Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reader Mihkel on EEStor Purity Announcement

Here's another interesting technical dissection of from todays blog comments...this time from Mihkel.  Again, I just want to pull out some of these technical comments and separate them from the discussion of zenn stock, etc.  My hope is other technical folks will add to the commentary and even, hopefully, add a little relief in terms of providing some plain english verbiage that average joes like me can follow. 


Mihkel said...

Word wraps removed (sorry for 2x post).

While considering solid state electrical energy storage device's (capacitor's) ability to store energy, maximal upper bound for volumetric energy density (energy per unit of volume) can be obtained knowing only operating device's dielectric's permittivity and (operating) electrical field strength. If we allow dielectric's material density (mass per unit of volume) to be known, we have one more energy storage characteristic: gravimetric energy density (energy per unit of volume).

So, formulae for both type of characteristics are:
volumetric: Uv = ε*E^2/2,
gravimetric: Ug = Uv/ρ = (ε*E^2/2)/ρ,
where
U - Energy density,
ε - actual permittivity of substance,,
E - Electric field,
ρ - material density.

ε and E can be calculated: E based on article and ε based on information known before. ρ can be obtained by encyclopedia lookup and making some assumptions. ε = εr*ε0 where εr (or k) is relative (to free space) permittivity of dielectric and ε0 permittivity of free space or the electric constant. Then take the voltage and divide it by the distance it was applied over (over dielectric's thickness) and you get E (E = U/l).

Now we can get computable formulae for a given dielectric considering source data available to us:
volumetric: Uv = εr*ε0*(U/l)^2/2,
gravimetric: Ug = Uv/ρ = (εr*ε0*(U/l)^2/2)/ρ.

I must emphasise we are considering only maximal bounds based on given numbers (not it's production feasibility) about dielectric. To ceramic capacitors, this bound depends only on dielectric's characteristics.

Let's get now source data. U = 350 V and l = 1 µm we take from the article. εr = ~18k has been stated before. For barium titanate, ρ = 6.02 g/cm^3 can be taken from Wikipedia, but we make a wild assumption here, that the actual material has the same density as barium titanate. ε0 can taken from any table of physical constants (ε0 = ~8.85 * 10^(-12) F/m).

Filling formulae with data and letting google's compute engine step into play, we have:
volumetric: Uv = ~2700 Wh/l
gravimetric: Ug = ~450 Wh/kg
(Verify:
Uv – http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENXX252&q=18000*8.85*10^-12F%2Fm*(350V%2Fmicrometer)^2%2F2+to+Wh%2Fl&btnG=Search
Ug – http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENXX252&q=(18000*8.85*10^-12F%2Fm*(350V%2Fmicrometer)^2%2F2)%2F(6.02g%2Fcm^3)+to+Wh%2Fkg&btnG=Search )
:

To put these numbers into perspective, consider enerergy density of current production lithium-ion energy storage: Uv = 270 Wh/l and Ug = 160 Wh/kg.

The key point to make such numbers available is EEStor's proprietary technology achieving dielectric material with outstanding properties, namely: Electrical field E = 350 V/µm (at production level) while maintaining permittivity εr (or k) = ~18k. At field 350 V/µm, one has to watch for two types of breakdowns: electrical and permittivity. 1st one occurs if dielectric (insulator) becomes conductor due to field's strength, 2nd one is the natural property (until EEStor proves wrong?) of high-k (high relative permittivity) dielectrics to loose their permittivity in high field strengths (orders of magnitude below 350 V/µm). I suspect the 1.1 kV/µm stated in the article is the lower one of the two.

This remains the point over which scientific community remains sceptical. EEStor seems to have resolved this problem some time ago and seems to deal with production issues.

To get some clue how these hypothetical maximum bounds relate to real world, one has to take into account that ceramic capacitors need also conductive plates sandwiched between dielectric layers. This makes Uv and Ug smaller, because you have to take plate material into account, which does not store energy. There are also packaging and structural materials, electronics, etc... They also use fields 350 V/µm instead of 1.1 kV/µm (as stated in the article) because of manufacturing process' mistakes and impurities in some points of dielectric material, which brings the electric field value for the two (possible) breakdowns down.

