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January 12, 2008

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JayZ

Read a detailed interview about EEStor with expert from Lockheed Martin:

http://www.gm-volt.com/2008/01/10/lockheed-martin-signs-agreement-with-eestor/

Greg Woulf

Great article, that gives me hope for EESTor, but very vague on details.

Details such as existing prototype performance.

I've worked with military contractors, and done some work for Lockheed, and they were sharp. I can't believe that they wouldn't understand the issues that many experts have brought up across the web.

I think this may be real, and I worry that cars just took a backseat to military.

Charles Barton

I wish I could believe in the EEStor story. But there are a lot of red flags hanging out there. EEStor was suppose to deliver a prototype to Zenn Motors in November. So far there have been no official announcements that it has arrived. Morton L. Topfer was a member of the EEStor Board. According to the Tyler Hamilton Topfer left the EEStor Board last summer. His unexplained departure was never explained. The press release announcing that he was joining the EEStore Board made no mention of his former association.

Hamilton has provoked an interesting discussion thread on EEStor:
http://tyler.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/11/1/3328442.html

Greg Woulf

I'm not a cap expert for sure, but I see a startling amount of green flags.

I started as a skeptic two years ago, but now I find myself as one of the wacko's that think EESTor is real.

The red flags I see are:
1. Experts say it won't work
2. They missed a delivery date to Zenn

The first one had me worried because I trust the experts in the field. I wouldn't even be following EESTor except that I ran across the name of Weir and started looking into it. I think he's clearly legit.

The second red flag I'm not even worried about yet. I work closely with manufacturing. Even parts that are simple and non-experimental can take months or even years to put into production.

If it keeps right on slipping I'd question EESTor, but at this point it's just a couple of months. We don't even know for sure that it has slipped.

The green flags are:
1. new patent ap's coming out
2. Weir's record
3. Topfur's return, he's a legitimate person
4. Lockheed contract
5. production facility construction
6. purity verification

To me it's clear that they've set up a production line. If EESTor is a scam they are, by far, the coolest scammers in recent history.

To fool Zenn doesn't mean much, but to have fooled Kleiner and Lockheed Martin, two companies that know the technology inside out, that would be impressive.

DaveMart

I'd read it that the technology works or is hopeful, but they are having issues with costs,
The military is way less sensitive to cost than the car industry.

Paul H.

So it's 1/10th the weight/volume, and 10x the energy storage. 100x the energy density w.r.t. weight and volume? Is that right? Instead of 40 Wh/Kg (Lead Acid), It's 4000??!! That can't be right?

Paul H.

oh, 10x the energy density (which is independent of volume), so why mention at 1/10th of the volume? That's a mistake?

bigTom

I'm a little less skeptical than I had been. I had only heard that 10x storage density claim, and not having seen the lead-acid comparison, had assumed they were comparing against LiIon. Perhaps 10x of lead-acid density is doable?

I think putting 3500volts across a very thin dielectric sounds very risky. All it takes is a single pinpoint, anywhere in the system to breakthrough the dielectric, and you have a catostrophic short. Of course you can cut back the voltage, but energy scales as volatge squared, so storage density could get unimpressive pretty quickly if they have to seriously backdown on the voltage.

Rick

until I see it on the street, I don't believe it. I want these ultra cap (or whatever they are) equipped ZENNs at a local dealership available in 5 different colors and available for test drive and purchase today. Until that happens I don't believe anything.

John F.

The erroneous 100x energy density notion derives from a nonsensical and misleading phrase in the press release: "10 times the energy density of lead acid batteries at one-tenth the weight and volume."

That's a confused expression. Energy density is energy/weight. Having already stated the energy density in the first part, the bit about "1/10th the weight" doesn't clarify anything.

If they had left out the word "density" (i.e., "energy" instead of "energy density"), then the phrase would hold together semantically, and would indeed mean 100x energy density (and 100x volumetric energy density). Perhaps that's why it's being misunderstood. The subphrase of "1/10th the weight and volume" only makes sense if the first was "energy" not "energy density", so readers delete the word "density" in their mind.

But it isn't 100x, obviously. The patent spec makes it clear that it's 10x the energy density of lead acid.

What's odd is that the same patent puts VOLUMETRIC energy density (energy/volume) at over 20x lead acid. I wonder why this press release is now suggesting 10x. Since the writer or editor of this passage is clearly confused about these metrics, my best guess is that 20x is correct.

Chan

I will wait and see until EEstor's sample delivery, while my friend asserts his 500-50K Wh/Kg ultra-cap/battery like "Blackhole".

Harvey D

10X* the energy density over the current common lead battery would mean something between 300 Wh/Km and 400 Wh/Km and is very doable. From previous claims, the ESStor Unit could do much better than that. 20X (or slightly more) the energy density of a common lead battery was indicated.

* (10X) The recent Electrovaya Li-On Mn Series does it already i.e about 330 Wh/Km and may be tweaked to about 450 Wh/Kg within a year or two.

