EEStor

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EEStor is a company based in Cedar Park, Texas, United States that claims to have developed a solid state polymer capacitor for electricity storage.[1] The company claims the device stores more energy than lithium-ion batteries at a lower cost than lead-acid batteries used in gasoline-powered cars. Such a device would revolutionize the electric car industry. Many experts believe these claims are not realistic and EEStor has yet to publicly demonstrate these claims. The corporate slogan is "Energy Everywhere". [2]

Claimed specifications[edit]

The claims are described in detail in several of the company's patents, US 7033406 [3] and US 7466536 .[4] and WO 2016094310 [5]

The following is how EEStor's energy storage device (sometimes referred to the EESU) is claimed to compare to electrochemical batteries used for electric cars:[6]

EEStor's EESU NiMH Lead-acid(Gel) Lithium-ion
Weight (kg/lbs) 135/300 780/1716 1660/3646 340/752
Volume (litres/cubic inches) 74.5/4541 293/17,881 705/43,045 93.5/5697
Volumetric Energy Density (wh/l) 700 300 110 676
Gravimetric Energy Density (wh/kg) 385 120 42 243
Self-discharge rate 0.02%/30 days 5%/30 days 1%/30 days 1%/30 days
EV Charging time (full) – 100% charge 3–6 min > 3.0 h 3–15 h > 3.0 h
Cycle Life (80% discharge) 1 million 300 600 1000
Life Reduced with deep cycle use none very high high very high
Hazardous Materials none yes yes yes
Temperature vs. effect on energy storage negligible high very high high

Status and delays[edit]

Several delays in production occurred and there has not been a public demonstration of the uniquely high energy density claims of the inventors.[7] This has led to the speculation that the claims are false. In January 2007 EEStor stated in a press release "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."[8] In September 2007, EEStor co-founder Richard Weir told CNET production would begin in the middle of 2008.[9] In August 2008, it was reported he stated "as soon as possible in 2009".[10] ZENN Motor Company (ZMC) denied there was a delay, just a clarification of the schedule, separating "development" and "commercialization".[11] In March 2008 Zenn stated in a quarterly report a "late 2009" launch was scheduled for an EEStor-enabled EV.[12] In December 2009 Zenn announced that production of the lead acid based ZENN LSV would end April 30, 2010. At that time Zenn did not announce a date for production of an EEstor based car.[13]


From 2009 onward the company has announced test results of its dielectric material. [14][15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

In July 2009 ZENN Motor Company invested an additional $5 million in EEStor, increasing its share of ownership to 10.7%.[20] A Zenn press release indicates they were able to get a 10.7% stake because other EEStor investors did not increase their stake.[21]


Recent events[edit]

On February 16, 2016 EEStor announced a new director – Michael Michalyshyn.[22] Michael Michalyshyn is an experienced attorney with a background in licensing and intellectual property law.[23] As head of BlackBerry's Technology Licensing group, Mr. Michalyshyn was involved in BlackBerry's acquisition of QNX Software Systems.[24][25] Part of his responsibilities at EEStor will be assisting in the licensing of EEStor's capacitor and energy storage technologies.

On June 16, 2016 EEStor's international patent application titled "Capacitor and method of making" was published as WO2016094310. The patent abstract states: "A capacitor can include a dielectric layer including a polymer matrix and ceramic particles dispersed with the polymer matrix. The polymer matrix can include epoxy. The ceramic powders can include composition modified barium titanate ceramic powders. In an embodiment, the capacitor can include a plurality of layers."[1] All international patent applications are published after 18 months of the earliest claimed priority date. Publication is not an indication that the invention has been reviewed or functions in the way described. [26]

On January 16, 2017 EEStor announced the addition of Dr. Abhijit Paul, PhD, to its team to take on the role of Principal Polymer Scientist.[27] Dr. Abhijit Paul completed his PhD in Polymer Chemistry at Oklahoma State University and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.[28]

On March 13, 2017 EEStor completes third party testing of their capacitors showing a 20X increase in time constants over prior testing.[29] Using a patented stacking approach that utilizes "floating electrodes and induced field effect leakage buffering",[30] third party verified results of stacked samples (4, 8, and 16 layer stacks)[31][32] illustrate that capacitance increases proportionally with number of layers, but resistance does not drop as would be expected. Resistance actually remains flat and constant resulting in the time constant growing proportionally with number of layers, which is a unique aspect of EEStor's technology.[30] Testing also included environmental testing with humidity of 20% to 65% and cycle tests to 500K cycles with no measured heat generation or performance degradation.[29]

