even tricky. GM just paid back a taxpayer loan with taxpayer equity. At the end of the day, as a taxpayer, you’re not better or worse off. It’s a non-event. I just thought it amazing on two accounts: one what a PR plus it turned into; and two that it took the good Senator from Iowa a week to figure it out.

    Basically money is fungible, so little accounting bins don’t matter. It’s very much like when the Wall Street firms paid out big bonuses and then said that taxpayer money wasn’t used for this purpose. Their reasoning was that the bonus money came out of a different pot, as if you could make such a distinction.


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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:20 pm)

    Lyle: I apologize to any readers who find this story uninteresting or irrelevant.Personally I find the EEStor technology and drama quite compelling and I enjoy intermittently writing about it, which I have since 2007.If my apology doesn’t help, please have a look around, you will find about 1500 Volt related articles on this site too.   

    That’s OK, nobody appreciates my stories on the Schweeb either. 🙂 http://www.schweeb.com

    Hey many thanks everybody who answered my three day question re: What are the odds GM will come through?

    I addressed some observations and opinions yesterday in posts #76,#77 and #78 if anyone’s interested.

    Of note: Tagamet, Herm, Michael and Noel are mentioned.

    PEACE!

    RECHARGE! James

    IF YOU BUILD THEM THEY WILL COME.


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    Matthew B

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    May 2nd, 2010 (11:32 pm)

    Zachary Taylor: My understanding is that the strength of an electromagnet is determined by the current (not the voltage) of the powering electricity

    The magnomotive force (MMF) is proportional to the current and the number of turns. When the voltage is higher, more turns of smaller wire can be used to produce the same MMF with a lower current.

    The strength of the field is determined by the MMF and the magnetic structure. For example, an electromagnet with an air coil produces less magnetic field than one with an iron core (up to a point).

    Zachary Taylor: In addition, the higher the voltage, the more difficult it would become to insulate the closely packed windings.

    Correct. The “optimal” voltage for any size of motor is where the wire passes through each slot only once. This is called a non-re-entrant winding. A motor may be wound for twice that voltage by looping through each slot twice with 1/2 the size wire. This may be repeated many times to produce a motor for even higher voltage. But higher and higher voltage means that a larger fraction of the slot is insulation and not conductor, and it is the conductor that carries the current.

    But it’s not so much the motor that would worry me with running at 3kV plus. It is the power electronics. Right now 600V IGBTs are the most efficient. 900V and 1200V are close. Above 1200V they get MUCH slower and the efficiency is less.

    The motor itself would probably run around 500V, just like current hybrid cars. Electronics would be used to step the cap bank voltage down to a fixed voltage for the motor. This is because unlike a chemical battery that goes from full to dead over a limited range of voltages, a capacitor goes from maximum voltage at full on down to zero volts at empty. If there wasn’t a converter to produce a fixed voltage going into the motor inverter, the car would be really peppy at first and then performance would decline to nothing at empty.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (12:44 am)

    While comtemplating my navel in the bath tub I was thinking about batteries. Car batteries and their manufactures haven’t done much with them over the past hundrd years. Sure they’re more reliable but considering what they do, they’re still the same old oversized heavy piece of lead they were at the beginning. When you consider the advances in other technologies, its truly amazing how far behind batteries are. When I considered why? there sppears to be no will on GMs part to go in other direction than to pump out gas vehicles with no other option.
    The best battery advances have come from outside the automotive industry to fire up laptops. If it wasn’t for laptops we wouldn’t be talking about Chevy Volt.
    So why Mr. GM have you never offered an answer to this and what are you going to do about it because I don’t think tinkering with someone elses technology gets you very far these days. Maybe GM is just too moribund and their scientists and engineers are to dumb and unimaginative to develop something better.
    We bitch and complain about EESTORs seeming lack of progress but its not really their responsibilty to provide anything so that GM can save itself from itself.
    I can clearly see 2013; GM annouces that it will no longer make the Volt because they’re doing very nicely with the fall from grace of Toyoto. And the battery developments haven’t kept pace with the new ICE engines fuel economy.
    What say all you Volt lovers.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (1:04 am)

    Ed M: I can clearly see 2013; GM annouces that it will no longer make the Volt because they’re doing very nicely with the fall from grace of Toyoto.

    Toyota seems to be doing quite well. They didn’t sell as many cars in February, but bounced back quite nicely in April. I wouldn’t write them off yet.

    GM’s real worry should be Ford. Ford is kicking their fanny.

    Ed M: And the battery developments haven’t kept pace with the new ICE engines fuel economy.

    I don’t see how an ICE can run on no gasoline at all for 40 miles or more, so how exactly will it compete with batteries?


