EEStor Capacitors- "This could change everything"
Tyler Hamilton of the Toronto Star and website Clean Break has been digging around a very secretive company. Asking them for information they said: "EEStor is not making public statements at present time," company co-founder and chief executive Richard Weir replied when the Toronto Star requested an interview via email. "EEStor would also like to have you and your paper not publish any articles about our company and the Toronto Star is certainly not authorized to publish this response." which of course he published instantly in Canada's biggest newspaper, BoingBoing style. . What they are doing in Austin with their Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers money is developing a "parallel plate capacitor with barium titanate as the dielectric" or hypercapacitor as John recently coined. Says Tyler: "BusinessWeek reported an interesting comment from Kleiner's John Doerr, who recently spoke at a California event where tech VCs gather to make their predictions for the year. Doerr reportedly referred to an investment in an energy storage company he declined to name, calling it Kleiner's "Highest-risk, highest-reward" investment." Tyler's source describes it: (warning: if you continue reading you have to eat this post) The batteries fully charge in minutes as opposed to hours.
* Whereas with lead acid batteries you might get lucky to have 500 to 700 recharge cycles, the EEStor technology has been tested up to a million cycles with no material degradation.
* EEStor's technology could be used in more than low-speed electric vehicles. The company envisions using it for full-speed pure electric vehicles, hybrid-electrics (including plug-ins), military applications, backup power and even large-scale utility storage for intermittent renewable power sources such as wind and solar.
* Because it's a solid state battery rather than a chemical battery, such being the case for lithium ion technology, there would be no overheating and thus safety concerns with using it in a vehicle.
* Finally, with volume manufacturing it's expected to be cost-competitive with lead-acid technology.
"It's the holy grail of battery technology," said my source. "It means you could do a highway capable electric city car that would recharge in three or four minutes and drive you from Toronto to Montreal. Consumers wouldn't notice the difference from driving an electric car versus a gas-powered car."
From his Star article:
Energy storage has long been the bottleneck for innovation, holding back new energy-sucking features in mobile devices and preventing everything from the electric car to renewable power systems from reaching their full potential. Build a radically better battery at lower cost, experts say, and the world we know will be forever transformed.
"There's been nothing big or disruptive, and we're due for it," says Nicholas Parker, chairman of the Cleantech Venture Network, which tracks investment in so-called clean technologies. He says energy storage is one of the hottest areas for venture capital funding right now. "Right across the board, better energy storage is essential."
Among EEStor's claims is that its "electrical energy storage unit" could pack nearly 10 times the energy punch of a lead-acid battery of similar weight and, under mass production, would cost half as much.
It also says its technology more than doubles the energy density of lithium-ion batteries in most portable computer and mobile gadgets today, but could be produced at one-eighth the cost.
If that's not impressive enough, EEStor says its energy storage technology is "not explosive, corrosive, or hazardous" like lead-acid and most lithium-ion systems, and will outlast the life of any commercial product it powers. It can also absorb energy quickly, meaning a small electric car containing a 17-kilowatt-hour system could be fully charged in four to six minutes versus hours for other battery technologies, the company claims.
According to patent documents obtained by the Star, EEStor's invention will do no less than "replace the electrochemical battery" where it's already used in hybrid and electric vehicles, power tools, electronic gadgets and renewable energy systems, from solar-powered homes to grid-connected wind farms.
"If everything they say is true, then that's pretty amazing," says MacMurray Whale, an energy analyst at Sprott Securities and a former professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Victoria. "To do all of that is unheard of when you look at any other battery technology out there."
Tyler Hamilton does not impress easily- he was not impressed with us for falling head over heels in love with the magenn turbine Don't bother googling for a website for EEStor- you will get a clothing site. But do read ::Clean Break and ::The Toronto Star before they send in the lawyers or break his fingers.