The secretive battery wizards at EEStor have shed a bit of light on how their new battery may usher in an era of all-electric automobiles that will operate just like a petroleum-powered car.
Since its inception in 2006, the Texas-based EEStor has been a rather nebulous company, backed by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, which has made grandiose claims about a revolutionary battery pack that will change the face of transportation. A ceramics-based unit which won't degrade over time, will charge in minutes, provide enormous driving range with ten times the energy of lead-acid batteries at one-tenth the weight and half the price. Bold claims, unbelievable claims really. We've long thought of them as possibly being new-age snake oil salesmen. But their patent, filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office on December 16th, reveals something which makes us think maybe there's something to their claims.
The patent describes a process of creating a three part "ink" system which is a suspension of cathode, anode and dielectric chemicals which would be screen printed in alternating layers then cooked at moderate temperature and high pressure into a sheet battery. Those battery sheets are then assembled into battery packs ready to go into anything that needs power. Don't go thinking this is Joe-Bob's House of Shirts kind of screen printing though, this is closer in style to the tightly controlled screen printing which lays down solder paste on circuit boards and does it with mind-bending accuracy.
If our battery theory is up to snuff, which is probably isn't, the more cells you can pack into a battery, the higher the power density, and if we're talking printed layers of cells, that's pretty dense no matter how you cut it. Of course, this is just a method patent and may have nothing to do with their actual battery. They could just be patent squatting, hoping to cash in down the road. In any case, some clever thinking at least is coming from all that VC money. [USPTO via Earth2Tech]