On March 27, 2017 EEStor announced third-party certification of dielectric constant (K) of 16,000 at 500 volts with dissipation factor (DF) of 0.008.[33] In addition, third-party cycle testing was performed and shown to have no degradation at over 1 million cycles.[34] With these results achieved, EEStor plans a near-term target of 110 watt-hour/liter energy storage in a 70 micron layer.[35] The March 27 EEStor PR states: "Achieving a dielectric constant of 16000 at voltage is significant as larger dielectric constants and higher voltage means a capacitor can store more energy for a given size."[35] If EEStor achieves this near-term goal of 110 wh/l energy density, they will have comparable energy density to that of Lead Acid Battery.[36]

On April 24, 2017 EEStor completed raising capital in the amount of $3,620,000 from private placement. In addition to general corporate purposes, this capital is planned to be used to accelerate EEStor's product and business development efforts.[37][38]

Skepticism from experts and lack of demonstrated claims[edit]

EEStor's claims for the EESU exceed by orders of magnitude the energy storage capacity of any capacitor currently sold. Many in the industry have expressed skepticism about the claims. Jim Miller, vice president of advanced transportation technologies at Maxwell Technologies and capacitor expert, stated he was skeptical because of current leakage typically seen at high voltages and because there should be microfractures from temperature changes. He stated "I'm surprised that Kleiner has put money into it."[39]

EEStor's claims for the comprehensive permittivity, breakdown strength, and leakage performance of their dielectric material far exceeded those understood to be consistent with the fundamental physical capabilities of any known elemental material or composite structure. For example, the thermochemical theory of polar molecular bond strengths has been confirmed to be valid for a wide range of materials, and shows that there exists a near universal inverse relationship between a material's permittivity and its ultimate breakdown strength.[19] EEstor's initially claimed material results exceeded the limits of this fundamental relationship by orders of magnitude.

Patent description and claims[edit]

EEStor reports a large relative permittivity (19818) at an unusually high electric field strength of 350 MV/m, giving 10,000 J/cm3 in the dielectric. Voltage independence of permittivity was claimed up to 500 V/μm to within 0.25% of low voltage measurements. Variation in permittivity at a single voltage for 10 different components was claimed by measurements in the patent to be less than +/- 0.15%.[4] If true, their capacitors store at least 30 times more energy per volume than (other) cutting-edge methods such as nanotube designs by Dr Schindall at M.I.T.,[40] Dr. Ducharme's plastics research,[41] and breakthrough ceramics discussed by Dr. Cann.[42] Northrop Grumman and BASF have also filed patents with similar theoretical energy density claims.[43][44]

The EEStor patents cite a journal article[45] and a Philips Corporation patent[46] as exact descriptions of its "calcined composition-modified barium titanate powder." The Philips patent describes "doped barium-calcium-zirconium-titanate" (CMBT) and reports a permittivity of up to 33,500 at 1.8 V/μm, but does not report the permittivity at high electric fields such as the 350 V/μm EEStor claims. EEStor coats its 0.64 micrometer (average size) CMBT particles with 10 nm aluminum oxide (6% by volume) and immerses them in 6% PET plastic by volume, giving 88% CMBT. The patent claims the aluminum oxide coating and PET matrix reduce the net permittivity to 88% of the CMBT permittivity. The Philips patent did not use either aluminum oxide or PET. The dielectric in solution is screen-printed and dried in 10 μm layers, alternating with 1 μm aluminum plates (used to apply the working 3500 V).

EEStor's US patent 7033406 mentions aluminum oxide and calcium magnesium aluminosilicate glass as coatings,[3] although their subsequent US patent 7466536 mentions only aluminum oxide.[4] Nickel was mentioned in the earlier US patent as the electrode but the later patent uses 1 μm aluminum plates as a less expensive alternative. According to the patents, both changes were made possible by selecting the PET matrix because it is pliable enough to fill voids at only 180 °C.

