Thursday, September 30, 2010

For EEStorians Old News is New News

Rep. Bob Inglis
Three years ago, the US House Committee on Science an Technology's Subcommittee on Energy and Environment (deep breath) held a hearing to learn more about Energy Storage for the purpose of drafting new legislation in hopes of spurring development.   Among the witnesses called before the subcommittee was Ms. Patricia Hoffman of the Department of Energy.  At the time, she lead R&D efforts in Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability office. Today, she is the Assistant Secretary of that office meaning her boss is Kristina Johnson, Under Secretary of Energy who reports to Steven Chu.  (another deep breath--still with me?)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

EEStor Announces Cause of Delays: Procrastination

In a tersely worded statement shouted out of a slowly moving vehicle today, EEStor's Dick Weir made plain why there's been no commercially available EESU yet,  "I've been procrastinating."

 Followed to the stop sign exiting the EEStor Cedar Park, TX location, a few follow up questions were answered, "Do you think you might get on that sometime soon?"

Weir:  "Well, I've got a lot things to do right now.   I'm busy with Kiwanis and the church.  Also, we have a team in back home that's doing some much needed painting using a new formula we derived from some of our work here.  But I've basically got a ton of social obligations and events and the holidays are right around the corner.  I got a new motorcycle too.  That's fun.  Shit man, there's just a lot going on, what can I tell you?  I'll get to it eventually.  You can't just sort of sit down and start commercializing breakthrough energy storage technology again like you were having a ham sandwich.  I n e r t i a (said slowly and with emphasis) ok?"  

But I thought you were full time working on the EEStor thing?

"I am. Sort of.  Remember now, we got this thing working a long time ago.  Sometimes we forget where we were and we gotta redo it all from square 2 or 3 except for the certified parts."

What's with all of these invitations to AFRL and Sandia, etc?   If you've been procrastinating, why invite all those important groups?

"Frankly, it had been so long since I had called anyone on the phone, I just needed some practice to ramp up, you know? And I didn't really know what to say when they actually answered, so I just blurted out whatever came to mind,  Want a demo?  And of course they did but then I couldnt think of why I would even offer one so I just said, great, because I need more money. "

Well, are you going to be able to show them anything?

"Good question.   We learned, through a little bit of tinkering, that the modules we have for sintering powders do a pretty good job on a Chicago style pizza pie.  Now that's fully automated you see, 24x7 pizza pie manufacturing using only commercial off the shelf automation.   Originally, our plan was for the pizza pies to be delivered robotically directly to my desk where Carl, myself, my son Tom and some geek we hired named no no, Pettey....and a Dr. Pettey would consume them.  But we didnt have enough buttons so we're working on disconnecting some of the powder production buttons for the pizza pies.  By the way, am I the only one who still calls it a pie?  It is a pie technically. "

Probably not.  How did your investors like Zenn and Kleiner and big ace partner Lockheed like the modifications?

"We haven't told them yet.  We're still on schedule here.  When we saw the pizza pie capability, we knew we had to see where it would take us.  We're almost done.   We'll get back to the battery soon enough."

You know there's a lot of people who are really counting on you.  I think some of them have invested some of their retirement funds in Zenn.  Pizza manufacturing was never mentioned as one of your initiatives.   It just seems so strange. 

"Well how many of those people have ever tried alumina coated deep dish pizza?"

I'm guessing zero. 

"Well find out and get back to me.  I gotta run now. Don't worry about the battery. It's inna de bag mon."

Note to admired readers:  Yes, once again, I got a little bored. Maybe I should just write a play and be done with it?

Rally to Restore Sanity?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

For the first time in my life, I will be attending a political rally in Washington DC on Saturday, October 30 2010. I hope they have special seating for prominent bagheads like me.  I'm razor close to making attendance mandatory for Futureman and Whiskeythief.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

EEStor Controversy: Air Force Research Lab Wants to Know What Lockheed Martin is Sssssmokin'!!!!

If someone had pointed out to me 4 years ago that I would soon be authoring a blog about a breakthrough battery technology with thousands of daily readers, I would have asked what they were smoking and then laughed at how weird my life must be if that were to come true.  Later, I would have had a nervous breakdown.  