Imagine, if you can enhance the manufacturing process and rise operating electric field from 350 V/µm to somewhere higher? You get a nice boost in energy density, as it is quadratically (as seen from the formulae) proportional to electric field.

22 comments:

Manthan said...

so from what i get in your article, which is very little btw, eestor's capacitor is statistically/scientifically possible?

mrjerry said...

Hey the best explanation I could find
Tyler Hamilton Blog

Re: Re: EEStor update: Is there a materials engineer in the house?
by Orion on Tue 29 Jul 2008 09:53 PM EDT | Permanent Link
What it means is that one of their key pre-production benchmarks has been met. The 3rd-party company examined the material and processes for making that material they need for building EESUs and agreed it looks OK.

To make a cake you have to have flour, eggs, milk, baking powder, etc. EEStor is a bakery that can't go out and buy these ingredients at a store, they have to make their own because no one sells them. The 3rd party has said, "Yes, this is cake flour, milled to the specified conistancy and made of the type of wheat specified for this job: These eggs are of a size and quality specified for making the cake according to the recipe, This milk is of the required purity, fat content, and lipid density, etc. They have all the ingredients and equipment for baking the cake according to the recipe. What the 3rd party review can't tell us is if the cake recipe is any good or not. For that we'll have to wait until they actually start making cakes - EESUs.

b said...

nice find mrjerry

Red Ken said...

I'm no scientist, so I'll wait for the broader concensus opinion.

If most of the scientists disagree with it and there are a few apologists. The concensus almost always wins.

I'd like to hear what the chief scientific nemesis (whatshisname?)has to say. Most likely ... "ehmmm very interesting. Now what about the 3rd party permattivity measure"

I'm tasting my hat, just in case there is some credibility in this.

zawy said...

I'm like Manthan. I didn't get anything out of the post. It was kind of like a review that missed the key issue surrounding EEStor which is dielectric saturation that reduces the permittivity (and therefore energy storage) at high V/micron.

nekote said...

Do these calculations change, if the 350 V per 1 µm is translated into the actual devices, as documented in the patents?

3,500 V per 10 µm is the actual design of the 100 pancake layers that make up a basic "element".

10 "elements" are "glued", so to speak, into a "component". By my count, that's now 1,000 small capacitors, each @ 3,500 V over a 10 µm dielectric.

Red Ken said...

There is one consistency of start-up companies who promise something they are not capable of delivering.

They keep pushing the revelation of definitive proof to some future floating point. Eestor is guilty as charged.

Now that significant public money is involved through Zenn. It looks like showtime is rapidly approaching.

paulcummings55 said...

Now, I do not know whether EESTOR's EESU will work or not- I hope so, but just do not know, and can certainly understand the skepticism concerning EESTOR, or any new technology for that matter- but I do not understand all the gripes I hear about this being a scam for money- there has actually been very little money invested in this company so far, especially considering the type of breakthrough they are attempting to perfect- even if this breakthrough costs 10 times what is has so far, and takes 10 more years to perfect, it will be more than worth it. I think, though, that most people now-a-days expect every investment to come to fruition, and to do so quickly- or else the company is just blowing smoke, or not keeping promises, or worse, perpetrating a scam for money. The commercialization of new technologies unfortunately takes research, money (usually lots of it), setbacks, outright failures- and even then may never overcome all the technological hurles- but not all such companies are full of liars and cheaters- just people with a vision that may or may not come to pass. There's nothing wrong with being skeptical, and investing wisely- but let's give these guys a break and at least not accuse them of high crimes just yet;-)

paulcummings55 said...

Now, I do not know whether EESTOR's EESU will work or not- I hope so, but just do not know, and can certainly understand the skepticism concerning EESTOR, or any new technology for that matter- but I do not understand all the gripes I hear about this being a scam for money- there has actually been very little money invested in this company so far, especially considering the type of breakthrough they are attempting to perfect- even if this breakthrough costs 10 times what is has so far, and takes 10 more years to perfect, it will be more than worth it. I think, though, that most people now-a-days expect every investment to come to fruition, and to do so quickly- or else the company is just blowing smoke, or not keeping promises, or worse, perpetrating a scam for money. The commercialization of new technologies unfortunately takes research, money (usually lots of it), setbacks, outright failures- and even then may never overcome all the technological hurles- but not all such companies are full of liars and cheaters- just people with a vision that may or may not come to pass. There's nothing wrong with being skeptical, and investing wisely- but let's give these guys a break and at least not accuse them of high crimes just yet;-)

OntarioInvestor said...

