The BATTERY .. ultracapacitor Vanadium Barium
According to the BusinessWeek article, the company was founded in 2001 by former senior managers at Xerox PARC and IBM. Little information is known about EEStor, which prefers to operate in stealth. In fact, to this day it still doesn't have a corporate Web site.
However, BusinessWeek did learn that EEStor has developed a "parallel plate capacitor with barium titanate as the dielectric," and that it claims to make a battery at "half the cost per kilowatt-hour and one-tenth the weight of lead-acid batteries." It also learned that EEStor planned to build its own assembly line to prove the technology works, and following that, would license the technology to manufacturers for volume production.
17 Jan 2007 EEstor PRESS RELEASE
Last week BusinessWeek reported an interesting comment from Kleiner's John Doerr, who recently spoke at a California event where tech VCs gather to make their predictions for the year. Doerr reportedly referred to an investment in an energy storage company he declined to name, calling it Kleiner's "Highest-risk, highest-reward" investment.
This is a big deal given Kleiner's history. Keep in mind that this is the venture capital company that struck it rich with early investments in Google, Amazon.com, Netscape and AOL -- all household names of the online world. The company is now going after similar success in the energy market.
Given all this, I'm super curious about this EEStor company and what it's working on. And here's what I've manage to dig up myself, beyond the useful tidbits from BusinessWeek:
* A simple Google search reveals that EEStor has a relationship with a Canadian maker of low-speed electric vehicles called Feel Good Cars, which I've written about on this blog several times. According to a press release from Feel Good Cars released on Nov. 15:
"On September, 30, 2005, FGC entered into a Technology Agreement with EEStor Inc. located in Austin, Texas, to acquire the exclusive worldwide right to purchase high-power-density ceramic ultra capacitors called Electrical Storage Units (ESU) that are under development by that company. An ESU can store over 10 times the energy of lead-acid batteries and are expected to be available for use in the ZENN and regular electrically powered small cars. 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."
On top of this release, a reliable source familar with EEStor had this to say about the company's technology:
* The batteries fully charge in minutes as opposed to hours.
* Whereas with lead acid batteries you might get lucky to have 500 to 700 recharge cycles, the EEStor technology has been tested up to a million cycles with no material degradation.
* 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.
* 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.
* Finally, with volume manufacturing it's expected to be cost-competitive with lead-acid technology.
"It's the holy grail of battery technology," said my source. "It means you could do a highway capable electric city car that would recharge in three or four minutes and drive you from Toronto to Montreal. Consumers wouldn't notice the difference from driving an electric car versus a gas-powered car."
EEStor will never build this Ultracapacitor. It will never work. They’re calculations are wrong. It’s too good to be true. It’s a scam.
I'm a stock broker, and would like to invest, but as someone cleverly pointed out, I can't. When people are trying to scam you they make it very easy for you to give them your money. I have a check written and can't find a place to send it to buy any EEstor. You can be pretty sure that if they want to keep it to themselves, then it's something worth having.
These, of course, are bold claims. But given Kleiner's involvement in this Texas company, you can bet the promise is there. Without a doubt, this will be a company to watch, and if the above claims prove true, this could have a profound impact on transportation and large-scale renewable energy production/management.
EEStor could, indeed, become the Google of the cleantech world that VCs have been looking for.
A preliminary analytical estimate of the concentration of barium compounds within atmospheric samples that are under analysis has been reached. This estimate exceeds the limit of human exposure to airborne contaminants. The question of the enforcement of air quality standards arises as a result of this study, and further public involvement with environmental organizations and agencies is advised to address this potential problem.
Atmospheric sample tests continue to confirm the presence of barium compounds within the atmosphere. The tests involve a variety of collection methods, including the use of plate ionization filters, electrostatic air filters, HEPA filters, and high grade furnace filters. Methods of analysis include solubility, pH, precipitation, chromatography, electrode, electrolysis, flame, spectroscopy and spectroscopy comparison tests. Public environmental agencies are advised to begin the process of replicating the test methods to confirm or refute the results that have been established.
Soluble forms of barium are highly toxic, and are on par with the toxicity levels of arsenic.
