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EEStor Certifies Key Materials Production Milestones and Enhancement of Chemical Purity

30 July 2008

EEStor, Inc., the publicly taciturn developer of a promised high-power-density ceramic ultracapacitor (the Energy Storage Unit—EESU), says that it has met critical certified production milestones for the EESU component materials in three areas: particle crystallization, purity, and size. The company said that it expected that meeting these certified materials production milestones will help it meet present and future energy storage goals, as well as production consistency.

According to the company’s initial patent, the EESU is based on high-permittivity CMBT (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.

Edward D. Golla, PhD, Laboratory Director for Texas Research International (acting as an independent agent) certified that EEStor’s test equipment, procedures, and techniques are capable of providing the required testing accuracy for chemicals and powder production processing analyses reflected in the announcement.

Particle Crystallization. EEStor, Inc. has certified the completeness of the powder crystallization of the constituents utilized in producing its CMBT powders—one of its most critical technical milestones. The percent of the constituents crystallized in the CMBT powders ranged from 99.57% to 100.00% with the average being 99.92%. EEStor said that this level of crystallization “provides the path for the possibility” of providing the published energy storage for present products and major advancements in energy storage for future products.

Purity. The purification of the EEStor, Inc. chemicals has been certified by Southwest Research Institute, Inc. (SwRI)—the same chemical analysis company as referenced in EEStor’s press release dated January 17, 2007 (earlier post) which announced two earlier production milestones.

EEStor has now improved its chemical purity to the parts-per-billion range. The aluminum oxide particle coating material purification has been certified to be in the parts-per-trillion level. Achieving these levels of purification are additional major factors in allowing EEStor, Inc. the potential to reach its target working voltage.

EEStor has certification data from outside sources that purified aluminum oxide, in the range that it has certified, can have a voltage breakdown of 1,100 volts per micron. The target working voltage of EEStor’s chemical processes is at 350 volts per micron. This provides the potential for excellent protection from voltage breakdown.

Size. Ian Treviranus of HORIBA Instruments Inc., using that company’s LA-950 particle measurement system, certified that EEStor has achieved their goal of producing powder particles in the range of 1 micron with a very narrow particle size distribution.

EEStor has certification data that indicates achieving powder particle of this size and distribution along with the aluminum oxide particle coating assists the company in meeting the energy storage stabilization over the temperature range of interest for key applications.

Polarization. In its announcement, EEstor also noted that its a flexible matrix concept described in its patents could provide the potential of multiple technical and production advantages. One of the technical advantages indicated is assisting in providing polarization of the ultra capacitors. Polarization along with other proprietary processing steps provides the potential of a polarization saturation voltage the company requires to meet its targets.

(A hat-tip to Marcus!)

Resources

  • US Patent 7,033,406: Electrical-energy-storage unit (EESU) utilizing ceramic and integrated-circuit technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries (April 25, 2006)

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Isn't there a song..

There are more questions than answers ..??

I officially declare this thread open. Have fun.

Until we see a first product from this firm there is nothing to be excited about. Nobody outside EESTOR has seen even a product sample. There is no evidence that their product exists. It is much more likely to be bluff than real. If ZENN does not start to sell NEV vehicles this year with this product (as promised) it is almost certainly a bluff.

Ten years from now, we will still be reading press releases about EESTOR "meeting purity milstones". As much as I would like to believe the EESTOR claims I can't help but notice that none of the major auto makers seem to be impressed.

Most people do not understand that Ultra-capacitors have almost no energy in them. A bow shooting an arrow is very siimilar. This proposed capacitor promises a lot of energy storage. Perhaps the company could borrow a few scientists from the sixty year old nuclear fusion power projects to show them how to run a project.

Passing a law is the only thing that is needed to get functional plug in hybrids on the road. Lead-acid batteries have been proven good enough by the TZERO for many drivers.


No government should allow a pure electric vehicle because plug-in-hybrid vehicles, that rarely use their engine generator, could have been made for the past ten years, but the only thing that people think about when an electric vehicle is mentioned is "what if I run out of power?" People will not even mind much the ocassional wait for engine charging on a long return trip or a slower return trip. Some commuters should have high performance engine chargers; most do not need it, but all should have a ten gallon fuel tank.

