Thursday, July 24, 2008

EEStor's Most Prominent Skeptic

Occasionally this blog is accused of having a slant in favor of EEStor. And it's been asked whether or not the purpose of the blog is to pump ZENN Motor stock (ZNN).   I think these are fair questions if you keep in mind the information here is provided with no guarantees.  That said, it has come to my attention that there may be a person in the world for whom the phrase, "EEStor's most prominent skeptic" applies well.   His name is Clive Randall and he is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University.  I have learned that Randall publicly ridiculed EEStor at a big American Ceramics gathering (date unknown).   My source for this information is someone within the current capacitor industry familiar with the technical challenges surrounding EEStor's work.  I asked the question, "who among your industry or area of speciality would probably be the best spokesperson for why EEStor's technology will not work?" ...and Randall was offered up.   

I'd like to apologize to Prof. Randall for throwing him into this blog like this but someone did send me a powerpoint Randall put together where he presented his thoughts on EEStor in public.  And so, I attempted to contact Randall to get his side of things and ask if he would be willing to write up a brief overview of his thoughts.  I can't guarantee unlimited space but would be willing to let his voice be heard.  

At this point, I'd like to make a few distinctions based on some related concepts.  Many people think that EEStor's work is already known enough to say it won't work.  A second set of people believe that EEStor's maneuvers through the patent process mirrors a well thought out plan to avoid detection by would be competitors.   A smaller subset of people seem to think a very very well orchestrated set of smoke screens have been put together by EEStor, Kleiner, etc in this regard.  These same people say that the Clive Randall's of the world are getting wrapped around the axle with regard to EEStor phantoms.  (As RG Collingwood pointed out, two statements cannot be considered contradictory unless they are both intended to answer the same question)  On the other hand, there are people in the capacitor world that I've talked to who have worked in this area (with barium titanate) who say EEStor is challenging 50 yrs of understanding.   So what is the truth here?    

Here's my leaning. For EEStor, if many of the collected insights turn out to be true---that chemicals are going through a production process and spitting out on the other side then something is afoot there, no?  :-)  I guess for me it's kind of like, to what degree would you go to pull off a such a scam?  Secondly, I asked my capacitor expert today the following, "So, given where we are with this thing and some of the doubts you've shared with me, is there even a test which would convince you EEStor is for real?"  The response, "Permittivity. If a 3rd party provides that, then Wow, the world we know today will change dramatically."    So there you go.  Is this suspense enough for you?  Investors, are all your gambling juices flowing?  What's it going to be here?    


93 comments:

Marcus said...

So this would be great. Are we getting a post by him?

Marcus said...

At the very least a link to the slide show?

Jay said...

I think one thing everyone needs to keep in mind about EEstor patent is that its a method of building an EESU.

They site 14 other patents that address breakthroughs in dielectric saturation,temperature coefficients, material breakthroughs and properties. Most of which where discovered a couple year prior to him filling his first patent App in 2001.

It has become obvious to me that he hasnt reinvented the wheel here guys. I bet most if not all of his patents are on how to make this thing. Wiers real invention here is the production line. You can thank few hundred research scientists aswell for their contribution, but this is old science.

erkyl said...

Come thou, Professor Clive.

richterm said...

B - I think Clive is his first name.

steve said...

I hope Clive isn't allergic to eggs.

Marcus said...

Steve I bet Clive would be as glad as the next (uninvested) person if EESTor have made a real breakthrough. Who in their right mind wouldn't be except perhaps for Maxwell. In fact I think he would be especially excited because it would open up new fields of research within his speciality.

There are good reasons though for sounding the alarm if people are investing in something that is highly unlikely to work given the last fifty years of scientific research. You and I ought to be thanking him for helping to alert us that EEStor is a VERY speculative investment. I certainly look forward to any of his input.

b said...

richterm, true but it should be randall clive. j/k thanks for catch. duh.

zawy said...

It's a little concerning that our beloved blogger references the philisopher RG Collingwood. I hope he's not really into philosophy.

Marcus said...

Here's a punt. Dr Randall is "Anonymous" on Tyler's blog here:

http://tyler.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/11/1/3328442.html?message

Marcus said...

Here's another punt. The other "Anonymous" that posts:

"For God's sake, how many times are you going to post the exact same thing? The more you do it, the more you look like you're spreading FUD."

Is Steve!

steve said...
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steve said...

My question to Anatoly Moskalev has been posted on the Tesla blog:

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog2/?p=46

Marcus said...

Steve aren't you asking the very same question I posted at the start of this thread?

Of course I agree with seeing what the reaction is to this 2006 patent because here they appear to be addressing the dielectric saturation issue (as mentioned above). Now the question is going to boil down to whether these figures are measurements or calculations. My impression is indeed they are measurements. Yes I would be most interested in hearing Dr Randall's thoughts on this.

steve said...
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steve said...
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Marcus said...

I realize you are speaking more broadly about the Scientific "hierarchy", what ever that means, and yes it would be good to have input from as many experts as possible. I agree that past criticisms have been made based on only the first patent. But you can't expect experts to easily believe the answers are just around the corner in the next unreleased patent when the initial claims are so fantastic.

Marcus said...

Actually Steve I mistakenly referred to my question in this thread rather than the one I meant which is the one addressed to Y_Po and JohnG in the patent thread. Too many threads going on here!

Marcus said...

Now, was I right about you being that Anonymous??

steve said...
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Marcus said...

Scientists consider published work to be in peer reviewed journals not patents. This is in part explained in Jim's posts earlier. So I doubt experts are going to necessarily believe what's printed in a patent, even if it looks like data if it also looks crazy. I wouldn't in my field.

