David Kirkpatrick

August 23, 2008

Silver-Zinc battery from ZPower next year …

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:30 pm

… at least according to this engadget story.

From the link:

ZPower has made a few promises before that haven’t exactly panned out, but that apparently hasn’t stopped it from making another bold claim at IDF this week, with it boasting that its newfangled Silver-Zincbattery will be rolled out in a “major notebook computer” sometime in 2009. According to ZPower, that battery will provide up to 40% more runtime than traditional lithium-ion batteries and, just as importantly, be far more “chemically stable” than its sometimes explosion-prone lithium-ion counterpart. ZPower also looks to be going the extra mile when it comes to recycling the batteries, with 95% of the battery itself apparently recyclable, and the company offering “financial discounts” to folks when they trade in their old Silver-Zinc batteries.
(Hat tip: Wes)

August 13, 2008

A123 Systems announces IPO

Filed under: Business, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:37 am

A start-up with a battery to challenge lithium-ions has announced its initial public offering. A123 Systems has commercialized materials developed at MIT.

From the link:

A123’s success so far is due to its ability to develop ways to manufacture its nanostructured materials. The company’s competitors might solve similar problems themselves and produce batteries that could outperform A123’s. A123 has responded by investing heavily in research and development.

Here is the company’s release on the IPO news:

 A123 Systems, Inc.

A123 Systems Files Registration Statement for Initial Public Offering

WATERTOWN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A123 Systems, Inc. announced today that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

The joint book-running managers of the proposed offering will be Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated and Goldman Sachs & Co. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated will serve as co-lead manager, and Broadpoint Capital, Inc. and Lazard Capital Markets LLC will serve as co-managers.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

Once available, a preliminary prospectus relating to these securities may be obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, Prospectus Department, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10014, telephone: 866-718-1649 or by emailing prospectus@morganstanley.com and from Goldman Sachs & Co., Prospectus Department, 100 Burma Road, Jersey City, NJ 07035, telephone: 212-902-1171, facsimile: 212-902-9316 or by emailing prospectus-ny@ny.email.gs.com

About A123 Systems

A123 Systems develops and manufactures advanced lithium-ion batteries and battery systems for the transportation, electric grid services and portable power markets. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Massachusetts, A123 Systems patented Nanophosphate technology includes nanoscale materials initially developed at and exclusively licensed from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

August 11, 2008

Potential battery storage breakthrough

If this Texas-based firm is right on the science, this is a major breakthrough in battery life. EEStor says it’s prepared to do battle with lithium-ion batteries, possibly besting the current technology’s energy density by three times.

From the link:

A Texas startup says that it has taken a big step toward high-volume production of an ultracapacitor-based energy-storage system that, if claims hold true, would far outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market.

Dick Weir, founder and chief executive of EEStor, a startup based in Cedar Park, TX, says that the company has manufactured materials that have met all certification milestones for crystallization, chemical purity, and particle-size consistency. The results suggest that the materials can be made at a high-enough grade to meet the company’s performance goals. The company also said a key component of the material can withstand the extreme voltages needed for high energy storage.

“These advancements provide the pathway to meeting our present requirements,” Weir says. “This data says we hit the home run.”

Also from the link:

Despite its critics, EEStor has won support from some significant corners. In addition to Lockheed Martin, venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is an investor, and former Dell Computer chairman Morton Topfer sits on EEStor’s board.

The company is also in serious talks with potential partners in the solar and wind industry, where EEStor’s technology can, according to Weir, help put 45 percent more energy into the grid. He says that the company is working toward commercial production “as soon as possible in 2009,” although when asked, he gave no specific date. “I’m not going to make claims on when we’re going to get product out there. That’s between me and the customer. I don’t want to tell the industry.”