I can add some light to why the information was released, as I am a banker and have done some VC work. The giveaway is in the press release title "EEStor Announces Certification of Additional Key Production Milestones and Enhancement of Chemical Purity". It is very simple actually, strict legal production milestones trigger investment from VC/Investors. This third party verification was obviously an important step as the investors saw it, and wanted independent verification that it took place.

From my humble opinion working in VC, it is sometimes better to take a step back and not get caught up in the details. There has been nothing to indicate that this is anything even close to a scam. It is typical to be secretive like this when dealing with a breakthrough technology. EEStor doesn't owe anyone an explanation except it's investors, so rather than ridicule what they are saying realize who this statement was made to (Zenn, LM, Kliener). As far as I am concerned, if they are happy at this juncture, so am I.

Recapping:
1) LM, Zenn, and Kleiner engineers have all been excited enough to invest in EEStor.
2) All "milestones (key word)" have been hit by EEStor.
2) All have toured the EEStor plant, have continual dialogue where they can address issues.
3) Investment in a production facility with commercial production lines have been made.
4) New patents have been applied for.
5) I think a key point here is that EEStor, Zenn, Kliener, and LM have not been promising the world and have in fact been avoiding the press, which is reassuring they have something.

I will be honest, the closest example of a company that this reminds me of was in Waterloo, Ontario about 15 years ago when RIM started up....lots of skeptics, and lots of hype..and even after it launched, people didn't believe in the blackberry because it wasn't profitable. RIM made the mistake of launching too early without the patents 100% secure and had to pay for it in patent court later. I for one am glad to hear EEStor is taking it's time to get this right.

I will post this in this section, and the newer post. May I recommend that people continue the disucussion in the newest post, so we all don't have to backread in different posts. I have enjoyed the ongoing commentary. Cheers!

Mihkel said...

nekote,

If you take a look at the formulae, you can see, that E is substituted by U/l.

Do these calculations change, if the 350 V per 1 µm is translated into the actual devices, as documented in the patents?

3,500 V per 10 µm is the actual design of the 100 pancake layers that make up a basic "element".


The ratio remains the same, being either 350V/1µm or 3.5kV/10µm. So our formula yields the numbers stated before.

To make it better to comprehend, consider, that electric field is measured in volts per meter (volts per micrometer in here, to get better magnitude). If we have voltage U (350V) distributed over distance l (1µm) and then voltage 10*U (3.5kV) distributed over distance 10*l (10µm), we get the same volts per micron.

These density characteristics thus do not change. If we consider real world device feasibility over theoretical data, we are even better out, as electrode material requirements is 10 times smaller for 3.5kV/10µm than for 350V/1µm. Then again nobody said to interpret these 350V at 1µm as production figures separately, but production figures as a ratio. To get the same energy densities, there are no theoretical restrictions to build ESU devices at other voltage over other lengths, as long as the ratio remains constant (350V/1µm)

Hope it helped.

steve said...

"Flexible matrix concept" doesn't appear to exist anywhere on the web until yesterday. And nobody can find the Patent application 5812758.

I believe Weir's use of the word "potential" thereto is in the traditional every day use of the word, while his earlier use of "potential" in the PR is as the technical term of art for "electric potential".

And I believe that people are missing the relevance of this PR, which when read as suggested here, indicates Weir has finally announced, not just new purity levels for the powder, but also the holy grail... permittivity.

I believe Weir announced permittivity to the world yesterday and the world just didn't get it.

See my comments in the Zawy thread below for a more detailed explanation.

dmon said...

To extend MrJerry's Orion comment, I'll throw in my 1/280th of a ZNN share's worth. Here's how I'm reading this news, combined with previous items on this blog:

1) A prior blog entry told the story of a modular production facility that EEStor is working towards: machinery that can be quickly manufactured and assembled at new factories wherever they (or licensees) can get building space. Call that an EESU printing press, or in Orion's analogy, a cake machine: dump in wheat, cocoa beans and sugar, etc. in one end, get a chocolate cake out the other. Inside the wheat is ground into flour, the beans are roasted and husked, and the ingredients are mixed and baked.