The compound reported under this analysis has been collected with a plate ionizing filter. The method of titration leads to a initial concentration estimate of approximately 4 parts per million (ppm). This is an estimate based upon the examination of one sample (collected over an interval of several weeks) only; testing by public service agencies with quantitative equipment with independent verification and monitoring is required. This report is provided as an estimate and an advisory. The initiation of quantitative tests by public service agencies, with independent monitoring and verification, is required.
The maximum allowable limit for human exposure to barium atmospheric contaminants is 0.5 ppm1; the current test result indicates that this limit may be exceeded by a factor of approximately eight times.
The maximum allowable limit for human exposure to arsenic is also stated to be 0.5 ppm.2
At the risk of sounding a bit shallow....
I remember reading several sci fi books over the years mentioning a device called a 'batacitor'. This device stored energy like a capacitor and released it like a battery. The device could supply a year's electricity for a family.
The core of these stories was the 'law of unintended consequences' caused by these devices...the portable power allowed people to opt out of society - to move to the deep woods or remote islands...with all their energy needs taken care of.
Secondly, this device plays into a running argument I have with a young marxist co-worker. He believes in the zero-sum economics theory, and at 24 has a hard time believing that innovation and productivity can create wealth out of thin air.
The problem is in the definitions. "supercapacitor" and "ultracapacitor" are terms that are either trademarked or hyped. In the usual sense, they refer to a capacitor which has very high capacitance, on the order of Farads. A Farad is a lot of capacitance. With Ceramic Capacitor technology as it existed twenty years ago, it would be the size of a desk.
The "dirty little secret" about capacitor marketing, (and I confess to be a part of it) is that "they" don't acknowledge the voltage rating. At that time, ceramics were rated at 50 volts. Tantalums were rated at 6 volts, (and sensitive to polarity) and could claim microfarads (0.00000m Farads) instead of nanofarads.(0.00000000n Farads)
So, a decade ago, out come the "Supercapacitors", with values measured in "Farads"!!!
"Aha", we all said, "... they are only rated at 1.5 volts!"
In many instances, it does not matter. BUT for power sources, it sure as hell does.
The energy of a capacitor is determined by the capacitance times the voltage squared. So if you want a lot of energy, choose voltage as your dancing partner.
So, a commercial supercapacitor being sold today by Maxwell, for example, may have 1000 farads at 3 volts, which is (1000*3^2), or 9000 joules of energy. That really works well on audio amplifiers, which many of us appreciate at stop lights with the audio capability the "tricked out trucks" (I think that's the term) have.
But real power, the stuff of "back to the future" and being able to run automobiles, will require a hell of a lot more. 35-50 KVA is about right for a 4 passenger auto to go highway speeds, and have a range of a couple hundred miles. It will take about 30 Farads at 3000 volts.
BUT, here is the leap...we cant make supercapacitors with higher voltages then 2-3 volts. We cant make ceramic capacitors in the farad range, and we cant rate the ceramic dielectrics at 300 volts per micron, which is what EEStor claims.
If you read the patent you will see that they are using a new di-electric that has much more resistance to the electric charge (more resistance to its electrons being striped from their orbits) and also compounding that with the new super caps plates. For your information Maxwell makes capacitors capable of 3000 farads. Don't believe it check it out for your self.
below is the patent so you guys can read the patent and not have to rely on people just say this and that with out sources.
Quote below from patent follows:
FIG. 1 indicates that a double array of 2230 energy storage components 9 in a parallel configuration that contain the calcined composition-modified barium titanate powder. Fully densified ceramic components of this powder coated with 100 .ANG. of aluminum oxide as the first coating 8 and a 100 .ANG. of calcium magnesium aluminosilicate glass as the second coating 8 can be safely charged to 3500 V. The number of components used in the double array depends on the electrical energy storage requirements of the application. The components used in the array can vary from 2 to 10,000 or more. The total capacitance of this particular array 9 is 31 F which will allow 52,220 Wh of energy to be stored as derived by Formula 1.
