Sunday, August 3, 2008

Installing Intense Debate

I've been trying to add features to this blog to make it easier to follow comment threads but also to report inappropriate comments.  I found IntenseDebate and think it may do the trick for us. I tested it a bit on another of my blogs and everything seemed to work fine but when i installed it here, I freaked out because it set all the comment counts to 0, ie, I thought I lost all of the comments!  I was able to revert back to blogger's comment system though and all the comments were still there. I may try again if any of you experience flaky behavior...that's whats going on.  


Bretspot said...

Whew! A new blog entry, That last entry had so many comments, I was starting to go crazy scrolling through them all! :)

So, lets have some fun and throw out some theoretical predictions. What happens if EEStor turns out to be true. Does it really "fundementally" change the playing field overnight? Do all the battery manufactures buy rights to create EESUs? Is there any way possible that EEStor could manufacture enough cells to actually follow the demand for these cells? What really happens the day EEStor ships? Predictions? Comments?

stephen_b said...

I think that, if the claims prove true, there will be a mad scramble to find similar methods that do the same thing.

The amount of heat in the kitchen will depend on how fast EEStor can get up and running. The potential market at present is far greater than their capacity to supply it.


Tom Villars said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve said...


I just picked up on something mindblowing for those who claim that EEstor hasn't built an actual working EESU.

Check out the bottom of the EEstor January 2007 Press Release, in the ABOUT EEStor,Inc.section:

"The EEStor, Inc. EESU IS capable of microsecond recharging and millions of 100% charge/discharge cycles. The technology is affordable and designed for versatile 'racked and stacked' configurations."

Weir said the EESU "IS capable". Present tense. Not only that, but there's a provocative emphasis on the word IS which was capitalized in the PR.

Wanting to double check this intriguing emphasis with another news wire service, I found the following dead link to the Yahoo version of this PR,

But when I plugged this into the Way Back Machine at...

...I found the Yahoo version and it too had the IS capitalized.

So, not only do we have a public statement from EEstor that specifically says they've built a working EESU featuring their revolutionary ultra capacitor architecture, but that statement also includes a literary emphasis on the present tense verb.

Tom Villars said...

Totally off-topic, but the process of debating/discussing has become as much an issue as everything else I thought this clip might be worth a look. :-)

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tonon said...

tom, great stuff. I watch it once a week.


your link is cut off. I think someone mentioned if you take off the http: from your copy and pasting, the link will come thru and we can just click on it. Hopefully that will work. Right now I can't click the link.

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

Tonon, thanks. Tried your idea, but the link still didnt work.

If you follow my instructions above, you will find it.

steve said...

Here's the link again for the Yahoo News version of the Jan 07 EEstor PR, you'll have to copy and attach both parts of the following URL in your browser:

just line them together as one URL in your browser and you'll get to the page...

I tried to tiny URL this but it wouldnt work.

weird_science said...

From Steve's press release link...
"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."

Lensman said...

Bretspot said...

What happens if EEStor turns out to be true. Does it really "fundementally" change the playing field overnight?

Yes, absolutely. Especially if they can do what was claimed in one of b's posts here; that they can and will license the tech to produce EEstor units in *other* manufacturers' factories. That could ramp up production *extremely* fast.

What will change? Well, there will be a mad scramble to adapt every sort of vehicle to use the EEstor, especially freight trucks. The high cost of fuel has put many independent truckers out of business, and this is the Holy Grail to make them profitable again.

Expect an enormous aftermarket in converting existing cars and trucks to electric power using EEstor units. And other vehicles, too. Boats, ships, perhaps even trains, altho those are pretty efficient in use of fuel.

Probably *not* airplanes, though. At a power density/ weight ratio of 17 to 1 in favor of gasoline (perhaps higher for aviation fuel), I don't think it's going to be practical to replace fuel-driven aircraft, altho EEstor-driven electric motors may be practical on aircraft using small motors, such as sailplanes and ultralights.

Another paradigm shift is suddenly making rooftop solar arrays much more attractive to the average homeowner. With the cheap solar cells which are about to come on the market, plus an EEstor unit giving you the ability to store power overnight, who needs the local electric company?

What *could* we do if electrical power were freely available anywhere and everywhere? Well, for one thing, imagine you could have as much electric power as you could use when tailgating, backpacking and camping out.

What else? Well, within a decade or so, batteries won't be used in anything new except stuff too cheap to make even a small EEstor unit cost-effective.

And beyond that? The thing about disruptive technologies is, you can't foresee all the uses they'll get. Who would have predicted lasers would lead to eye surgery being common and safe? Who would have predicted the Internet would lead to online shopping replacing brick-and-mortar stores?