Its a tough hurdle to jump, convincing scientists that the accumulated wisdom of 50 years of experiments is seriously flawed. Either you need a working prototype to be demonstrated or you need peer reviewed papers and replicated results. Probably all the above. The more fantastic the claim, the greater the burden of evidence.

But, stranger things have happened I guess. B's story on the face of it seems compelling. But for a scientist its about data, not hearsay.

Marcus said...

Hand shake. Sure.

But I didn't admit that stuff. I found it. I haven't been trying to hide anything.

steve said...

Marcus,

But for a scientist its about data, not hearsay.

I'm not talking about peer acceptance of Weir's theories.

Moskalev and others were addressing the earlier USPTO Patent. They said:

"WEIR NEVER ADDRESSED DIALECTRIC SATURATION IN HIS PATENT"

When, in fact, he did.

Don't give them a pass. They should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us. They're supposed to be experts.

And by not doing so they misled alot of people.

steve said...
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steve said...

Marcus,

No offense but Nekote was the first person to point it out back on July 4th. And Jay set it out in tables which were posted by B as well.

I'm not saying you hid anything.

Marcus said...
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Marcus said...
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Marcus said...

The "stuff" I was referring to was pin pointing the contradiction between the "no knowledge of dielectric saturation" hypothesis and what's written on the patent. In fact if you look at Tyler's blog back in Nov last year it was discussed then.

http://tyler.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/11/1/3328442.html

Interestingly if you read that thread you will also see that this whole issue has been gone over. Like I said above, a scientist is not going to take a patent as published data.

Marcus said...

In fact I have to say if I was Dr Randall I wouldn't bother posting here because no new scientific issues or evidence has been brought up compared to that Tyler thread - at least that I am aware of. Everyone should go read it.

richterm said...

That Tesla blog has some interesting Weir quotes that I haven't seen before. Thought I'd share...


Here is the full text of Dick Weir’s e-mail to me when I raised Anatoly’s (Tesla blog poster) doubts about EEstor Co.: “It is obvious that Tesla Motors does not understand the technical direction that EEstor, Inc. is taking. Of course we can make that statement about everyone else on earth. Seeing is believing and the latest EEstor, Inc. press release is the beginning of the certification process and in 2007 our battery will be functioning in someone else’s electric vehicle. I wonder what Tesla Motors will say then. It will be interesting”.


"Purification gives you better production stability, gives you better permittivity, and gives you the high voltages you’re looking for,” says Weir. “We’ve now got the chemicals certified and purified to the point we’re looking for.” (Better permittivity of the insulator improves the amount of charge that can be stored without letting the current leak across the two plates.)

johng said...

It is not just permittivity that is important, its permittivity at the (EEStor claimed)field of 300v/micron.

BT permittivity of 20,000 or more is not new, you can buy them for less then a cent. They have been around for 15 years. The key problem is that they are not designed to go above about 3 volts/micron, and break down (destructively) at about 50v/micron.

Marcus said...

Yes, JohnG I'm not sure I could be bothered with this much more I must admit. It seems to have been gone over so thoroughly already, especially by Anonymous (aka Dr Randall?) over at Tyler's. I'll be overjoyed if its all true but I'm not holding my breath.

steve said...
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steve said...
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steve said...

We've only discussed the "description" section of the WIPO Patent application.

Have a look at the "CLAIMS" section wherein Weir published:

12. The method steps as recited in claim 1 that provide stable relativity permittivity up to a temperature of 85° C and voltages up to 5000 V which also indicates that dielectric saturation has not been reached.

jonhg said:

BT permittivity of 20,000 or more is not new, you can buy them for less then a cent. They have been around for 15 years. The key problem is that they are not designed to go above about 3 volts/micron, and break down (destructively) at about 50v/micron.

Weir's data claims that dialectric saturation wasn't even reached at 5000V...

steve said...
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steve said...

Marcus wrote:

It seems to have been gone over so thoroughly already, especially by Anonymous (aka Dr Randall?) over at Tyler's.

Nobody at the Tyler blog, not "anonymous", nobody at the Tesla blog, not Moskalev, not Randall... none of them have ever discussed the "measurements" in the WIPO Patent.

steve said...

CORRECTION

A commentator named "Scott" was the first to mention the "world" patent application back in June 08 in the comments to "installment 1" of B's interview with Richard Weir. Sorry Nekote, this guy beat everybody:

Scott said...

No, you're looking at the older US patent, not the world patent. It's clearly claimed to be measured values, averaged over 10 cells with an average of 981 micron thickness

http://bariumtitanate.blogspot.com/2008/05/to-hype-or-not-to-hype-part-1-interview.html?showComment=1213198980000#c5515298811800921680

Y_Po said...
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Y_Po said...


Nobody at the Tyler blog, not "anonymous", nobody at the Tesla blog, not Moskalev, not Randall... none of them have ever discussed the "measurements" in the WIPO Patent

I did it here.

Y_Po said...
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steve said...

Y_Po,

You are seen all over this board claiming that EESTOR "never discussed "dieltectric saturation"...

The WIPO patent discusses it ad nauseum, but you didn't know that.

Marcus pointed it out to you yesterday and you couldn't deal.

It's like when you denied that Lockheed Martin admitted that EESTOR had prototypes.

The words "their prototypes" were too sophisticated for you.

Y_Po said...
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Y_Po said...

It was before this patent
Patent itself can't be counted as discussion of saturation.

In any case I explained why these new claims are BS or fabrication.