EEStor's latest (2016) US patent WO2016094310[5] mentions a polymer matrix which can include epoxy and ceramic powders including composition modified barium titanate (CMBT). The patent also mentions a layer thickness of 0.1 microns to 100 microns. It also indicates the CMBT particle density in the polymer matrix can be up to 95%.[1] Phase 4 and Phase 5 testing reports used an epoxy/CMBT solution. More recent testing reports from March 2017 are showing samples with CMBT ratios of over 80% and in that same report EEStor mentions plans for near term samples with thickness of 70 microns with plans for greater levels of densification with near complete densification. A targeted near term goal of 110 wh/l energy density 70 micron layer is in development currently.[35]

Partnerships[edit]

In July 2005, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers invested $3 million in EEStor.[47][48]

In April 2007, ZENN Motor Company, a Canadian electric vehicle manufacturer, invested $2.5 million in EEStor for 3.8% ownership and exclusive rights to distribute their devices for passenger and utility vehicles weighing up to 1,400 kg (excluding capacitor mass), along with other rights.[49] In July 2009, Zenn invested another $5 million for a 10.7% stake.[50] A Zenn press release indicates they were able to get a 10.7% stake because other EEStor investors did not increase their stake.[21] Zenn has received $34 million from the equity markets in the past 3 years, and spent $10.1 million of the proceeds on EEStor ownership and technology rights.[50] In December 2009 Zenn canceled plans for the car but plans to supply the drive train.[13] By April 2010, Zenn had cancelled all production of electric vehicles, leaving ownership of EEStor and their rights to the technology as their focus.[13] Zenn raised CAD$2 million in April 2012, mostly on the promise of EEStor's technology.[51]

In January 2008, Lockheed-Martin signed an agreement with EEStor for the exclusive rights to integrate and market EESU units in military and homeland security applications.[52] In December 2008, a patent application was filed by Lockheed-Martin that mentions EEStor's patent as a possible electrical energy storage unit.[53]

In September 2008, Light Electric Vehicles Company announced an agreement with EEStor to exclusively provide EEStor's devices for the two and three wheel market.[54]

On December 30, 2013 ZENN announces completion of the purchase of Series A preferred shares of EEStor (includes Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers shares and other private holders shares) and the associated rights for US$1.5 million which gives ZENN a total ownership of 41% in EEStor.[55]

On May 8, 2014 ZENN and EEStor complete an exchange offer which gives ZENN a total ownership of 71.3% in EEStor. Following the ZENN controlling ownership on May 19, Ian Clifford assumes role of CEO following the resignation of James Kofman.[56][57]