So, the EEstor will cause changes to society we can't imagine at present. One suggestion I saw was that giant EEstor units would be built as railroad cars, charged at a power station, then sent via rail to remote areas, avoiding the loss due to long-distance transmission of electricity. I doubt that would be economical, but it's good to see some are "thinking outside the box".

Bretspot said...

I think that we always forget the main "problems" with electrical cars. The fact that people dont understand them. They think you need to put "Gas" in them, when in reality all you need them to do is, move you on-down the road. Doesnt everyone remember "Who killed the electic car", Consumers killed them. (well in part). How many of them really knew about the limitations of batteries at that point in time? I mean the fact that they wear out over time. Was it really the range that put most people off? Or the slow charging (yes EEStor solves this but imagine the information campain needed to put into consumers minds!). Infrastructure is also a major concern. How much would an "EEStor" pump cost at your local gas station? Imagine seeing "6.599 Regular, 6.699 Premium and .199 kWh". Drilling this info into cosumers brains is like pulling teeth. Even with this advanced techlogogy, are people "really ready" for it. What kind of timelines are we talking about here? 2 years, 5 years 10? 20?

Also, the issue with conversion kits. I think its a great idea, and I would love to do it myself for my 'ol corolla, but, the regulations and cost of doing conversions (even with cheap batteries) is very high. Mostly because each car is a 1-off conversion. Does EEStor really expect this market to go "crazy" all of a sudden. I admit, it might, but at what actual cost, how many people want to void the warranty on their gas burners?

I'm very hopeful, and I know that I will adopt this tech, but how many others will (well they will but how quickly). I think the 'Changes things overnight" statment is a bit far fetched :)
My few cents.

Schneibster said...

Bretspot asked,

"What happens if EEStor turns out to be true. Does it really "fundementally" change the playing field overnight?"

I hate to depend on speculative fiction, but you might want to give Robert Heinlein's Friday a look. The McGuffin is something called the "Shipstone," named for its fictional creator, and approximately equivalent to the EEStor EESU. I certainly don't endorse all of Heinlein's speculations, and I don't doubt that he'd be appalled if anyone did, but it's certainly worth thinking about.

To make a long story short, first, it replaces the chemical battery with the physical battery; chemical devices don't generally last as long (in this case by thousands or tens of thousands of times compared with storage cells, and this practically makes primary cells obsolete), and aren't as robust as physical devices. Second, it potentiates a lot of technologies that can provide base load, but can't handle high intermittent demands, and this lets us put EESUs in instead of building more power plants for a while, by using solar, geothermal, wind, tide, and so forth, instead of burning things. Third, it breaks the monopoly of oil on transportation.

That'll do for starters, I think.

Book-em-Dano said...

nekote said ...

(Though EESUs are going to be using 2 dimensional sheets of copper, rather than the rail / bar version you've demonstrated?)


Sure, but the thickness is really arbitrary; it depends on the application. For example, an EESU version made for pulsed power applications would need thicker "bus bars" to keep the ESR down and allow higher currents and to avoid generating too much heat.

I just took my cue off the diagrams and guessed about 10 mils thickness of copper sheet, but it doesn't really matter, not to the EESU's energy storage specs at least.


nekote said ...

(And, hey, where'd I go wrong on the 31 million tiny capacitors? 100 layers of 12 µm thick capacitors per "element"; 10 "elements" per "component"; 31,351 components per 52.2 KWH EESU ?)


Actually, strictly speaking, you're quite right. My apologies. I was thinking like a technologist rather than a physics student. Without the end caps on the "components", it could be interpreted as 1,000 seperate capacitors connected in series.


nekote said ...

Curious - what's the numbers, on those off the shelf capacitors / your prototype?


The "u68" means 0.68 uF, The "u" takes the place of the decimal point for brevity and legibility for small print. The "100" means 100 volts DC working voltage.

This means that the manufacturer guarantees the rated capacitance within stated tolerance (in this case 5%, but not printed in the device), all the way up to and including 100 VDC - the maximum "working" voltage. EEStor claims 3,500.

The array in the pictures would hold about 17 milliWatt-seconds of energy, enough to light an LED for about a second. To be fair though, it wasn't designed for energy storage applications like 60 Hz power supply filtering. Those ones are mostly for timing and filtering circuits.

The EEStor 5-component array on the other hand would have a (claimed) energy capacity of about 15 kW-seconds, which is about double the capacity of Lithium-Ion for the same size (not including electronics).

The really remarkable thing is that (if the ESR is low enough), it would be able to run a hair dryer on HI, fan at max and all heater elements glowing orange, for about 20 seconds, with no ill effects. Any battery would self-destruct.

