Clean Break has an interesting post, much of what I have copied verbatim, on a new ultracapacitor made by start-up company EEStor of Austin TX. I thought the technology was potentially so important that a record of it was needed on the Energy Blog. The company is very wary of publicity and the following, which Tyler meticulously chased down, is about all that is known about their technology:
- It is a parallel plate capacitor with barium titanate as the dielectric.
- It claims that it can make a battery at half the cost per kilowatt-hour and one-tenth the weight of lead-acid batteries.
- As of last year selling price would start at $3,200 and fall to $2,100 in high-volume production
- The product weighs 400 pounds and delivers 52 kilowatt-hours.
- The batteries fully charge in minutes as opposed to hours.
- The EEStor technology has been tested up to a million cycles with no material degradation compared to lead acid batteries that optimistically have 500 to 700 recharge cycles,
- Because it's a solid state battery rather than a chemical battery, such being the case for lithium ion technology, there would be no overheating and thus safety concerns with using it in a vehicle.
- With volume manufacturing it's expected to be cost-competitive with lead-acid technology.
- As of last year, EEStor planned to build its own assembly line to prove the battery can work and then license the technology to manufacturers for volume production
- EEStor's technology could be used in more than low-speed electric vehicles. The company envisions using it for full-speed pure electric vehicles, hybrid-electrics (including plug-ins), military applications, backup power and even large-scale utility storage for intermittent renewable power sources such as wind and solar.
- They have an exclusive agreement with Feel Good Cars, a Canadian manufacturer of the ZENN, a low speed electric car, to to purchase high-power-density ceramic ultra capacitors called Electrical Storage Units (ESU). FGC's exclusive worldwide right is for all personal transportation uses under 15 KW drive systems (equivalent to 100 peak horse power) and for vehicles with a curb weight of under 1200 kilograms not including batteries.
None of these claims except construction and cost are significantly better than other ultracapacitors. Although they sometimes refer to the technology as a battery, it is clearly an ultracapacitor.
Clean Break's resources were:
Kleiner Perkins' Latest Energy Investment, BusinessWeek online, Sept., 3, 2005
Feel Good Cars, Toronto, ON, Canada
MCL Capital Inc. announce Agreement in Principal with Feel Good Cars (In section on History and Nature of the Business this agreement refers to FGC's agreement with EEStor)