Friday, September 24, 2010

EEStor Buzz Heats Up

This is a transcript of a recent interview with Dick Weir that was never meant to be released.

It is extraordinarily revealing and sharply raises my confidence in the prospects of this power storage system.  The real take home is that they can sell their batteries for the same price per kw/hr that a lead acid battery can sell at.  The energy density is clearly sufficient to easily make cars with a 300 mile range.

It also is revealed that powder production is already fully automated and secure.  Battery fabrication production line setup is well underway and is down to the fussy bits.  We are about to see preproduction units delivered to customers.

Investor impatience is nothing new and quite irrelevant around any new product launch.  This project has been evolving rather efficiently.

The buzz suggests that we will see real product delivered to third parties rather soon and this transcript makes it close.   That means that we will see a spate of third party confirmations that will end any doubt and skepticism whatsoever.  For that reason alone, you can be sure that those testers will be tested to death before they leave the shop.  That does take a bit of time to be sure.

The delivery of this product meeting the expected specifications will bring a revolution in technology.  All energy sources will become battery hybrids and all energy will be sold on demand with all wastage minimized.  Energy storage will be everywhere, not least in every car.  It can be stored in the car and paid for as used.

In fact, I can make an excellent argument for charging a truck load of batteries at a power dam and then driving that load to a city for sale and going around the transmission system.

Battery powered long haul trucking should also be feasible as will electric long haul trains.  Been able to recharge every few hundred miles in a few seconds make railroading real easy and saves on a lot of unnecessary copper.

First / raw / initial draft.

Certain to be some errors, mistakes, ommissions, typos and various other flaws.

Last edited Fri, August 20, 2010, 5:30 pm ET
There may be some minor update(s), in the future.
(Most likely spell, word order swap, ... )

Audio .mp3 provided courtesy of smackYYZ and "Audacity" software.

W: is Dick Weir
I: is Interviewer, unknown, at time of transcribing

W: Well, ahh, the basic building block that we use here and that both Carl and I have extensive knowledge of is Composition Modified Barium Titanate powder.


Well known the best powders of the highest permittivity of any materials in the world. Although they have some very significant problems. And people tried for about 30 35 40 years to solve those problems by variety of techniques process and that stuff. Ahhh, but classically they never really took the full approach that we did to attack those problems on an individual basis as we go through a production process.

We saw in the past what they did the ... take these constituients Barium, Titanium, Calcium, Neodymium, Manganese, Yittrium, Lanthium {Lanthanum}, Zinc, Tin ... They put those into a ball milling system and ball mill these powders down so they get it into a reasonable size.

And they would then take and calcine those and they would grow together, Very high temperatures and then they'd calcine them again ... but ... they'd ball mill them again.


They kept that process up until they got something that was half way decent. But still a looong long way from optimum.

Ummm, in looking at that process if you make capacitors out of those materials, and this is were the guys in the industry they said well the voltage is such a deep problem. Well, it was for them. For after all they did not take the time to solve the technical problems properly. And therefore you apply a voltage to those type of powders and they lose permittivity over time.

And also if you are very high voltage, you get what's called the main domain wall slippage and you lose all the permittivity. So those are some nasty problems that had to be overcome, if one is going to work with Barium Titanate Composition Modified Barium Titanate powders. Well, the first thing we concluded that {there} was just no way to ever make this work using ball milling. So we said we would use our experience in chemistry and make this a full aqueous process.

And the reason you can do that is that you can get these materials all in a nitrate form. And nitrates are water soluable. But you can't blend them together. If you did that a lot of them would just plain fall out and you couldn't get a good blend. So we had to invent some chemistry so we could pull off the aqueous process. That took us about a year of work there, of really going through and getting the chemistry optimized so we could blend this stuff together and get the proper constituients that we're looking for.


Well, we're happy to say that that suceeded. We've done a great job because a lot of this stuff has been out here over 3 years, 3 1/2 years, and no degredation whatsoever. I mean zero. De nada. So we're very happy that we really have superior chemistry here and from the aqueous process.

Then we went into a great detail purification process. The 2 ions that are very detrimental to getting to high voltage is sodium and potassium. Like if you put salt inside of water ... the resistance of the water goes down because you've got free ions in there. We went ... worked hard to invent processes where we could purify all of our activating chemistry and also the coating process we put on these powders.

