Videos To Download

Well, it’s been a while in coming, and the selection isn’t complete, but it’s a good start…Now you can download to rent or own, shorter versions of the DVD’s. I’ve taken the “Troubleshooting Heat Pump Electrical Systems” DVD, and divided it into 20-30ish minute sections that are available to rent for a couple of bucks or buy for $10. The download service is provided through Amazon.Com “Video On Demand”.

There are five downloads to choose from:

#1. Review of electrical wiring and operation #2. Troubleshooting open control voltage circuits #3. Troubleshooting control voltage short circuits and defrost controls #4. Troubleshooting air handler controls, reversing valves and contactors #5. Troubleshooting fan, blower and compressor motors, capacitors, condenser high voltage problems

When you click on the link below, you’ll get to the Amazon page where the available downloads are listed. You can get a free 2 minute preview, after which you make the decision whether or not to download the rental. Keep in mind, the process will only work effectively with high speed internet connections. Also keep in mind, once you get to the Amazon site, you’re playing by their rules…I have no control whatsoever over the site mechanics, prices or payment methods. It is simply an effort on my part to provide another purchasing option for the heat pump video training material.

Amazon Video On Demand

Original post here: Wayne Shirley HVAC Tips

Ultracapacitors Ready for Power Storage

When you couple ultracapacitors with lithium batteries performance of an electric vehicle is dramatically boosted. Ultracapacitors give electric vehicles the instant response needed to get going, recover braking energy, work across a wide temperature range, and charge very quickly for thousands or millions of cycles.  There is more out there than Eestor, and some are going to market right now.

San Diego-based Maxwell thinks it has a cost-effective solution for carmakers. The company makes the K2 2000 ultracapacitor a unit about the size of a soda can that could be of excellent strategic use with electric vehicles.  Maxwell Technologies is supplying a major European automaker that expects to release a hybrid vehicle this year that couples advanced batteries with the company’s ultracapacitors.

Maxwell's Ultracapacitor. No larger image available.

Maxwell is suggesting they have a partner in the European deal, the $30 billion Continental AG parts supplier, who is a competitor to Bosch in Europe. Continental expanded recently with acquisition of another high-profile European auto supplier, Siemens VDO, in 2007.  These are not firms that go to market with immature technology.

Maxwell CEO Dave Schramm said of the project, “They’re ramping up the car now,” adding that he expects the model’s volume to double by 2012. “We’re already shipping product.” Schramm said that starting the car’s gasoline engine, especially in cold weather, is the largest load batteries go through. Ultracapacitors allow a much smaller pack. “We’re definitely taking cost out of the system,” Schramm said. “Batteries don’t like the kind of power spikes you get with the start-stop cycle, but that’s the way ultracaps work best.”

The primary driver for Maxwell is the European fuel economy standards, which strongly incentivizes “start stop technology” where the engine is always shut down for a stop.  The technology is expected to be employed across Europe in the majority of new cars by 2015 in addition to the “Micro-hybrids” that are already selling well. For the U.S. start stop isn’t likely, as the fuel economy advantage isn’t credited by the EPA’s system –no incentive payoff – technology denied.

Maxwell’s ultracapacitors are installed in about 2,000 hybrid buses with regenerative braking.  The firm is involved in the Ford Transit Connect electric van with Azure Dynamics.  These and other automotive ultracapacitor projects have pushed Maxwell sales from $57 million in 2007 to $100 million in 2009.

Meanwhile, Eestor has gotten its saga into trouble.  Words like ridiculous, mystical and sham are coming out from various writers.  The hard facts are Eestor has missed its own promise to introduce and show the world a working ultracapacitor by the end of last year.  Now that a full calendar quarter has passed and most of another month, the credibility matter is the lead Eestor item for news and blogs.  To add injury to the situation, a major source of information, the tiny ZENN Motors, has stopped building their cars entirely, leaving the firm with nothing other than its license with Eestor for any form of revenue.  ZENN seems to dream of being the sole supplier of Eestor ultracapacitors to automotive capacitors.  The question is quickly becoming will there be a ZENN at all if the Eestor products do come to market.

Technology never waits, even when you’re Eestor.  Last week saw Popular Science cover the “Electric Luxury Racer” an exercise in engineering with the latest technology.  Of note the vehicle sports a graphene-based ultracapacitor—a device currently being developed in university labs, which uses sheets of carbon only one atom thick to store twice as much electricity as today’s capacitors offering immediate bursts of power.  The question is will the unnamed university labs come up with production prototypes.  Doubling capacitor storage might not get the idea to ultracapacitor status, but graphene-based caps seem quite possible.