As for the prototype I (and most sane people) still insist that prototype have newer been confirmed to exist. I don't know where you you get this from, if anyone it is you who is having troubles with meaning of words

steve said...

Y_Po,

Have the humility to retract your prior and clearly erroneous assertions.

You said, over and over and over again, that EESTOR never contemplated, discussed, addressed measured or published anything concerning "dielectric saturation".

That's what you said.

Have the humility to admit that you were wrong and that EESTOR has certainly discussed dielectric saturation. It will be good for your soul.

Furthermore, you are seen over and over and over again on this blog stating that Weir, Clifford and Liebman never said there were prototypes. Many references by these three proved you wrong.

When confronted with the words "their protoypes" you lost all sense of reason like Clinton saying "depends what the meaning of is is"...

steve said...

Alpo yelped:

As for the prototype I (and most sane people) still insist that prototype have newer been confirmed to exist.

Here are three sources who have stated that prototypes exist:

Ian Clifford, Zenn Motor cars
Richard Weir, EESTOR
Lionel Liebman, Lockheed Martin

I know, I'm "insane" and you're sane, but I'll still take their word over yours...

Y_Po said...

Steve, relax, you have been laughed at by pretty much everybody in this blog. There is no point in repeating that discussion again.
Sorry but they have no prototype and they have not addressed k-problem

steve said...
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steve said...

Y_Po, relax you have been laughed at by everybody in this blog (that isn't you under a different alias, and there are many).

Sorry but EESTOR has prototypes and they have addressed k and published measurements thereto.

Marcus said...

Steve:

"NOBODY IN TYLERS BLOG ADDRESSED THE WIPO PATENT DATA.

NO EXPERTS HAVE DISCUSSED THE DATA AND MEASUREMENTS IN THE WIPO/EPO PATENT."

Did you even read it?
Start by finding the post by "Aurelien"

Thats it from me Steve. The existing patents. arguments and hearsay will not change the outcome for EEStor. Only something a lot more substantial. We are still waiting.

steve said...

Marcus is correct,

see below. Mice job, Marcus. I am in the process of removing my posts in this regard.

Re: Re: Re: EEStor should talk
by Aurelien on Tue 27 Nov 2007 08:43 AM EST | Permanent Link

Anonymous keeps repeating that the dielectric constant in barium titanates is non-linear with voltage, and therefore capacity values are overestimated by a factor ~100.

However, in intl. patent (WO/2006/026136), there are dielectric constant measurements at 3500 and 5000V that show almost no decrease from low voltage:

"The following data indicates the relativity permittivity of ten single-coated composition-modified barium titanate powder batches. Batches Relativity Permittivity @ 85° C 1. 19,901 2. 19,889 3. 19,878 4. 19,867 5. 19,834 6. 19,855 7. 19,873 8. 19,856 9. 19,845 10. 19,809

Average relativity permittivity = 19,861

The following data indicates the relativity permittivity of ten components measured at 85° C, then 85° C and 3500 V, and the last test 85° C and 5000 V. Components 850 C 85° C - 3500 V 85° C - 5000 V 1. 19,871 19,841 19,820 2. 19,895 19,866 19,848 3. 19,868 19,835 19,815 4. 19,845 19,818 19,801 5. 19,881 19,849 19,827 6. 19,856 19,828 19,806 7. 19,874 19,832 19,821 8. 19,869 19,836 19,824 9. 19,854 19,824 19,808 10. 19,877 19,841 19,814 Average K 19,869 19,837 19,818 Results indicates that the composition-modified barium titanate powder that has been coated with 100 A Of AUO3, immersed into a matrix of PET plastic, and has been polarized provides a dielectric saturation that is above the 5000 V limit and the relative permittivity is highly insensitive to both voltage and temperature."

Furthermore, these data were measured with real EESU protoypes, not just powders.

So, either they are outrageous liars, or they really have something. Could it be that the powder coating enabled the dielectric constant to remain high at high voltages?

There is still hope, I am not selling my ZENN stock yet.



Reply


Re: Re: Re: Re: EEStor should talk
by Anonymous on Wed 28 Nov 2007 09:46 PM EST | Permanent Link
Good post and questions.

Note it refers to powders immersed in a matrix of PET plastic. A composite of BT powder in a low K polymer would have nowhere near 19,000 (or even 1000) for K, so once again, I suspect it is a calculated value for the powder. Without a reported thickness, 5000V could be a very modest field (5KV across a 5cm slug would only be 1000V/cm = 0.1V/ um. They are suggesting they will go to 300 V/um in the application, so I interpret this as intentionally misleading. So these are all still low field measurements. Why aren't they reporting data for a sintered ceramic sample at a specified electric field instead of a powder composite at a voltage with no thickness reported. These are definitely not prototypes -- nothing at all like a real capacitor at a truly high field.

Coating the grains could reduce the voltage dependence along with the permittivity, but you can't cheat mother nature regarding energy storage. If you want to store energy within the grain, you have to have electric field within the grains, then saturation still controls. Of course, grain boundary phases are well known and widely used in BT capacitors. I find it very suspicious that actual permittivity versus field data is not reported.

Attached is a very detailed argument that should leave little room for doubt that there is no basis for believing that materials well known to store about 8 J/cc (at 100 V/um) will now store 800 to 7200 J/cc.

Below is a detailed discussion clearly demonstrating the invalidity of EEstor’s claims and targets.

EEstor does not report either a new material, or any data that indicates the ability to store more energy than known titanate dielectrics. EEstor calculates the amount of energy they expect their capacitor to store. A fundamental oversight results in an invalid calculation that is inaccurate by more than a factor of 100! The error is uncomplicated. Simply, energy does not equal ½ CV2 for a capacitor made from a nonlinear dielectric. For all high permittivity ceramics, the dielectric permittivity (K’) decreases markedly with increasing electric field E (dielectric saturation). Energy increases roughly linearly with voltage for these materials, as opposed to with the square of the voltage (ref 2).

