We've been closely following EEStor's potentially game-changing ultracapacitor--a technology that could allow for electric cars that charge almost instantaneously and drive hundreds of miles on a single charge.
And if a purportedly "leaked" phone conversation from EEStor CEO Richard Weir currently making the rounds is legit, the long-in-development ultracapacitor has hit a breakthrough, and could be unveiled within months.
If all of its perceived potential is delivered, the ultracapacitor could revolutionize everything from electric cars to renewable energy storage, providing a long-awaited evolutionary step beyond current rechargeable battery tech.
EEStor's ultracapacitor works more or less exactly like the capacitors found in electronics today, briefly holding and releasing small charges, only on a much larger scale; it would be able rapidly take on enough juice to power a car for 250-300 miles within a matter of minutes, EEStor claims. It could also be used to store renewable energy generated by solar and wind plants more efficiently.
Though the source of the leak is unconfirmed, rumors are swirling that EEStor is working with the likes of Lockheed Martin, making the project seemingly more legit. But considering the company's secretive nature and unspectacular previous public tests, this "leak" could be nothing more than an ingenious marketing stunt.
But if it's true, and EEStor's ultracapacitor is almost ready for prime time, we may be closer than ever to a big breakthrough in electric vehicles ready for public consumption.
hehehe we could finally harness the power of lightning
when will get lightsabers.
This could well be a large step forward in storage efficiency, but don't hold your breath waiting for the 3 minute car chargeup.
You need to drop the same amount of energy into whatever storage device that you have. Go to the story about the power capacity required to charge a car in 11 minutes.
The other concern that I wonder about is leakage. Capacitors leak over time -- which is why you could safely work on old time tvs after they had been unplugged for a couple of days. I'm sure that it's being addressed, but it's an issue.
Regarding leakage: according to the EEStor wikipedia article, the company claims their capacitors break all the rules of thumb regarding capacitor storage abilities to include self-discharge (they say their's leaks only .1% a month). They also say there's virtually no degradation from charge/discharge cycles over time.
All these claims are a little hard to swallow, especially given the secrecy. It's like those groups that claim to have found a dead big-foot but won't show anyone the body.
However, more reputable MIT researchers have recently modified a type of lithium battery that seems to defy the rules as well, charging/discharging household batteries in a matter of seconds.
Just one more rumor to get the stock prices up so they can cash out before flopping :P
i dont think they're publicly traded. if they are, whats their abbreviation?
I see a marriage between ultra-capacitors and lithium batteries, the storage density of ultra-capacitors alone are very low. Although from lessons in the past most hype is propelled by wishful thinking, I'm still looking on the positive side of this after all the holy grail of electric cars is 300 mile range and quick recharge.
If somehow managed to find a way to make ultra-capacitors and battery technology working side by side in some kind of sandwich configuration then you would have the density of a battery to stored energy and the explosive power of the lighter ultra-capacitors then maybe you will have a breakthrough design. However anything invented today would still need to leapfrog all previous ideas to get the storage density up high enough and cheap enough to extend the range of any electric car, hopefully they discovered that missing formula.
What do you mean 'unspectacular previous public tests' ??
There have been no working prototypes or public tests!
If your going to seed doubt, at least get your facts straight.
This is the most important invention of our era - it ranks with the transistor and concrete as importance to our society. Electric cars and trucks will mean clean air in our cities. Homes will have solar cells on their roofs storing the energy in the ultracap for night usage and be generating enough electricity to even sell back into the grid. Every motor - auto, truck, airplane, train, motor cycle, boat, jet ski,lawnmower, power tool, - every electronic gadget computer, cellphone, camera - all will have an ultracap energy storage unit for power - this is just the most amazing tech development of our lifetime.
If our political leaders had half a brain, we would be building hundreds of small nuke reactors while we build out a solar cell infrastructure and we could be energy independent with non polluting sources within 10 years. Ultracaps will enable the storage of these solar and other non-polluting sources of electricity for night usage and oil, coal, nuke power generation can be retired forever.
EEstore has better energy density than lithium so there would be no need to couple it with batteries. The previous public test was certifying the refinement of there magic dust to lab quality done in unprecedented quantity. Your all thinking to boring, lets not store solar for homes lets power plains trains and ships. A huge amount of the cost for a airline ticket is fuel, throw these in a plain and that cost virtually disappears.
American Innovators over the last decade have realized there will never be any real leadersip from washington. We're now moving ahead, with or without our leaders, and big business. There has been a quiet and steady real american revolution going on in people workshops and garages. We're moving into the future. Don't wanna go??? Suit yourself. :-)
EESTOR is a privately held company. They have an exclusive agreement with ZENN (an all electric vehicle made in Canada) to provide ultra capacitors for use in their electric cars. ZENN also has exclusive rights to providing electric drive units for all manufacturers of electric cars weighing under 3,200 lb. If the Chevy Volt or any other all electric car wants to use the EESTOR ultra capacitor they must purchase it through ZENN.
