EEStor news

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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parallel
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EEStor news

Postby parallel » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:47 am

I’ve stumbled over some updates on EEStor.

The first is an interview with ZENN motors’ Ian Clifford (followed by hundreds of doubting replies)
http://gm-volt.com/2009/07/20/qa-with-ian-clifford-ceo-of-zenn-motors-eestor-to-publicly-prove-its-technology-imminently/

The second, a rough transcript of a video interview with Dick Weir. (The original is no longer available.)
http://theeestory.com/topics/2529

Together, they make a strong case for something most still think is hot air. It is hard to imagine that Zenn has not seen some working prototype before making their last investment.

Kahuna
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Postby Kahuna » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:12 pm

I have been following the EEStor saga closely for some time. The story is compelling and if the claims are fullfilled in an actual product, it will surely be a disruptive technology that could change the energy landscape in many important and enduring ways.

EEStor has its "believers" and "skeptics," each with compelling arguments. The former mostly based on the background and quality of players involved (EEStor founders, Kleiner Perkins as investor, Lockheed Martin as partner, etc.) and the latter mostly questioning the scientific possibiltiy (or at least probability) of the claims.

After a long promise/delay cycle, it appears that it is "put up or shut up time" for EEStor this fall when EEStor is to deliver its pre-production Super Capacitor to Zenn Motors for incorperation in its CityZenn vehicle which is being engineered in paralell. EEStor claims at that point to be ready to ramp up production quickly with automated production facilities already fully engineered and tested.

For those who are interested in following this story, the EEStor version of Talk-Polywell.org can be found at: http://theeestory.com/

This should be fun to watch. If both PolyWell and EEStor both prove viable, it will definately turn the world of energy production/storage on its head.

parallel
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Postby parallel » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:36 pm

Thanks for the link Kahuna. From that I gather each 52kwh EESU has >30,000 “components” in it. It also seems that Weir claimed they made at least 10 components several years ago. I can imagine there was little desire to build and assemble 30,000 components by hand, but even a single working component would provide a lot of comfort to a potential investor.

It seems the whole process is more akin to electronics fabrication than battery manufacture and the production line is really rather small compared to that, and just duplicated to increase capacity. With individual components available to test, I’m more inclined to believe the whole thing is real, but that is not to say it will not suffer from the dreaded “unexpected problem.”

energyfan
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Postby energyfan » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:30 pm

what do you say the chances are there will be another delay in EEstors shipment ? I'd say 80~90% .

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Postby MSimon » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:51 pm

energyfan wrote:what do you say the chances are there will be another delay in EEstors shipment ? I'd say 80~90% .


>99%
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Kahuna
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Postby Kahuna » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:39 pm

Agreed. If history is any indicator, another delay is likley. However, both EEStor and Zenn have never committed to a schedule as publicly and confidently as they both have this time around. I would definitely say that if they miss this one by too much, there will be a big price to pay for both firms in terms of existing and prospective investor-relations.

EEStor, while stealthly and privately funded, does not have unlimited funds and has had to do some questionable licensing deals with no-name firms in the last year in order to fund its "progreass" to date. Zenn, a Canadian public Corp., has been so vocal about its latest EESU delivery expectations, that they will have close to zero credibility left with their shareholders if an EESU is not forthcoming in the next few months.

So I do beleive we are nearing the end. Whether it is the end of the road or the end of the rainbow remains to be seen.

dnavas
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Postby dnavas » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:55 pm

I had seen the first link, but the transcript is new to me.... I found this fascinating:

Now another thing on voltage and I did put that in another news release is that we work deep into the paraelectric phase. In the paraelectric phase we have very sophisticated test data certifying that in the paraelectric phase there are no domains.


-Dave

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Postby MSimon » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:22 am

Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

parallel
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Postby parallel » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:57 pm

MSimon, I think you are being pessimistic with your >99% forecast for missing the latest deadline.

From what I have read, it looks like the basic physics must have been checked out by third parties by now, but the actual fabrication is quite an engineering problem and 3,500 volts leaves little room for error.

For those that haven’t seen it already, the Dec 2008 patent provides some details. (I seem to remember reading the process has been “improved” since that time.) See http://www.pat2pdf.org/patents/pat7466536.pdf

It remains to be seen what percentage of EESUs would test out OK from the early production line.

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Postby MSimon » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:11 pm

parallel wrote:MSimon, I think you are being pessimistic with your >99% forecast for missing the latest deadline.

