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October 22, 2009

EEStor Worth $1.5 billion and Zenn Motor Betting Its Company on Eestor

The Toronto Star writes about Zenn Motor betting its company on EEStor.

Zenn Motor is waiting for EEStor to deliver that first commercial unit by the end of this year. ZENN's future is riding on that delivery. "The entire aspect of our business model is dependent on EEStor commercializing that technology," he says. "The transformative moment is with the commercial proof, and then the whole tenor of the discussion changes to the excitement about the reality."


Wired indicates that Zenn Motor Company (ZNN: CA) is publicly traded and with a market value of US$169 million. Zenn has a 10.7% ownership stake in EEStor. As a result, investors in effect get a small investment in EEStor as part of the deal. Therefore, EEStor has an implied value of $1.5 billion.



The best commercial ultracapacitors today can only hold one-twentieth the energy of a lithium-ion battery the same size. Some researcher says it's virtually impossible to develop a reliable, competitively priced ultracapacitor that can match or exceed the energy storage capability of lithium-ion batteries, which are emerging as the standard for electric vehicles. At best, an ultracap might be able to achieve a quarter of a battery's energy density.

EEStor says its ultracapacitor has several times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries

Krstic and Alupro-MPI's Ultracapacitor

EEStor's not the only one trying. Vladimir Krstic, professor in the department of mechanical and materials engineering at Queen's University, is working with Stratford, Ont.-based Alupro-MPI on a new type of advanced ceramic alloy that could dramatically outperform existing materials.

The plan is to use an ultrasonic device that can forcefully blend liquid metals, such as barium and titanium, which have been impossible to mix. New ceramic alloys that result can raise the bar on ultracapacitor energy storage.

Krstic says the initial target is to make an ultracapacitor with "at least" a third of the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, then going higher from there. But like all research, the pace of innovation depends on market need and financial backing, whether from government or the private sector. "In order to speed this up we need to have more funding," he says
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Vladimir Krstic web page at Queen's University

Alupro-MPI website

Alupro supercapacitor claims

* Will recharge in seconds
* Extreme high dielectric C of 80,000-120,000 +
* 200 X higher capacitance than BaTiO3
* 220 V or slightly higher
* No dielectric saturation!

New, previously unsoluble, alloy that can only be mixed by our proprietary unique ultrasonic generator.


Alupro's ultrasonic technology

A new revolutionairy ultrasonic generator technology has been developed to allow the use of conventional high amplitude transducers to drive large irregular shapes and un-tuned mechanical systems such as extruder heads, drawing die, injection mould tools, or a metal melt mixer. This new technology has the unique capability to stimulate wide-band sonic and ultrasonic energy (ranging from infrasonic up to the MHz domain). The key to the technology is its use of a proprietary technique to analyze feedback signals and create custom driving wave forms to initiate and control ringing and relaxing, modulated, multimode mechanical oscillations in the harmonics and sub-harmonics of the attached mechanical system. Such ultrasonic driving creates uniform and homogenous distribution of acoustical activity on the surface and inside of the vibrating system, while avoiding the creation of stationary and standing waves, so that the whole vibrating system is fully agitated.

Innovative Aspects
Development of a new ultrasonic electronics and a system feedback concept that allows real-time adaptation to continuously evolving acoustic conditions. Capability to ultrasonically drive any arbitrary shape or large mechanical system at high energy if needed- Ultrasonic driving of system harmonics and subharmonics gives a wideband multi-frequency effect that improves stimulation of the system. - Elimination of ultrasonic standing waves gives uniform treatment of material

Main Advantages
Improved metal homogenization and mixing of new alloys.- Improved crystallization and alloy characteristics in casting.- Friction reduction between a tool (e.g. casting, drawing, extruding, moulding) and the material being worked improves the material flow.- Improved Surface finish on extruded or drawn materials.- Reduce or eliminate material voids or cavities in casting or moulding applications.- Power Supply Generators are available in a standard range of 300 watts to 2,000 watts. Custom systems available to 120,000 watts.


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