It'll be quite interesting if it's true.


OntarioInvestor said...


OntarioInvestor said...

I think it is important to realize that the price of oil, hence gasoline, is based upon expected future demand/supply. It has been widely speculated that the intrinsic true price should be anywhere between 75-85 dollars per barrel. Traders/speculators have pushed the price considerably higher to 125 per barrel, based on expected future demand coming out of chindia.

When EEstor is proven, I think there will no doubt be major commercial demand, but as that initial demand is fulfilled, and the tech is widely accepted, you will see the price of oil lower to more historical levels, which will allow for a smoother transition into the new tech. That being said, I think that the transition to Ultracapitor tech. will not only come due to the cheaper pricing at the onset, but will be largely accepted from an social/enviro standpoint.

Book-em-Dano said...

re - EEStor Jan '07 PR:

"The EEStor, Inc. EESU IS capable of microsecond recharging .... "

Hmmm ... this is weird. I've been looking for this bit of info the whole time, but this doesn't make any sense.

It's apparently a direct quote, but if it's in reference to the "52.2 kWh module" EESU, then the internal power connections would have to be superconducting to fit in the case.

I think it might just be a "verbal typo".

Another possibility is that he was referencing a single "component" as described in the WIPO patent. When you're in the industry, you often mix up your references when using generic labels like "Electrical Energy Storage Unit" - every cap & batt on the planet is an "EESU", strictly speaking.

It would be nice if I could be sure about the last possibility....


Moomipappa said...

"It has been widely speculated that the intrinsic true price should be anywhere between 75-85 dollars per barrel."

There is no such thing as an intrinsic price. It depends on geopolitical factors as well as on whatever OPEC decides to do. If OPEC sees the danger of a long-term decline in demand for oil (i.e. it's dominance is running out), it will just increase the price.

It is worth remembering that even if the EESU works, ramping up enough production to dent the car market will take a long time and the materials used to make the EESU are not that bountiful.

Book-em-Dano said...

For EEStor, EVERYTHING depends on how well it can hold off possible competitors (through challenging their patents, discouraging investment in them etc), and how quickly it can penetrate/dominate the market through lisencing or
direct production. 10 years from now, those two things will make the difference between 20% market share and 80%, and that ratio will be decided in the next 6 to 12 months. But, nothing ever happens in a vacuum, does it?

For investors in ZENN / LMC, who among you belives it is impossible that, 6 months after EEStor modules start shipping, massive market instability occurs requiring the SEC/Feds to step in? I mean in every developed country in the world, not just the US.

For the entire world? Well...

I'm sure everyone here understands that the cost of energy is factored into every product and service, some more than others. What happens when you combine extreme ongoing market instability with creeping deflation? What happens to the price of produce when a trucker's fuel prices (80% of their overhead?) suddenly drops 90%? Then a panicked competitor trucker scurries to buy HIS own electric MACK semi, and another... What about the other semi manufacturers? Maybe MACK doesn't have an exclusive deal with EEStor or an EEStor lisencee, just a non-exclusive minimum supply contract with an EEStor lisencee that's constantly giving them all their supply. Will truckers or trucking
companies enter into long-term capital investments of equipment that's guaranteed to make them more and more uncompetetive every month that goes by, or are they going to wait?

What happens to all the companies in the world facing the same sort of situation, regardless of their specific type of business? What if orders suddenly stop because no client in their right mind would put themselves in that long-term position? What happens to the employees? Many millions of them?

What happens when a shipping company starts using electric propulsion and sees half of their operating cost drop 90%? What will happen to their competitors? What will their competitors do? What will their competitor's clients do?

What then happens to the prices of shipped goods - especially goods with large global destabilization potential tied to their prices - like comodities?

How many new patent applications do you think will be filed when/if a 3rd party verifies permittivity @ rated field? Tens of thousands? What about when/if the EESUs start to be delivered? Will the PTO be backlogged 7 to 10 years?

What percentage of those patents do you believe will describe a new device/process that hadn't occured to you yet? 10%? 98%? What effect will those have on global political/socio-economic stability 3-5 years down the road?

What if working EESUs happen to work synergysticaly with a concurrent breakthrough in a different field? Might it be ten times more destabilizing? 100 times? What will be the nature of it? Do you expect anything like that to happen?

Did you expect high temperature superconductors made out of ceramic, of all things? Did you expect EEStor?

What's one step past revolution? Just how probable is all this? Maybe using the word "speculation" is turning people off. Maybe if I use the term "forward looking statements"?

