The EEStor News

April 29, 2011 | 12 Comments

With total silence from the EEStor firm and its known associates one bit of news has made it out.  To summarize in the briefest way – EEStor is progressing.

That maximum condensing comes from the Bariumtitanate.blogspot.com where news and posts are just difficult to get. A click over there I’m sure would be welcome.  Having a blog with a single topic must be frustrating, even here with the full spectrum of energy and fuel some days getting a worthy post out can be a challenge.

Bill Joy. Click image for the largest view.

On with the news.  Bill Joy or William Nelson Joy famed for his exploits as a programmer notably the vi program that is used to edit code, and as a co-founder for Sun Microsystems is a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.  It’s also being reported that Joy is a principal in the firm’s investment in EEStor.  When Joy talks about EEStor ears perk up.

Last Thursday April 21 2011 Joy attended the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. During the open question and answer period an audience member asked about the progress at EEStor.  Joy spent about 5 minutes discussing the EEStor effort in very general terms and offered his own thoughts.

Joy confirmed that Kleiner Perkins is still invested in EEStor and hope remains EEStor will get to market.  Meanwhile, Joy is still looking and investing in other energy storage mediums.

The Bariumtitanate.blogspot author has also prepared a transcript of the conversation Joy had with Jason Pontin who is the editor in chief of MIT’s Technology Review.

Noteworthy quotes heavily edited:  “I like to think the future isn’t gonna just be electrochemistry – that we could have solid state energy storage, something that’s based on you know maybe early 20th century stuff. . .  And EEStor is an example of something solid state. I always say in investing I prefer solids to liquids and liquids to gases.  And we prefer… semiconductors is our favorite kind of solid. . .  Whereas a solid state, it is the basis of electronics and it can last basically forever.”

“Energy storage is the same thing. I’d like to see it go from liquid phase chemistry essentially to solid-state physics. That would be very desirable. And then you limit cases of energy storage that should be solid state.”

“. . . when we had this list of 25 grand challenges…when we went out looking for things, we didn’t think we would find them all. And if we find investable things that are (predicated?) on one of those grand challenges, we don’t necessarily expect it to work.  If the list of 25, 10 of them work, that would be a miracle. Because they are set to be very aspirational. So solid-state energy storage would be on the list. And that’s an example of an investment that is trying to …with an improvement on an existing technology essentially because barium titanate is used as a material, common material in capacitors.”

“One of our sayings is…we prefer things that work in practice to things that work in theory. It’s nice if they work in theory but we can always invent the theory afterwards.”

“. . . we can’t always simulate things and we are willing to lose a couple millions dollars to try and see if some effect is plausible or will work ….that we don’t have a close form computer simulation. But it’s plausible to people trained in the art that it’s not…..they can’t explain to me on a napkin why it wouldn’t work.”

After the conversation with Pontin, Joy spent over an hour taking question from a small crowd.

Question:
So, are you still hopeful about EEStor?

Bill Joy:
Oh yeah. I mean these things are hard so there is always a chance they won’t work. But we’re very uh……We’ll see. I don’t know anything that isn’t in the press.

(Okay . . .)

“Now what they (EEStor) are proposing to do is wild. And there’s lots of reasons in which some of these things could fail to be commercialized. I’m not saying whether it’s worked or not and if we’ve announced it or not, I’m just saying it’s hard.  What they’re trying to do…obviously, it’s took years…to get…. since they….first….it’s not easy to do these things. So…but the worthwhile things usually are hard and they always take longer.”

One can take most anything except negative results and failure at EEStor from Joy’s comments.  The technology may well be working at lab produced unit scale and the commercial scale issues are just problems, many perhaps, extremely difficult perhaps, or just the resources as a startup coming from the lab to mass production hasn’t found the experience and know how, if there is any to be found.

EEStor has a way to go, that much is clear.  Prior optimism seems based in enthusiasm rather than the cold hard design, engineering, and process development needed to get from research to mass production.

Hope is eternal after all.  But one thing is very clear, the intellectual property is very safe and that competition or reverse engineering is going to very difficult indeed.  EEStor may as well leak a bit of real time status – it can’t hurt and would only help.

It’s not a lot of news or even good news.  But there isn’t any bad news.


Comments

12 Comments so far

  1. Musson on April 29, 2011 7:37 AM

    It’s hard to get any real news from EESTORE. But, it is clear the powdered form of BT would not work like they had hoped. After considerable time and effort they patented a Gel form of BT that just might.

    Those are the kinds of hurdles they are facing as they develop an entirely new type of energy storage. They appear to be moving forward. But, occasionally they hit brick walls and have to go another direction.

  2. Benjamin Cole on April 29, 2011 1:11 PM

    I don’t know about EEStor except that they have little credibility now. They may have a good battery, but they will have to prove it. Meanwhile, other companies are coming forth with good batteries, and the field seems to be improving at an 8 percent annually compounded rate.

    If that rate of improvement holds, we get batteries about twice as good as we have now, in about 10 years–and such batteries will be competitive in the marketplace, I think.