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    May 3rd, 2010 (1:55 am)

    I don’t know how well this not so well known company is going to succeed but I will say this. If they ever do become sucessful imagine them being one of the most well known and respeceted company’s in the world but for now that is only a pipe dream away if it ever becomes a reality that truly would be astonishing everybody agree?


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    May 3rd, 2010 (2:38 am)

    Ed M: Car batteries and their manufactures haven’t done much with them over the past hundrd years. Sure they’re more reliable but considering what they do, they’re still the same old oversized heavy piece of lead they were at the beginning.
    What say you all you Volt lovers.  

    Not true. I think is was in the 1980’s GM and Ford spent a lot of money researching batteries and developed some high temperature molten sulfur (I think). But it was not successful, not enough energy and had some safety issues. They gave up on batteries and started to work on fuel cells. It’s not like nobody was trying, Ovinsky came up with NiMH batteries in the late 1990’s and some Japanese researchers solved problems to make the first Lithium-ion (Sony I think). These were not trivial accomplishments. Now everything has changed because we have entered into the age of nanoengineering and have very sophisticated computer programs to model different molecules so the pace of discovery has picked up.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (4:02 am)

    Hey Ed, I’m a Volt lover. But I welcome a different perspective than one generally seen here. It looks like you happened upon a good topic.

    I think GM ( and the entire auto industry ) kept plodding ahead with the same 19th century technology, slowly improving safety, reliability and efficiency as competition required because the business model was a road well travelled, profits were good and it made sense since nobody else really wanted to break the mold. Small startups, Tucker, for instance, tried to fly in the face of the industry’s conventional paradigm but Big Auto just had too much money with too much momentum and clout to compete against. Systematically, it has always been cheaper and easier to go with the path of least resistence, and muscle, push or cheat their way ( even if they had to purchase said startup company ) than to innovate, create and invent.

    C.A.R.B. and C.A.F.E. mandates really shook the deck and changed the playing field. Japan had it’s own mandates to deal with, and the spector of global warming, whether real or imagined, has lead us to today. Toyota’s story of the Prius fascinates. They took the plunge, and paved the way for alot of this new movement. We had geo-political tremors in the 1970’s that temporarily disrupted international flow of crude oil America seemed to feel was a bottomless pit – especially as long as we could dominate the aquisition and distribution channels. Today it’s different, peak oil seems to be a given, and going farther, further and deeper to reach new oil deposits has it’s many difficulties, not excluding oil spill disasters such as we see in the Gulf of Mexico. And cost. There’s many reminders now how much oil his crippling us, humiliating us worldwide and basically dirtying the bed we sleep in ( and breathe ), earth. Suddenly, Tesla, a little Silicon Valley startup with a few bucks from a billionaire could survive – and a shame-over, takeover or makeover by GM would have looked too bad in the public eye – especially after a small documentary filmaker exposed their sins of the EV-1.

    So the rabbit ran out of Tokyo – an ever-rising, perfectionist car culture at Toyota decided to develop a new player with a legally allowed small NIMH battery pack, tying it in with a small ICE – and BAM! Prius hit the scene. Nothing will ever be the same! Sure, Toyota hedged it’s bets by simultaneiously hitting the American shores with a battleplan to dominate: Build uber-huge SUVs and trucks ( Tundra and Sequoia ) to compete in the uber-huge and uber-vulnerable U.S. marketplace. Hit the domestics from all sides – compete on their field, using American workers not sacked with complex UAW restrictions and requirements ( i.e.: “costs” ). Hit ’em high and hit ’em low, and it worked. Toyota was on it’s way to #1 global auto industry- setting it’s sights on conquering emerging markets of China and India. Ford and Nissan bought Toyota’s hybrid technology realizing they had too much of a headstart on this broadening market – But GM took a different, sluggish and half-hearted swipe at hybrids and fell flat – losing ground along the way.

    Truly if it weren’t for such events – and GM, Ford and Chrysler watching those gigantic profits of the past sink slowly into the sunset – Prius popping up like baby rabbits on America’s roads – that their hand was forced. Thanks to Bob Lutz, John Lauckner and engineers galore, GM decided to innovate – Take a big swing for the fences and out-innovate Toyota – innovate the way they had with EV-1. Could they meet government mandates, prepare for peak oil realities, challenge Toyota and maybe con the new “green-minded” Congress to buy in? Sure – and they did. GM engineers have proven when given a challenge they can practically re-invent the wheel. Volt is a magnificent feat – especially in it’s short gestation period.