There seems to be two things conspicuously missing from most of these discussions I've seen:

1) How people will react, and how people will act based on what they think others will do,

2) a fundamental acknowledgement of how intensely interconnected the global economic web is, and how acutely sensitive each component in that web is to changes in the others.

How confident are you about your vision of what the world will be like for you and your family 3 years from now, if this pans out? I'm not sure at all. This is hellishly complex. Have things occured to you that haven't occured to me? I'd like to know.

What will happen will happen. Speculation about the science is utterly pointless. Speculation about the consequences of a working EESU might be of some use.


Geofree said...

Seems like a lot of this may actually be waiting to come out in the next Presidential Administration. If it is Mcain, it will probably be hindered. If it is the Democrats, they will scream from the mountain tops that they have the cure to global warming :)

richterm said...

Here are some prognostications on what will happen when/if EESUs hit the market...

1) I agree there will be a mad scramble for manufacturers of all autos to license their use. Eestor will make a lot of them but will not be able to manufacture enough to meet demand. They'll just license the production line out to several companies that are capable of large-scale manufacturing.

2) Within 6 months the story will disseminate to the point where it is factored into the pricing of oil futures. Oil will come spiraling down both because of this, and the oil companies firing their only remaining bullet to head this off.. Making the switch economically impractical again. I predict Zenn won't realize a large market in retrofits. Once gas if down under $3 again, it won't make sense even for large fleets. For the most part large fleets are turned over every 4-6 years, so these companies will just phase in electric vehicles as the ICE models are retired.

3) Airlines will do very well. Buy buy buy. Initially they'll gain from lower oil. Perhaps over time (10-15 years) we could even see an electric powered airliner?

richterm said...

I totally agree ontario..

ricinro said...

Very nice future think, thanks Dano. It is almost impossible to speculate on the details of the future yet we can expect certain simplistic generalities.
With reduced energy costs through efficiency and conservation we will spend our money elsewhere.
While it is true that the fossil fuel industry will shrink, the displaced workers will do something else that will likely be safer. I do not see instant change but a gradual phase out and a corresponding phase in of other ascendent technologies plus many spin off technologies. Since the new design specifications for the future require environmental considerations as well as socially responsible considerations it is likley that the future will be more white collar, clean, educated and middle class.
Renewable energy, by nature, is distributed world wide so this will eliminate cartels, the concentration of wealth and its influence on our political affairs to some degree.
So all in all it will promote global democracy much like the uniform distribution of land promoted democracy in the US early in the 19th century.
I think the shift will be barely noticed until we, as old timers, tell the story to our great grandchildren (our average age will be around 90-100)

Lensman said...

Book-em-Dano said...

For investors in ZENN / LMC, who among you belives it is impossible that, 6 months after EEStor modules start shipping, massive market instability occurs requiring the SEC/Feds to step in? I mean in every developed country in the world, not just the US.

I don't believe it will happen that fast. Perhaps I gave the wrong impression when I said that licensing the tech to other companies could ramp up production very fast. I meant very fast in terms of years, not weeks or months.

New cars can only be produced so fast. And it will take a few years to start producing cars which can use the EEstor. You can't put a car into production overnight-- this has come up regarding the Chevy Volt. It takes a minimum of about 3 years for all the R&D and to work thru all the gov't safety inspections and qualifications.

Will truckers or trucking companies enter into long-term capital investments of equipment that's guaranteed to make them more and more uncompetetive every month that goes by, or are they going to wait?

Supply and demand won't go away. Certainly owners of truck fleets will be reluctant to keep investing in the old technology, but *someone* is going to be hauling freight. It would be nice if the gov't would step in and force the railroads to jettison their logjam of union rules which make it difficult for the railroads to compete economically, so they could take up some of the slack, but I'm not holding my breath on that.

Bottom line: People need to buy groceries and manufactured goods. The price for transportation may continue to rise, but at some point it will reach a high enough price that freight shippers *will* be willing to buy more trucks using current technology, because otherwise they're losing business.

How many new patent applications do you think will be filed when/if a 3rd party verifies permittivity @ rated field? Tens of thousands?

Obviously everybody and his brother will try to copy EEstor. There is a huge potential for black market EEstor clones from China, Eastern Europe and other places where patent rights are flagrantly ignored. EEstor knows this, and that's one reason they're keeping such a tight lid on their technology secrets. Even when they start selling units, it may be very difficult for anyone else to reverse engineer. Current capacitor insiders keep saying the EEstor unit is impossible; obviously figuring out how they do it won't be easy.