And the reason we coated the powders, to just back up a little bit, was with aluminum oxide, which is the highest resistivity material in the world, and the best sealant seal in the world, because when you add voltage to these materials you lose oxygen. If you coat the particle, and it says states so in our patent, so this is all public information. You kill the loss of oxygen which totally shuts down the problem of putting voltage onto these products and losing permittivity {over time / aging}.

So, that was a big breakdown. And Carl and I have used aluminum oxide before for... in ter? day? secur? circuit? world for the same reason. So, we have a lot of experience in that.

I coated the powders {and} took a patent process which we have working out here so we coat the powders very accurately. And so we know how to put those powders on particle on each particle and keep it down to 100 Angstroms plus or minus very few Angstroms. We know how to put it on very accurately. Again, one of our patented processes.


So we got going on the purification, got that going and that took us about 6 to 8 months so that was into the second year. And then we certified that when we were done with SouthWest Research down here?. Any thing we do ... any news releases we always get it certified. No hype.

Southwest Research is one of the most sophisticated chemical analysis companies in the world. And we sent it to them and they analyzed it and our particles purity was in the range of a parts per million. And then through a little bit of work on aluminum nitrate and a few other things and we got it down to parts per billion. Now, if you take and purify our stuff down to that level and we uhhh ... a certification on that we mentioned in one of our news releases. If you certify ... Let's take one, let's take the aluminum oxide. You certify it down to that level. The voltage breakdown on the aluminum oxide, certified mind you, in our news release, is 1100 Volts per micron. Now we're at 350 Volts per micron on our working Voltage. And you see we're more than 3 times away from our working voltage. Which is more than enough for safety of that type of activity, for voltage breakdown versus the working voltage. Usually 1.5 is more than enough. Were we see we're actually a little better than 3.


So, no real heartburn there of getting our voltage. 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. And this is where the people out there ... the bloggers out there ... well, my God, you know, you're going lose your permittivity. Well you would if we were in the paraelectric phase.


I'm sorry. In the ferroelectric phase. Barium Titanate, Composition Barium Titanate is a 2 phase material ... is Barium ... it has a paraelectric phase and a ferroelectric phase. Now, all the colleges and universities and all those PhD guys out there are very familiar with the ferroelectric phase. If you apply a voltage to it you get to the voltage and have the main domain wall slippage and you lose your permittivity. It's not true if you're in the paraelectric phase and I pointed it out very clearly in one of our news releases. If you're in the paraelectric phase, it is very difficult to get polarization saturation cause your dipoles shift ... they are now electron clouds and you can expand them.


And on top of not only that, we have a patent process, a patent pending process, where we can polarize our dipoles so they *all* shift through 45°. That means our polarization saturation has been improved by at least a factor of 4. Well, you see, that's not taken out ... a non-problem, now. So not only got the voltage breakdown under control, I got polarization under control, we've got the purification behind us, the chemical saturation ... er the chemical stability is more than proven for a 3 year period and all those chemicals last minutes at the factory even ? the pour goes that quick. And we got it lasting 3 years.


Once you've got all this done, now you've got it where your chemistry and all this stuff but ... now you need to, after you blend this stuff you have to take that blended chemicals ... chemistry with the constituents in there, and you have to produce powders out of it. And the technique we use there was always ... by the way, this is all unique, there's no books on this. You take that and you put an activating chemical with that using a very particular sets of processes and you produce powders.


When you do that, you can set the powder size to be in the neighborhood of .65 {microns}, which we did. And when you do that you get exactly the size of a crystalite which they won't talk to each other. Then when you coat 'em, you've isolated ... you've now sealed in all the goodness.

All that's behind us now and all that is working and all of our high technology has been completed up to that point and then beyond it.

The last thing we had to invent was a decomposition and calcing phase where you now have to take your powders and remove the activating chemistry without destroying your chemical structure.


And then you take it up to a calcing temperature and you calcine it where you densify it up to the 99.99% level. In other words, highly densify it. We're happy to say when we did that we showed through what they call drift ftr DRIFT {Direct Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform} FT-IR very sophisticated ftr FT-IR analysis and quantitative X-ray diffraction that we truly had hit the home run because now all of the activating chemicals down to parts per trillion. You couldn't find it. So we totally removed it and our decomposition calcining phase produce powders that have perfect cubic Peroviskite structure. That means you're deep into the paraelectric phase. OK. We knew we'd hit the home run then.


Then we took care of a few other processes - agglomeration and things and we started making powders. When we made the powders we were very happy surprised not surprised happy to see that we truly did hit the home run and the permittivity was 22,500 and or higher. So we don't want to tell the world exactly what we got. We told that to ZENN.


