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January 18, 2007

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Comments

Beek

This sure beats the nanolion batteries hands down.

At 2 times Li-ion capacity, the volumetric density is about 1000 Wh/litre, and 15 KWh can be fit into 4 gallons of volume. 35 KWh (about 120 miles range) can fit into 10 gallons, about half the size of a gas tank.

At 20% cost of Li-ion, a 35 KWh EESU can be had for $5,000.

Sure sounds too good to be entirely believable. How true is this?

Tom Konrad

It sure sounds too good to be true... which is what the word out of EEStor has always sounded like. At least now they're going to have prototypes available that third parites can test. Then again, if we were ever going to have qualitative, paradigm-shifting changes in electricity storage technology, it was always more likely to come from a non-battery option. Chemistry has limits that are imposed by physics and a finite list of elements to work with. Ultra-Capacitors have limits, too, but they are DIFFERENT from the chemical limits to batteries. Here's hoping that we're seeing a paradigm-shift, as opposed to something that is advertized as a paradigm shift, but ends up being a rich man's toy. (The Segway comes to mind.)

Greg Woulf

I'd totally given up on EESTOR, this is great news. Even if you double their bad numbers and halve their good ones this is a disruptive technology.

Probably the most important is EV's, but my father and grandfather both run solar and having a storage unit like this would be a huge windfall at $4,000.

Stephen

A technology like this has far more applications than the Segway though since it replaces batteries. On the one hand I feel bad for companies like Altair nano and A123 (anyone else feel that it would make things difficult for them?), but on the other hand solar and wind could really use an economical way to store and deliver power from wind and solar.

Might this advance the Volt serial hybrid? I hope someone at GM is tracking this technology.

Stephen

Nicolae

Forget Volt and any hybrid (and ICE in general, ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen :)) etc.) ... think Tesla and pure EV : >80% engine efficiency all the time, cheap, clean, fast driving, fast charging, long long long periods between servicing your car ... everything you want (if it works ;) )

Matt

Don't get your hopes up too much. While it's great that this testing has been performed, all they have accomplished so far is to produce the powder. No mention of an actual energy storage device produced, which seems like a much higher hurdle to clear. Hopefully this announcement will be coming soon, especially if they plan to mass produce these units within the year.

Peter Hunt

I see two problems:
1- the xplosive/safty issue with this amount of power stored and a potential breeakdown of the electrolyte/insulation.
2-the step down from the extrememly high voltages to a workable potential for the motors and the reverse of the step up for regenrative breaking.

As a fixed system for storage of photovoltaic electricity and wind power this could make a huge amount of sense and for power companies as a behind, or in front for that matter, the meterload leveler. Here the safety issues and weight of the step up step down systems would not make any real difference.

Know this that Detroit will fight this into their overdue grave if it starts to take off or is seen as a threat. Canada and Chinamay welll lead the pack on this, if they get the chance.

Harvey D

Peter:

Why do you think that Canada may be so interested?. With 179+ billion barrels in the Alberta Tar Sands, the USA/Canada Oil barons will fight EEStor + Altair + PHEVs + EVs etc for years to come. They have recently agreed to multiply extraction fivefold to over 5 million barrels a day and export 100% to USA markets via new pipelines.

China is another issue. With their high growth in oil consumption and limited local production, you are certainly correct there. China can and will mass produce storage units and EVs much cheaply than North America.

As an interim measure, PHEVs with smaller cheaper batteries/Super Caps and small genset could be a better approach, (similar to GM Volt?) especially in very cold area like Canada.

Eventually, (by 2010-2015) mass produced pure EVs, with SuperCaps or quick charge, high efficiency batteries are the best approach for personal transportation (cars, light utility vehicles, city buses and delivery trucks).

Emosson

Unfortunately EEstor has never made and will never make the supercapacitor described in the patent, because they ignore a well known physical effect, called "dielectric saturation".

Barium titanate has been used in capacitors for decades, due to its high dielectric constant:
http://www.avxcorp.com/docs/techinfo/mlcmat.pdf

However, the dielectric constant drops as the electric field strength increases:
Phys. Rev. 1947

At a hypothetical field of 3500 Volts over a thickness of 12.76 micrometers, as proposed in the patent, the dielectric constant of barium titanate would be orders of magnitude lower than the claimed 18500, reducing capacity and energy density by the same factor...

This has been discussed in more detail by Anatoly Moskalev on December 24th, 2006 at
teslamotors blog

Franklin

I have seen a number of posts on several blogs disputing the barium titanate energy density numbers. On the most recent EEstor patent that uses plastic instead of ceramic for the plates, they seem to indicate the unit would have 32,000 plates, each with super-thin barium titanate coating, electrodes, etc. So at 52Kw, each plate would possibly be holding a potential of...a little over 1 watt? I know nothing about the physics of anything, including capacitors, but is it possible that these low-voltage, individual plates would not cause the large electric field/dropping dielectric constant? Maybe the major innovation would be more the barium titanate deposition technology and ability to sandwich together and control all these ultra-thin plates. (Please don't flame me - I admit to knowing nothing - just enlighten me!)