    Will GM sell it to folks? Or is it another ploy? Will folks catch on? Will GM now be able to pull together the world’s best cutting-edge tech in batteries? Prius still sells like hot dogs at a ballgame despite recent Toyota foulups and it’s plug-in version looms on the horizon. Remember Toyota did not invent the NIMH battery, nor do they produce it, Panasonic does. ————————————————————————————————————–

    So – Ed’s topic is very interesting. It seems GM, Ford and Chrysler see as far forward as continuing on that same old road that profited them in the past: tweak the ICE until it can be tweaked no more. Lighten the car using the least amount of expensive materials as possible, turbocharge, direct-inject and add lower rolling resistance tires. Unbloat an SUV or two..but FOR GOD’S SAKES, don’t innovate! It’s just too darned expensive!

    RECHARGE! James

    IF YOU BUILD THEM THEY WILL COME.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (4:19 am)

    Here’s a fresh topic on Volt.

    Has anyone pondered the used car market for EREVs and BEVs? The hope, as I’ve heard stated, is that by the time a Volt owner will want to trade up or change cars, battery technology will have saved the day. Batteries will be more efficient ( Toshiba’s ScIB… ), cheaper, lithium more available and maybe , possibly EESTOR will materialize and, >POOF!< the ICE will finally die a slow death.

    But just think, a second or third owner of a Volt will have a car with a used-up battery worth nearly nothing. It's battery may be good for home energy storage or for someone's water pump out on a farm… But the second or third owner of the Volt will need a brand new battery and replacement parts for the electric motor. What if that just isn't cost effective? What if battery technology hasn't moved much past today? Then, the steel, plastic and aluminum will be all the worth left in the old BEV, and the Volt will be an ICE car with rebuilt electronic propulsion – will that have any worth?!

    I’ve waited 4 years to buy an electric scooter. Vectrix went under with NIMHs and couldn’t go lithium due to cost, and lithium scoots are too expensive still.

    Anybody have any insight? The economics, or any professional discussion on the subject?

    RECHARGE! IF YOU BUILD THEM THEY WILL COME.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (4:39 am)

    Matthew B: Toyota seems to be doing quite well. They didn’t sell as many cars in February, but bounced back quite nicely in April. I wouldn’t write them off yet.

    They have bouced back mainly by way of the rebate. But even rebates won’t save a company that doesn’t seem to care. Once the public tide of opinion changes that will pretty much be it. I don’t think American drivers appreciate being treated like Kamikazi pilots.

    Hybrids are getting more fuel effcient with each successive model and I don’t think there’s a lot of difference when considering 100 miles of driving.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (4:51 am)

    Roy H: Not true. I think is was in the 1980’s GM and Ford spent a lot of money researching batteries and developed some high temperature molten sulfur (I think).

    Like I said Roy GM needs to roll up there sleeves when it comes to battery development and quit relying on others. I would really like to know what improvements we can expect over the next few years. Not from LG Chem but from GM. Come pn GM tell us.
    .


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    May 3rd, 2010 (5:03 am)

    I hope EEStor is for real, but I am not holding my breath.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (5:06 am)

    James: I’ve waited 4 years to buy an electric scooter.

    Electric vehicles are popular in China and international interest is growing. One Chinese battery manufacturer looks like it’s still on the way up. Had a recent pull back in price.

    NEW YORK, April 13, 2010 – Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:ABAT), a leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of rechargeable Polymer Lithium-Ion (PLI) batteries as well as a manufacturer of electric vehicles, today announced that it obtained approximately $1.6 million in new orders of electric vehicles during its product promotion conference held in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, China.

    On March 30 and March 31, 2010, ABAT held a product promotion conference for its electric vehicles customers from both domestic and overseas markets. Approximately two hundred people participated in this conference, including customers from Netherlands, Chile, Canada, India, Afghanistan and hundreds of Chinese companies. The Company has a New York office, with its executive offices and manufacturing facilities in China.

    =D-Volt


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    May 3rd, 2010 (6:03 am)

    Zachary Taylor: However, we dare not hold up the electrification of the automobile waiting for what could well be a missing pot of gold at the end of some rainbow.

    Yes, well said, +1.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (10:03 am)

    EEstor is the automobile industries equivalent to ‘cold fusion’. Nobody wants this technology to work more than I do (I think), but I remain highly skeptical that it will turn out to be practical.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (10:31 am)

    ziv: Wouldn’t it be great if they actually produced it at a price that blew the market away? If they are working in good faith, I wish them all the best.
    American produced energy from nuclear, hydro, wind, solar and a gradually diminishing use of coal stored in American manufactured ultra caps that beat every battery on the market today on price and weight. Yeah, that sounds like a good thing. If it was real.