Also scientist are pushing for geo thermal power. If we can convert much of our power grid we can power our cars that way if this capacitor pans out. In all it would bypass all emissions. We need this to work one way or another and soon. Its already been proven scientist have shown that the sun is not responsible for our planet heating up. In fact its been cooling since 1985. Want the article? Go to www.newscientist.com and search for sun cooling. or go to http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn12234-suns-activity-rules-out-link-to-global-warming.html
yes, there is tonnes and tonnes of hype. As for zero solid science -- well, if there was then I guess we'd all be driving electric cars by now and the oil industry would be dead already. I don't think it's irresponsible to draw attention to the claims of a company that has managed to tweak the interest of the U.S. military, the world's most successful venture capitalist and the former vice-chairman of Dell Computer. Who are you, anyway, to be labelling something -- or me -- irresponsible? If you don't like the blog entry, then go somewhere else.
How can you say it's "clearly" not an innovation? And yes, there are obvious technical obstables -- which I've mentioned in past writings, smart guy -- but there are also technical obstables for fuel cells and clean coal and other clean energy technologies.
Do you know anything about the background of the people behind EEstor, at least enough to call them "backyard mechanics"? If there's anybody who needs to do their homework, it's you. I don't mind opinions floating around here, but not from grumpy, type-A science know-it-alls.
There is at least one credible case of a self-described 'back yard inventor' coming up with a technology that revolutionized tradional thinking on technology, science, and physics.
See for yourself. Google "UltraSonic Sound" and the "LRAD" and the inventor of it in the last 4 years. The inventor happened to be awarded "Inventor of the Year" from Popular Mechanics (or Popular Science ??). I saw him speak and demonstrate directional sound in the Fargo Dome in October, 2003.
'Directional sound' eluded trained engineers for decades ... NASA, Sandia, DND. Luckily, the one who invented it didn't do the background research that would have proved it wasn't 'doable'. Instead, he just went ahead and invented (and has now commercialized) the LRAD.
SEE FOR YOURSELF
For the latest 7 minute documentary on 'directional sound' or UltraSonic Sound search the tv listings area and watch Discovery Channel's for the following program.
Future Weapons: Future Shock
Mack reveals the weapons that military units will fight with in future battles; more sinister and subtle than anything that's been seen before, these weapons can destroy entire cities in the blink of an eye.
(Poland, Czech Republic "missile defence" ha ha ha)
I am new to this discussion and this field of interest. What started my interest was about 6 week ago when I linked onto an article on a BMW Mini (note: BMW has nothing to do with it) that would do 0 to 100 in less then 5 seconds. My provided link takes you to some of the spec. on this car.
I in no way am promoting a 640 Hp electric car, but this IS the only correct type of hybrid, that being serial. This car has all electric (very bizarre “Wheel motors” 10 cm wide and 421mm in diameter) of 160 Hp on each wheel and I believe the demo was of the motors and the control systems. They said, (this did not look like tested statements but where statements based on analysis) because of the regenerated feedback and the high use of Ultracapacitors (11 Farad), the user should be able to drive for about 4 hour in Urban drive before needing a recharge and that on long trips they had an ATP. The ATP was a 2 cylinder 250 CC ICE engine which would generate 20KW peck and 15KW sustained power and that the car should get about 60 to 80 mpg (I assume driving less then 55 for 80 mpg and over 75 for 60 mpg). As I said, I believe these statements are coming from the sales department; however, it does not seem out of the question technically.
From there I found an Li Ion battery driving a mid-size all electric SUV between 110 to 200 mile with only a 10 minute recharge, this of course blow my mind. The link is to the battery developer and then take the link to “Dr Evan House’s ZEV presentation (.pdf)” in which he explained the batteries concept and how the batteries work. The heart of the process is a Li Ion battery using nano Lithium Titanate based Anodes. Their latest news letter to me (26 Oct 06) indicated they completed 15000 deep cycles and still retained 85% of the original charge capacity. They said, that 1500 charge cycles translates to greater than 40 years if charged daily.
Very interesting discussion.
The problem with current super- or ultra-capacitors, as they are called, is that they are usually only rated at 2 volts. The EEStore "claims", in round numbers, 30 Farads at 3000 volts. Since the energy stored is the cap times the voltage squared, the energy needed for the hypothetical drive system is 270 million joules. (30 x (3000^2)). So with the Maxwell type capacitor, one would need (if they are 10F at 2 volts) something like 6 million capacitors.
Can you imagine how much room that would take?