I don't know anything about batteries or capacitors or storing electrical energy.  But what I've learned over the past couple of years is that what mankind (archaic, I realize) knows about electrical energy storage is S C A N T.  Understand me here.   You can find a battery conference program and scan the academic papers presented to see that there are a ton of smart people looking into energy storage and it's complicated and their papers seem erudite and grand.  But there is a simple fact that no one disputes.  Electrical energy storage, ie, batteries aren't too much better than they were 100 years ago.   No, not 10 yrs or 30yrs ago,  ONE HUNDRED years ago.  Thomas Edison talked about batteries that could propel the vehicles of his day as far as the GM-VOLT does today.  (forget about weight for a second).

So, if someone suddenly emerges on the scene promising to bring to energy storage the sorts of gains in performance achieved in fabricated integrated circuitry, ie, computer chips, then my friend, they will stick out like a  SORE THUMB.   That's EEStor in a nutshell.

Imagine for a second, you've been immersed in the scientific culture that hasn't yielded an energy storage breakthrough in 100 years.   Same ole, same ole.  Incremental progress at a snail's pace.  Thomas Kuhn said scientific innovation occurs when thinkers abandon assumptions and tackle problems without inherited baggage.  But that's the rub.  If you abandon the baggage, do you slip off into UFO chasing?

To me, scientists seem particularly unforgiving to those who abandon inherited assumptions.  I think this is a function of academic culture which breeds arrogance rather than teamwork.  But I won't try to esplain it.  You may disagree.  Can you esplain it?

So finally, now that I've aired out my lungs and put a few people to sleep, we turn to our little EEStory.  


According to records released by the United States Air Force to Mr. Tom Villars (EEStory Genius), the United States Air Force Research Lab Kirtland Air Force Base Directed Energy Directorate AppleTurkey, New Mexico......a question has emerged for Lockheed Martin Corporation CEO Robert Stevens.

Lockheed CEO Bob Stevens. Source: Reuters.

Yes, thank you Mr. Stevens.  I am B the Magnificent EEStor blogger representing a Cadre of Fanboyz (and gurlz) at company B  and my question comes from the Air Force Research Lab.  Sir, as you are aware, this is the portion of the United States Defense Department responsible for ensuring the weapons in the movie Star Wars are developed from toys and movie effects into security for the free world.   This is literally the future of warfare, which if successful would put your jet fighter business OUT OF BUSINESS el rapido.   Sir,  I understand you are a Marine. Semper Fi, sir.  Thank you for your service.

But,   really,   if you have allowed your company to enter into a an agreement with EEStor Inc.,  who proposes that none of your geniuses can identify a reason why EEStor's energy storage technology will NOT work, then doesn't that mean that Lockheed Martin is smoking an illegal substance? Or samples of an illegal substance?  (Yes, I realize that the Lockheed Martin Corporation could obtain a medical prescription for smoked goodness in Californ-I-A, sir. )  Again, sir, this is not my question. I think you're doing a fine job and not smoking anything...good.  This is a question posed by the Air Force Research Lab in this released FOIA document.

Sir, very respectfully, I don't mind if Lockheed Martin is smoking something interesting.  And I don't think we should be too critical of our Air Force Research Lab subject matter expert.  NO, not at all.  But,  really, where there is smoke at Lockheed is there F I R E?    If so, let's light it up together. No?


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Max Power in The Power Dome

Over the next few days, we'll be releasing more of the documents obtained from the Air Force Research Lab related to EEStor.   We've redacted the names of the persons discussing EEStor as a courtesy to them.  Their FOIA officer actually could have redacted them under personal privacy provisions we've seen invoked by other govt agencies.   I hope the Air Force Research Lab follows suit as it seems other people are now trying to file FOIA requests for these documents.  Some of these people may not be as civilized as me.  Some of these people are not civilized at all.

I don't claim to have a grand moral vision or stellar philosophy about anything.  But my approach to the use of FOIA has been to request official interviews with govt officials first.  Often this leads to nowhere.  For me, that's generally good enough although sometimes if I feel an agency has something to divulge, which they choose not to divulge, I can occasionally get a little bent out of shape.   But, I still respect the work of civil servants and so, if I make use of FOIA material, I still try to keep that in mind.    FOIA is a very important tool in our democracy but it's all a real pain in the ass to persons who have to comply with the law.    In any case,  striving for the golden mean tends to work for most things so that's typically my goal.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

EEStor EESU Powered Elevator?

