Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The unit offers .65kWh working at 24 volts, 20amps continuous with a charge time of 90 seconds. The package is 101mm^3 or about the size of a 1 liter bottle of water or 2 DVD cases put together. If you're trying to imagine if this is something that could fit into a wearable power vest, it could...easily. According to Bret Decelle, historian of EEStor Inc., this new finding represents the first known packaging information for an EESU providing " a usable amount of energy in a usable package." To gain an understanding of the capabilities, imagine that you have what amounts to an iGo-like external battery source connected to your laptop. On a contemporary Dell D830 laptop (or any regular laptop) whose battery life is currently around 4hrs, an EESU as described in the trademark document would give you 35 hrs of run time. Or roughly speaking 7 cross country flights without recharging. An iGo device that had various output cabling converters could keep you mobile for days under normal use. All of this would be with a 90 second charge time using a specialized charger.
Another way to think about this is that in the footprint of a slightly larger than a DVD case, you would have the energy equivalent of a modern car battery or something that weighs 60lbs reduced down to 5lbs...certainly a key advantage for anyone not to mention a warfighter.
Following Lockheed Martin's recent receipt of a patent application for a body armor garment with energy storage capabilities, the use of the phrase EESU or Electrical Energy Storage Unit has been debated as to origin and status in ordinary language. The current trademark protection ends at least part of this debate.
Many interesting questions are raised by this new revelation first among them is certainly the following: is this a specification for a Lockheed wearable power unit, a LightEVs ebike or a set of units (just under 100) which are assembled together into the 52kWh EESU destined for Zenn Motor Company?
See TheEEStory.com for further discussion. A Forum Topic was created to discuss this new information.
Special Thanks to Bret "BretSpot" DeCelle for help with this article. His EEStor timeline can be found here:
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The application goes on to describe a new form of utility garment that includes body armor among other things. Specifically, the application discusses that the electrical energy storage unit "substantially conforms to an armour plate." The plate in turn may be "contoured to better fit a person wearing armor."
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the application is that the EESU is described as "soft" and apparently aids the resistance of the armour:
The soft nature of electrical energy storage layers 203 and 401 a-401 h, relative to armor plate 201 , causes a ballistic round or fragment to spiral upon striking one of layers 203 and 401 a-401 h, which provides an enhancement to the ballistic resistance of armor plate 201
The application goes on to describe power redundancy in the overall garment:
Preferably, the electrical energy storage layer comprises a plurality of sections so that, if one of the plurality of sections is damaged, the other sections of the plurality of sections remain operable. Two or more sections of the plurality of sections of the electrical energy storage layer may be electrically coupled, either in parallel or in series. The body armor includes one or more connectors electrically coupled with the electrical energy storage layer and/or with one or more of the sections of the electrical energy storage layer. The electrical connectors provide access to electrical power stored in the electrical energy storage layer.
The electrical storage layer sits outside the armor layer.
The application includes generality for a lithium ion storage unit as well as a fuel cell storage for recharging the eesu or Li battery and names Toby D Thomas and David L. Hoelscher as inventors. Die hard EEStory followers will recall that the Department of Defense Wearable power competition that took place this past summer listed Hoelscher as it's team lead. Lockheed listed this URL as it's home website.
To discuss this topic, please visit this thread started by GaryB at TheEEStory.com. Thanks Gary!
At the time of posting this article, Lockheed Martin was not available for comment.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
For those wondering what will be under their Christmas tree this year, all that I can tell you at this point is I DONT KNOW! Meaning: I have no new information to change anything I've stated previously. So, if you've already begun lighting your menorah, perhaps the second blessing each night should hold special significance for you:
Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who wrought miracles for our fathers in days of old, at this season.
Happy Other Holidays! Peace!
Monday, December 22, 2008
I sat down recently to tackle the goal of gaining a better understanding of the economic benefits of having a home based EEStor EESU. I decided to focus on 3 main areas of possible payback:
1) Moving from non-electric to fully electric (or hybrid) vehicles
2) Moving from peak to off-peak energy costs
3) Introducing home based solar and/or wind energy generation
[note: there will be at least 2 parts to this article series]
The plan is to summarize my current consumption, calculate energy cost deltas and factor in capital outlays to produce overall economic benefit statements. The guiding principle of this exercise is to use as little math as possible to make a plain English, cocktail-party-type value statement for why items 1-3 would be valuable for consumers. A remote goal of this amateur study is to find a conceptual foundation upon which one could better understand the value of the EEStor EESU to businesses of various types.