    #1 says it all. +1

    I’m from Missouri on all such things. But if it works it’s great. And if it doesn’t, what have we lost. As long as we don’t buy any stock, LOL.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (11:39 am)

    Lyle: This site’s about VOLT and EEStor is every bit on point. You did what GM and all the other heavies couldn’t – you broke a EEStor story. And reported it — particularly given its elusive super-duper capacitor demo manifesting world-wide controversy — with vigilant professionalism.


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    May 3rd, 2010 (1:25 pm)

    Wow, they’re trying to put several thousand volts across a 10um dielectric? Good luck with that. No wonder the fields always saturate in previous structures like this, the hot electrons will just tunnel through that like it’s not even there. I suppose I could actually do some calculations but it violates my fundamental tenant of not spending more than 30 seconds on anything related to EEstor. 🙂

    So, yeah, Lyle, I kind of think EEStor is a waste of time, but as long as we all keep the time wasted to a minimum I for one certainly don’t have a problem with that. I waste lots of time, anyway. 😉

    Anyway, to sum up. Nothing new here. Moving right along…


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    May 3rd, 2010 (1:51 pm)

    The Volt story, at its heart, is all about the energy storage.


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    May 4th, 2010 (6:07 am)

    Thank you Lyle for the update. May be some time, some where similar thing will pop up. You never know.


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    May 4th, 2010 (7:24 am)

    The grid scale storage capacity of an EESTOR device would be two or three orders of magnitude more valuable than the value of a vehicle application.

    EESTOR has already lost the race to market in vehicles to LG and A123.

    And given their progress –compared to the last few months of progress on fuel cell material science and H2 production–they are going to have to make major progress to beat fuel cells.

    The question now remains, will they beat anyone to grid storage devices?

    If EESTOR is real, they better hurry, because they are about to be overtaken by more conventional devices and research.


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    May 4th, 2010 (12:36 pm)

    Bill Marsh: EEstor is the automobile industries equivalent to ‘cold fusion’. Nobody wants this technology to work more than I do (I think), but I remain highly skeptical that it will turn out to be practical.  

    Bill – you might want to revisit the old “cold fusion” plateau. “60 Minutes” did a very good story on it not too long ago…
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/17/60minutes/main4952167.shtml


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    May 5th, 2010 (7:43 am)

    Lyle: I apologize to any readers who find this story uninteresting or irrelevant.Personally I find the EEStor technology and drama quite compelling and I enjoy intermittently writing about it, which I have since 2007.If my apology doesn’t help, please have a look around, you will find about 1500 Volt related articles on this site too.   

    I enjoy reading about this hopeful new technology. If Lockheed and Martin are part of it’s investors, it’s hard to imagine the technology and reports to be fake. Keep’em coming, Lyle!


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    May 8th, 2010 (11:02 pm)

    My engineering specialty is in nonexistent technologies.
    I’m a top-performer in my field, with over 30 years of experience in things that don’t exist.

    Right now its a purity of materials issue: the electrodes of the Ultracap must be made of ABSOLUTELY PURE Unobtanium, while the CMBT dielectric substrate be composed of fairy dust of equal purity.
    At our current level of technology, the only way to achieve absolutely pure unobtanium & fairy dust is with high-energy moonbeams. High energy moonbeam generators are extremely cost prohibitive as both the stator & commutator of the generator are made of unicorn horn….EEStor’s Ultracap is a mythical product made out of mythical components.


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    May 9th, 2010 (8:18 am)

    Zach: I enjoy reading about this hopeful new technology. If Lockheed and Martin are part of it’s investors, it’s hard to imagine the technology and reports to be fake. Keep’em coming, Lyle!  (Quote)

    Zach, Either you are ignorant of this EESCAM story or you are one of the pumpers of EESCAM.
    LOCKHEED MARTIN IS NOT PART OF EESCAM’S INVESTOR.


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    May 13th, 2010 (12:08 pm)

    nobody cares about the eescam anymore…. darnit


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    May 25th, 2010 (3:39 am)

    Global Electrical Industries is a leading manufacturer & exporter of electrical products like Suspension Clamp, Vibrator Dampers, Strain Tension Clamps, Pin Insulator, PG Clamps, Tee Clamps, Stay Wire, Disc Insulators and Ground Wire Accessories etc.For more details visit : http://www.gmel.net/


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    May 25th, 2010 (12:52 pm)

    I can’t wait for the 3 Musketeers movie


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    May 27th, 2010 (2:41 am)

    I can’t wait for the Three Stooges EESCAM movie starring Ian Clifford, Dick Weir, and Baghead Brennan Murphy.