ZENN hired a company over here called PTI. A professional testing organization. And a gentleman named Dr. Golla, who's also worked for Texas Research International, and they worked for ZENN Motors and came into our factory after they signed a non-disclosure agreement and they ran the test for the permittivity certification. We're happy to say it passed the test with flying colors. We told the world 18,500 and our test shows that its 22,500 and greater. We're just not going to tell how great it is. But there it is.


So we've met passed all those milestones and we passed that technology there we've been going very hard now. ZENN made a payment for the 700,000. We took that and we're putting, again, that to very good use. We've got equipment out here. We're actually installing our stuff now to go into EESU production. And we've told the world that you can anticipate us being in a proto in a pre-production mode of ESUs by the 4'th quarter this year. Uhhh, here it is June and I'm already putting the systems together. So I'm ... it looks like I'm ahead of schedule.


So things are happening very quickly.

I: How much of this material have you produced?

W: Oh, ... tens of thousands of grams of it, per time. So a huge amount. It's all automated, by the way. Remember what I'm putting in ... What I got funded for by Kliener Perkins Caufield Byers was not to do R&D. Although we finished R&D. Was to put in a full production line. And that's what we got here. We're 85% completed on our first production line. Which is a modular concept. And so when this is done, it is full production. So I can actually press buttons now and produce powders. So all of that has been automated and the automatic controls in there for all the chemistry is been complete. Then I'll be putting in controls now on automation that are merely pick and place robots for taking the components and making EESUs with them.


We'll put that automation though probably in the first quarter of next year. First get everything going. We can make it work. Working very nicely. Get some pre-production units out of here for testing. And for our customers to build product out of.

I: OK. And then when you talk about going into the EESU production. What are some of the key issues in going from the material into more of a product prototype.

W: Well, the key thing is what we've got is ... The thing is can you get the hardware quick enough to actually ramp up and put your lines in at a very effective time frame. I'm happy to say that all our suppliers are US based. I got one Canadian supplier doing a great job. We're ... North American based then. And they all can produce the stuff in a very timely fashion. It's more off the shelf type things. So, I'm not asking for some, you know, $5 million complex piece of gear. It's more in the neighborhood of something $50,000 and I can buy it off the shelf.


Very cost effective and time effective. So I think we've got that well under hand. I think the materials is a very very nice story there. Barite, which was Barium, was used in the front end of TV sets. If you go buy a TV right now there's no more ... it is hard to find a CRT TV set unless it is a small thing for a computer. Most of it now in fact is very ? DLP and or other types of technologies. CDP and so ... We're the best friend of the Barite company the Barium company's got in the world. There are major sources of Bariite found in the United States. But a new one is just found in Nevada. We're writing? to get the sole rights to that. And looks like that's going to be done. Then we have large amounts of it in Mexico. And owned by US companies. You can also bring that in from other parts of the world in very high volume. So, the United States Geological Service, with *out* the stuff I've got in Nevada, says there's at least 2 billion tons of stuff in known reserves.


That's unlike Lithium ion where there is a small amount down in Chile, where they got the brine. You run out of that, then you've gotta' go over to China an get it from China. Uhhh, if you think we're in trouble with oil, wait till you have to go to China to get your Lithium.

I: OK. All right. In fact ... In terms of the ... going from the science to the application ZENN is talking about ... in terms of a storage unit that can be used in cars, how much of that is something you're developing versus something that ZENN needs ... would come in and help you with? and, and ... or is that in terms of ... ?

W: We've really made great progress on that. ZENN has been very effective giving it their required specifications. We've taken those specifications to our circuits company that builds our circuits for us. A company called Polarity. They're out of California. ZENN has gone there and came back very impressed. I was lead to them by the Air Force Research Labs because they're so effective in building high performance converter circuits for them. However there are multitudes of companies around the world that could build these circuits in high volume. But, I got started with them so ... they're building our circuits right now. They're actually putting the ZENN circuits together literally as we speak. I'll be going out there, if not next week the following week after that to have a long session with them to talk about getting the parts in here quickly so I can not only do ... I don't want to stop and build circuits for component testing I want to use their circuits for full EESU testing. Which is also component testing. So I kill 2 birds with 1 stone there. And get that in here and get that tested and get UL in here start looking at it. So, that's going quite well.


They're also building other circuits for other customers. But, first ZENN. ZENN first. ZENN's getting its circuits first.