Handling the higher voltage (3500+ volts within the unit) may represent an interesting technical challenge but is doable at an acceptable cost.

Gregor

Well, so much for our hope in EEStor. Now that the government has got them tied up they can continue to work with Big Oil and the car manufacturers to keep us in the internal combustion engines.

You don't honestly think that the governments would allow this kind of technology to foil there oil plans, do you....revenue, power, war, etc. do you? There is a lot of tax money at stake here.

Gregor

Charles Barton, I went to that blog and the "Anonymous" fellow seems to know what he is talking about. This EESTor is just one big scam.

Thanks for your reference.

This scam will rate up there with Enron.

Greg Woulf

I participated in that thread and I don't think it's a done deal at all.

All of the problems from Barium Titenate caps stem from two problems. The first is interference of electrical fields and the second is purity of the material to keep the dialectric coefficient high.

Weir's specialty is coatings for hard drives that shielded the drive from electrical fields.

If he's found a way to keep the barium titenate pure and coat it in a way that he can scale the caps up then all the 'impossible' arguments go away.

Then it comes down to more a question of how he'll manufacture it, and how stable it is.

Duane Navarre

"If he's found a way to keep the barium titenate pure and coat it in a way that he can scale the caps up then all the 'impossible' arguments go away."

I believe they are going to use nanotech
to take care of this issue.

Exactly how I am not sure, but in some
other articles I have read about eestor,
that was what I picked up from it.

Such as:

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/03/10/nanotech-strikes-again-university-of-arizona-creates-new-capac/

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

It may not happen as soon as everyone wants,
and it may have unforeseen issue, but
breaking new ground in tech usually does.

Cyril R.

Energy density claims are fairly consistent with some laboratory work by others on ultracaps (for example, MIT's).

Electrochemically we've recently seen lithium nanowires supposedly at over 1000 Wh/kg (claim was 10x current lion). Perhaps something similar would work for Na replacing Li. Li-S is already over 400 Wh/kg in a proven product.

I recently hurt myself when I was trying to repair my camera. The light's capacitor decided to discharge on my finger. That was unpleasant.

Eestor has to have good safety measures. Especially in the event of a collision. Those units would be modular but still... You don't want that kind of energy discharging on your body. Very similar to a modest lightning strike I'd imagine.

Brian H

XH150 has designed a vehicle with LiIon buffered by ultracapacitors which is also interesting.

BTW, Gregor: the LM contract is for military and homeland security devices only. It does not inhibit any automotive or consumer applications. It just means LM gets exclusive use for making their infantry battery packs, etc. The military is exploring lots of options in this area, such as tiny fuel cells powered by methane, etc.

JackWillard

I am not a scientis like many of you are. But I do try to perform crititcal thinking, at times.
Everyone seems to be talking about the impact on the US infrastructure if this monster cap does get impeltmented in autos or elsewhere.
Whether this 336 lb puppy gets charged at home or in "service" station is of little consequence. We still have to get the additonal energy from somewere and woulld likely have to beef up the grid with new power gneration plants. Some people calculate that we have enough excess capacity. Then why do we get outages during high use times?

But, what about the impact on China and India as an example? I don't think I have to say much more, since their infractructures are already being taxed to the limit. Nukes, to the degree needed, will taka a quarter century to implement.

What is needed are inexpensive, small, (physically) true ultracaps which charge and discharge in seconds, rather than minutes or hours. These devices use 1.5 to 3 volts. rather than 3500 V. (Wow!) They could be used in hybrid or electric (Li-Ion) cars and be charged with the regenerative braking system. They would charge the battery on the fly. (We could also scale the batteries down because the UC would reduce drainage). If the battery requires additional charging after hours a similar cap could be installed in living areas and be charged by a small solar/wind unit which in turn could trickle charge the battery (The 336 lb boat anchor would need a solar system the size of a football field.). Where would you mount one? In the garage?

We need to continue our research on true ultracaps in order to utilize the capabilities on the emergint renewable energy technology. This is how to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

JackWillard

Sorry for the typos. Have not had my second cup.

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Whither Kleiner

Why is there no longer any mention of Eestor on the Kleiner Perkins website. If Eestor was about to make a big breakthrough, why would Kleiner Perkins support Th!nk Global and not Zenn? This article indicates that LMT signed an agreement with Eestor, but in no way suggests that they provided cash to Eestor. 1 year later we see no devices, no demo units and Zenn once again says "next year".

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Great article, that gives me hope for EESTor, but very vague on details.

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I will wait and see until EEstor's sample delivery, while my friend asserts his 500-50K Wh/Kg ultra-cap/battery like "Blackhole".

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I think putting 3500volts across a very thin dielectric sounds very risky. All it takes is a single pinpoint, anywhere in the system to breakthrough the dielectric, and you have a catostrophic short.

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