2) The latest PR is that they've certified a fundamental stage of the cake machine. A huge step towards "ramping up to large scale production" (in the badly remembered words of the Lockheed rep).

3) Weir believes in his cake recipe. I have a hard time imagining that he'd have put this much effort into building his cake machine if he hadn't at some point whipped one up by hand and deemed it to be delicious.

4) Let us all eat cake!

mrjerry said...

EEstor Check List
"The first EEStor, Inc. automated production line has been proven to meet the requirements for precise chemical delivery, purity control, parameter control and stability."

Completed

"In addition, EEStor, Inc. 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."

Completed

"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, Inc. is now in the process of producing on its automated production line, composition-modified barium titanate powders and is moving toward completing its next major milestone of powder certification."

Completed

"It is anticipated that the relative permittivity of the current powder will-either meet and/or exceed 18,500, the previous level achieved when EEStor, Inc. produced prototype components using it engineering level processing equipment."

In progress

Deliver Two Products to Zenn 15k eesu and cityzenn eesu module

On Hold - waiting for permittivity

steve said...

What about the "milestone" of "polarization" which the PR said they have achieved?

Discuss.

mrjerry said...

zenn press release - not too much there at least it is in english

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/zenn-motor-companys-strategic-energy/story.aspx?guid=%7BBD7DCAC8-A5ED-411F-85FE-3C8A6CAC6D5E%7D&dist=hppr

steve said...

Mrjerry,

There is something new, very new, in the Zenn PR:

EEStor Inc., announced Certification of Additional Key Production Milestones and Enhancement of Chemical Purity in a press release issued on July 29, 2008.

Zenn is making a clear distinction between "additional key production milestones" and "chemical purity".

The additional key milestone is "polarization". Polarization is permittivity. Zenn also said:

"Yesterday's announcement bodes well for EEStor's completion of its third party verified permittivity milestone..." stated Ian Clifford, Chief Executive Officer.

Yesterday's PR by EEstor announced that the polarization milestone had been achieved.

polarization =permittivity

All that's left now is for EEstor to present "3rd party certification" that the polarization/permittivity milestone
has been achieved.

But yesterday's PR was, indeed, a significant announcement that polarization/permittivity has been achieved and certified by EEstor.

ackkk said...

seem to be plenty willing to sell their zenn stock today.

steve said...

How do you know it's "plenty" of people selling and not just a few cornered desperate shorts? The Level 2 evidence and increasing short interest suggest otherwise.

I saw the ASK get the shit knocked out of it but it didn't move up.

The short interest tripled from 185000 to 465000 in just a few days.

I have some god advice to anybody shorting this stock, you better cover your ass before people realize that EEstor just announced certification of permittivity.

As soon as the light goes on, there's going to be a stampede for ZNN shares. Mark my words.

richterm said...

My 2cents on ZNN shorting..

I have to say I'm purposely maintain a skeptical eye on Eestor, but there's no freakin way I'd hold a short position on the puppy. Even if you're convinced the final product won't work, an event or two could easily have Zenn at $8+ in an eyeblink.

On the other hand, no event seems imminent that would send ZNN down to $1.

I really think those shorting ZNN must be traders who have noticed the pattern of press release/ZNN up/time/boredom/downward drift, and are trying to make a few bucks hoping for a drift back down to $4. Not being informed on the potential for EESUs could be very dangerous if you just think you're shorting a dinky electric car company.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes fail to see why, if someone were certain that a givien company could not produce the promised product, they would go out and tell people that they couldn't. If such people existed, and wanted to make money, then the information they hold in their hands is quite valuable, since it
can predict the future, namely that the company will fail, and ZENN Motors stock would suffer. So why don't these brilliant folks go and short ZENN Motors? That's the problem I have with skeptics who claim to be certain in their beliefs. They don't really seem all that certain to me. Actually, they appear to be rather brainless.

Y_Po said...


So why don't these brilliant folks go and short ZENN Motors?

I would if i knew that stock will not go up more before going bust.