I: K. All right. ... take a step back and talk a little bit about the company. The EEStor. Can you talk about how you founded and how you brought on your investors and what the ... who owns how much of the company at this point?

W: OK. When I got started, I ... Way back when I first did this in California and made it all work, the problem I had at that time was the circuits' cost were very expensive. I could build it, but it would take a lot of money to build these converter circuits. I could have had a nice customer. As military. But unfortunately, I was part of ? scientific ? I built the chips that went into these ?. About this time the Russians threw in the towel and we didn't need it any longer.


So, I shelved it and went into doing some work for the disk drive industry. And made some money there. Pretty good money. And about 5 {or} 6 years later I moved to Texas and I went back and looked at the circuitry and I was pleasantly surprised to find out they had IGBTs, which is a type of transistor, that in the $1.50 to $1.10 range, and even cheaper now, that could deliver, you know, tens of thousands of volts and thousands of amps. And you also can buy them in flip chip mode and put them on PC boards. So all of a sudden the circuitry became available. And that made that.

Then I said uh-oh, now we got it made. And I started working hard on patents and business plans and etc etc . And, I met Ian Clifford through a tech ... I think a common friend that you were interested in electric cars and I was calling people in the electric car business.

And Ian and I sort of, locked up. And he became very interested. And as I went forward ... And then of course I got locked in with Lockheed Martin Corporation. And about that time I got locked up with Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. And Lockheed Martin Corporation had 3 of their divisions review our technology. So, I'm really in deep with Lockheed Martin. And here's what Lockheed Martin told everybody. We can't guarantee this works but we can't find reason why it won't work.


I think the people ... the scientist Ian hired to come out after many days of analyzing what we're doing here made the same statement. He said My God, these guys are going to be the greatest capacitor company in the world, which we will be. About nine divisions will be working on. But, you know, we've proven everybody right that we have made it work and we're happy with the progress and where we are on status. I really don't have anything left to take this thing into high volume production now to prove, because everything else I'm doing here has already been proven.


Uhhh, ramp up is basically taking ... getting a building built ... taking one more module line into that ... training people how to put it and then, then just replicating that line at a very controlled rate and with the increase of our permittivity now, the amount of powder that go into a product has been reduced significantly. So I can produce a lot more EESUs, per line, but since it is modular, if something happens, I don't shut the whole factory down. I go fix that line and put it back on line. So, I think we've got an excellent plan. I've done that for another industry, the disk drive industry I worked in many years ago and I modularized that ? in a very effective manner. They achieved great success and high success in high volume production in the disk drive industry.


I: OK. You mentioned Kliener Perkins and Lockheed.

W: Uhuh.

I: I think Kliener has an interest in you and ... how much do they own? Can you tell us that?

W: They own about 20 some percent of the company. I can't give you an exact number. But, it's in that range.

I: OK.

W: Ummm, they ... We really stopped being a VC company probably about 2 ... 2 1/2 years ago. When we took the first investment with ZENN Capital there that was common stock. And VCs just don't work in common stock. They're invested ... they have to guarantee preferential treatment. Since that went through we've got money through other sources right now. And more money is coming from those sources, non-diluting sources, so they admit it. That we're just not a VC company anymore. But we stay friends. Hey, they own stock in us and they'll get the great rewards because of it.


I: OK. In that ... Roughly how much did the founders ... How much do you still own? In ...

W: We still ... right now own controlling interest in the company.

I: K

W: Even after this investment we'll own controlling interest in the company.

I: OK. Along this path ... is there ... when Lockheed came in ... were ... did you have an interest in having them come in as an investor? ... Were they interested in ...

W: Nah, we really didn't want an investor there. It just wasn't ... What we ... The reason I really been working with Lockheed so long over the years. First of all, I know ... I come from that world. At TRW I invented the chip that went into Deep Space ... I worked for the CIA for Scientific Initiative. They needed a ultra high frequency channel. They came and recruited me. I invented that channel for them.


But I learned when I was there just how difficult it is to do military contracts. I know there was a about a 6 story building over there full of people working very diligently in just getting military contracts.

I: Right.

W: I can't do that.


W: So I said let's do something better than that. Let's get in bed with Lockheed Martin and when I went and gave presentation? to CIA and they suggested that. And so I did. And that 's worked out exceptionally well. We now have a contract with them where they handle all of our contracts with ... government contracts ... with Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security. And writes? rides? rights? other worldwide contracts. So now I don't have to be a military contractor. I went and got the world's best.