EFFPOWER is saying that they will be buiding their cheap lead acid hybrid battery, and Firefly is threatening to have a product as well that cannot be bought by mere mortals. A Prius fitted with a ZEBRA battery, as in the TH!NK, would be a very long distance Plug-In-Hybrid, but would cost a lot. Ron Gremban's method of keeping the standard Prius battery functional and moving power to and from the auxilliary battery would allow much longer use of Lead-acid batteries and the use of a smaller set of any kind of battery... ..HG..

Though EEStor is getting venture capital money - they also get cash from ZENN motorcars by meeting/passing these milestones. Sounds like they're very close to putting together an actual product for performance milestones?

"'Don't hesitate to tell us what you think of it,' said one of the weavers.

"'Oh, it's beautiful -it's enchanting.' The old minister peered through his spectacles. 'Such a pattern, what colors! I'll be sure to tell the Emperor how delighted I am with it.'

"'We're pleased to hear that,' the swindlers said. They proceeded to name all the colors and to explain the intricate pattern. The old minister paid the closest attention, so that he could tell it all to the Emperor. And so he did.

"The swindlers at once asked for more money, more silk and gold thread, to get on with the weaving. But it all went into their pockets. Not a thread went into the looms, though they worked at their weaving as hard as ever."

Don't kid yourself. EESTOR products are flying around in top secret electric UAV's right now.

Their production priorities turned on a dime when those defense department dollars were waved in their face.

I spent a great deal of my career in the defense industry often participating in some new technology being developed. When you are "pushing the envelope" (as aviation engineers are want to say), scores of problems per week are worked out. Success is ground slowly out of the rock. There are few eureka moments. Getting out to the edge of what can be achieved doesn't lend itself well to timetables. This is always a frustration to management and customers, because they were promised their magic box by September 1st and now it is September 10th and no magic box. "What am I going to tell the boss about the magic box?" If Eestor is legit, then I feel for them trying to develope this device with all this scrutiny. Eestor may be for real and not deliver to Zenn for another year. If the funding gets pulled, we'll know they didn't have anything. As long as their funding is in place, there is hope.

Matt,

You may not so far-fetched in your suggestion.

An all-electric small UAV powered by a EEStor battery pack could fly for several hours with minimal IR emissions, since it doesn't generate the distinct hot signature from the exhaust of an internal combustion engine or gas turbine engine.

Right now EEstor is still hypothetical vapor ware.

It is an idea, a dream, and a work in progress.
When we see a lab made working model that can be tested by independent observers with regard to its capacity and power storage density, then it becomes a "real" product.
Then it moves from the lab to the production factory.

I wish them all the success possible, but do not expect any real product this year, or even within the next five.

@ Henry Gibson
You want government legislation banning battery electric cars before they show up and become practical?

Your preference is hybrids that will burn the rest (second half) of the worlds fossil fuels? (slower to be sure, for each car, but still as fast as the first half because there will be more cars)

We need not worry about what to do then, when we finally run out of fossil fuels, because we will be extinct.

Nice plan Henry.
Don't expect many votes except from the few oil shills.


Guys,
Sorry to rain on everyone's parade. This may turn out to be a great technology one day. But it's a total theory. They can not produce even a prototype capacitor to test internally. This is based on a theory that has been around for many, years about what could be done with Barium Titanate as the basis of a supercapacitor. Unfortunately, that same theory also has lots of problems to be solved if you could even build a device to start the whole process. What they've done is a critical step in the research that may or may not lead to a device one day. They have proven they can get extremely pure material. So now, it's time to START the great quest and see if any of the theory is true....including the problems!

Yes, KP and Lockheed put in a few million dollars. Face it guys, that's a lotto ticket. That is no different than you or I spending $5 on the Powerball super lotto. They can afford it. Just a fun bet for them that could pay off huge. Don't read too much into it.

I wish EESTOR well, but it's just a good idea they're trying out right now.

IIRC: the Nickel has been replaced with PET.

Remember how quickly A123 went from nobody ever having heard of them to massive manufacturing facilities in China and products to market with a game-changing battery. Seems like it was almost overnight to me.

Perhaps EESTOR will surprise us in a similar manner?