Importantly, this is not a case wherein EEstor claims to have made some specific breakthrough regarding this issue. No such breakthrough is reported. There are no energy storage measurements, no permittivity versus field data, and no mention of eliminating or reducing dielectric saturation. Their patent and presentations indicate a complete lack of awareness (or lack of acknowledgment) of this issue. EEstor simply purports to make (or aspires to make) high K barium titanate based material, with a K of 18,000, and ultimately with an incredibly high breakdown strength of up to 300V/um. They then calculate the energy stored as ½ CV2 without comment on the use of this equation.

How large of an error does this cause? Calculated energy density is ½K’E2 when calculated total energy is ½CV2. For K = 18,000, and a field 100 V/um, this invalid calculation gives 800 J/cc. (½K’E2 = (0.5)(8.85x10-12 F/m)(18,000)(1x108 V/m) = 8x108 J/m3 = 800 J/cc). Eight references describing actual studies of energy storage in high permittivity ceramic dielectrics (including barium titanate and BST) are noted below. All of these studies indicate a maximum energy density ranging from about 2 to 12 J/cc, depending on the exact material and the maximum breakdown voltage (which is on the order of 100V/um in most cases). Notably, for the studies involving very high K materials, if the authors had simply calculated energy storage using ½ CV2, as EEstor does, it would have similarly resulted in reported values on the order of 100 times greater than the actual measured values!

Hence there is no basis for concluding EEstor has made any advance in the field, and clear evidence that the sole basis for their claim of unbelievably high energy storage is the simple, invalid calculation. Their aspiration (with no reported results) to triple the breakdown field to 300 V/um in combination with the invalid calculation adds an additional factor of 9, giving an absurd 7200 J/cc (along with all of the corresponding hype and speculation about a new miracle material).

Below are notes regarding the references noted above that clearly substantiate the analysis above (one report of personal measurements, the other seven directly from a Google search on energy storge in ceramic dielectrics). .


1. (My work, unpublished), 1987 – Report to Maxwell Corporation on energy storage potential in high permittivity ceramics. Measurements were made on thin films up to 100V / um on barium titanate and PLZT based dielectrics. K varied as ~ 1/E over much of the voltage range, resulting in an approximately linear increase in energy density with field. Maximum energy storage was 4 – 8 J/cc.

2. Love, Journal of the American Ceramic Society 1990 – Also observed a linear increase in energy with voltage for several classes of high permittivity (up to 12,000) thick film ceramics (barium titanate, PLZT, PMN). Reported up to 5 J/cc at 80 V/um.

3. Triani, et.al, (ANSTO and CSIRO – Australia, 2001 – J. Materials Science and Engineering. They reported 8 – 10 J/cc for PbSr titanate, and noted that the energy densities were similar to those of the best BaSr titanate materials for a given field, but the maximum fields of up to 100V/um (100KV/mm) were superior for the PST.

4. Kaufmann, et.,al, Penn State and Argonne, 1999. DOE Contract Report. They report sputtered BaSr titanate thin films with a K of 500 and a breakdown field of 100 V / um. K decreases to 120, and the energy storage is 11 J/cc. Also reported are data for hot pressed AFE/FE lead zirconate. These had a maximum K of 12,000, and a breakdown strength of 12 V/um, resulting in an energy storage of 3.2 J/cc.

5. Fletcher, et.al, 1996 Journal of Applied Physics D. They report a theoretical analysis based on Devonshire theory of ferroelectrics. Optimal energy density is predicted for materials with Curie Temperatures well below the operating temperatures. Applied to BaSr titanate, the model predicts an energy density of 8 J/cc at 100 V/um. The model was verified in actual materials.

6. Randolf, et. al, (Austria, 1996) – IEEE Annual Report - Studied dielectric energy storage for powders embedded in polymer matrices. They reported using a PbTitanate-PbZnNiobate material with K = 5000, and reported energy densities of 1 – 10 J/cc.

7. Lawless, et. al., Ceramphysics Inc. 1992 report a high permittivity ceramic (K = 8000) for which a maxium energy density of 6 J/cc was observed for samples with optimum breakdown strength.

8. Freim, Nanomaterials Research Corp NASA SBIR Proposal 1998, reports reduced dielectric saturation for nanocrystalline microstructures, and states that “Commercial coarse grain dielectric based ceramic capacitors are ineffective for use in high energy storage and delivery applications since the dielectric's permittivity decreases sharply when the applied voltage is increased.” They target 5 – 10 J/cc for the proposed new improved materials.

steve said...

From the anonymous comments at Tyler's blog,

Their patent and presentations indicate a complete lack of awareness (or lack of acknowledgment) of this issue.

Whoever this person is, that statement is just not fair. I don't care how educated a person is, EESTOR clearly addressed "dielectric saturation" in the Patent. This expert might not believe they accomplished what they said they did, but his choice of wording is unfortunate and has led to alot of confusion.

Like I said at the beginning of this thread, I hope they aren't allergic to eggs.

Maybe I'll be proved a fool, and EESTOR has completely fooled Lockheed Martin and Kleiner and Zenn, but I'm feeling pretty good about having faith in Richard Weir.

The world did, after all, turn out to be round, didn't it. Things change and egg drips.

Marcus said...