I: Umhh

W: And they can be between me and the Federal Government to handle all this stuff. Then they write a commercial contract with me to supply parts to Lockheed and or for military contracts for other groups. So that they can build these mission critical systems.

I: OK. Since you're no longer a VC ... Does that mean you guys are seeing revenue come in from Lockheed, at this point? ... Significant?

W: We had a con ... government contract and we received money off from it, but not revenue. But just, uhh ... they wanted to do some technical studies. We did that for 'em. And they paid us some good money for it.


I: All right.

W: It was a DARPA contract.

I: K

W: Which will lead to a bigger contract.

I: All right. ... need one more last question on the technical. ... Er, on the corporate side. Before going back to this. The proj? in the VM?

W: Umh

I: This final ... In terms of the uhh, valuation of the investing rounds, can you talk about how you came up with those or what ... around, you know, what the investment valuation is? It looks like, the uhh, you know, for ZENN's next investment round the valuation is around $75 - $80 million dollars.

W: Well, you know, that's ... since we hit that first round, we've accomplished a massive amount. And if you want to take a look at our valuation right now, in fact some of the people who are close to ZENN said the valuation should be in the neighborhood, and we agree, in about the $500 million range. You make an ESU work, which we're really hot on the trail getting that done, God only knows what we'll be valued at, then. We go out there and raise about any size of money you can think of. And all non-diluting. So, ahh, the $70M was derived way back when we did this. Started the company at $10M. We had accomplished quite a number of things in our chemistry and all those things were been accomplished. And certified. So, we got together with Stan? an set a number of $70M and had two traunches at the $70M. Which I think is a good deal for them.

I: Yea.

W: We're not greedy. Now, could we actually take this money and go out and get a better valuation? Of course we can. But, a contract is a contract. So that's where we are.


I: All right. Good. I think that helps with them? ZENN? ... with that part of our understanding about the business. In ... If ... The other part we want to drive into a little bit is just the, uhh, your thoughts on the applications ... so it sounds like, you know, one the applications you looked at the automotive industry and you've gotten ZENN to come in to help you with ... developing the, uhh, the relationships with the car manufacturers and ... other parties. On the military side you have Lockheed. As one of your partners. Can you talk about ... more generally what other applications you're looking for and how you plan on ... market ...

W: ... we're really working on ...

W: I'm sorry for stepping on ... you have something else to say there?

I: No, that was it.

W: Yea, if you take a look at what we're ... where we're going to be dominant. And the areas that we'll be dominant in. It really gets around anything dealing with energy storage which is about everybody. You take grid load leveling for example? . I'm working very hard and I got a patent ... 2 patents on grid load leveling. So you can take the grids of the world and put our batteries on it and charge 'em at night and dump 'em during the day. Well known fact you can put 45% more electricity on the grid and do nothing more than put our batteries on there.


Because they don't throttle those plants back at night. It's impossible. So all we're doing is getting? effective use of what we have. That amount? of electricity could be supplied electricity for the electric vehicle market, as it emerges. So we've got ... not only are we going to give the electric vehicle market a boost but also give them the energy to run it.

Wind and solar. We make wind and solar real.

If you take our batteries and those with wind and solar, what you do is amortize out the variations and make it highly stablized. You can make a wind farm look just like a coal fired plant with our batteries. And make it very cost effective. So that gives another way for North America to be really energy independent at very reasonable period of time on a reasonable investment.

UPS {Uninterruptible Power Supply}. We make UPS real.
Right now it's lead acid battery driven. And it has a very bad name. We put a battery with a UPS, it's there forever.

Military and NASA. Of course we're already with ... heavy in with Lockheed. And there's mission critical programs over there. Where they just have to have our technology for those.

PC and hand held computers.
We can take a battery for a PC in the same frame or a battery for a hand held or for a cell phone and give you 3 to 5 times more energy storage that will never degrade on you as you can charge in a second.


We love Lithium ion. With the prices you've got, you can make a lot of money there.

Electric vehicles of all types. I think we're going to be the winner.

We're dealing a lot with people in the electrical vehicle business. But I think that's going to take time to emerge. But I don't ... I think ZENN Motors is going to be ... It's going to be very interesting to see them grow dramatically as they capture that electric vehicle market. I've also got a contract with a two wheel three wheel company. Uhh, they say ... I told when they fully started that, you know, you guys got a $20B company and they said, they thought I was really humourous. When they got the start they said Dick you're missing. It's more like a $40B market. You take that electric ... that 2 wheel scooter and bicycle, worldwide, you can't make enough of them.