From what I have read, it looks like the basic physics must have been checked out by third parties by now, but the actual fabrication is quite an engineering problem and 3,500 volts leaves little room for error.

For those that haven’t seen it already, the Dec 2008 patent provides some details. (I seem to remember reading the process has been “improved” since that time.) See http://www.pat2pdf.org/patents/pat7466536.pdf

It remains to be seen what percentage of EESUs would test out OK from the early production line.


The basic physics has not been checked out at high voltage. There is no clue that they have solved the dielectric saturation problem. The money that changed hands was simply - we have a high k dielectric measured at some (unknown - probably low) voltage.

IMO it is a dual scheme (EEStor, Zenn) to bilk the rubes. Zenn says - "we are a car company if we can get this revolutionary new capacitor." EEStor says - "We have a huge market for our (unobtanium) revolutionary new capacitor."

As long as the capacitor is "temporarily delayed" they can keep attracting people who want to believe (this is going to work and I will make a killing)."

No one has seen even one 3,500 V working capacitor bench tested, let alone an array of them. What has been seen? A low tech factory for producing small volumes of the as yet untested (in a realistic way) device.

There is nothing I have seen so far that gives me engineering confidence. And that includes the patents.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

parallel
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Postby parallel » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:26 pm

They have claimed things like a very low leakage rate from a component that certainly implies some components have actually been tested. Likewise I would expect a company like Lockheed Martin to at least check the basics. I suppose if EEStor is simply lying there is no proof, but are you not finding them guilty before the trial?

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Postby David_Jay » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:42 pm

IMO means "in my opinion". That means it is an OPINION. No trial. No verdict.

Skepticism is always appropriate when someone wants me to invest based on limited information.
not tall, not raving (yet...)

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Postby MSimon » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:12 pm

parallel wrote:They have claimed things like a very low leakage rate from a component that certainly implies some components have actually been tested. Likewise I would expect a company like Lockheed Martin to at least check the basics. I suppose if EEStor is simply lying there is no proof, but are you not finding them guilty before the trial?


I can go to the Mouser catalog (heck Radio Shack) and buy lots of low leakage Barium Titanate capacitors.

As to Lockheed - they have no skin in the game. All they have said is: "if it works we will buy them". Heck if it works I'll buy them. Lockheed doesn't have to check anything except the final product. If it meets spec why not buy them? Such a device would be very useful in aircraft (replacement for tons of back up lead acid cells on large aircraft).

I am not finding them guilty in advance. No one has seen even .1 uF of these capacitors bench tested at voltage. You would think by now there would be at least minimal evidence other than "we produced ten samples a few years back and the results are proprietary". They have patents. Why not show the world?

Why the secrecy? There is no need for secrecy unless they are running a scam. The pieces don't fit the puzzle.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

dnavas
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Postby dnavas » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:58 pm

MSimon wrote:The basic physics has not been checked out at high voltage. There is no clue that they have solved the dielectric saturation problem.


To your first point, I agree. It is amazing to me that there is yet another test not done at the targeted voltages. I wonder why one would bother. If they've created tens of thousands of grams of the stuff, why not run some tests at target environmental conditions? However, there is at least a clue that *they* say they have solved that problem.

I think a reasonable person has to wonder whether any published numbers survive at the actual operating voltages -- leakage, permittivity, the works....

IMO it is a dual scheme (EEStor, Zenn) to bilk the rubes. Zenn says - "we are a car company if we can get this revolutionary new capacitor." EEStor says - "We have a huge market for our (unobtanium) revolutionary new capacitor."


I don't think that's an unreasonable or even unlikely hypothesis, but in my opinion it's more 80:20 than 99:1.

That said, the claimed energy storage is not really singularly remarkable. 400wh/kg is a reasonable starting point for an electric car, but it's <2x latest 18650 numbers (iirc). Remarkable for a capacitor, sure, and a leap for batteries if they actually ship the thing anytime soon, but it isn't crazy orders of magnitude....

-Dave

parallel
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Postby parallel » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:06 pm

MSimon, you may well be right if the whole thing is an out and out scam. Otherwise, one has to take note of Weir’s claim that he has tested the components at high voltage.

In the patent he wrote:
“The following data indicates permittivity of ten components measured at 85C & 3500V ...and 5000V"

He may not be too interested in what bloggers write and is not trying to sell them anything. Pity that the interviewer didn’t ask the straight forward question: “Did you test the components at 3,500V?” though.


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