I don't know why I am bothering. What he means is the non-linearity of dielectric saturation for the material in question. This is evidenced by the equation they used to calculate the energy stored in the previous patent and their lack of even a mention of non-linear saturation. He simply doesn't believe their later "measurements". And there seems good grounds to agree with him.

Marcus said...

Put simply, those "measurements" look too much like calculated values given an ignorance of non-linear saturation.

Marcus said...

Whether you are a fool or not will not be proven by the success or failure of EEStor Steve. You will either be incredibly lucky or not. Some people are gamblers and believers, that is their nature. I hope you are lucky, as does I'm sure everyone, including "Anonymous".

steve said...

Marcus,

"Anonymous" last comment at Tyler's blog was interesting in that it appears he wasn't aware of the latest patent application. See his response to Wolfram:

Re: Re: Re: EEStor should talk
by Anonymous on Fri 21 Dec 2007 09:45 PM EST:

Wolfram, thanks for bringing up the other patent applications. I had difficulty piecing together the concept described, so it is hard to comment on the data. I will have to re-read the patent.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, Marcus, but this appears to be the infamous "anonymous'" last substantive post at Tyler's blog. Anonymous went on to say:

It describes pressing BT powder/ polymer mixtures at 180C. BT is a high temperature ceramic material. At 180C, one could make either a porous powder compact or, with sufficient PET – a BT / polymer composite. Either would have properties much different than dense ceramic BT. However, in the calculations done in the patent, literature values of permittivity for the BT material are used (or a slightly adjusted value for the 100A coatings on the powder). Then, the data at the end has nearly identical numbers for the BT powder, and for “components”. If the components are PET / BT composites formed at 180C, this really makes no sense to me at all. Sorry. Ideas?

Maybe it's not the same guy?

Marcus said...

Yes it seems like that might be a good thread to ask "Anonymous" more about. Maybe it is worth Dr Randall making an appearance here. Its probably worth getting his opinions on this as well as the more recent two patents on preparation techniques just to check on his latest views.

Marcus said...

But I guess what he is saying in that last post is that it just doesn't make sense that a mixture of BT and polymer baked at 180C has the same k as BT powder. Again the implication is that they didn't measure this k they simply cited a literature value for the powder. It just makes it all look more suspect.

Y_Po said...

Latest patent has absolutely no weight, as I explained it is either mistake or complete fabrication.

Truth is, if there were no previous patents this new patent had much more weight (but still close to zero).

Another thing is 3rd party confirmation? Do you you realize that this idea translates into conclusion that Lockheed and other investor simply don't trust EEstor patents/claims/measurement? What is the point of discussing EEstor numbers if their own investors say out loud "We don't give a shit about your claims, give us independent measurement"

Marcus said...

Y-Po, are you talking about the 2006 patent or the two 2008 patents?

I agree, we are all waiting on the third party testing...

richterm said...

What BS. It's simply good business to require 3rd party confirmation of claimed results.

This is where you lose any shred of credibility with me. Now it's not about science - you either have a bone to pick with Eestor, or money to make by bashing.

Why are you spending so much time on this board arguing against something that in your opinion has no merit? If it's total BS it will just fade away. There must be something more productive you can think of doing, no? So you're trying to rescue the gullible from investing in Zenn? So nice of you.

David said...

found this... anyone care to comment?
Below is a detailed discussion clearly demonstrating the invalidity of EEstor’s claims and targets.

EEstor does not report either a new material, or any data that indicates the ability to store more energy than known titanate dielectrics. EEstor calculates the amount of energy they expect their capacitor to store. A fundamental oversight results in an invalid calculation that is inaccurate by more than a factor of 100! The error is uncomplicated. Simply, energy does not equal ½ CV2 for a capacitor made from a nonlinear dielectric. For all high permittivity ceramics, the dielectric permittivity (K’) decreases markedly with increasing electric field E (dielectric saturation). Energy increases roughly linearly with voltage for these materials, as opposed to with the square of the voltage (ref 2).

Importantly, this is not a case wherein EEstor claims to have made some specific breakthrough regarding this issue. No such breakthrough is reported. There are no energy storage measurements, no permittivity versus field data, and no mention of eliminating or reducing dielectric saturation. Their patent and presentations indicate a complete lack of awareness (or lack of acknowledgment) of this issue. EEstor simply purports to make (or aspires to make) high K barium titanate based material, with a K of 18,000, and ultimately with an incredibly high breakdown strength of up to 300V/um. They then calculate the energy stored as ½ CV2 without comment on the use of this equation.

How large of an error does this cause? Calculated energy density is ½K’E2 when calculated total energy is ½CV2. For K = 18,000, and a field 100 V/um, this invalid calculation gives 800 J/cc. (½K’E2 = (0.5)(8.85×10-12 F/m)(18,000)(1×108 V/m) = 8×108 J/m3 = 800 J/cc). Eight references describing actual studies of energy storage in high permittivity ceramic dielectrics (including barium titanate and BST) are noted below. All of these studies indicate a maximum energy density ranging from about 2 to 12 J/cc, depending on the exact material and the maximum breakdown voltage (which is on the order of 100V/um in most cases). Notably, for the studies involving very high K materials, if the authors had simply calculated energy storage using ½ CV2, as EEstor does, it would have similarly resulted in reported values on the order of 100 times greater than the actual measured values!

Hence there is no basis for concluding EEstor has made any advance in the field, and clear evidence that the sole basis for their claim of unbelievably high energy storage is the simple, invalid calculation. Their aspiration (with no reported results) to triple the breakdown field to 300 V/um in combination with the invalid calculation adds an additional factor of 9, giving an absurd 7200 J/cc (along with all of the corresponding hype and speculation about a new miracle material).