Portable tools. I've ...

I: I mean ... for ... it could take a little while to develop? Or take some time?

W: ... nice thing about the electric ... the reason I really worked hard to get that done. I know the guy there very well. Is that time to market is short there. You don't have crash tests. And our battery will be UL approved. Which is more than enough to put it on an electric bike, worldwide. You put the bike ... you put the motor on the bike, you put the battery on the bike and you sell it. So, it is quick to market.

I: yep.

W: Portable tools. I've already ... in deep deep with the people in the portable tool business. They're waiting for me to emerge and then they'll come on strong.

And then there's the capacitor market.
That's about a $9B market and I already got companies trying to get me to make capacitors for them. Cause we can take aluminum electrolytic capacitor, which is the scourage of the industry. If anything fails it's aluminum electrolytic capacitors. You take a 5,000 micro Farad aluminum ... it's 450 Volts it's about 8" high and about 4" diameter and sells for about 300 some dollars. We can put that on a small flip chip and put it right onto ... into a board. The thing will never, never, never will fail on you. So we can do great in the capacitor market.


Where are we going first? It's obvious. ZENN, two wheel, we're getting started there. After that, we'll have to sit down and do some decent selecting because there are some very high profit businesses that we can get into, very quickly.

I: All right. And let me just ... an order of magnitude. Can you walk us through how the relationship with ZENN works? Let's say they have ... they were to sell a battery using your technology. How would the ... how would the revenue work, between ... you and ZENN?

W: The buy it for a certain price and put it in their car. They pay ... right now our contract says $100 / kWh, excluding electronics. That's extremely attractive. You take a Lithium ion battery right now ... it's 350 to 1200 dollars, depending on whether you're buying junk or these ultra nano things which are extremely expensive and they still wear out. So, uhhh, what does ZENN get out of this? They get market ... quick to market with a technology that they can show that the customer has a totally safe product and give them what they want. If they want to put a 300 HP into a car, they can do it. We give them the energy for that.



W: So we got open field.

I: In terms of uhh, can you give us a sense of what your costs would be for ... for producing the battery or producing the material?

W: I just gave you the price. I'm not? giving you the cost. Kinda ... price we say? ... we've got contracts for $100 to $150 per kWh. Excluding electronics. Like I said, that puts me well ... that even puts me right there next to the lead acid batteries, which are about $100 {to} $150 per kWh. So, ummm, we have ... we are very attractive from a price performance point of views. Nobody is going to compete with us. Certainly not Lithium ion.


I: From your perspective, how long do you think ... how long do you think it does take for ... at least in the vehicle space ... how long to really see this in the market?

W: Say it again, sorry.

I: How long ... I mean just from ... I mean from your perspective, you know, being one step removed from the OEMs ... looking at the technology and seeing how it fits in with ... you know, the overall EV space, how long do you think it takes before it becomes a well accepted technology and sort of replaces the Lithium ion and Nickel hydride batteries?

W: Its ... ? mission critical.

I: ummhh

W: ummh, My God, take a look at us. There's people out there ... there's near hysteria. Need is always a wonderful thing. And the need is very high for our technology. Once you get a UL sticker, I have learned, which is why we're going to UL, very very ... and I have patents to getting through that like ... I have a fusible link that if you take our batteries put in a box, a metal box and to pass UL you've gotta' take a probe and pound into that thing and nothing bad's gotta' happen. So I have a fusible link design and patent ... pending patent. If you do that it shorts out the fusible link on just one component. And nothing happens. Within a millionth of a second it's gone.


UL is ecstatic about that. There's nothing corrosive, harmful {or} explosive in our technology. If it is in a car and gets crumpled up, you'll blow all the fusible links and you're totally safe. No explosion. No hearts? parts? . No nothin' So we got very very happy from that point. And there is nothing ... there is no chemistry that's out of our box. It's all solid state. It's not like all the deep ... electrolytes ... that are in a Lithium ion battery or a Nickel metal hydride or lead acid. We don't have that. It's all gone. So that makes it extremely safe. So I think the time to acceptance is gonna' be ... well, take the bike. I put it on a bike, rolls down the road and everybody is going to be happy. I think, also, I think ZENN is going to happen very very quickly on the ... stuff their going to be selling because of the UL and the fact that I think we can get through tests quickly, because of the demand. People will want that electric car. And they're going to test it. Don't get me wrong. But we'll be able to pass those tests very quickly cause we already have UL and all the safety features we put into it.