The face of the capacitor market is changing fast.  Ioxus of Oneonta New York has announced 1,000-, 3,000- and 5,000-Farad (F) ultracapacitors.  These are quite different numbers from micro or pico farads.  Ioxus prides itself with smaller dimensions packed in rectangles that offer more power density than the competition.

Ioxus Ultracapacitors. Click image for the largest view.

Right now ultracapacitors can be used as rechargeable energy storage devices to prolong the lifespan of other energy sources, such as batteries. They are lightweight, weighing one-fifth the weight of a comparable battery, and their manufacture and disposal has no detrimental effects to the environment.

Ultracapacitors can take on all of the power functions, except for extended time operation, and this is actually only dependent on the ultracapacitor system size.  The state of charge of the battery array does not affect the characteristics of ultracapacitor energy delivery capability.  Due to buffering by the ultracapacitor array, the battery array is not subjected to large current loading, which makes its operating conditions, under all conditions of line and load more moderate, extending the battery life.  It’s very hard to imagine a smart electric power storage system without ultracapacitor support.

One of the more interesting capacitor applications can be seen on the Ioxus site where they offer a white paper about capacitor use for starting diesel locomotives in Russia.

Will Eestor get from stealth mode to supplying working samples to amaze and impress all of us?  Time will tell, but a near four-month delay on a one’s own announcement doesn’t encourage folks.  In the meantime there are ultracapacitors out there.  Maybe the available products are not so amazing as the Eestor leaked power, but the real products are intensely valuable for supporting electrification of transportation.

Go here to see the original: New Energy and Fuel

Understanding Digital Quantum Capacitors

To start, lets get the digital quantum battery misnomer out of the way.  What’s being discussed here and other places isn’t about battery building; it’s about a theoretical construction of a nano-sized capacitor.  It’s interesting as the storage medium isn’t like a conventional capacitor with the material between the anode and cathode holding the energy.  Rather the power is held in a vacuum.  Quantum science can be wrenching sometimes . . .

Many will recall the vacuum tube has been around for decades and for most uses was made obsolete by transistors.  We tend to think ‘switch’ when vacuum tube comes to mind.  But electrical activity in a vacuum has also led to the fusion field where Bussard’s research is getting close to power production.  Other electrical devices can be made inside a tube holding a vacuum.  Devices can be made filling the tube with gases such as florescent bulbs, or simply installing a filament and burning it with electricity for light and heat.

For better than eighty years it’s been known that a bit of energy can be held in a vacuum when an anode and cathode are present.  Too much energy in and they arc, dumping the energy.  What’s curious but factual is the smaller the distance between the electrodes; proportionally the more energy can be inserted.

Digital Quantum Battery Layout. .

Thus Alfred W. Hübler and Onyeama Osuagwu at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have worked out a theory with supporting math and applied materials science that they believe can be built into a capacitor. Using the math, the assertion is such a capacitor could be two to ten times as great for energy density as the very best lithium-ion battery.  Their idea would use conventional silicon chip manufacturing to build capacitor sets on chips by the billions or trillions.  As the volume for the energy density is a vacuum, the weight will be in the structure, the energy will stay in the tiny vacuum, so the devices could be quite lightweight.

Quantum Capacitor Comparitive Properties Charts. .

Because they are capacitors without a chemical reaction as in a battery the speed of charges and discharges would also be very high.  The two main property requirements for energy storage have good answers.

It sounds almost to good to be true, and for years researchers have recognized that nanoscale capacitors exhibit unusually large electric fields, suggesting that the tiny scale of the devices was responsible for preventing energy loss. Hübler says, “people didn’t realize that a large electric field means a large energy density, and could be used for energy storage that would far surpass anything we have today.”  Realization is the innovation’s first step here.

The materials science needed is compelling.  Hübler says, “If you look at it from a digital electronics perspective–it’s just a flash drive. If you look at it from an electrical engineering perspective, you would say these are miniaturized vacuum tubes like in plasma TVs. If you talk to a physicist, this is a network of capacitors.”  Built on silicon chips, the digital part of the moniker comes from the fact that each nano vacuum tube capacitor would be individually addressable, so the devices might be used for memory as well as storing power.

Hübler hasn’t built anything yet.  But he points out that in 2005 a group of Korean researchers showed that nano capacitors can be fabricated.  Just remember the numbers needed to get to worthwhile scale will be billions and trillions.  Not a threatening number, today’s common processors have transistors in the tens of millions now for a few dollars each.  And if not over heated, last a very, very long time indeed.