Confession: my attention span often lets me down when it comes to even small amounts of basic math. Secondly, I'm not an accountant, but I can say with some certainty that this exercise will go better for you if you start by keeping separate operating vs capital costs. Bundling it all together is best saved for the last step since it builds upon having some basic concepts arranged appropriately.
I started with my latest electrical energy bill to learn that for the 12 months ended Sept 30, 2008, my household consumed 16,000kWh at a cost of $1070. My house could certainly benefit from some updated windows & insulation but the analysis justifying that is out of scope here.
To make this article more interesting, I set aside the actual energy/cost requirements of my daily commute in favor of a scenario I think may be more interesting to "people like me." Assume with me, that I have 2 SUV's each getting 15mpg and having 20 mi one way commutes (40mi round trip--yes, probably not typical).
2.67gal/day/vehicle x 2vehicles =
Today, gas in my area costs $2/gal x 5.33 gal/day.
$10.66/day x 5 days/wk = $53.3/wk x 52wks/yr =
$2771/fuel costs for 2SUV's.
Switching from Gas to Electricity
If I switched to an EESU based solution (eg, cityZenn) and accept the specs offered with a 52kWh EESU, I would get 300 miles on a full charge.
For (2) 40mi commutes, one would need 80mi/5.77mi/kWh=13.9kWh/day. At my current electrical cost, that 13.9kWh/day x .0668c/kW = $0.93. With gasoline, the 2 SUV's require $10.66/day. With electrical energy, that drops to 0.93c/day. Carry it out .93/day x 5days/wk = $4.64/wk x 52wks = $241/yr. Again, compare $2771 in fuel costs to $241 in electrical energy costs for a net savings of $2771-$241 = $2530/yr. (Additional savings comes from using off-peak electricity. See below.)
Switching from Peak to Off-Peak Electricity
In my area, off-peak electricity rates are approximately (but not quite) half the cost of peak rates. My regular household electricity requirements are 43.84kWh where as my commuting requirements were 13.9kWh.
The cost of that much electricity is $3.86/day or $1408/yr. By charging the EESU at night with off-peak energy, the overall electricity cost reduces by half (for easy math).
Time to put a few calculations together to grab a new rough net reduction in operating costs. At peak, my house electricity is $1070/yr + $2771/yr for gasoline = $3841. By using off-peak electricity for both, my cost goes down to $655.
By switching from gas to electric vehicle and moving from peak to off-peak electrical energy, my operating savings would be $3186/yr when gasoline is at $2/gallon. Obviously at $4/gas, it would be a hell of a lot more.
Switching from Grid to Solar & Wind
To start the analysis of reducing my dependency on the grid for electricity, let me restate that I need 16000kWh per year for my home and 3614kWh per year for my commute for a total of 19614kWh/yr.
This is a good place to end part 1. Looking forward to feedback on what we've got here so far.
To comment, visit TheEEStory.com/blog
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Following this development, EEStor Inc. issued a two character statement:
Friday, December 12, 2008
As if EEStor didn't already have enough competitors with ultra-deep, uber-bottomless pockets. Let's see, you've got the oil companies, the Asian electronics companies who own the lithium ion market, the capacitors industry, the internal combustion engine auto parts industry, and just about every industry that comes to mind. This is not a David and Goliath story. This is a David and Army of Goliath's story.
There's no time to lose, Dick, get your shades on and get out there and FIGHT MAN FIGHT!!!!
[TV ANNOUNCER VOICE ] In business news, a fight broke out today on the energy storage playground. Several industries chose to tangle with 70 yr old inventor, Dick Weir, founder and CEO of EEStor Inc. We have some dramatic footage just in.
This broadcast was brought to you by Lockheed Martin, makers of NEO Wearable Power for Hackers or Catholic Clergy. EEStor Inside.
Note: Dick Weir's makeup by Just for Men.
To discuss this and every other topic about EEStor, see: TheEEStory.com
Image Source: Gary Land.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Starting over. Ahem. Ian Clifford participated in a virtual chat today over here. Inevitably, the question arose about the status of the EESU expected to be delivered this month and of course, the answer was a non-material one. This troubled some observers who are a bit jittery at this stage in the game. Perfectly understandable. But rather than picture Ian Clifford fighting investors in court several months for now, I'd like to offer an alternative vision of what could be transpiring this month. This is a speculative piece not to be confused with a history since it has to do with the future (inserted here for legal experts reading this). This is what I envision and I offer it to those of you tempted to fall into the pessimistic court room drama fantasy. Cheer up, mate.