I: And ... can you remind us, again, in terms of the key milestones coming up ... you talked about the ESU testing and the UL certification ... how does that all line up, in terms of what has to happen ...

W: What we're telling the world. We're telling 'em this. Properly funded, $5M certainly does that. We anticipate being in a production base of proto ... of pre-production units in the fourth quarter this year. I'm already out there putting EESUs together and I'm still in June. So, it looks like I'm a little ahead of schedule. So, it looks like I can certainly meet that schedule. Get ZENN some prototypes here pretty ... I'm sorry. We don't make prototypes. Pre production units by the end of this year. Once I do that, all hell's going to break loose with them? ZENN? and at EEstor.


I: And does the UL sticker come before that or does that come ...

W: Usually done ... at time frame ... Here's what I'm doing with UL. I've done this before. We're going to do ... the company that you hired ... guys ... over ... Ian and Brian at PTI is a company that works for certification at UL. So I went to their factory and they have ... all ... lotta' the stuff I need for certification ... like vibration, shock test, all kinds of things like that so they can help me out considerably there. All the voltage tests and probe test will be done here. And what you do, and UL is more than happy to do this, is the quickest way you can do it, is have everything set up by a company like PTA where they walk in, view the tests, write down the data, do the tests until they're satisfied and they walk out. Same thing here. We'll do the tests here. Now you can do it under your controlled manner and your time to do that instead of years is months. So we get that done as fast as they can. I've already started that process. I'm also going to get what is called a family approval. Done that before, too. Building supplies, you know, you can have a small supply ... you release the mid one. If I have the ESU that's around 10,000 kWh or 15,000 {meant 10 kWh or 15 kWh}, and I start building stuff down for the phone market, I just send in the drawing. They say, yeah. And they send me back a sticker. I can put the UL sticker on the stuff for the phones. And or if build something larger ... a 52 kilo watter, same thing there. So, I'm going to get family approval and I'm going to control all of the UL testing. With that, I should be really ... by the end of this year, I should make great great in roads and hopefully have got the UL out of the way.


That's what I anticipate doing. I called UL and started this whole thing 3 years ago.

I: All right. We've only got a few more minutes here before we've got to wrap up and do another call but ... in general what are some of the biggest concerns that other people have or mis-perceptions do you think? I mean, you mentioned one already with the uhhh type of phase it's in but ... are there other things people are concerened about in terms of this technology and ...

W: Well, the most thing you hear about these bloggers is Voltage and I just showed you where, you know, sounds like they don't read. So that purity and the fact that I have test data showing that ... we we ... and also polarization. So I think that overcomes that. Other people I've talked to today, one of their concerns is ramp up. But that's where the modular concept and all the equipment I have out there, suppliers have all been identified. And it is off the shelf equipment. It's not like I'm going through some major re-design of their equipment.

I: mmmhh


W: Also I don't have things out there that cost 3 to 4 million dollars. It's more like 50 to 75,000. Very cost effective production. So I feel though that we have things under control. And also supply of all of our materials and chemicals. We've got that well under control. So, I think we've done our homework. And I think you'll see the results when we get into 2010 and you'll see a very effective and very constant ramp up of our production capabilities.

I: OK. Is there anything keeping you up, at night? Anything your concerned about?

W: I write patents, at night.

Call me any ... night you're writing a patent. I've got 18 of them pretty well done, so I'm caught up, pretty well. I'm really happy with the patent process we made. I put the new status in the investment package. And you can see, my God, we made vast vast in roads in getting the patents done.


I: OK. All right. Anything else? I think that's all the questions we had. We really appreciate ...

W: yea, but if you have others, you got my phone number. Give me a call.

I: All right. All right.

W: Not a problem with me.


Last edited Fri, 20 Aug 2010, 5:28pm by nekote

Go DW Go - *economical* mass production

EEStor Ultracapacitors: Battery Revolution begins with Electric Cars?