But within a few years, the secret will be out one way or another. Clones will start appearing. EEstor will have to create an entire industry of lawyers fighting to protect their patents and to shut down illegal competitors. They'll have plenty of money to fight with, but the demand will be so enormous that it's questionable they'll be able to stem the tide by that much. Many countries will look at it as a matter of national interest to be able to end their dependence on foreign oil, so may not be willing to enforce EEstor's patent.

What will happen will happen. Speculation about the science is utterly pointless. Speculation about the consequences of a working EESU might be of some use.

Bravo, well said!

- - - - - - -

Bretspot said...

Also, the issue with conversion kits. [snip] how many people want to void the warranty on their gas burners?

I don't think that will affect the changeover rate, because there will be a bottleneck. There will be far too many people wanting conversions ASAP and far too few repair shops qualified to do the conversions. Expect some unqualified people offering conversions, too.

How long does a typical car warranty last? Two years? The waiting list for conversions will be longer than that.

Raki said...

1) EESTOR has an operational EESU.

2) EESTOR does not have an an operational EESU.
steve said...
"This Business Week article on EEstor from 2005 is very interesting. The following quote from it is more evidence that the prototype Weir recently said EEstor "built and tested" was a prototype of an actual EESU:
According to a May, 2004 edition of Utility Federal Technology Opportunities, an obscure trade newsletter, EEStor claims to make a battery at half the cost per kilowatt-hour and one-tenth the weight of lead-acid batteries. Specifically, the product weighs 400 pounds and delivers 52 kilowatt-hours...No hazardous or dangerous materials are used in manufacturing the ceramic-based unit..."

Posted by Steve:
August 2, 2008 9:43 PM
mrjerry said...
"In fact on march 31st 2008 zenn annual stockholder meeting, zenn board member clearly stated there has never been a prototype ever put in their hands to test their car with..."

Posted by mrjerry:
August 1, 2008 7:18 AM

I report you decide, what is fact and what is fiction?

Patrick said...

I have been reading this blog for the last few weeks and have decided to jump into the fun arena of speculation. I think too much emphasis is on cars since we are dealing with sky high gas prices and everyone is obsessed with the pump.

The real revolutionary use of this tech will come unfortunately on the battlefield. Directed energy weapons will now be distinct reality, i.e laser rifles. Also, I have not read of anyone theorizing on the possibility of putting these in space---charged by solar panels and targeting ICBM's, or even individuals using satellite deployed lasers.

I don't know how much power you would need to have a strong enough laser to kill somebody on the ground despite atmospheric interference, etc. , but I bet there is somebody who can find at least theoretical power, weight, and energy values where this tech would be applicable.

Lockheed Martin has exclusive agreements!!!

Satellite based recon would make all planes obsolete if they could be shot down by a laser in space.

Anyhoo, anybody care to speculate further?


Book-em-Dano said...

Wow. Some very good feedback here, thanks.

Found this a while ago:

Nanomania overwhelms Indian car market

Here's an excerpt:


Since it was announced less than a month ago, the Nano has almost single-handedly destroyed the value of budget secondhand cars in India. Prices for a secondhand Maruti 800, currently the cheapest and most popular car in India, have dropped by 30 per cent in just two months.

Nanomania also appears to be putting the nail into sales of new Maruti 800s, with new registrations down 20 per cent in January, a month that normally sees a rise in sales.

Darius Lam of Autocar Professional in India said: "People are asking themselves - and us - why they should pay, say, 250,000 rupees for a new Maruti Alto, when they can wait and get a brand new Nano for less in a few months time, a car that is actually bigger".

Some ten million users have already visited Tata's microsite for the Nano - a figure that Tata claims is a record, and proves that the car is sure to be a hit when it goes on sale later this year.


Gives some indication of how disruptive the idea of just knowing about an imminent product can be to the products competitors.

Now imagine you're in the market for a new car. EESUs have been out for a few months. The global press on it is unprescedented, and the future speculation therein is at once broader and deeper than anything we've seen yet. The cityZENN is the buzz, and is advertised as going on sale in a year, European models with ZENNergy drive are slated shortly after.

The stories in the news are that your operating costs will be 90% less (remember, this is Europe), and the resale value will probably be more than what you paid for it for the next five years at least.

You're a private individual, looking for a private car. Will you buy a new ICE car, or put your order in and wait?


Book-em-Dano said...

ricinro said...

"Renewable energy, by nature, is distributed world wide so this will eliminate cartels, the concentration of wealth and its influence on our political affairs to some degree."

Good point. The geo-political landscape will definitely change. In the chaotic interim... well, desperate people do desperate things. It will be "interesting times", as the old Confucian saying goes...


Satya51 said...

Nice parallel to real world to project market impact of Eestor. Should give GM, Ford something to ponder. Zenn says they are targeting fleets first, that was Altair's strategy also, just to get them on the road to avoid the worst case user right off the bat.