It's a cold December (2008) day outside the offices of Zenn Motor Company headquarters when the UPS truck rolls up not so stealthily due to loud, party music emanating from front cab. Strangely, no one emerges until a couple songs play out. Then two or three similarly dressed individuals emerge from the truck and spend a few minutes extracting and loading up a large shipping crate. Whistling as they go, they work together to move the shipment to the front door where it is greeted by Ian Clifford, Brian Cott and 30 or so other interested persons. The delivery leader asks, "Who will sign for this?" Calmly, Ian Clifford takes one step forward and although his hand is shaking, he somehow manages to scribble out his own name, smudging the ink a bit due to some drooling and a diminishing control over his central nervous system. He hands the airbill back and after a deep breath and exhale, he manages to squeak out the following, "I give you the EESU. May it transport us to the future. " (oh wait, that's the flux capacitor--sorry).
With this, what ensues is something no UPS delivery team has ever experienced upon dropping off a simple package, ie, the package celebration to end all package celebrations. The Zenn staff erupts into screaming, jumping, high fiving, convulsing, swearing, cart wheeling, fainting, laughing and crying and even some angry angry growling. Some have brought alcohol and the overall scene quickly puts the shipment at risk. After a wrestling match determines the happiest particular individual, the cargo is shuttled in very awkwardly to a conference room that's been made over into a banquet setting. It is unboxed and placed in the middle of the table. A disco ball drops down from the ceiling at the precise time of the unveiling. More music. People are running all over the office, in and out and around and overall it seems as if the World Hockey Championship was just won by Zenn Motor Company. Some actually have hockey sticks with them to shake in the air.
At this stage, the rest of the scene that plays out can not be described on a family oriented blog such as this. Suffice it to say, some individuals crossed the line and now must survive on vested stock options the rest of their lives. (won't be a problem)
15 days later, the human sized energizer bunny, that's been packed with lead to weigh 4 metric tons, and which is connected to the shiny new EESU is still going and going and...............................GONE!!!!!!!!! ;-)
Note: this story was not written by Godot....or Beckett.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Here's an interesting snippet from the article:
Percentage of new car buyers in California who say they would buy an electric car for their next vehicle
Amount of crude oil the New York Power Authority estimates it saved by retrofitting school buses to electric power, providing incentives for electric cars and other initiatives aimed at boosting electric transportation
Number of electric vehicles expected on the roads in Europe, their biggest market, by 2015
Top speed of a Zenn neighbourhood car
Average speed on Manhattan streets
Note also, Clifford will answer questions for theglobeandmail.com on Friday. More info at TheEEStory.com
Monday, December 1, 2008
Unfortunately, I can't tell you how happy to be or for what and to what degree. Therefore, holiday advice, like stock advice is not something we're qualified or prepared to offer. Just the plain, cold, boring facts as it relates to EEStor are what you will find here unfortunately. Peppered of course with a dash of enthusiasm.
Speaking of which, I had the opportunity to speak with Catherine Scrimgeour of Zenn Motor Company this morning as she traveled to an event in Mexico. She reiterated her previous statement confirming today that "things are still on track" for EEStor's delivery of a working EESU in 2008. Rumor has it this was also validated by EEStor although that cannot be confirmed at this time. It may have been mentioned in a chat room session at TheEESTory.com but your mileage may vary.
Entering now a bit of speculation. It is this blogger's perspective that if Zenn and EEStor are in agreement of the delivery of a prototype EESU, something produced by EEStor's production line, then it sets the stage for a definitive resolution of all of the scientific doubts that have plagued EEStor to date (not that an appropriate use of doubt wasn't valuable for a company in their position. ) Why? Zenn would have something that can be looked at by a third party, tested, validated, digested, stained, dry cleaned, paraded around on everyone's shoulders like an object of worship or an athlete who made the game winning play, etc. The issue of permittivity would also be settled since as Ian Clifford stated previously, delivery of a production line unit to Zenn implies permittivity. That is of course, if the concept of permittivity actually applies to what EEStor is producing and isn't a mere red herring.
If all of this comes to pass, and you logically connect the dots, what Zenn Motor appears to be confirming is EEStor permittivity and prototypes that will be announced and delivered this month, ie, in the next 30 days. Only time will say for sure at this point. A residual impact of this all coming to be might be to throw the ball back in Zenn's court to demonstrate some progress in their manufacture of the cityZenn and progress on their business plan to date. This might be a good time to recollect the Zenn Motor milestones in favor of cityZenn. Anyone?
As for this blogger, I can say I will be happy to see Godot. Like many of you, I have quite a few questions for him. ;-)
Discussions of this topic can occur here.