News, Reviews, Interviews and Overviews of all things related to EEStor Inc.
Monday, September 6, 2010

EEStor Teases Government Agencies With Invitation To Technology Demonstration

According to emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), on July 8 of this year, a long time researcher working within the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM got a call from EEStor's CEO Dick Weir.  According to the email,  Weir was calling to invite him to a demonstration of EEStor technology to take place at EEStor's facilities in Cedar Park, TX. The date of the demonstration was not revealed.  The AFRL researcher in question had been communicating with Dick Weir for at least 6 years and based on other records released via FOIA, Weir was targeting a top government skeptic with this invitation.  The skeptic, who will remain unnamed as an unearned courtesy from yours truly, asked Weir if he had completed fabrication of a device.  No, but Weir felt they were close enough to make the invitation.  Is Weir saying "no" in relation to fully completed EESU's (cf. "pick n place robots") or in relation to basic EESU components?  The records do not clarify and attempts to gain more information via interviews have stalled.  However, through an unofficial interview, it was learned that this particular skeptic would not attend the EEStor event--rather his boss would--who happens to be a notable pioneer in the Directed Energy community.

Around the same time frame, another group of government skeptics at Sandia National Labs were receiving a similar invitation from Dick Weir.  According to three separate Department of Energy sources, Weir was looking for Sandia to perform an independent validation of EEStor technology via testing performed inside EEStor facilities.  Sandia balked initially at the idea of observing a test rather than conducting testing within Sandia facilities (but later consented to all of Weir's conditions).  According to one official, they weren't actually certain of whether or not Sandia owned the proper equipment to conduct a test of EEStor's technology...something declared unlikely by a senior battery tester at Intertek Inc. who was asked whether equipment to test EEStor level technology was available via commercial off the shelf equipment.  According to an AFRL researcher, Weir has his own test gear. Additionally, according to a third company also in discussions to attend their own EEStor demonstration,  Weir has indicated he has hired a 3rd party to calibrate and validate his test equipment.

What is the purpose of these demonstrations Weir is attempting to orchestrate?  According to AFRL, he has stated a need for additional funding which many insiders say is to build out a production campus in the Austin, TX area.  Sandia representatives say the purpose is intended specifically to provide 3rd party validation of the technology--anything less would be inappropriate to receive Sandia's participation.  To clarify further, Sandia pointed out that there are many scenarios where their 3rd party validation is appropriate---when companies are seeking funding or government officials are attempting to make decisions. Additionally, it should be noted that this particular group of battery testers are known for "stationary energy storage" (ie, for utility applications) not automotive.

The skepticism of both Sandia and AFRL run along similar lines as has been seen elsewhere around industry.  EEStor is discussed frequently at conferences, typically in battery geek jokes one doesn't have to use too many cycles to imagine.   In Sandia's case,  there is a cautious sense of hope balanced by many years of disappointment and rejected overtures to Weir.   What's different this time?   Quite simply that Weir is reaching out to Sandia rather than vice versa.  No one is sure what to expect and there are fears of being made a fool of via some sort of invalid test.  As one AFRL researcher put it, "remember Pons & Fleischmann."

Of the records located via the AFRL FOIA, the most interesting to EEStor believers should be a pronouncement made by a leading directed energy pioneer in an email to several DE officials all over the Department of Defense:  "If the EEStor patent proves to be more than vaporware, it would revolutionize many technology applications, including DE."  Is this to be taken in relation to regular publicly-announced EEStor specs or is the premise here in regard to the military specs?   Although it's been speculated widely that EEStor's technology would fit this application, this is the first time a significant government official's statement confirms the speculation...granted with more than a tiny "if" attached along with.

It would appear that another implication of all of these revelations is that Dick Weir truly has kept his technology a secret even from those in the Defense industry who would seem to have the most to gain from it.  A possible motive for this is that the FOIA records indicate that in the case of AFRL, individuals there are researching capacitor energy storage themselves.  The AFRL skeptic references a 2007 article titled "Effect of LIquid-Phase Sintering on the Breakdown Strength of Barium Titanate" as having negative applicability both to EEStor's approach and his fellow colleagues' work.  Whatever the motive, it should be noted that the decisions surrounding it are being made by Lockheed Martin to whom EEStor has delegated the responsibility via it's contract.

What does it all mean?  You tell me.  A thread has been started at for this purpose.

Note: the purpose of keeping the identities a secret in this article is because the events are fluid and the investigation is ongoing.  Additional information is potentially forthcoming.  Certain individuals who previously declined an interview are now, due to the FOIA, considering the wisdom of doing so.  I also happen to have a respect for the mission of the AFRL and have attempted to do this research without being a nuisance.

Secondly, although we originally reported this FOIA has containing 1/2 inch worth of documents, upon inspection we learned there were several repeated copies of documents leaving only about one fourth as much info.

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