I wonder if there's anything to this?

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This company has supposedly developed a new means to store electricity using ceramic powder coated in Aluminum oxide and glass. It's supposed to charge very rapidly, store enough power to cover 500 miles and not be confined to sub-compact-sized vehicles. They're keeping things under a tight lid for now, but supposedly some company in Toronto is looking to include this in an electric car. Here's the article.
 
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Well, I don't know. What I think is that if it's half of what it is cracked up to be it will be much more expensive then they predict. No one is going to revolutionize the automotive industry overnight.
 
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There are only about three devices that "store" electricity: batteries, capacitors, and mechanical devices like flywheels. "To call it a battery discredits it," says Ian Clifford, the CEO of Toronto-based electric car company Feel Good Cars, which plans to incorporate EEStor's technology in vehicles by 2008. Fine. Consider it discredited. So it's a capacitor then, right? "EStor is tight-lipped about its device and how it manages to pack such a punch. According to a patent issued in April, the device is made of a ceramic powder coated with aluminum oxide and glass." Why are they tight-lipped? It's already patented. Could it be because it doesn't work as advertised? But... but... but... that would be DISHONEST!
 

JHZR2

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It all depends on where you draw the boundaries of your power system. We saw some similar technology for other applications... Im waiting to see how it really works. JMH
 
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The CNN link names two engineers, Richard Weir and Carl Nelson. Well, let's look at their patents: ____________________________________________________________ Abstract of US2004071944 [Note from Ekrampitzjr: this is a patent application number. The actual patent has not yet been awarded.] An electrical-energy-storage unit (EESU) has as a basis material a high-permittivity composition-modified barium titanate ceramic powder. This powder is double coated with the first coating being aluminum oxide and the second coating calcium magnesium aluminosilicate glass. The components of the EESU are manufactured with the use of classical ceramic fabrication techniques which include screen printing alternating multilayers of nickel electrodes and high-permittivitiy composition-modified barium titanate powder, sintering to a closed-pore porous body, followed by hot-isostatic pressing to a void-free body. The components are configured into a multilayer array with the use of a solder-bump technique as the enabling technology so as to provide a parallel configuration of components that has the capability to store electrical energy in the range of 52 kW.h. The total weight of an EESU with this range of electrical energy storage is about 336 pounds. [All patents for Richard Weir and Carl Nelson:] 1. Electrical-energy-storage unit (EESU) utilizing ceramic and integrated-circuit technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries Inventor: WEIR RICHARD DEAN (US); NELSON CARL WALTER (US) Applicant: Publication info: US2004071944 - 2004-04-15 2. Vertical-magnetic-recording medium with barium ferrite magnetic layer Inventor: WEIR RICHARD D (US); NELSON CARL W (US) Applicant: TITANIUM MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US6110557 - 2000-08-29 3. Coating of metal substrate for magnetic recording medium Inventor: WEIR RICHARD D (US); NELSON CARL W (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US6103367 - 2000-08-15 4. Method for making ceramic substrates for magnetic-recording media Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US); (+1) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5855951 - 1999-01-05 5. Method for making titanium or titanium-alloy substrate for magnetic-recording media Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US); (+1) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5961792 - 1999-10-05 6. Method for manufacturing austenitic stainless steel substrate for magnetic-recording media Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5900126 - 1999-05-04 7. Protective overcoatings for magnetic-recording disks Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5624725 - 1997-04-29 8. Method for coating metal disc substrates for magnetic-recording media Inventor: WEIR RICHARD D (US); NELSON CARL W (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5626920 - 1997-05-06 9. Circularly symmetric sputtering apparatus with hollow-cathode plasma devices Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5490910 - 1996-02-13 10. Precision-etched textured stop/start zone for magnetic-recording disks Inventor: WEIR RICHARD D (US); NELSON CARL W (US); (+1) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5635269 - 1997-06-03 11. Magnetic recording medium having a ceramic substrate, an underlayer having a dense fibrous zone T structure, and a magnetic layer Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US); (+1) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5681635 - 1997-10-28 12. Titanium or titanium-alloy substrate for magnetic-recording media Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US); (+1) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5707705 - 1998-01-13 13. Method for forming protective overcoatings for metallic-film magnetic-recording mediums Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5453168 - 1995-09-26 14. Austenitic stainless steel substrate for magnetic-recording media Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US); (+1) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5536549 - 1996-07-16 15. Coldwall hollow-cathode plasma device for support of gas discharges Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5457298 - 1995-10-10 16. Circularly symmetric, large-area, high-deposition-rate sputtering apparatus for the coating of disk substrates Inventor: NELSON CARL W (US); WEIR RICHARD D (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5232569- 1993-08-03 17. Magnetic recording medium having a substrate and a titanium nitride underlayer Inventor: WEIR RICHARD D (US); NELSON CARL W (US) Applicant: TULIP MEMORY SYSTEMS INC (US) Publication info: US5811182 - 1998-09-22 ____________________________________________________________ All right, as we see, their previous experience is with electronic memory devices. Here are some questions: 1. How are these devices recharged? 2. How much energy does it take to manufacture them? 3. How much energy does it take to recharge them? This is a key question. You don't get somethin' for nothin'. To discharge, they must have received energy to charge. 4. Finally, how likely is it that engineers working on memory devices in the electronics field have suddenly stumbled upon a replacement for the internal combustion engine? All together now: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Caveat emptor. Perhaps I'm too pessimistic, but would any of you risk your life's savings in this venture?
 
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Quick addendum: The list came from Espacenet.com, the European Patent Office site, though I have edited out extraneous information such as the European classification system numbers. That's why "US" appears before each patent number. I limited the search to only US patents when searching for the two names.
 
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I remember barium titanate... something about being used in those little ceramic capacitors I used to collect out of old circuits. I guess this would be an ultracapacitor. 0.15 kw.hr per pound... That's comparable with state of the art lithium cells. An ultracapacitor will be more efficient at storing and retrieving energy, since the only internal energy loss is from hysterisis in the dielectric. It'll also work in extreme cold. And it'll probably hold a charge for quite a while. And if you short it out, you get a really big bang.
 
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oh... and that means you'll be able to draw tremendous power from these things. With big motors and thick wires, you could smoke all four tires at once.
 
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I think it needs a big dose of wait and see. Some times people do find applications outside the area they are working. After all it was the Freon group at DuPont that gave us Teflon.
 
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Looks like I've used their patents on some studio recordings I did in my "other life." They definently have experience in this area. But you know it's typical. The big oil companies will probably try and buy out the patent and then sit on it so it can't be used. Remember, everything is for sell, just got to find the price and when these companies are making umpteen billion dollars a quarter on profit....well, money is no object. I agree with others, it's a super capacitor.
 
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Yep, another Capstone micro turbine. Projected cost figures "competitive with conventional gensets". Bought by Onan: $36k for 25/kw. The greatest invention that never was.
 
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