Actually, I remember A123 building on published research, putting out specs, giving batteries to potential customers for evaluation and selling batteries to hobbyists off their website. I remember A123 working with industry giants like Black and Decker and GM, not doing screwball exclusive deals with penny stock pump-and-dump outfits like Zenn.

EEStor is almost the exact opposite of A123. Doesn't mean they will fail, but they have chosen a bizarre path.

I'm skeptical, but I think it's real. The founder of EESTor, Weir, worked for IBM, he has patents of value and is a real scientist and not a hacker.

His field of study at IBM was magnetic shielding for hard drives. The biggest problem with BaTi caps has always been that when you scale them up the energy fields they produce ruins their performance.

That sounds like a sister problem to magnetic shielding.

To scam someone you have to have a person that's willing to scam. Weir doesn't have a criminal past, just the opposite he's been prominent in the hard drive industry as a scientist.

I'm no expert but the digging that I've done on what little we know about EESTor shows a real company, with manufacturing facilities, reputable officers and investors. The slight delays we've seen are nothing when considering a breakthrough technology.

That same Barium Nitrate purity milestone has been announced several years ago. A capacitor is a simple device, and is present in virtually every electrical devices. It does not take years to build a small capacity capacity for testing purposes and eventual commercialization in the vast power electrical market.

If EEStor are successful in making their claimed capacity, they should have built small sizes, in order of micro Farad capacities, for the world to evaluate and use, after filing for patent protection, and making beaucoup of money while preparing to be make it big-time in the automotive market.

If EEStor ain't got nuthin' yet and are still trying to put together their theoretical ideas, then they ain't got nuthin' to brag about, and shoulda shut up instead of trying to confuse the public...unless risk-free investment money is what they're after!

This the main claim of EEStor patent:

"1. A method for making an electrical-energy-storage unit comprising components fabricated by the method steps as follow; a) preparing a wet-chemical-prepared calcined composition-modified barium titanate powder derived from a solution of precursors: Ba(NO.sub.3).sub.2, Ca(NO.sub.3).sub.2.4H.sub.2O, Nd(NO.sub.3).sub.3.6H.sub.2O, Y(NO.sub.3).sub.3.4H.sub.2O, Mn(CH.sub.3COO).sub.2.4H.sub.2O, ZrO(N.sub.3O).sub.2, and [CH.sub.3CH(O--)COONH.sub.4].sub.2Ti(OH).sub.2 in deionize water heated to 80.degree. C., and a separate solution of (CH.sub.3).sub.4NOH made in deionized water and heated to 80.degree.-85.degree. C., then mixing the solutions by pumping the heated ingredient streams simultaneously through a coaxial fluid mixer producing coprecipitated powder, then collecting the coprecipitated powder in a drown-out vessel and refluxing at a temperature of 90.degree.-95.degree. C. for 12 hours, then filtering, washing with deionized-water, drying, and then calcining 1050.degree. C. in air; b) fabricating an aluminum oxide (Al.sub.2O.sub.3) coating of 100 .ANG. thickness onto the wet-chemical-prepared calcined composition-modified barium titanate powder, with the use of aluminum nitrate nonahydrate precursor applied by wet chemical means, then calcining at 1050.degree. C., resulting in a single-coated calcined composition-modified barium titanate powder; c) fabricating onto the alumina-coated composition-modified barium titanate powder, a second uniform coating of 100 .ANG. of calcium magnesium aluminosilicate glass derived from alcohol-soluble precursors: calcium methoxide or calcium isopropoxide, magnesium methoxide or magnesium ethoxide, aluminum ethoxide or aluminum isopropoxide or aluminum isopropoxide, and tetraethyl orthosilicate are applied by wet chemical means which upon calcining at 500.degree. C. results in a double-coated composition-modified barium titanate powder; d) blending, this double-coated composition-modified barium titanate powder with a screen-printing ink containing appropriate plastic resins surfactants, lubricants, and solvents to provide a suitable rheology for screen printing; e) screen-printing into interleaved multilayers of alternating offset nickel electrode layers 12 and double-coated calcined composition-modified barium titanate high-relative-permittivity layers 11 with the use of screening inks having the proper rheology for each of the layers; f) drying and cutting the screen-punted multilayer components 15 into a specified rectangular area; g) sintering the screen-printed multilayer components 15, first at a temperature of 350.degree. C. for a specified length of time, then at 850.degree. C. for a specified length of time, to form closed-pore porous ceramic bodies; and h) hot isostatically pressing the closed-pore porous ceramic bodies, at a temperature of 700.degree. C. with a specified pressure, into a void-free condition; i) grinding and each side of the component to expose the alternating offset interleaved nickel electrodes 12; j) connecting nickel side bars 14 to each side of the components 15, that have the interleaved and alternating offset nickel electrodes 12 exposed, by applying nickel ink with the proper rheology to each side and clamping the combinations together; k) heating the components and side nickel bar combination 14-15 800.degree. C., and time duration of 20 minutes to bond them together; l) wave soldering each side of the conducting bars; m) assembling the components 15 with the connected nickel side bars 14 into the first array, utilizing unique tooling and solder-bump technology; n) assembling the first arrays into the second array; o) assembling the second arrays into the EESU final assembly. "