Vacuum nano tubes can hold electric energy without any losses for many years, and can be charged and discharged rapidly. The largest charging-discharging rate is proportional to the ratio between the gap size and the speed of light. They’ll be quick.

The key design parameter is the gap size between the anode and cathode.  As noted electrical breakdown in vacuum gaps has been studied or more than 80 years for gap sizes above 200nm.  But little is known for certain about vacuum gaps in the nanometer range.

Hübler and Osuagwu show that in reverse bias, the electric field near nano-tip anodes can be orders of magnitudes larger than the breakdown field of conventional capacitors, varactor diodes, and nano plasma tubes. Their premise is the electrodes are spaced at about 10 nanometers (or 100 atoms) apart so the quantum effects ought to suppress the arcing.

With the current glut of chip fabrication worldwide and the technology at 45nm heading to 28nm, and if the concept can be made to work at such needed scale, small electronic devices like cell phones their could be a path for marketing the technology.

Hübler has applied for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funding to develop a prototype, but the concept presents significant challenges.  The questions about the materials staying together when loaded with power and when working what other phenomena might appear have been raised.  It’s a risk, for sure.

Keep in mind, the silicon chip build would have management and telemetry reports ready almost instantly.  A thermistor could send out information for charges and discharges.  The chips would run with little concern for colder temperatures. It could be a great solution.

But the potential is huge.  Once shown to work, it’s going to be an engineering race.

Original post: New Energy and Fuel

EEStor Signs a Major New Contract

EEStor, the now famed ultracapacitor maker of the future is one step closer to having a product coming to market.  Last week saw information escape that EEStor has contracted with Polarity of Rancho Cordova, California to design and specify the construction details of the ultracapacitor’s power converter.  A power converter would ideally provide a combined capacitor and controller set to deliver steady electrical energy at optimal voltage and amperage.

The power converter would be effectively a transformer, a device that steps down the ultracapacitor’s high voltage to a lower voltage that can be used in motors and other devices.  Reports have it that the EEStor capacitor’s voltage peak is about 35 to 37 hundred volts, much more than electric motors are currently designed to cope with.  Although high voltage allows smaller wires, lighter weights, and other attributes, insulating for high volts has it own issues such as more dimensional needs meaning a larger physical size, voltage insulation that can contain the “pressure” as high voltage much more easily jumps away to grounds, penetrates insulation, and can heat conductors very quickly.

The power converter speculation is supposed to reduce the voltage to the more familiar 600-volt range.  Many insulation types can deal with voltages in that range at low cost and the dimensional issue nears optimal with today’s technology.  At to 400 to 600 volt range, particularly using alternating current very high power output can come from very small packages.

This writer is also assuming that Polarity will offer the power converter with an internal method of providing steady output voltage from capacitors that one expects have voltage drop as they are drained.  Thus the transformer inside would be a variable type that adjusts to the available voltage while the load voltage is a constant.

Some sites are crediting Polarity’s photos, links and products to the EEStor contract.  Those assumptions are certain to be in error, even if interesting.  A little closer reading of the Polarity site makes clear that the products on hand have existing markets.  Most products have generator or battery input voltages; no mention is easily seen of ultracapacitor input products.  As noted the voltage decline will entail certain design modifications to extract the maximum available charge.

Polarity HVLV600 Converter.

Polarity HVLV600 Converter.

Meanwhile snoopy reports have it that EEStor will prove publicly the capabilities of their technology before the end of September 2009.  The context of these, blogs, hypetype news media, etc. tend to overstate the ‘proving” but EEStor may well have announcements in that area.

Factually though the whole thing is based on Polarity’s tight acknowledgment saying on their site,  “Awarded contract from EESTOR to integrate Polarity’s high power HV to LV converter into EESTOR’s EESU that will be used in Zenn Motor Company’s small to medium size electric car.” EESU would be “electrical energy storage unit.”

It seems to be time for those seriously interested in electron storage to come up to speed with EEStor. This is a link to a transcript of Mr Weir, of EEStor and Tyler Hamilton, senior energy reporter and columnist for the Toronto Star. Significantly, at 14:04 where Weir says,

“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.”

Of major note, Weir is suggesting that UL aka Underwriters Laboratories has been invited in to start their process.  Things are much further along than thought.

While much is made of the impact the EEStor device might make across the whole of the electric spectrum Weir reminds us at 24.28 that:

“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.”

This could be a very advantageous development for consumers when peak demand generation has serious competition.

The transcript is a significant read and I’ve only toughed on the highlights.  It’s a few minutes well spent with a lot of answers there.

Go here to see the original: New Energy and Fuel