After that, maybe Dan's vision...

My worst nightmare is portable 5kw stereo systems!

Book-em-Dano said...

Geofree said...

"If it is Mcain, it will probably be hindered. If it is the Democrats, they will scream from the mountain tops that they have the cure to global warming :)"

I actually think that McCain would also be presenting himself the new "Moses of the energy crisis".


Book-em-Dano said...

Lensman said...

"I don't believe it will happen that fast. Perhaps I gave the wrong impression when I said that licensing the tech to other companies could ramp up production very fast. I meant very fast in terms of years, not weeks or months."

No, I kow how long it takes to set up a new manufacturing facility. Depending on the amount of money pushing it, maybe about a year for that kind of facility. Question is, will there be 1 new facility after a year, or 30? If the EESU is real, I guess it'll depend on how fast big money (corps, gov) realize the implications and start to "switch gears" in their heads. There's been some scuttlebutt that EEStor is already gearing up to build a very large manufacturing facility, but that's just rumour as far as I know. I'm thinking LMC is already gearing up to do the same thing, on the down-low, gutting already-existing older facilities to avoid attention. Just a guess though.

Lensman said...

"How long does a typical car warranty last? Two years? The waiting list for conversions will be longer than that."

Funny you should mention that - an associate of mine has a friend in another area of the base who has purchased an older model Suzuki Samurai at $1.5k for an EV conversion. There's a new company up island doing custom conversions and selling kits - including controllers, dash interface electronics, transmission adapter plates, etc. I think the total conversion cost for him is about $ 10-12 k, including lead-acid batts. Apparently he projects payback of around 18 months, including amortization of new batt packs every 4 years or so.

The company apparently can't keep up, so he's getting the cheaper kit, and farming out the job to local electricians & mechanics. For him, it's not just about the current cost of gas, it's NOT KNOWING what the cost of gas will be like over the next few years. He can't predict, so he's minimizing risk. Apparently, he's planning on putting on a lot of miles per month, which I guess would make a big difference.


Book-em-Dano said...

Satya51 said...

"My worst nightmare is portable 5kw stereo systems!"

Yeah - and Buck Rogers ray-gun toys for boys... that really work!


Book-em-Dano said...

- Patrick:

I think you're right. If the EESU is real, LMC definitely knows it. I could evaluate the energy density of a "component" very easily, so they definitely have.

Their next question would immediately be real-world production and yield capability, which is consistent with their public comments. If the power density is also what I suspect it may be, the top-end to their exclusive global contract could be quite astonishing.

Also, if they're convinced then the US military is convinced. Their first thought about applications? You guessed it - space-based weapons. Their second thought and biggest fear? Their space-based assets. Without them, they're deaf, dumb and blind, and would be innefectual in their (percieved and actual) ability to project force as an instrument of foreign policy.

While I know a little bit about current directed energy weapon technology, I'm far from expert. What is obvious to me is that a functioning EESU (military version) will be THE breakthrough enabling technology. Do some DD on the current military state of the art in extreme high-power pulsed energy delivery systems - the comparison is almost funny.


Book-em-Dano said...

I'm thinking we should bring the issue a little closer to home, and concentrate on ZENN for a bit.

I've read ZENN's latest annual report, including their general business plan, but it's very short on details. Do more details exist? Also, does anyone know if an exact copy of their exclusive agreement with EEStor is available?

I find that I trust Ian Clifford. He seems genuine to me, and so far he seems to have been very focused and clever about product, marketing, market penetration, branding, lisencing, and investing. I also believe Richard Weir is the same way, and that the nature of their relationship is a great albeit intangible asset to ZMC.

On the other hand, I have to admit a personal fondness for ambitious dreamers who've had the naivete kicked out of them, yet remain the same otherwise.

So, any info about the above would be greatly appreciated.


nekote said...


Again, much thanks for the "prototyping"! :)

FWIW, I'm pretty sure the 31 million tiny capacitors are ALL in *parallel*! Every livin' last one of 'em is, electrically, at 3,500V. All have one electrode connected to the + rail, with the other electrode to the - rail. Not in series - then all 1,000 little caps would be at 3.5V ?

Some "small" number of open circuit faulty capacitors would reduce the EESU capacity, but wouldn't seem to be a safety issue. Just dead cells.

On the other hand, shorting one of those little devils worries me. Directly connecting one rail to the other is a 3,500V "bad" thing! I assume there'd be a brief puff of smoke. Then a harmless open circuit. Without any additional cascading / shrapnel / chain reaction. Probably because the aluminum electrodes will act like a fuse / fusible link? I sure hope so.