Below are notes regarding the references noted above that clearly substantiate the analysis above (one report of personal measurements, the other seven directly from a Google search on energy storge in ceramic dielectrics). .

1. (My work, unpublished), 1987 – Report to Maxwell Corporation on energy storage potential in high permittivity ceramics. Measurements were made on thin films up to 100V / um on barium titanate and PLZT based dielectrics. K varied as ~ 1/E over much of the voltage range, resulting in an approximately linear increase in energy density with field. Maximum energy storage was 4 – 8 J/cc.

2. Love, Journal of the American Ceramic Society 1990 – Also observed a linear increase in energy with voltage for several classes of high permittivity (up to 12,000) thick film ceramics (barium titanate, PLZT, PMN). Reported up to 5 J/cc at 80 V/um.

3. Triani, et.al, (ANSTO and CSIRO – Australia, 2001 – J. Materials Science and Engineering. They reported 8 – 10 J/cc for PbSr titanate, and noted that the energy densities were similar to those of the best BaSr titanate materials for a given field, but the maximum fields of up to 100V/um (100KV/mm) were superior for the PST.

4. Kaufmann, et.,al, Penn State and Argonne, 1999. DOE Contract Report. They report sputtered BaSr titanate thin films with a K of 500 and a breakdown field of 100 V / um. K decreases to 120, and the energy storage is 11 J/cc. Also reported are data for hot pressed AFE/FE lead zirconate. These had a maximum K of 12,000, and a breakdown strength of 12 V/um, resulting in an energy storage of 3.2 J/cc.

5. Fletcher, et.al, 1996 Journal of Applied Physics D. They report a theoretical analysis based on Devonshire theory of ferroelectrics. Optimal energy density is predicted for materials with Curie Temperatures well below the operating temperatures. Applied to BaSr titanate, the model predicts an energy density of 8 J/cc at 100 V/um. The model was verified in actual materials.

6. Randolf, et. al, (Austria, 1996) – IEEE Annual Report - Studied dielectric energy storage for powders embedded in polymer matrices. They reported using a PbTitanate-PbZnNiobate material with K = 5000, and reported energy densities of 1 – 10 J/cc.

7. Lawless, et. al., Ceramphysics Inc. 1992 report a high permittivity ceramic (K = 8000) for which a maxium energy density of 6 J/cc was observed for samples with optimum breakdown strength.

8. Freim, Nanomaterials Research Corp NASA SBIR Proposal 1998, reports reduced dielectric saturation for nanocrystalline microstructures, and states that “Commercial coarse grain dielectric based ceramic capacitors are ineffective for use in high energy storage and delivery applications since the dielectric’s permittivity decreases sharply when the applied voltage is increased.” They target 5 – 10 J/cc for the proposed new improved materials.

If you aren’t familiar with dielectric saturation, or even if you are and you don’t think back to where ½ CV2 comes from – you miss it. And until you collect information and compare with the calculation, you have no clue it makes a factor of 100 difference in this case. People don’t even realize what EEstor is asserting. If they said, “we are going to use barium titanate based materials, which up until now how only been able to store 8 J/cc, but our barium titanate will store over 1000 J/cc – people would ask themselves how is that possible and what is the basis for that claim.

Then you would find out it’s not just a case of them not providing data or proof of their claims. They don’t even claim to have observed or measured a property indicating their barium titanate would be different. There is nothing left but the calculation. The sole origin for their high numbers is that they simply start with the K of high permittivity modified barium titanate (eg., K = 18,000 not a new achievement), and simply calculate energy = 1/2CV2. Anyone could have done that at any time for any high K material and gotten the same outrageous numbers.

So at that point, one should ask why people get a factor of 100 less when they actually measure it. The answer is well documented and obvious – dielectric saturation. So the only justification for using 1/2CV2 which gives a factor of 100 higher than known and understood measured values, would be if you made a measured observation that you have a fantastic new material that doesn’t saturate at all and stores 100 times the energy.

EEstor has never made any such claim or reported to have made any such obvservation. They just did the calculation. It’s just a mistake.

Take a look at this #5 posted by Anonymous , December 19, 2007 6:54 PM
Thanks a lot. My knowledge of electromagnetism is inadequate. I should have asked myself what might be so revolutionary about EEStor's BT -- it didn't occur to me that it was just falsified physics! If capacitors somehow could be improved by three orders of magnitude, the problem of containment in the event of failure would be a limiting factot anyway.
Oh well, so much for capacitors as primary energy storage devices. As for power storage, even 8J/cc will improve the performance of hybrids.

Y_Po said...


What BS. It's simply good business to require 3rd party confirmation of claimed results.

This is where you lose any shred of credibility with me. Now it's not about science - you either have a bone to pick with Eestor, or money to make by bashing.

Why are you spending so much time on this board arguing against something that in your opinion has no merit? If it's total BS it will just fade away. There must be something more productive you can think of doing, no? So you're trying to rescue the gullible from investing in Zenn? So nice of you

Can you answer your own questions ?
If you believe it is true what is the point of discussing it ?

as for the 3rd party testing it is not good business when suddenly from nowhere this idea appears, this is after almost all believers concluded that prototype exists :)

Y_Po said...


found this... anyone care to comment?
Below is a detailed discussion clearly demonstrating the invalidity of EEstor’s claims and targets.
....
...

I am signing every single word of that post and I don't see anything missing.

Tony said...

