Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ultra Cool Caps


f you have been looking for some good news, this may be some.

One of my favorite technologies for some time has been ultra capacitors. They store energy like a capacitor, which means it is stored as electricity, not a chemical that can react to create electricity.

Unlike compressed air storage or pumped hydro, ultra caps are very efficient and they have the ability to charge in minutes versus hours.

Ultra caps are perfect for Buses. In fact there has been an ultra cap bus project in Russia for several years now.

Now, an Austin, Texas Company is quietly developing an utra capacitor storage system that could actually change everything.

Here is part of the story from Clean Break..

It starts with an announcement from Feel Good Cars

"On September, 30, 2005, FGC entered into a Technology Agreement with EEStor Inc. located in Austin, Texas, to acquire the exclusive worldwide right to purchase high-power-density ceramic ultra capacitors called Electrical Storage Units (ESU) that are under development by that company.

An ESU can store over 10 times the energy of lead-acid batteries and are expected to be available for use in the ZENN and regular electrically powered small cars. FGC's exclusive worldwide right is for all personal transportation uses under 15 KW drive systems (equivalent to 100 peak horse power) and for vehicles with a curb weight of under 1200 kilograms not including batteries."

On top of this release, a reliable source familar with EEStor had this to say about the company's technology:

* The batteries fully charge in minutes as opposed to hours.

* Whereas with lead acid batteries you might get lucky to have 500 to 700 recharge cycles, the EEStor technology has been tested up to a million cycles with no material degradation.

* EEStor's technology could be used in more than low-speed electric vehicles. The company envisions using it for full-speed pure electric vehicles, hybrid-electrics (including plug-ins), military applications, backup power and even large-scale utility storage for intermittent renewable power sources such as wind and solar.

* Because it's a solid state battery rather than a chemical battery, such being the case for lithium ion technology, there would be no overheating and thus safety concerns with using it in a vehicle.

* Finally, with volume manufacturing it's expected to be cost-competitive with lead-acid technology.

"It's the holy grail of battery technology," said my source. "It means you could do a highway capable electric city car that would recharge in three or four minutes and drive you from Toronto to Montreal. Consumers wouldn't notice the difference from driving an electric car versus a gas-powered car."

Here is more from the Energy Blog

  • It is a parallel plate capacitor with barium titanate as the dielectric.
  • It claims that it can make a battery at half the cost per kilowatt-hour and one-tenth the weight of lead-acid batteries.
  • As of last year selling price would start at $3,200 and fall to $2,100 in high-volume production
  • The product weighs 400 pounds and delivers 52 kilowatt-hours."
A standard big lead acid battery in your cars carries about a KWH.

It weighs from 30 to 40 pounds.

This ultra cap carries a KWH in about 8 pounds.

It would be very useful in plug in vehicles and all electrics vehicles.

As the Austin Tribe says,

Renewable Energy Production

+ Efficient Energy Storage

+ Efficient Energy Transportation

= happy dance

I needed something happy today.

Here's why.


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* red crow dance courtesy of Goddesses Art


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would be really nice. Especially at the price objective.

It would blow all other energy storage devices away. Not only transportation, but clean/renewable energy in general really needs a good energy storage technology.

Can it be real? Or did someone misplace a decimal point?

Commercially available ultracaps have an energy density of around 5 watt-hours per kilogram.

At 52 kWh / 400 pounds, this device promises 286 watt-hours per kg, 57 times as high as currently available.

I hope it is true, but it sure looks too good.

- CW

10:51 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

I'll find out.

I agree that the density is very high.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

claims may be true. inventor has confirmed. we'll see.

7:05 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

I visited with the inventors today, and I now understand where the huge leap in energy density comes from. This may be real.

Emphasis on the may.

2:53 PM  

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