The patent attorney who wrote this claim should be fired, since it renders this patent worthless, due to the fact that the precise temperatures and parameters are recited. This means that anyone can increase the temperatures or parameters by a few points in the manufacturing process to get the same product without infringing on the patent. The precise numbers should have been replaced with more generalized numbers ranges, such as in the range of , for example 600-800 degrees... etc...More "weasel" words should be used, such as "generally, at least, comprised of...etc" instead of exacting words, in order to make the patent difficult to be worked around.

Why are they writing such a claim? Perhaps to get a quick and guaranteed approval by the US Patent office so that they can rush to the Venture Capitalist to get money...!

Guys (and possible gals),

The sum total of this thread is, "EEstor, please send us a note when you have a demonstration unit ready for 3rd party validation...nothing less would show you have overcome the engineering (and some say theoretical) challenges."

Well put, Healthy B.

I agree Weir did not start EEStor to scam anyone. I believe a combination of lab work and calculation convinced him he could build these devices. He probably still believes it, if he can just make the powders pure enough and tweak the manufacturing just so.

It's kind of like the cold fusion guys. They truly believed, but despite a lot of effort and funding they could never design a repeatable experiment. Or Dr. Brussard, the late Polywell fusion inventor. History will judge their work, as it will judge Weir's.

We need wild-haired, crazy guys that
are not afraid to sully their reputations;
the Dr. Frankensteins, The Prof.
Emmett Browns and the Professor
Frinks. You just never know
about these guys until, one
day they come out of the lab
in a 'Eureka' moment or are
blown through the door of their
labs, with frizzy hair smoking.
Not everything Gyro Gearloose
built worked right the first time,
or did precisely what it was intended
to do, but keep your money in your
wallet & let the due-diligence guys
fund them, like Lockheed, IBM, etc.
If they're scammers, the big boys
won't stay with them long. Maybe
this is just the device to help
Wile E. catch that dang Roadrunner. -- Swen.

Swen, let's say that you work for Lockheed Martin in charge of making multi-million-dollar decision in investment in new technology, and your salary is $100,000 USD a year. Now, if I come to you with a quasi-scientific sounding idea that can change the world, with the details deeply hidden in all the technical jargons and mumbo jumbo, what would you do? You gonna research on it, and think real hard, won't you?

But, what if I am gonna give you, under-the-table a large cut on the millions of dollars of investment money from Lockheed Martin, all laundered and safely deposited in an anonymous Swiss bank account, just for you? Now, would you still be doing dilligent research on the real merit of my proposal, or just be dreaming about hitching a ride on the gravy train? Would it still be alright if the "big boys" lose their money on a seemingly victimless crime?

check this out:

http://bariumtitanate.blogspot.com/2008/07/richard-weir-says-permittivity-is.html

People,

It's not a question of, "Could this be a scam or a pipe dream?" Of course it could. That's boring.

The more interesting question is, "If one were to find a way to make this work, what would it likely take, and how would he likely go about doing it?"

Even if Weir is 100% earnest, and has a genuinely innovative approach, it's still incredibly hard. That suggests it would take more time and money to get it right than an optimist would suppose. Product delays are common at the leading edge, so no news is...just no news. Non-news (like hitting materials purity standards but not providing empiracal proof of concept) is pretty much no news, too.

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