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Bye Energy and Porous Power Partner to Develop Energy Storage Systems for Hybrid-Electric and Electric General Aviation Use

Sectional view across a typical lithium cell electrode pair modeling hypothetical electrical and ionic resistances with electrolyte solution/gel filling pore spaces. More porous components improve conductivity levels throughout the cell and directly affect power and capacity. Click to enlarge. Source: Beard and Feaver 2006

Bye Energy, an integrator of alternative energy and renewable fuel technologies for the business and general aviation sectors, and Porous Power Technologies (PPT), the developer of highly porous, laminable separator membranes for lithium-ion batteries, are collaborating to develop energy storage systems for aviation use.

Bye Energy is developing an electric energy propulsion system that will be used in single- and twin-engine light aircraft. Existing aircraft can be retrofitted with these systems, and new aircraft can be built with either electric system in place.

Bye first plans to demonstrate initial capability in a hybrid configuration. As the technology matures, the company says, it will examine and then commercialize an all-electric aircraft configuration.

By Energy is also analyzing opportunities with jet fuel derived from plant-based feedstock to replace traditional petroleum sources on business jet aircraft.

George Bye, CEO of Bye Energy, said the collaborative partnership will align PPT’s progressive battery technology with his company’s engineering and marketing capabilities.

Our goal is to accelerate the commercialization of electrochemical energy storage systems for the aviation industry. The end result will be an innovative, ‘clean’ energy alternative for aviation.

—George Bye

PPT’s highly porous, laminable separator membranes enable lithium-ion battery manufacturers to produce large, high-performance, laminated batteries at high production speeds. PPT recently took top honors at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) 21st Clean Energy Industry Growth Forum by receiving the Best Early Venture of the Year award.

Bye Energy is breaking new ground by aggressively adapting electric and hybrid electric propulsion technology to general aviation—it will be a great opportunity to showcase how PPT’s innovative battery technology will enable improved performance in all electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

—Tim Feaver, President of PPT

The porosity of a battery separator is one determinant of how easily ions can move back and forth between the battery’s anode and cathode. Higher porosity means freer ion flow with less internal resistance. Traditional separators are 35-50% porous. At high discharge rates, only a fraction of the cell’s energy may be available for power; the rest is trapped in the cell or lost to heat.

The PPT separators use a patent-pending process that yields 80% porosity in a thin, flexible polymer film. This high porosity reduces resistance within the battery, allowing for faster cell charge and discharge (with no degradation of battery performance), better thermal control, less waste heat and longer cell cycle life.

Improvements in high-rate capacity of up to 2-4 times at 6C to 22C discharge rates relative to current commercial separators are realized. The new materials have been tested with excellent results at low temperatures, after extended high-temperature storage and under high-rate charge (<10 minute charge time). The new separator films are also relatively inexpensive due to a simple processing technique using a low-cost formulation with conventional materials.

—Beard and Feaver 2006

Separately, PPT has purchased Lithium Technology Corp.’s battery development and testing facility in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania for an undisclosed sum.




Using improved anode & cathode + this improved seperator (and others) could possibly lead to the mass production of high performance affordable ESSUs that PHEV, and specially BEV, supporters have been dreaming about.

How long would it take to mass produce an afforable ESSU unit, using all the best up-to-date technologies, if half the $25B aimed at bailling out the Big-3 were used in a comprehensive effort?

The other half of the $25B bail out money could be used to simultaneously expedite the production of half a dozen + types of PHEVs and BEVs with or without the Big-3.

The time may be right to launch a major change in the auto industries. Using $25B or even $100B to do it may end up being a very good investment in the country's economy and recovery. Americans have to dare again and get rid of the Big-3 (let them go bankrupt) if they will not cooperate and certainly avoid giving them a blank cheque.


let's say:

50 million vehicles
20 kw/h pack per vehicle

You are looking at

1 billion kw/h
1 trillion w/h
$500 billion

And dont forget that, in order to use the 20kw/h, you need some sort of Titinate chemistry and that 20kw/h will get you ~100miles in a well designed vehicle.



There are other much easier ways.

Using most of the available energy conservation tricks, we reduced our all electric home HVAC energy consumption from 65 KWh/day to 25.5 KWh/day. The electricty saved is enough for about 4 PHEVs or BEVs without increasing the load. Of course we moved to a much better built house with very high performance heat-pump, programmable e-thermostats in every room, high performance HRVs, improved lighting system etc etc. Results are: more comfort and almost 40 KWh/day less electricity consumption.

Most Canadians and Americans could do about the same thing and save enough electricity to run one or two PHEV or BEV completely free. I believe that Vermount is well on its way. No new power plants would really be required if we stop wasting energy.



I was referring strictly to the cost of the batteries, not the energy necessary to power the vehicles.



Agree with you that the current cost of battery packs is much to high.

With automated mass production, the current $1000/KWh will come down quickly and significantly. Mass produced more efficient batteries should not cost much more than $300/KWh by 2013 and could go as low as $100/Kwh five or six years latter.

One small example: Four or five years ago I paid $59.95 for an extra 850 m-Amp Li-On custom battery for my camera. Recenly, a compatible made in China 1250 m-Amp battery is selling for $4.95. This is getting 50% more power for about 8.33% of the price. The new made in China battery has been working OK for the last year or so and is still good for 300 pictures per charge instead of 200 for the original battery.

If the same price change was to happen to e-car battery packs, the going price would be about $83.33 for 1.5 KWh or about $55.55 for 1.0 KWh.

A large 20 KWh pack could cost as little as $1 100 and probably weight three to four times less than today.

ESSUs performance evolution and lower cost will surprise many of us in the next 10 years.



500 billion over 20 years is 25 billion a year. In comparison volume of oil import to US it is rather small figure.

Henry Gibson

Whilst electric aviation is an interesting and useful concept in limited circumstances, The weight advantages of liquid fuels and the availability of oxygen in the air preclude the economical use of battery powered aircraft in most cases. Aviation is one of the very clear possible uses of liquid hydrogen for burning in combustion engines. The heavy weight and high cost of fuel cells preclude their use on a wide basis. The efficiency of very high compression engines approaches that of fuel cells.

The $4.95 LiIon camera battery cost about $1.25 per watt hour or $1250 per kilowatt hour and is about as low as can be expected for the near term because it is all ready being mass produced as are most LiIon cells. There is also now the cost of putting them into a large battery pack and keeping them cool at high power. If such cells could go through a thousand full cycles, The cost per kwh per cycle is $1.25 and this does not include the capital cost of the electric system and motor. Just storing the electricity in the battery has multiplied its cost by ten.

The recent introduction of very fuel efficient diesel engines that burn jet fuel has shown the clear path for fuel efficient cheaper operating general aviation planes. The post combustion NxtGen exhaust gas clean up technology is light enough to also be used. There actually may be no need to reduce NOX at high altitudes as it is a plant fertilizer and much money is spent to produce it to be put on fields.

There may be some limited use of additional hybrid technology in small aircraft, but the loose coupling of the engine and propeller to the ground is already very hybrid like technology.

Some years ago the Canadians beamed radar power up to a small aircraft to keep it in the air for very long periods without any fuel. This is similar to the nearly opposite idea of beaming solar energy from sattelites.

It is not impossible to imagine a chain of radar frequency MASERS, microvave frequency lasers, that could beam power to aircraft starting with general aviation planes. Such aircraft could have relatively inefficient but very light weight high power microturbine generators operating on jet fuel for take off and landing and routes without MASER stations or for emergencies. ..HG..

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