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EEStor Announces Two Key Production Milestones; 15 kWh EESU on Track for 2007

17 January 2007

EEStor, the developer of a new high-power-density ceramic ultracapacitor (the Energy Storage Unit—EESU), has broken a long public silence and announced reaching two key production milestones. First, its automated production line has been proven to meet the requirements for precise chemical delivery, purity control, parameter control and stability.

Second, EEStor has completed the initial milestone of certifying purification, concentration, and stability of all of its key production chemicals—notably the attainment of 99.9994% purity of its barium nitrate powder.

The independent 3rd party chemical analysis was completed by Southwest Research Institute, Inc. located in San Antonio, Texas under contract with EEStor, Inc.

With these milestones completed, EEStor is now in the process of producing composition-modified barium titanate powders on its automated production line, and is moving toward completing its next major milestone of powder certification.

The company anticipates that the relative permittivity of the current powder will either meet and/or exceed 18,500, the previous level achieved when EEStor produced prototype components using it engineering level processing equipment.

The EEStor ESU is projected to offer up to 10x the energy density (volumetric and gravimetric) of lead-acid batteries at the same cost. In addition, the ESU is projected to store up to 1.5 to 2.5 times the energy of Li-Ion batteries at 12 to 25% of the cost.

According to the company’s initial patent, the EESU is based on a high-permittivity composition-modified barium titanate ceramic powder. This powder is double coated with the first coating being aluminum oxide and the second coating calcium magnesium aluminosilicate glass.

The EESU alternates multilayers of nickel electrodes and the high-permittivity powder. The resulting parallel configuration of components has the capability to store electrical energy in the range of 52 kWh, according to the document, with weight for a unit of that capacity in the range of 336 pounds (152 kg).

According to EEStor, the EESU will not degrade due to being fully discharged or recharged, and also can be rapidly charged without damaging the material or reducing its life. The cycle time to fully charge a 52 kWh EESU would be in the range of 4 to 6 minutes with sufficient cooling of the power cables and connections.

The first commercial application of the EESU is intended to be used in electric vehicles under a technology agreement with ZENN Motors Company. (Earlier post.) EEStor says that it remains on track to begin shipping production 15 kWh Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESU) to ZENN Motor Company in 2007 for use in their electric vehicles.

The production EESU for ZENN Motor Company is designed to function to specification in operating environments as severe as -20° to +65° degrees Celsius, will weigh less than 100 pounds, and will have ability to be recharged in a matter of minutes.

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January 17, 2007 in Batteries, Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (86) | TrackBack (0)

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This is a game-changing announcement. Bravo. These ultracapacitors will also have major application in smoothing out intermittent sources of power such as wind and solar. I'd hate to see one explode, though.

I have seen electrolytic capacitors blow. I can't think of any time I've seen a blown ceramic cap.

100lbs for 15kWhrs? The tesla could be re-made and come out lighter than an Elise.

Once you put this in the Volt GM can go into full prodution.


I have seen electrolytics blow myself - we used to amuse ourselves in college by putting small electrolytics into wall sockets and then throwing the switch :-).

Electrolytics caps blow up because overheated electrolyt turns into a gas and ruptures the sealed aluminum casing.
I can't imagine a ceramic would do that.

Once charged, how long do capacitors like these stay that way? I imagine you can just plug them in at night anyway, but I'm just wondering how battery-like their behavior is.

This is a very exiting announcement. I hope they start shipping them in volume this year. If so, I predict that we'll soon see a large number of production electric and plug-in hybrids being sold with this or other competing battery technologies. It would be nice to see the US cease its oil imports within 10 years or so.

Oops. Meant to write "exciting announcement".

Also, I'd like to point out that a cheap, low maintenance, high density energy storage medium could be useful for far more than just cars. For instance, it could make it far more practical to implement an off-grid electrical system for a solar/wind powered home.

_A key advantage of barium (as well as Ti, Mg, Al, Ca, SI, O, and N) is that its more abundant than lithium. The downside may be the brittleness of the ceramic, and thus the possible need for additional dampening/protection from shock.

Commenters refering to exploding capacitors,
Further down the road, we may get carbon aerogel ultracapacitors. One possible destructive use for such a material would be as an explosive. All the gaps could be filled with O2 (if it could be stabilised), or powerful oxidants. An electrical surge could be used to set it off, leaving little or no residue or explosive material unconsumed. Configured properly, it might have powerful EMP properties.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers are the major investors, at the moment, in EEStor. For those who don't know, they are among the largest and most successful venture capital firms in the world. Their portfolio includes Amazon, Sun, Genetech, Verisgin, and GOOGLE, among others.

Why do I mention this? Because for once, important EV technology IS NOT IN THE HANDS OF BIG OIL.

Cue music:

"Celebrate good times, come on..."

The future of the world is based on better batteries -- the future is looking bright!!