ZENN recently provided EESTOR with $700,000 to bring ZENN's ownership of the EESTOR company to a bit over 10%. ZENN is publicly traded.
Although ZENN has been in the business of selling all electric NEV's they are presently ramping up to manufacture and sell electric drive units that can be easily installed in a wide range of electric vehicle's manufactured by others.
A lot of people have put their money where their mouth is.
IF this turns out to be correct and they are able to reliably show this in a working proto-type then if I were them I would hire every security person in the nation becuase it is going to mean alot of VERY big companies are going to be losing billions upon billions of dollars very very quickly and a whole lot of middle eastern nations whos national budgets rely of even more billions of dollars are going to want to see this not happen and the proto-type and plans, blueprints and schematics go up in smoke.
Well... this would be amazing news if it also came with a price tag. Hydrogen fuel cells can do most of what this article states, but it is not commercially viable. If the UlCap costs one hundred thousand dollars (US) then it will only be useful as a prototype. But heres hopeing.
With ideas and a little bit of mortar I can create anything you please.
"EEstore has better energy density than lithium so there would be no need to couple it with batteries."
We will see? If true then wow that is about ten time better than any other operational capacitor today, if not then upside down wow or "mom" what were they thinking.
Here is a little chart that shows the difference of some of the other "known" energy storage devices vs "Known" ultracapacitor...
This is impressive for capacitors - "Carbon aerogel capacitors have achieved 325 J/g (90 Wh/kg) energy density and 20 W/g power density."
Larger, commercial electric double-layer capacitors have capacities as high as 5,000 farads. The highest energy density in production is 30 Wh/kg.
For comparison, a conventional lead-acid battery is typically 30 to 40 W•h/kg and modern lithium-ion batteries are about 160 W•h/kg. Also, gasoline has a net calorific value (NCV) of around 12,000 W•h/kg, which in automobile applications operates at 20% tank-to-wheel efficiency giving an effective energy density of 2,400 W•h/kg.
Larger, commercial electric double-layer capacitors have capacities as high as 5,000 farads. The highest energy density in production is 30 Wh/kg.
this just kinda pisses me off (no offense to anyone) we have flywheel enegry storage for years with rundown times measured over years. okay, yes im pretty positive its not as energy dense as lithium batteries, but they can be cheaper depending on what you make them out of whether it be carbon fiber of steel. but, they have recharge and discharge rates as fast as 15 minutes with out the use of chemicals and rare metals. not to mention if you take use of the gyro effects of a flywheel you can prevent a car from flipping or lose grip.
Gyros also prevent a car from turning properly... The ones with decent discharge rates have magnetic bearings and are kept in a vacuum, that doesn't sound cheep to me. I think fly wheels could work for a lot of applications but not for small cars.
I wonder if this would effect Radio broadcasts with interference.
So, when are we gonna see an iPhone lasts longer than 3 hours with WiFi, BlueTooth and Youtube going?
I won't be impressed until something like that can be conquered first. If they can make an iPhone last longer than a week with heavy use, then they can take what they've learned from that and put it towards electric cars and whatnot.
We already harnessed the power of lightning on November 12th, 1955 at 10:04pm.
The author mentions "unspectacular previous public tests."
I think this is in reference to the testing associated with the milestones which are part of a technology agreement with EEStor's first customer (and 10.7% common share owner) Zenn Motors. This testing was never intended to showcase the technology but rather to verify commercial viability of the manufacturing process from volume production equipment. There are three of these milestone tests, 2 of which are complete. The first, completed last year, was to verify a critical material purity. The second, completed last May, was to verify that the completed source material exhibited a critical property over a range of temperatures. These were boring old tests using boring old ASTM standards and methods. The tests and results were certified by third party on material from a real production line. The final milestone is delivery of production units from a fully automated production line to Zenn motors.
There has not been any desire for splashy displays of energy storage from EEStor for reasons I will leave to them. When the time comes for such demonstrations that are truly intended for wide public review, it will be with the intent to establish markets and promote the Zenn customer. It is possible that this could happen in the next two or three months as predicted by EEStor. You are more than welcome to claim this forthcoming release, intended for the public, as "unspectacular" when and if it happens.
good, now military can waste another few billion dollars trying to make electrical lasers and railguns work...
Some of you evolution "scientists" help me out here. How much of the elements is used to manufacture these Nb-Bariuim Titonate super capacitors is there on planet Earth? Who is working on our off world mining capabilities. (Children you just can't predict what they will put in their mouths!)
