Wednesday, January 17, 2007

EEStor news

via Clean Break, news about my favourite vaporware:
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.

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....

The first commercial application of the EESU is intended to be used in electric vehicles under a technology agreement with ZENN Motors Company. EEStor, Inc. remains on track to begin shipping production 15 kilowatt-hour Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESU) to ZENN Motor Company in 2007 for use in their electric vehicles. The production EESU for ZENN Motor Company will function to specification in operating environments as sever as negative 20 to plus 65 degrees Celsius, will weigh less than 100 pounds, and will have ability to be recharged in a matter of minutes.
I've written about EEStor plenty before now. The product is supposed to be a capacitor with a much, much higher storage rating than previously available. If we can pack 15-20 kwh in to a car for a weight penalty of about 100 lbs, that's incredible. More importantly from the perspective of plug-in hybrids, capacitors don't face the same short lifespans that batteries do -- charge-discharge cycles can run in to the hundreds of thousands, instead of the thousands. It's certainly possible that the capacitors would outlast the car.

Long battery lifespans, and lower-cost batteries, are crucial if plug-in hybrids are going to play any role in helping expand the potential for storing renewable energy.

On a related note, it may have been a very good idea for GM to not announce who would be supplying the batteries for their Volt PHEV. If I were a struggling car maker who was still sitting on a hefty pile of cash, I'd pay through the nose to license EEStor's technology.

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