BTW, what, if anything, does an RC time constant of .11 seconds for a "component" tell us?

Satya51 said...

0.11 seconds for time constant reflects the test circuit time constant which includes the capacitor and an external resistor. Using an external resistor is needed of course to prevent melting the leads or damaging the capacitor. As it is, at the start, with 3500 volts, the current is 30 amps. (a component capacitor has a capacitance of 1 millifarad).

Satya51 said...

The actual design enclosure of a 30 F 3.5 KV capacitor would be something to see as a small internal arc could cause a fault. I wonder if the whole 31,000 component assembly sets in an oil bath like a high voltage transformer core does. Also each component current could be limited by the lead size. Just some thoughts.

Bill300 said...


When I searched through the files available on the SEDAR filings site over the weekend, all I could dredge up was the stock purchase agreement.

The exclusivity agreement WAS available for inspection at their lawyers offices for a 30 day period in conjunction with the stock offering. Canadian disclosure laws aren't nearly as comprehensive as the US.

All that I really got out of the stock purchase, which was redacted for the other investors identities and holdings, is that their additional investment is based solely on the delivery to Zenn of permittivity test results of 18,500. Nothing else triggers their ability to up their stake.

It makes me wonder that if the formal test result is never actually delivered, how will that affect Zenn? Eestor could deliver the mass production EESU for testing to Zenn. One would think that if it works, Zenn will order them and build the cars. Eestor and Kleiner then avoid the dilution and a puny (in the scheme of things) milestone payment from Zenn.

Thoughts anyone?

Satya51 said...

There is a nice tabular list of wet chemicals used to prepare the CMBT powder listed in Eestor EESU US Patent 7,033,406. Although it is for the old US patent, the CMBT powder cost is the whole show now since the nickel is no longer used. If someone knows how to cost out industrial bulk quantities of high purity chemicals. Zawy found a cost for finished CMBT powder, but that is not what Eestor would use (hence their 2007 and 2008 chemical milestones).

Satya51 said...

bill 300,
Not being a Canadian corporate lawyer, it seemed to me that Zenn's condition was to protect Zenn, not restrict their investment. I would surmise that Zenn could send the cash to Eestor anytime. But there is no reason until the production line is proven complete with the third party permittivity test. But then, once again, I am not a Canadian lawyer, so my opinion is just a wild guess.

nekote said...


FWIW: commentator Cobraphx at bulk materials price wrote: "One good example is the cost of raw materials, the lithium in Lithium Ion batteries is $8500 a ton, the barium titanate the EESU needs is made from barium carbonate $25 a ton and titanium dioxide $10 a ton."

True? I dunno'

Of course, then the question is the cost of processing them into the ultra pure CMBT.

Y_Po said...

lithium is at least $100K per ton. ($100 for 1kg)
And the rest of your numbers looks ridiculously low.

Book-em-Dano said...

- nekote:

Thanks to Satya for filling in the details.

As for the separate layers, if you really want to get into it, according to the patent the proper analytic description is that there are only 31,531 components in a fully built-up EESU "module" that can properly be described as a "capacitor". "1,000 seperate parallel-plate capacitors in series" is a "first-order approximation" of your suggestion to look at the "layers" in isolation.

To do that, you have to isolate the electrodes or "metal plates" by tearing the capacitor terminals or "end caps" off of the cubic capacitor. However, this is also not quite accurate. If you take the analysis further - that is, to a second-order approximation", you'll note that the dialectric layers are still connected to each other, wrapping around the ends of the plates.

If you "grab" the top and bottom dialectric layers and "pull", you'll get a 1 cm x 1,000cm strip of dialectric with 1cm x 1cm metal plates distributed along the top and bottom surfaces. This is essentially one parallel plate capacitor (one dialectric layer) with multiple offset plates. Weird, and virtually non-functional as a capacitor, but that's what you'd have.

You would have to choose which 2 top & bottom plates you would want to use as the "leads" to this "capacitor", and the capacitance would be difficult to predict, depending on the total electrostatic flux you may be able to generate between the offset edges of 2 plates.

Alternatively, you could "shave" the "wrap-around" side portions of the dialectric layers to isolate them as well. But then you'd have a proper, first-order approximation of "1,000 capacitors in series" as a valid electronic network description. On the other hand, all the required modifications sort of makes "seeing it as 1,000 seperate capacitors" seem like a dubious exercise.

Essentially, if you were to ask an electrical engineer how many capacitors were in the EESU module, he would say 31,531. The smaller "features" is actually just one feature: a "dimensionally compacted, parallel plate capacitor".

Please tell me if I'm being "as clear as mud". I get accused of that a lot.