Adrian Godwin gives the world an EESU powered elevator....key if you want your elevator to be powered without a power cable always plugged in...or in case the power supplied by that line fails.  Hhhhmmm, how many traditional ultracaps would it take to pull off such a feat?  My guess is about 2 trillion but I didn't get very far in math.

It's a good read, so I'll quote at length:

In a vertical transportation device as disclosed herein, a capacitive device is used as the primary power delivery system to provide power to the stator of a fixed magnet linear motor system. The capacitive device is carried by the passenger cabin and may be used instead of or in conjunction with an emergency power supply. During ascent of the passenger cabin the capacitive device provides power to the stator 120. In this way, the passenger cabin may make an upward journey without receiving power from an external source after it has left the ground floor. The capacitive device receives a full charge or a top-up charge at the lowest point of its cycle. The charge is delivered to the capacitive device from an external power source via electrical contacts on the passenger cabin.
In descent of the passenger cabin, the linear motor may be used as a generator by connecting an electrical load to the stator. The linear motor then acts to retard the descent of the cabin and to generate electricity, which is used to recharge the capacitive device. Thus, in a complete ascent and descent cycle of the passenger cabin, the capacitive device loses only a small proportion of its charge, the proportion dependent on the motor and generator efficiency, and losses due to, for example, friction. Top-up charging is also required to replace the power consumed by the on-board electrical systems of the passenger cabin during its cycle around the shafts. This charge loss is overcome by top-up charging the capacitive device at least once during a cycle of ascent and descent. This charge takes place at the bottom of the cycle to ensure the passenger cabin has enough energy to reach the top of the building.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Air Force Email Indicating EEStor Invite

There seems to be some doubts---based on my prior blog post--- about whether the FOIA records we have obtained contain information concerning an EEStor invitation to a demo.  

Have a look for yourself.    Also,  if you're curious,  this isn't that big of a deal to me personally.  I won't be celebrating until I hear it from a govt person that testing/demo'ing/certifying is either underway or completed.   In the mean time, we only have evidence that EEStor is moving in this direction.  But if you want to get excited about this, be my guest.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

EEStor Teases Government Agencies With Invitation To Technology Demonstration

According to emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), on July 8 of this year, a long time researcher working within the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM got a call from EEStor's CEO Dick Weir.  According to the email,  Weir was calling to invite him to a demonstration of EEStor technology to take place at EEStor's facilities in Cedar Park, TX. The date of the demonstration was not revealed.  The AFRL researcher in question had been communicating with Dick Weir for at least 6 years and based on other records released via FOIA, Weir was targeting a top government skeptic with this invitation.  The skeptic, who will remain unnamed as an unearned courtesy from yours truly, asked Weir if he had completed fabrication of a device.  No, but Weir felt they were close enough to make the invitation.  Is Weir saying "no" in relation to fully completed EESU's (cf. "pick n place robots") or in relation to basic EESU components?  The records do not clarify and attempts to gain more information via interviews have stalled.  However, through an unofficial interview, it was learned that this particular skeptic would not attend the EEStor event--rather his boss would--who happens to be a notable pioneer in the Directed Energy community.

Around the same time frame, another group of government skeptics at Sandia National Labs were receiving a similar invitation from Dick Weir.  According to three separate Department of Energy sources, Weir was looking for Sandia to perform an independent validation of EEStor technology via testing performed inside EEStor facilities.  Sandia balked initially at the idea of observing a test rather than conducting testing within Sandia facilities (but later consented to all of Weir's conditions).  According to one official, they weren't actually certain of whether or not Sandia owned the proper equipment to conduct a test of EEStor's technology...something declared unlikely by a senior battery tester at Intertek Inc. who was asked whether equipment to test EEStor level technology was available via commercial off the shelf equipment.  According to an AFRL researcher, Weir has his own test gear. Additionally, according to a third company also in discussions to attend their own EEStor demonstration,  Weir has indicated he has hired a 3rd party to calibrate and validate his test equipment.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Eestor wipo patent

A new Eestor patent published recently. See for details.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010 back up

Service back up. Oh joy.

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Theeestory outage is down due to an upstream outage.

Sorry, no eta. Its probably not because of a reveal.

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