Just had a run-in with a died in the woolly ICE buff. He'll probably gasp upon hearing this story, then make up a song&dance how gas is great & putt putt engines don't cause global warming. As for me, I shall quit worrying about such liars, & prepare myself for the day putt putts become superfluous to my life.

How do you make something like this safe to drive? In a collision all that 52kwh of energy could be released in a instant. If gasoline catches fire it's burn rate is limited to the oxygen available.
Car wrecks could become extremely dangerous. Does anyone know what the equivalent weight of TNT to make 52kwh of energy? I would bet it is allot.

Depending on the size of the pack, I wonder if these could be put in "bomb proof" casing, kinda like the black boxes on aircraft...

CJ, Yesplease,
Perhaps a virtually indestructible casing could be used. Probably it will made of carbon fiber, and further encased in a metal alloy box. There are other possibilities, but most are in the concept stage, or not feasible in the foreseeable future.

I didn't look up TNT, but 52 kWh is about a gallon and a half of gasoline. You mention that gasoline burn rate is limited by oxygen, which is certainly true, but last time I checked oxygen was plentiful at most automobile crash sites.

Unlike 1.5 gallons of gas, 52 kWh in an ultracap is almost all usable energy so it provides 200-250 miles of range for a mid-size car.

EEStor is an odd duck. Their initial patent is quite bizarre. Now they break a long silence with this meaningless press release (who cares about barium nitrate purity?). The investment by legendary VC Kleiner Perkins gives them credibility, but it's a very small investment by KP standards and KP principals basically call EEStor a moon shot. I hope they can deliver, but for now EEStor remains in my "I'm from Missouri" file.

CJ,
It is not just the total energy involved, it is also the time it takes to release the energy.
The energy equivalent in TNT is ~63.88kg or ~140.85lbs. High quaility TNT detonates at ~6,900 m/s, so it takes ~0.0000049 seconds for a sphere that mass (and size) to be consumed, once it gets going. Depending on how fast (and how much of) the electrical energy is discharged, it can be quite powerful, or it may be no more than audible zap.
_One more thing, perhaps they can partition, and compartmentize the energy storage device. Add fault/damage detection, circuit rerouting, a virtually indestructible housing, and you might be able to minimize the risks/hazards involved.

I can see this still has some serious challenges. Firstly, capacitors don't generally hold their charge for long. Secondly, if you fully charge a capacitor at a lower temp and then heat it up sufficiently you can get an explosion. Thirdly, you are going to need some serious power electronics to reduce the 3000 or so volts down to something more useable. All sounds too good to be true. However, I am waiting to be proved wrong.

The safety issues will be manageable. Nothing is perfect and there will surely be some accidents related to the release of the electrical energy; especially for the first few years after EVs and PHEVs appear on the road in large numbers. It will surely take some time to find the right technology and procedures to minimize that sort of accident. However, the dangers are far less than what we accept every day for gasoline powered cars.

Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot and we'd been driving EVs for the last 100 years. If someone proposed converting our electric automobile infrastructure to gasoline, there would be a much greater outcry about safety. Maybe something like:
What about fuel leaks?
What happens if a combustion source comes near the fuel tank?
What if the fuel tank ruptures in an accident?
Why would I want to stop every week at this thing you call a "gas station" and pay someone 5 times what I pay now for electricity?
What do you mean we have to pay our enemies billions of dollars a year for oil?
How can you propose this in light of the fact that they could shut off the supply any time they like?

My point is that we accept risks when the rewards justify them. The risks of electric vehicles will seem very small compared to the rewards and will therefore not be a hindrance to the implementation of the EV infrastructure.

Don't belive this bullshit company. They are just scamming their investors. They have never shown any working product to anyone. The patents they have doesn't in any way support the fantastic claims they make. You have absolutely no reason to believe that these people are honest. Please don't put your hopes to this kind of bullshit, and for God's sake don't buy their stocks.

Have they got a prototype yet? Until they have the real thing to show us, I would take this with a grain of salt. It would be very nice if this is true.

Have they got a prototype yet? Until they have the real thing to show us, I would take this with a grain of salt. It would be very nice if this is true.

Have they got a prototype yet? Until they have the real thing to show us, I would take this with a grain of salt. It would be very nice if this is true.

So what happens to someone in a car if they end up in a body of water: river, lake, or flooded street? Ooops!!! Other than that issue, this sounds like a good development in the energy storage area.

One of the models for electric drive is to couple an ultra cap with a high energy density Lithium Ion Battery, the kind this does have a thermal runaway issue. The ultra cap handles the short term high energy demand and recharge issues, while the battery maintains the ultra cap charged at a rate the battery can handle. The ultra caps and note so safe batteries are supposed to be much cheaper than the A123 or Nano Safe batteries. But as others have observed, until the production line product is put into a vehicle and independently evaluated, let's not get carried away.

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