    I sense the fossil oil era is phasing out, and a cleaner, more prosperous world is ahead. Certainly, nearly every urban area will be a more pleasant place if cars are PHEVs. Imagine clean air and quiet streets–and traveling around for a few pennies per mile (marginal costs).

  3. EESCAM on April 29, 2011 8:30 PM

    Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Does Not Believe In EESCAM. Someone should remind Mr. Bill Joy KPCB did not put their money where their mouth is with EESCAM.

    If Mr. Bill Joy and KPCB believe in EESCAM, why doesn’t KPCB fully fund EESCAM? KPCB did invest 500 million in Bloom Energy.

    When KPCB had an opportunity to up their stake in EESCAM, why didn’t they Mr. Bill Joy?

    Mr. Bill Joy, the EESTor Saga is finished:
    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/eestor/

  4. Mcbrain on May 3, 2011 7:38 AM

    When you follow Eestor, one thing you learn quickly: someone is telling lies. The haterz told us kleiner was no longer involved with Eestor since they didn’t invest in round two. Look at Bill Joy correcting their false conclusions! Lol!

    That means the eescam skeptics are liars. They are dumb liars too as you can see from the post above by still suggesting kleiner is not involved.

    I for one am encouraged that kleiner still backs Eestor. It makes me wonder what other lies are being told about Eestor.

  5. EESCAM on May 3, 2011 8:44 AM

    When you follow EESCAM, it is obvious there is an organized effort to pump EESCAM led by a blogger with a bag over his head and his team of EESCAM pumpers. If you are interested to see how they operate, just read the Air Force Research Lab emails:
    http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/eestor/

    Now getting back to McBrain’s comment…don’t misquote me like you did the Air Force Research Lab employee. Read my post…I never stated “Kleiner is not involved”. I’ll ask again, why doesn’t KP fully fund EESCAM if they believe in EESCAM? KP invested 500 million in Bloom.

    Ask Bill Joy if Dick Weir has ever shown him a prototype EESU which meets the patent specs? Then we’ll see who the scammers/liars are.

  6. zawy on May 3, 2011 11:28 AM

    “I don’t know anything that isn’t in the press” means there is no progression. They initially announced production units would be available by end of 2007, and yet no one has reported seeing evidence of a prototype nor that their formulation has the energy density or even a physics theory that says the hoped-for energy density is possible.

    Joy said “We prefer things that work in practice to things that work in theory” and he also said that they want established science, nothing that is unproven and pie-in-the-sky. He gave the impression that he wanted the science to be about 10 years old, but the technological application of it to be very new. Now combine this with his statement “we can’t always simulate things and we are willing to lose a couple millions dollars to try and see if some effect is plausible or will work”. This indicates they had neither theory or experiment to verify what EEStor was hoping. So they lost money on the deal by not following their own guidance.

  7. Prometeo on May 3, 2011 4:41 PM

    Your source is a plain copy of theeestory.com

  8. Prometeo on May 3, 2011 4:47 PM

    Ok, it looks like is the other way around :)

  9. Brian Westenhaus on May 3, 2011 11:44 PM

    Those that would be freaked out are not. Whether they take additional financing round positions would have many more considerations than what is happening at EEStor alone.

    The idea here is to Avoid Fallacious Conclusions while looking for concrete progress – while what we have is the appearance of a stand still. But its a safe bet that those involved are not just standing around wasting time.

    Stay loose, keep an eye out. Something will break or EEStor will – someday.

    BW

  10. Cratus on May 5, 2011 7:53 AM

    What people don’t seem to understand is how hard it is to get from experimental success to commercial readiness. I follow EESTOR but I also follow other companies that have promising technologies such as General Fusion, D-wave systems, Xg etc. These things can run into road blocks in so many areas along the way.

    I challenge all the skeptics to follow some scientists from that announce 10x improvements in Lithium or some other battery tech. I also follow many of them as well. You find that they do not produce results as fast as they initially state when interviewed.

    If an investor is still positive about their investment, they are happy with the technology and the approach to solving the outstanding risks/problems.

  11. Maxwell on May 5, 2011 1:06 PM

    “You find that they do not produce results as fast as they initially state when interviewed.”

    The CEO of those companies don’t lie to investors telling them they are ahead of schedule assembling units when they are not as Dick Weir has done.
    http://www.4all.com/uploads/DW_Confcall_jun2009.mp3

    Matter of fact, EESTor has not even been able to demonstrate basic proof of concept of it’s EESU.

  12. EESCAM on May 7, 2011 7:15 AM

    @ Brian Westenhaus
    Please post one “concrete progress” EESTor has demonstrated with the EESU in the last 7 years since these comments by Dick Weir to a blogger:
    http://www.ufto.com/clients-only/uftonotes04.html
    “Subject: UFTO Note – EEStor Ultracapacitor and Ultrabattery”
    “A number of major companies have said they would issue a purchase order quickly if specs are met.
    The company is currently seeking equity investment of $3.5 million. A business plan is available.
    Contact Richard D. Weir, President and CEO
    EEStor, Inc. Cedar Park, TX
    512-258-5669 dick_weir@eestor.us

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

Speak your mind

css.php