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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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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.

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.

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!

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?

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!

Even if there are some problems still to be worked out with this product it have will useful applications in alot of products. It does not have to be applied to the hybrid car market for its first try.

I would stay far away from ZAP! Not the most trustworthy company.

The comparison to TNT is kind of misleading. The explosive power of TNT comes from the fact that the combustion products are hot gases. In this case the the reaction results will be hot or maybe liquid ceramics, so there is no large change in volume involved.

I think it will be quite possible to build an enclosure for one of these units that stays intact even in the case of a complete instantaneous discharge.

The main issue with this company so far is that nobody has yet been allowed to independently verify a prototype cell. But since it is not my money they are spending, I wish them good luck.

Blah all a load of rubbish blah blah........

This sort of reminds me of the tesla public birth. Very quite until they had a real product, then came out and woke everyone up. they naysayers then chimed in. looking at the people involved and the history of the technologies bought together, its clear that Tesla is very real.

I draw the same conclusions here.

Why an obscure press release? Maybe because that is the critical part of the technology and maybe these guys are surious and release info about what they know. Apart from a very plain (if somewhat impressive) description of the storage device, there is no fanfare!!!!! Very very significant.

It's going to be a great ride!

At 342 Wh/Kg the EEStor unit energy density is very similar to the 330+ Wh/Kg from the new Electrovaya Super Polymer Lithium battery. Both are equivalent to about 10 times the common lead-acid battery.

However, the ESStor super-cap unit could possibly be (fully) charged/discharged much faster and be (fully) cycled many more times than most batteries making it a potential candidate for EVs and similar applications.

PHEV & EV batteries are NOT normally FULLY charged/discharged (Ex: 40% - 80%) to maintain acceptable/higher live duration. This translates in much larger capacity + heavier on-board units.

Handling super-caps higher operating voltage (3500 Volts) is not much of a challenge with todays electronics.

Installed cost + duration + quick charge capability + energy density will pick the winning technology. More than one storage technology may co-exist. The customer should be given the final choice.

Mikey,
Exactly. Don't hype, then deliver something that will knock their socks off. If you run into trouble along the way, there is less disappointment. You set yourself up to shine if and when the product/technology comes through, and cover your position if you have a setback. This take tends to also attracts more serious investors, with lots of resources.


Harvey D,
Faster and more efficient absorption of electrical energy will also bode well for regenerative braking. As less energy recaptured is wasted, the mileage per gallon/kWh goes up in stop and go (city) driving. With an efficient setup and a conservative driver, you can triple your city gas mileage vs a conventional OTTO ICE.

With all of the electrical storage device announcements its hard not to get a little excited. AFAIC the main issue now is bringing down the prices (we'll see if these guys can deliver at the same price as lead acid)

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

-20+65C is an unacceptable operating temperature range in an automotive under hood or passenger compartment application. The international SAE requirement is
-40C/+85C passenger compartment and -40C/125C underhood. I am seeing some 105C underhood ratings for electric drive trains.

This sounds fishy.

I would think that 125C under hood is overkill for an electric drive that doesn't produce anywhere near the waste heat of an ICE engine.

By -40 you need a battery blanket and a block heater for an ICE car or it's dead in a hurry (I used to live north or 60)

I haven't seen numbers for Li-on batteries.

It is mis-leading to say that 52kwh of energy is equivalent to 140lbs of TNT because a quick calculation shows that gallon of gasoline contains as much energy as sixty pounds of TNT. And, there is no evidence that the 52kwh capacitor can release all of its energy in a flash.

If they can get this into production it has the potential to totally revolutionize the automotive and wind energy generation field. The company is wisely keeping details secret until they can get into production. I called the company and offered to invest but they don't need money now. You can be sure that Kleiner Perkins did plenty of due diligence. The patent app describes a lot of detail including very low leakage numbers. Since the unit consists of a lot of parallel small capacitors, the safety should be excellent. Because of the greater efficiency of electrics, the energy storage for a given range is about 1/3 of what is required with a gas tank. Safety should thus be a clear advantage.
I just bought a bunch of stock in the car company ZNN.V using the US dollar version FGDCF.PK which seems to trade like a regular stock. The company web site is www.zenncars.com and they do have a nationwide network of dealers for their award -winning urban transport 2-seater car.

The Tesla is real, unfortunately it's not a viable electric car. It's a toy that allows Hollywood millionaire thespians to publically demonstrate their environmental purity while still letting the women know they have plenty of testosterone and plan on using it. The Tesla is a sad joke. Its effects on the environment will be totally
insignificant.

Kent: my, aren't we negative today. Nobody is claiming that the Tesla roadster is anything more than a concept car in production, a testbed for technology (that will pay for itself) and a marketing tool on the road to bigger things (White Star and beyond). Nobody has claimed that it will solve any environmental problems. It is in fact every bit as much of a viable electric car as any other two seat sports car is a viable ICE car.

No EV is viable when the battery costs thousands of dollars. The price needs to come down by a factor of ten.

Neil: I absolutely think that the VC firm is the sucker in this case. This firm seem to invest in many very high risk startup companys and they probably just do a shallow investigation of their technology.

Personally I'm amazed that so many people are willing to believe in this device. Do you also belive in gnomes and unicorns? Those haven't been seen in real life either.

Emosson:

So it is tunnel effect which ruins all estimations…
Thanks for the information.

Rick:

Mix one gallon of gasoline with 15 lb of oxygen and you will get extremely powerful explosive. It is actually used in military applications.

I'll believe this device when it's running in a vehicle. I'll also believe this is a scam when it dissapears from the scene. Not only did people claim that Tesla was a hoax, I seam to recall a number of people that claimed that Altair was a scam and nothing more than press releases (was that you Magnus?) and now they are running in the Phoenix.

I agree with Rick, price is now the issue. There are appropriate technologies (Altair,A123,Firefly, maybe Eestor). I'm fairly confident that they will slowly work out ways to bring costs down now that they have proven that the technology is possible. That's why I'm excited.

Has it occured to anyone that a crash severe enough to comprimise a well placed/protected battery would probably kill the occupants anyways? Surely capacitators can be placed, protected, and engineered to this degree.

Emossonn,

Interesting the you mentioned dielectric saturation. I'll look for the article, but I remember reading that EEstor was highly aware of this effect and that a large part of their technology (or innovation if you will) was a material that they placed between the plates, or maybe even on them, to mitigate this effect. I don't really see how it is possible, but if they can pull it off, props.

Rick: You said: No Ev is viable when batteries cost thousands $$. The price needs to come down by a factor of 10.

Generally speaking your statement is correct. However, PHEVs and EVs high performance batteries price will come down by a factor of 10 when mass produced in China-India etc etc.

A spare (Japanese built) Lithium battery for my digital camera cost me $59.99 four years ago. I bought 2 (Chinese built) replacement batteries with +40% more energy storage at $5.95 each last week. (They work very well, even much better than the originals). That is your 10:1 reduction in price plus a 40% gain in energy storage as a free bonus in 4 years only.

I'm very confident that the same (and more) will happen to EVs and PHEVs energy storage units in the next 4 years or so, unless somebody (place your bets) purposely manage to block production in countries with very low cost labour.

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