Tom S

I would disagree with the idea that Detroit would fight this type of thing. GM is fighting for it's life. I can see it buy up EEStor and use it to take on Toyota. They need something more than just advertising to hang on.

Plus, have you seen the work they've done on their so-called 'skateboard' ? Intended for fuel-cells, but definitely all electric. It's just a platform that has all the running gear in it. Just snap a passenger compartment on top and plug into the control jack. Perfect fit for a usable ultracap.

Emosson

Franklin:

Any multilayer ceramic capacitor has a large number of plates, as the name indicates...

Please have a look at

Ceramic capacitors and

http://www.avxcorp.com/docs/techinfo/mlcmat.pdf

Arthur Friesland

New, disruptive discoveries are often dismissed as impossible or fraudulent. As a recent example, Stanley Prusiner's discovery of prions brought him years of skepticism and abuse and (eventually) a Nobel prize. Let's hope that our friends at EEStor know what they are doing. We could all use some good news.

marcus

Well to me it seems either they have created a scam similar to that of Steorn or they have a real product that is innovative enough to seem impossible. What ever the answer, I certainly don't think they are ignorant of the issues listed by Emosson above.

Emosson

Here is an update on EEStor supercapacitors by Prof. Anatoly Moskalev (January 20th, 2007):

Teslamotors blog

and by Roger Pham (January 20th, 2007):

greencarcongress

Jimmi

Thank you very very very much Emosson... all that reading made me feel a lil more concrete in my decision to back Altair with my semi-hard earned money.

amazingdrx

Yep Jimmi, thanks emo, that teslablog is great!

I blogged for mass production of the Oshinksky type production equipment that can be adapted as technology moves forward. the same process can make solarpV, nanotech batteries, and ultracaps.

A large investment in mass production will not be lost with changing technology that way.

When Intel and MSFT change designs the same companies can fabricate the new chips. it makes long term, safe capital investment in mass production possible and works with innovation, instead of against it.

Auto companies fight innovation to preserve their investment in internal combustion vehicle mass production. We need to get beyond that.

amazingdrx

I've had a grid energy storage brainstorm here Jimmi. Power lines that store energy.

Call my venture capitalist! Hehey.

Jimmi

You'll have to elaborate a bit DocX but I think I can see where you're going with that. I kinda like the idea of personal energy storage units for residential use. The idea of charging you home battery at night (off-peak hours) and utilize the battery power during the day (peak hours). Even just utilizing this idea for just your water heater and dryer will save a ton of money to the consumer (just remember to turn off the lights when you leave the room). You can than incorperate solar panels to your energy storage system saving more money. Heck... use a microturbine to recharge your home battery for black outs. Not sure if these are viable ideas but it sure does sound nice.

How about this idea... for those of you with a swimmming pool and a well... use the water pressure of the pool like you would a damn based generator or like water wheel generator. Use a vacuum to extract the water to fill the pool... when needed (or use continuously) allow the water to flow back to your watershed (might want some directive piping to ensure you recycle back to your personal well) and utilize a constant flow of water to trickle charge your battery (might want to use a filtration system so you don't kill your wife's flowerbed). Beter yet... have a swimming pool/power generation system that is enclosed. Basically have another water container that has roughly the same capacity as your swimming pool... but it will be enclosed underground and linked to your swimming pool. Recirculate the water on a continuous basis generating a natural pressurized water stream to run generators connected to your home energy storage units. MAybe I should quit investing and become an idea man... lol... maybe not =b

Will Carr

The local future retailer for the ZENN in Austin is Gloria S Ferguson from Hico, TX., a family member of Jim Ferguson, head of GWB's "Park Avenue Posse" at Young & Rubicam and whose offic is the WR Grace building in NY? WR Grace...as in the Travolta/Duval movie Civil Action.
But the president was heard to say that fuel cells were looking better and better for a future answer to the auto/energy crisis. So wouldn't he know that the Fergusons had hit on gold with EEstor and ZENN? Why wouldn't he be lending his clout to ZENN? Because the serious investor would figure it out and see that his close buddies were investing in EESTOR and that being the split tongued devil that he is...would think he is hiding the EEstor answer while gobbling it up? Not likely.
I was concerned, however, when University of Texas professor William "Bill" Gardiner who was on the cutting edge of Proton Exchange Membranes used in fuel cells died while riding his bicycle down Guadualupe St. in Austin in 2000.
I am more concerned that this stock is being tauted by supposed Bush nemesis, former VP Al Gore who apprently was selling it to the Canadian leader at a Canadian Auto Show when so little is really known about the technology.
It has all the earmarks of...well, you know.
Pirates used to comandeer light houses and move their flame back a couple of miles so that the unsuspecting ships would go aground. Then they'd loot the cargo. That's what this looks like to me. The Jolly Roger is only Jolly for those not left holding the bag.
I remember some gas generator companies in California whose stock soared on the premise that every house and business would have its own gas generator. Then we learned that the whole energy shortage of rolling brown outs was manipulated by ENRON, a comnpany which was given a pass by the Justice Department's dragging its feet while Arthur Anderson shredded files.
WHC

shehanaaz

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