Union Pacific Testing Railroad Industry’s First Exhaust Catalyst in Los Angeles
Marks & Spencer launches £200 Million “eco-plan”; B50 Biodiesel a Component

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

Resources:

Comments

doggydogworld

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.

allen_xl_Z

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.

Paul

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.

Kevin

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.

Magnus

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.

jim

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.

jim

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.

jim

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.

JD

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.

Van

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.

shaun mann

Does anyone really think there are any new safety issues with this UltraCap? There aren't. Or wouldn't be, if it existed.

It'll be put low and in a rarely compromised portion of the car, just like the Prius Batts.

It'll have an engineered case with an internal cut-off switch that will be both shock activated and dependent on a positive external input, also just like the Prius Batts.

The only new danger will be if something conductive pierces it and manages to create two conductive paths: one from the negative to a good ground and the other from a significantly higher positive to a person who is in contact with the same ground. Basically, this will never happen. At least, it will only happen significantly less often than gasoline explosions do.


More importantly, this tech probably doesn't exist, so discussing imaginary safety issues is a waste of time.

Every other EV tech company trips over itself to try demonstrate their product, makes 50% improvement claims, and keeps their stock to themselves because they want to get rich when the tech succeeds.

This one makes 500% improvement claims, demonstrates nothing, and is trying to sell as much stock as possible. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and smells like a duck, it is probably a duck.

Neil

Magnus, Shaun: You actually think that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Beyers are suckers? You can bet these guys have done some due dilligence. You can also believe that ZENN has actually seen some of the ESUs or they wouldn't have placed their order. If I were a scam artist I wouldn't be ramping up production for 2007, I'd be making vague promisses for 5 years in the future.

Roger Pham

Ceramic capacitors are not known for their high energy storage capacity. Barium titanate has been used to make ceramic capacitors for quite sometimes, and has nowhere near the energy capacity as claimed by EEStor company.

The claimed 52kwh capacity of the the EEstor device having 31 farads is due to the 3,500 V maximum voltage rating. However, automotive power inverters and power transformers are typically designed to handle battery voltages from 250-500 volts. Since Energy Stored = 1/2 Capacitance x VoltageSquared, reducing the 3,500V down to a more reasonable 500V will reduce the storage capacity of the EEstor from 52kwh down to 1kwh.

Otherwise, working with 3,500V in a personal vehicle is very lethal, especially in the event of an accident. High-voltage capacitors can explode violently upon aging of the dielectric material or other stresses that can lower the dielectric property of the material. In a chain reaction, the entire energy of this supercapacitor can be released as fast as a bomb explosion. If you wanna build a thick, thick bomb-proof casing to contain this 52kwh worth (~140lbs of TNT-equivalent) of energy that can be released in a flash, you will need a lot of carbon fiber layers that will be very heavy and costly. You might have better luck making a Compressed Hydrogen tank out of carbon-fiber reenforcement. H2 by itself without O2 cannot combust. Structural weakness in the carbon fiber tank may allow the H2 to leak out at a fast rate, but it will not explode.
Good luck, EEStor. Y'all will need every bit of it!

Andrey

Doggydogworld:

I ran through EESTOR patents some time ago and they ARE unimpressive.

Allen:

There was some interesting info on phase-change explosives, which theoretically could be 10 times more destructive than conventional. Internal short of EESTOR capacitor, according to amount of energy stored, could be the one.

Kevin:

Our lawyer-infested society is pretty tolerant to old-fashioned dangers such as gasoline fire or diesel soot exposure. Not the case with any new-born danger, like MTBE, new drugs, or in our case supercap explosion. EESTOR supercap could be 10 times safer than gasoline tank, but one explosive event could bankrupt the company due to litigation case and scare of everybody else of possible cases. Sad, but true. Same could happen with CNG vehicles.

Magnus:

Your opinion is shared by all knowledgeable people (encoding experts) I managed to read in the last year. But the company is private, so no direct pump-and-dump scum is involved.

Possible IPO on the horizon?

clett

I'd be worried about vibration damage and calender longevity but other than that, let's wait to see what ZAP says! If it's as positive as what Phoenix are saying about their Altair cells, then it's good news!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)