I've got some fantastic cheese that I'm sure you'll want. Of course I can't actually show you any fantastic cheese, because we are still working on it. Recently, we had sort of third party verification of the milk we use for our fantastic cheese. This source reports that the milk is 100% very pure milk and is certainly capable of producing fantastic cheese. Makes my mouth water !
We have licensed our Fantastic Cheese to a cheezy company, and they are really excited about it. Although they haven't actually seen any Fantastic Cheese, they still have the license we gave them, and that makes them fantastically happy.
Some big defense contractor has even expressed interest in our Fantastic Cheese. Of course we couldn't actually show them some real fantastic cheese. Never the less, they still want to taste our fantastic cheese should we ever finally have any.
In the mean time we are having a real good time with our cheezy announcements and promises, and you can be sure that we will continue to make more announcements that delivery of fantastic cheese is right around the corner.
Many so-called experts have said that Fantastic Cheese just can't be made. Those darn cheese haters ! We'll show them ! Just as soon as we get enough 100% pure milk, and get all the bugs out of our cheese vats ! Fantastic Cheese will be the greatest cheese ever ! We just know we can make it ! And we'll have some to show you, maybe next year. And if not next year, then the following year, because we're almost there.
The good thing about our Fantastic Cheese story is that nobody wants to invest in other types of cheese. They're all afraid of Fantastic Cheese ! This means we can keep trying to get the bugs out of our cheese vats indefinetely !
Coming soon : more announcements !
We may have to develop special fantastic cows to make a special fantastic milk, in order to finally provide you with a new and improved special fantstic cheese. Be patient while we start the breeding of the fantastic cows. Rumor has it that these cows will have fantastic jeans and we will have to be even more secretive !
My good friend Bernie Madoof has told me that my business plan is sure to work. So, that is another indication that Fantastic Cheese will some day soon be on your grocery shelves.
More announcements : There has been third party verification that we actually have a barn where fantastic cows have been seen, along with huge, absolutely huge, piles of manure. Rumor has it that this is bull manure. There has also been third party verificaiton of the existance of our cheese factory. This almost certainly means that we can indeed make Fantastic Cheese and prove those cheese haters wrong ! After all, we have some buildings AND we have huge piles of bull manure.
This third party has also stated that he has seen cheese vats on several occasions. Although he still hasn't seen any real Fantastic Cheese, he can almost smell it and is sure that it tastes good, after all, it is Fantastic Cheese.
Information and education not paid for allows runaway opions. How much has been paid here?
On EEstor: Its no wonder there is so much negative press about this company. They have no marketing, investor\public relations or a website. I hope this is real technology, but I spoke to Mr. Weir just recently and his attitude was essentially “Go F%$@ yourself, read my press release.” I work for one of the largest users of battery systems worldwide and the guy who is going to make all the money by putting this product on the market can’t be bothered to discuss non-technical general inquiries regarding his product. ZENN does not respond to any E-mail and does not return calls. I was very supportive of this technology for 2 years, now I am very skeptical; and if Mr. Weir's attitude is indicative of the marketing plan, it will be the rare individual that will benefit from this technology. I hope I am wrong, but I can only go on how I've been treated thus far.
Good point Robert.
I noticed the recent article about building highways out of solar panels has been removed. Why? Did the author and editor do the scientifically correct thing and realize how rediculous the concept was? Did the proposal come from a loon? We may find a similar fate with this capacitor article, although I could be wrong.
Imagine the price if it's legit. Environmental technology would be more beneficial if it was more available and affordable.
It would make sense that the delay in introduction to the public would first require 'buy in' from the respective companies that would be displaced.
This gives time for the politicians and affected companies to get their ducks in row to optimize their investments and sell off their soon to be obsolete components for maximum profit.
In order for this kind of invention to be a success, it must be politically prepared because of the financial and technological impact it would have across the board. It would then require a political quaterback to run the ball to the goal line. Conversely, this is the same path that has prevented many other cheap energy inventions from ever seeing the light of day.
Frankly I'm surprized that we have heard this much about it without hearing the dreded line 'Title 35' as a follow up.
But the evening is young and there are many dances left to dance.
Should the latter be true, I suggest that every man women and child in the US donate a dollar per week and publicly fund the invention for mass manufacturing. I'm sure the 'Governator' could find a vacant facility in California to help sloff off the burden of debt and show a profit in less than a year. Pretty nice ROI.
Hi Klaatu - I have much sympathy with your remarks. It appears to me that the problem lies with patent law and it's use to foster monopolistic practices. Surely there are more intelligent ways to reward inventors and benefit humanity than creating more divisions between the haves and the have nots.