Hi everyone,

I don't know exactly what to think about Eestor at the moment, but I do have two questions for the nay-sayers that I hope at least moves this debate along:

1. If you believe Eestor's claims are false (either they’re based on troublesome assumptions, faulty methodology, or even outright lies), are you suggesting that Mr. Weir has successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of Kleiner Perkins, Zenn Motors, and Lockheed Martin? Do you believe Kleiner and Lockheed would each pay Eestor Inc millions of dollars (in exchange for company equity) with absolutely no assurance Eestor’s technology can work? I’m not trying to be rhetorical with this question; I’m merely curious as to what you think.

2. Why would Eestor release detailed technology information prior to their reception of patents that protect their intellectual property?

BTW, if you dispute Kleiner’s investment in Eestor, go here and search the document for “Eestor”: http://www.kpcb.com/files/Fortune_article.pdf

If this has already been asked, I apologize for the repetition. Thanks!

Y_Po said...
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Y_Po said...


1. If you believe Eestor's claims are false (either they’re based on troublesome assumptions, faulty methodology, or even outright lies), are you suggesting that Mr. Weir has successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of Kleiner Perkins, Zenn Motors, and Lockheed Martin?

Yes they did, and recent idea of 3rd party testing suggests that Kleiner Perkins, Lockheed don't trust EEstor anymore.


Why would Eestor release detailed technology information prior to their reception of patents that protect their intellectual property?

Nobody has ever suggested that

Tony said...

Yes they did, and recent idea of 3rd party testing suggests that Kleiner Perkins, Lockheed don't trust EEstor anymore.

Well, I would beg to differ. I would suggest to you that credible third-party testing is ESSENTIAL no matter how much "trust" one has in a business. Eestor needs it to gain credibility. The investors need it before they can justify further investment. The actual Zenn Motors company--or any other potential purchaser, for that matter--needs it before they include the technology in their vehicles (for safety/liability reasons). Etc.

Nobody has ever suggested that

I have read numerous posts questioning why Eestor is so tight-lipped, the implication being that Eestor has nothing valid to present.

I guess this leads to one of my original questions:
Do you believe Kleiner and Lockheed would each pay Eestor Inc millions of dollars (in exchange for company equity) with absolutely no assurance Eestor’s technology can work?

I know that the amount of the investments represents mere pennies to these large, multi-national companies. However, are you aware of how hard Kleiner and Lockheed work to make sure not even a mere dollar gets away? That's partially why Lockhed and Kleiner are so successful. If they just doled the capital out left and right, they'd have none left by this point.

Y_Po said...


Well, I would beg to differ. I would suggest to you that credible third-party testing is ESSENTIAL no matter how much "trust" one has in a business. Eestor needs it to gain credibility. The investors need it before they can justify further investment

These investors has already invested, and now they apparently demand 3rd party testing.
Well, that is pretty strange considering wide spread belief that EEstor has prototype already, just put in Energizer Bunny and send it to the Lockheed/Perkins by USPS

I have read numerous posts questioning why Eestor is so tight-lipped, the implication being that Eestor has nothing valid to present

It is not exactly correct description of the problems with EEstor. It is more like "EEstor release and way too much BS and nonsense because they have nothing to show"


Do you believe Kleiner and Lockheed would each pay Eestor Inc millions of dollars (in exchange for company equity) with absolutely no assurance Eestor’s technology can work?

This is not your original question.
And yes, this is apparently what happened, but now they it seems realized and demanded 3rd party testing.

Marcus said...

David, you should read the whole thread before posting. Look above.

Marcus said...

Just to clarify this 3rd party verification issue, it was actually part of a deal by which Zenn invested $2.5 million in EEStor initially, with a further 2.5 owed after the permittivity testing. So it was not a recent development due to emerging suspicions. It was part of the ongoing investment strategy by Zenn.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/04/zenn_motor_comp.html

Y_Po said...

Marcus,
Well, then I bet there will be no additional 2.5 millions :)

This is going to be the greatest embarrassment for all involved parties.

Y_Po said...

Marcus,
Actually,
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/04/zenn_motor_comp.html

Does not mention 3rd party testing

richterm said...

y_po:

"Can you answer your own questions ?
If you believe it is true what is the point of discussing it ?"

Absolutely - I've made an admittedly speculative investment in Eestor, and I'm here to hear opinions and gain as much info about my investment as I can. I'm also excited about the possibilities for my country and the world. See, that wasn't hard.

How about you?

I've seen your type on many a stock message board.

BTW - get your business facts straight. From Day 1 Zenn's rights payments have been structured to require payments following significant milestones. Permittivity, and then Delivery are the last ones.

Marcus said...

Y_Po, from the original wire.

3rd party was part of the deal.

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Feel-Good-Cars-Corporation-TSX-VENTURE-ZNN-648733.html

Y_Po said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richterm said...

"Does not mention 3rd party testing"

Try the Zenn website under Eestor.

www.zenncars.com

Y_Po said...

OK, OK, OK
but original link did not mention 3rd party testing.

Y_Po said...

BTW, it is April 2007, right ?
what was the initial date for shipping unit to Zenn ?

richterm said...

"OK, OK, OK
but original link did not mention 3rd party testing."

Oh, so you are capable of making a mistake.

You have no grasp of the business situation and no knowledge of the details of Eestor's work behind the scenes yet you're comfortable pontificating, mocking, and saying how all these very successful and smart people will be embarrassed.

Anonymity and a lack of accountability are very liberating.

Y_Po said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Y_Po said...



Anonymity and a lack of accountability are very liberating

What do you suggest?
I think here we have a professor who publicly publicly ridiculed EEStor.

Is it good enough for you?

As for the "business situation" nobody knows it. But from their press releases and patents one can conclude it either complete mess or they are running biggest smoke, screens and mirrors show in the business history.

richterm said...

