EEStor’s latest patent: large-scale grid storage for renewables

Since it’s been all-too-quiet on the EEStor front, I figured I’d at least draw attention to the company’s latest patent approval — this one titled “Systems and Methods for Utility Grid Power Averaging, Long Term Uninterruptible Power Supply…”

A link to the patent, which was just approved a few days ago by the U.S. patent office, can be found here at the EEStor and ZENN appear to be in complete lock down — no information is flowing from either. I’ve being hearing chatter in the investment community that EEStor has run into some technical (not financial) trouble, but then again, I’ve been hearing this kind of chatter for the past few years since I wrote my first feature on the company in the Toronto Star. I tried to arrange a visit to EEStor’s headquarters in Cedar Park, Texas, for some time this summer. I wanted to gather some information for a book I’m working on that will be released next fall, but Weir — despite my offer to sign a non-disclosure — wouldn’t allow it. He wished me luck and said he doesn’t want or need the attention. (The book, by the way, isn’t just about EEStor, but EEStor will represent a chapter in it. The book will be about barriers to energy innovation… stay tuned).

Fair enough.

The explanation in the patent of how an EESU could benefit the grid is pretty straight forward, so this is really no surprise. But it’s nice to see the company beginning to accumulate a sizable stockpile of patents to protect its IP. Despite the silence out of Cedar Park (and Toronto), I do find it interesting that there are some other ventures hot on EEStor’s heels, just as Weir was expecting. On April 29, for example, the U.S. Department of Energy announced funding as part of its ARPA-E program. One recipient of funding was venture spun out of Penn State University called Recapping Inc., which received $1 million.

“Recapping Inc. and researchers at Pennsylvania State University will seek to develop a novel energy storage device based on a 3D nanocomposite structure with functional oxides that provide a very high effective capacitance. The basic fabrication of the dielectric materials and devices will utilize traditional multilayer ceramic fabrication methods that will provide a cost-effective alternative to battery solutions, with the added benefits of exploiting mechanisms that could maintain higher cycling and possibly deliver charge with high power density. This technology hopes to create a cyclable and economically competitive energy storage device that will catalyze new, related cleantech industries and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases and oil imports,” according to the DOE’s description of what Recapping is doing. Notably, who’s the only executive of Recapping Inc.? That would be Alex Kinnier of Khosla Ventures. I tried to contact Kinnier, who wouldn’t talk but said to come back in 12 months.

3 thoughts on “EEStor’s latest patent: large-scale grid storage for renewables”

  1. This article dovetails nicely into the next one on clean tech patents- Eestor is pouring a lot of effort and money into patents, so I would think this shows both progress and hope for a future product- but then, I am an eternal optimist;-)

    At least you got a ‘no’ from Mr. Weir- I have shot a couple of emails to him with a similar request, but have not received a reply- understandable, given the amount of solicitations he probably receives, both from legitamate and kooky sources alike (hard to tell where I fit;-)

    Well- if you ever do make it to Austin, let me know- I live just a few miles down the road from Eestor, and would be happy to chauffeur you around- maybe even hold your mike when you interview Mr Weir;-) If you ask him again, you may have to sweeten the pot- tell him you’ll take him to lunch at the Salt Lick or the County Line for some BBQ. (or, if money is a bit in scarce supply, to Rudy’s BBQ- still good, but a bit cheaper- yes, I frequent there more often than not myself for those very pesky financial reasons!

    Oh- and good luck on finishing your book.

  2. I am a full supporter of EEstor. I can not be sure if their inventions are true but I am a person who first believe & trust. I think that if what they have is true, it will change the world. Now my question is… IF YOU would have a super new great invention that can change the whole world, earn a lot of money and make a huge company, wouldn´t you take all the time and patents you need or are necessary for creating and protecting your great product ??? NO matter how much deadlines, promises or hopes you break ???? at the end I think no matter what it takes I will do anything for my product to be great, full productive and revolutionary.

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