Book-em-Dano said...


How would you feel about filling (or "potting") the whole thing with high-voltage thermal compound, tailored to have high enough thermal conductivity to the case, and compounded to have a specific density as close to the "components" as possible?

Yeah, that might actually work. You'd have a dependable, completely passive (with proper module heat-sinking and air circulation) heat-dissipation system (depending on the ESR for automotive applications).

Shock and vibration isolation would also be extremely high since the density of the components is close to what they're imbedded in, and if the potting compound is just slightly elastomeric (for different coefficients of thermal expansion), it's still very tough, disuading "prying fingers".

I'm betting a mil-spec module would have this system, but also active cooling - module w/ fins imersed in a cooling jacket - except in space where it's easier to control differential heating/cooling through orientation. In that case, warming for the module, super-cooling (shade) for the superconducting cables... maybe even in the module?


Satya51 said...

A safe guess is that the raw material going into the line is the wet reagents from a company like Sigma-Aldrich Corp as mentioned in the old US patent.

Zawy's found a price and estimated $2000 for 300 Lbs bulk quality BT powder. I wonder if the price is representative of the actual chemical cost for Eestor's line.
More wild musings.

OntarioInvestor said...

This just came out in the MIT review. In the article, Weir states that there will be press releases on a more rapid pace, which bodes very well that his tech is real. Also that he is talking with solar companies as well. I guess everyone is now officially pushed to the wall on this one. You either believe what Wier is saying, or you think he is conning everyone. With the type of statements made here, i don't think there is any middle ground. I personally really like the tone of what was said!

B. Here is Jeff Dahn's email address Jeff.Dahn@Dal.Ca from dahousie (univ in canada, he is quoted in the article). Maybe you could contact him to see if you would be interested in contributing to the blog.

Book-em-Dano said...


Thanks very much for that! Don't know what to make of it though...

EEStor bypassing 3rd party permittivity MIGHT betray quite a different story about the relationship between Ian Clifford & Richard Weir, but that would also be a large assumption and would not be supported by anything else I've seen.

They might even make a seperate deal to forgo the test for something else that would make them both even happier.

On the other hand, EEStor has publicly stated they will do it too often to be a credible prediction. Dunno...

... wish I was a fly on the wall. Deduction and inference seems to be all we've got, but it's woefully fallible and consumes much time and effort. Very frustrating.

Your wording implies to me that you have a copy of the redacted contract? Would it be possible to get a copy? Sounds like I "missed the window" on that.

For future reference, do they require one to appear in person, or could you fax your shareholder records and they fax back a copy? "In person" would be an expensive proposition.


Satya51 said...

"Weir says that EEStor's latest production milestones lay the foundation for what follows. It has taken longer than originally expected, he says, but the company is now in a position to deploy more-advanced technologies for the production of military-grade applications, alluding to EEStor's partnership with Lockheed Martin."

The military specification is for twice the energy storage density, presumably raising the voltage from 3500V to 5000V is how they will do it. Weir is implying he can do it with their present process, and likely why the delay. "home run" indeed!

"Plans are also under way for a major expansion of EEStor's production lines. "There's nothing complex in this," he says, pointing to his past engineering days at IBM. "It's nowhere near the complexity of disk-drive fabrication.""

Whoever said September may be right for permittivity.

"He says that the company is working toward commercial production "as soon as possible in 2009," although when asked, he gave no specific date. "I'm not going to make claims on when we're going to get product out there. That's between me and the customer. I don't want to tell the industry.""

Packaging, electronics by 2009 would be hard work. The orders will have to be place soon for these components.

Book-em-Dano said...

OntarioInvestor - Excellent! Thanks a heap (haven't got around to checking my google alerts yet... )

Yes, I agree, very good tone. Also, some significant new info straight from the horses mouth (excepting sloppy quoting..).

"The company is also in serious talks with potential partners in the solar and wind industry."

That is a significant admission! I figured companies would be hedging their bets even before permittivity by coming to EEStor in droves behind the scenes.

I wonder what ZNN stock is going to do first thing tomorrow? I've got just enough (with a little wiggle room) to buy one more board lot, and was planning on doing it first thing tomorrow. Hmmm...

My kid is in for $300 (he has about 5 times more disposable income than I do - ha ha!). He might be S.O.L.

- Satya51 said:

"The military specification is for twice the energy storage density,"

I must have missed that, where did they say that?


Book-em-Dano said...

- Satya51:

My guess is they've been arranging this for quite some time with GE / International Rectifier / whoever, since they'd probably need custom semiconductors designed.

On the other hand, I recall reading about a new high power handling device recently - I'll look it up...