"I think here we have a professor who publicly publicly ridiculed EEStor."

He may or may not be correct, but at least he's commenting on the science. If he's really Prof Randall and has made his criticisms public, then I at least give him credit for putting his name on it.

What do I suggest? I suggest that you have an agenda other than honestly questioning whether Eestor has made a breakthrough. You're freely using whatever arguments you can muster (including false information) to denegrate Eestor.

Most likely you are a Zenn short seller trying to instill enough doubt so that you can cover your position sub-5. That's distasteful, but it happens.

Or perhaps you're an jealous academic. That would be sad.

Is it something else?

Y_Po said...


He may or may not be correct, but at least he's commenting on the science.

What that "at least" means ?
I am commenting on science too. In fact it is mostly science.

As for the your "paid bashers" theory
I really doubt that anything said here here has any effect on stock price.

johng said...

Now, wouldn't be interesting if they could get Dr Randall to be the "independent third party"

Look at Weirs quote:

""Purification gives you better production stability, gives you better permittivity, and gives you the high voltages you’re looking for,” says Weir. “We’ve now got the chemicals certified and purified to the point we’re looking for.” (Better permittivity of the insulator improves the amount of charge that can be stored without letting the current leak across the two plates.)"

Does anyone else interpret that as not having a dielectric to test yet? He is assuming the high purity will give him the magic?

Y_Po said...

johng, one thing for sure - you can't interpret it as having done any tests or having prototype. There was absolutely no real progress in EEstor in the last 2 years. If you look at older messages you see the same questions.

Charles Barton said...

Tony asks,
"1. If you believe Eestor's claims are false (either they’re based on troublesome assumptions, faulty methodology, or even outright lies), are you suggesting that Mr. Weir has successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of Kleiner Perkins, Zenn Motors, and Lockheed Martin? Do you believe Kleiner and Lockheed would each pay Eestor Inc millions of dollars (in exchange for company equity) with absolutely no assurance Eestor’s technology can work? I’m not trying to be rhetorical with this question; I’m merely curious as to what you think."

I would like to point to a recent post in my blog, "Nuclear Green," titled, "From the Annals of The Rocky Mountain Institute".
http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/2008/07/from-annals-of-rocky-mountain-institute.html
In that post I discuss Kleiner Perkins' $200 Million investment in Bloom Energy. The Bloom Web Page does not provide a clue, but CNN Money has the scoop. "The company's vision is to use solid-oxide fuel cells to allow homes to generate their own electricity. The fuel cells would use (but not burn) hydrocarbon fuel, and produce just half the carbon dioxide that today's power plants do. One fuel cell should be enough to serve a home; homes could sell excess power back to the grid. Bloom Energy's biggest hurdle is cost. It needs to get the price of its machines below $10,000 apiece."

The report adds, "At high temperatures, fuel on one side attracts oxygen ions on the other. As these ions are pulled through the solid core, the resulting electrochemical reaction creates electricity." That is not all, "Bloom Energy's fuel cell does not require combustion and therefore produces half the greenhouse gas emissions of more conventional energy sources. One of its by-products, in fact, is hydrogen that could be used in a different type of fuel cell, the hydrogen-powered version imagined for propelling cars."

Note that the O2 and natural gas do not burn, they just have chemical reaction at high temperature that produces C02 as a by product.

The human capacity for credulity never ceases to amaze me.

richterm said...

"Does anyone else interpret that as not having a dielectric to test yet? He is assuming the high purity will give him the magic?"

Out of context. I believe he's talking about achieving the desired purity in the production process, which is one of their production milestones which as I recall was met in early 2007. It does not reflect on what they've achieved previously in the lab.

steve said...

More on Lionel Liebman, manager of Program Development – Applied Research at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

Here's some more due diligence on Mr. Liebman.

Not only is he all of the above, Mr. Liebman is also an inventor as well. Check out his Patent application for "Single detector receiver for multi-beam ladar systems". This is in the field of lazers:

http://www.freshpatents.com/Single-detector-receiver-for-multi-beam-ladar-systems-dt20060907ptan20060197936.php

He is also listed as an inventor on 4 WIPO Patent applications:

http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/cgi/guest/search5

Mr. Liebman had this to say about his career at Lockheed Martin:

I went to Lockheed Martin as an electro-optics designer for LADAR systems. Over the last 5 years, I've become the resident optics design and fiber optics technology subject matter expert and have 5 filed patent applications - primarily in areas of fiber optic transceiver technologies. This year I moved into a new role as business development manager for applied research.

Obviously, this is a man who knows how to read a Patent and who would have had the same questions others in the scientific community have had.

Perhaps his background, as both an engineer (on a pretty sweet career path) and as an inventor, will shed more light on the following statements he made to the GM-Volt blog:

Q:What have you seen from EEStor in terms of their technology?

LL:We’ve visited their facility. We were very impressed. They are taking an approach that lends itself to a very quick ramp-up in production...

Q:Do they have something that they’ve tested that you’ve seen which makes you want to work with them?

LL:We haven’t personally tested their prototypes yet...

Q:Are you confident that their technology will offer a greater amount of energy and power density than batteries?

LL:Yes, and at a fraction of the cost.

Q:Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?

LL:Yes....

Q:Is there a production plan for 2008?

LL:Yes for EEStor. Their approach is when they start manufacturing these batteries, not just the cells, but also the package assembly, they will be in production. If you can get a visit to EEStor they’ll show you their process and everything they’ve got in place to support that.

http://gm-volt.com/2008/01/10/lockheed-martin-signs-agreement-with-eestor/