ZENN Motor Company Inc. has changed its name to "EEStor Corporation" to better reflect the focus and activities of the Company.[58] The name change was approved by shareholders at the Company's annual and special meeting held on March 31, 2015. EEStor Corporation formerly (ZENN Motor Company) publicly trades on the Canadian exchanges as symbol ESU [59] and on the US stock exchanges as OTC stock symbol ZNNMF.[60] EEStor Corporation holds 71% equity while the other percent is held by privately.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "EEStor June 16 Patent - WO2016094310". 
  2. ^ "EEStor Corporation Name" (PDF). 
  3. ^ a b US patent 7033406, Weir; Richard Dean & Nelson; Carl Walter, "Electrical-energy-storage unit (EESU) utilizing ceramic and integrated-circuit technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries", issued 25 April 2006, assigned to EEStor, Inc 
  4. ^ a b c US patent 7466536, Weir; Richard Dean & Nelson; Carl Walter, "Utilization of poly(ethylene terephthalate) plastic and composition-modified barium titanate powders in a matrix that allows polarization and the use of integrated-circuit technologies for the production of lightweight ultrahigh electrical energy storage units (EESU)", published 16 December 2008, issued 16 December 2008, assigned to EEStor, Inc 
  5. ^ a b US patent 2016094310, Weir; Richard Dean, "CAPACITOR AND METHOD OF MAKING", assigned to EEStor, Inc 
  6. ^ a b "Zennergy". Zennergy.com. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  7. ^ "Zenn/EESTOR Update - April 22, 2010". gm-volt.com. 2010-04-22. Retrieved 2011-05-21.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  8. ^ "EEStor Announces Two Key Production Milestones: Automated Production Line Proven and Third Party Verification of All Key Production Chemicals Completed". Marketwire.com. 2007-01-17. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  9. ^ Kanellos, Michael (2007-09-04). "''Is EEStor delaying its power system for cars?'' - September 4, 2007". news.com. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  10. ^ "Better Batteries Charge Up". Technology Review. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  11. ^ "Official Response from Zenn on delay of EEStor (under Comment section written by afjerry on 09/11/2007 at 9:47 PM)". 2007-09-11. 
  12. ^ "ZENN : Management's Discussion and Analysis" (PDF). Zenncars.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  13. ^ a b c "Zenn Motor Company Updates on Realignment of Its Business Operations" (PDF). Zenncars.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  14. ^ "EEStor, Inc. Announces Relative Permittivity Certification of Their Composition Modified Barium-Titanate Powders". Prnewswire.com. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  15. ^ "Update to EEStor Press Release on Permittivity". Sev.prnewswire.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  16. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130604194101/http://www.itnewsonline.com/showprnstory.php?storyid=253733. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  18. ^ "EEStor website". 
  19. ^ a b "Trends in the Ultimate Breakdown Strength of High Dielectric-Constant Materials, J.W. McPherson et.al., IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, 2003" (PDF). 
  20. ^ "ZENN Motor Company increases ownership of EEStor". Emediaworld.com. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  21. ^ a b "News Release : Zenn Motor Company's Strategic Energy Storage Partner, EESTOR Inc. Confirms Progress Towards Commercialization of Its Technology" (PDF). Zenncars.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  22. ^ "EEStor announces new director" (PDF). 
  23. ^ "EEStor Corp. Bios". 
  24. ^ "Vixs Team Bios". 
  25. ^ "RIM Buys Out QNX Software Systems". 
  26. ^ "Summary of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)". 
  27. ^ "EEStor announces addition of Dr. Abhijit Paul". 
  28. ^ "Univ. of Texas at Austin Mechanical Engineering". 
  29. ^ a b "EEStor Phase 5 PR". 
  30. ^ a b "EEStor Phase 5 Testing White Paper". 
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  33. ^ "Intertek March 24, 2017 report - Sample ID 7C". 
  34. ^ "MRA March 24, 2017 report - Test 7". 
  35. ^ a b c "March 27 EEStor PR". 
  36. ^ "Powersonic PS-62000 spec sheet" (PDF). 
  37. ^ "EEStor PR 4/11/17". 
  38. ^ "EEStor PR 4/24/17". 
  39. ^ "Battery Breakthrough?". Technology Review. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  40. ^ [2] Archived June 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  41. ^ "Stephen Ducharme". Physics.unl.edu. 1996-07-09. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  42. ^ "High Energy Density Dielectrics Based on Bi-Perovskites | Department of Physics". Physics.orst.edu. 2009-04-29. Archived from the original on 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  43. ^ US application 2007121274 
  44. ^ US 7023687 
  45. ^ S. A. Bruno, D. K. Swanson, and I. Burn, J. Am Ceram. Soc. 76, 1233 (1993)
  46. ^ US 6078494 
  47. ^ Gunther, Marc; Lashinsky, Adam (26 November 2007). "Cleanup Crew" (PDF). Fortune. p. 82. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  48. ^ Hibbard, Justin (3 September 2005). "Kleiner Perkins' Latest Energy Investment". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  49. ^ "ZENN Motor Company Makes Equity Investment in Strategic Partner, EEStor, Inc.". Marketwire. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  50. ^ a b "Zenn 2009 3rd Quarter report" (PDF). Zenncars.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  51. ^ Tim Kiladze (April 19, 2012). "Zenn raises $2-million, without its electric car". Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
  52. ^ "Lockheed Martin Signs Agreement with EEStor, Inc., for Energy Storage Solutions". Pressmediawire. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  53. ^ WO application 2008156903 
  54. ^ "Light Electric Vehicles Company : Press Release" (PDF). Lightevs.com. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  55. ^ "Dec 30 ZENN PR" (PDF). 
  56. ^ "ZENN ownership to 71.3 percent" (PDF). 
  57. ^ "Ian Clifford assumes control as CEO" (PDF). 
  58. ^ "ZENN PR on name change to EEStor Corporation" (PDF). 
  59. ^ ESU
  60. ^ ZNNMF

External links[edit]