Tyler, the Clean Break publisher is also a technology reporter and columnist for the Toronto Star. In one of his recent columns in the Star he reported on EEStor's ultracapacitor and found a few previously unreported items about the company. His lead "A much-shrouded idea could give portable power a real charge, for a change — and change, well, everything" was one of the main themes of the column. The item I found most exciting was the following:
The company, sources say, is weeks away from seeking independent verification of the product's performance, which will be conducted by the University of Texas at Austin or a U.S. army facility. If all goes well, EEStor could be in preproduction this year and full production in 2007. During this time, potential customers — from automakers and military contractors to tool and electronics makers — will get a closer look at the product.
One of the experts he quoted was Richard Baxter author of the book on Energy Storage that The Energy Blog recently reviewed.
The most One hang up that many, not Tyler, have on the technology is that it would require enormous bursts of power to charge the ultracapacitor in the short recharge times that are referred to when discussing this technology. 1) the short recharge time is essential to increasing the efficiency of energy recovery from braking that present batteries can't do. 2) most charging should be done overnight in the owners garage. 3) "filling stations" will need to charge some sort of energy storage system, such as more ultracapacitors or more likely flow batteries or other energy storage systems. (I'm not expert enough to know which technology is best) using off peak power if available, or during lulls in activity at the filling station, rather than imposing a extremely high demand on the grid for the short bursts of power that would be required for "refueling". Whatever method is used it will be quite a bit more expensive to buy electricity from filling stations rather than recharging overnight at home or in the parking lot at your workplace.
The Energy Blog: EEStor Update