"Ground Breaking Energy Storage." Today we consider the benefits of having batteries that: last 10xs longer, are cheaper to build and more efficient to run than standard engines and power plants, function with virtually no maintenance, and can be powered-up via clean energy.
Large image shows VRB, inset shows Ultracapacitor, click to enlarge.
Technology #1 - Who's Rebuilding The Electric Car?
Did you know that in 1900 38% of all pleasure cars in the US were electrically powered?... Today, a small start up called EEStor, Inc is building an energy storage device expected to finally usher in the era of the American electric car (available 2008). Having recently earned investment capital from the same venture firm that helped fund Google & Amazon, these guys are looking good, their technology so advanced they've had to temporarily remove it from public view... The company's product is an "ultracapacitor." These Ultracapacitors can store huge amounts of electricity, drain slowly and then recharge quickly. Ultracapacitors are said to power a car for up to 300 miles of continuous travel (current electric vehicles get about 30 miles before needing to recharge) -- and, according to their patent, the EEStor "Ultracapacitor" energy storage device will recharge in about 5 minutes, the time it takes to fill your gas tank.
> Charging up these ultracapacitors costs about $5 ... per tank! (1.7¢ per mile)
> Materials in the ultracapacitors are much safer for use than lead-acid batteries
> Ultracapacitors are about 1/2 as expensive to produce as standard gas engine/power trains
> Ultracapacitors are expected to deliver torque and power competitive with today's SUVs and sports cars
> Ultracapacitors present us with the possibility of 100% emissions free transportation that goes fast, charges fast, saves money, travels up to 300 miles (per charge), and more -- no kidding!
Technology #2 - And the Nobel Prize Goes To...
A revolution nearly 30 years in the making, Vanadium Redox Batteries are suddenly ready to change, er.. charge, the world. These bullet-proof systems revolutionize energy storage because their capacity is "infinitely scalable," meaning: a Vanadium Redox Battery System can be used for just about any power application, from golf carts to off-grid homes to giant megawatt power plants. This is the world's first battery system capable of boasting no loss of charge, they're inexpensive, non-toxic, and emissions-free. And we're not stopping there...
Vanadium Redox Batteries address every limitation of current battery technology:
> Able to be recharged infinitely
> Easily "scaled up" for increases in capacity
> Able to be charged and discharged simultaneously
> Designed to cycle down to zero before recharge!
> Made from non-toxic, non-scarce materials
> Able to be cycled at least 10 times longer than the world's current best battery, before recharging
Vanadium technology defies current thinking. With a not-so-simple alchemy of non-toxic Vanadium (a mineral) in an electrolyte solution, consumers can enjoy: **No reduction in long term charge capacity (electrolyte "charge" solution is easy to recharge), **The ability to add more capacity simply by adding a bigger tank and more "charge" solution, **No toxic disposal issues, **"Bullet-proof" longevity (by comparison, to achieve longevity in lead acid batteries, one has to carefully monitor a LAB's cycling; if a lead-acid system cycles below 10% capacity, the system can be permanently damaged), and **10 times longer service life, before recharge.
"All other battery systems... you have been warned!"
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news: the electric car ain't dead (!) and Vanadium Redox Batteries (VRBs) are already empowering energy-efficient, energy independence across the globe. VRB systems are working on wind farms in Ireland, as load levelers in Utah... they're displacing diesel-burning back-up generators and lead acid battery-storage in Japan ... they're dramatically increasing the efficiency of large scale power production and satisfying end-users with superior performance. To boot, the fast charging, "high octane" ultracapacitor will soon give drivers what they want: speed, performance, range, clean air, and big savings. By combining these on-the-cusp technologies with today's proven clean power generation: Wind, Solar, Wave, Geothermal and Energy Efficiency -- fossil fuel demand could literally disappear "over night." By eliminating fossil fuels from our energy economy (coal, gas, oil, and so on), we eliminate nearly all global warming emissions, and improve public health... Let's do it!
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>>> To learn more about these exciting technologies, please visit the links below
(we've got hot links at bottom of this page, scroll down):
*Note the company developing this technology has temporarily removed their website from all view, product is expected to launch in 2007/2008. The ZENN Car will most likely be the Ultracapacitor's first home.
"Vanadium Redox Batteries"