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  • Articula
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    First! Ever!
    24 Apr, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    First?

     

    Apologies for posting something *completely* off-topic, ignore at your leisure. This is an impressive time-lapse video of my home city of Adelaide, in South Australia. After 3 years away, and thanks to videos like this, I'm starting to sorely miss it.

     

    http://bit.ly/1fb16DI
    24 Apr, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • Larry Meade
    , contributor
    Comments (105) | Send Message
     
    Sokubo, We enjoyed our 3 day visit to Adelaide several years ago, friends from Camden, NSW drove us there around the south ocean road. We then headed north by rail to Alice Springs for a week and on to Darwin.
    25 Apr, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    The Great Ocean Road, an excellent way to go!

     

    I went on a similar journey, but in reverse, on a family holiday when I was maybe 13 years old. I was bored and petulant at my father for always dragging us on these driving tours around Australia. Twenty years later, of course, I can scarcely think of a more wonderful holiday I'd like to take.

     

    And oddly I've never been north to Alice Springs. This too feels like a strangely incongruent admission now that I've been away for a while. I really must go.
    25 Apr, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • Tickerman
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
     
    third?
    24 Apr, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    Hi Tickerman, like your bio. Hope you and/or your clients like AXPW!
    24 Apr, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • kevin lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    At a time when news is scarce it’s good to see the story being spread by others.
    In his second article regarding lead-carbon battery (dated 4-24-2014) Paul Dvorak of Windpower engineering and development writes about grid stability

     

    http://bit.ly/1rqd6Dm

     

    His first article was written in 2012 highlighting home power installations
    24 Apr, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    Thx, kevin. The more the word spreads, the more new investors we get. New money is a very big deal, in so many ways, including as replacement money for those who have reached the end of their investment time horizons.

     

    Not sure I've seen this before:

     

    “Cost comparisons with other batteries depend, of course, on the application...For a few comparisons with Lithium chemistry, if we are talking about Li-phosphate, we are approximately 30% cheaper. If the comparison is to Lithium titanate, then we are about one-third the cost,”

     

    Some FR details that some might find interesting, too.
    24 Apr, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (1533) | Send Message
     
    Let's offer Paul Dvorak a job. This is the best written piece on Axion I have ever seen. Takes the "wind" right out of Li-Ion's sails and hammers home the "magic" of PbC.
    24 Apr, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • kevin lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    Previous to his article highlighting the advantages of Axion and the PbC battery for energy storage and grid stability for wind power, Paul Dvorak, two months earlier wrote an article regarding the growth of wind power in America in 2013 and for the anticipated increase for 2014.

     

    http://bit.ly/1fbO2hB

     

    The highlights listed are very encouraging, including.

     

    “A record number of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) were signed in 2013. At least 60 PPAs for nearly 8,000 MW were signed by utilities and corporate purchasers, of which 5,200 MW have not yet started construction.”

     

    What I find potentially exciting is identifying the advantages of battery storage with wind energy and the singling out of Axion as the best of breed for this application, along with the timing of the Axion article immediately following the report for the growth for this market. I’m not sure what to make of the already signed PPA’s and potential sales. Can we anticipate powercube sales for the 5,200 MW that have not yet started construction?
    24 Apr, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4204) | Send Message
     
    "I’m not sure what to make of the already signed PPA’s and potential sales. Can we anticipate powercube sales for the 5,200 MW that have not yet started construction? "

     

    If electric power pricing related in http://bit.ly/1lLhbP0 is accurate, there is reason to believe demand for energy storage capacity exists whether or not that 5,200 MW windpower capacity is built. As a holder of AXPW with a short-term investment horizon, I'd like to see existing and future windpower farms develop storage capacity needed to time shift delivery of their output until periods of greater power demand. As a taxpayer and supporter of open markets on level playing fields, I would like to see windpower production tax credits go the way of the dinosaurs.
    24 Apr, 07:20 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    An SA article on wind power storage. One view.

     

    The Further Withering Of Wind Power

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    24 Apr, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • kevin lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    D-inv, iindelco, as much as I recognize your right to disagree with varying degrees government involvement, my question was meant for investment purposes only. What I was wondering was, if the PPA’s have already been signed are future sales still eminent or should they already have been announced, regardless of whether wind energy is the most energy efficient or not?
    24 Apr, 07:46 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4204) | Send Message
     
    "my question was meant for investment purposes only. "

     

    As was my reply. Powering the grid with electricity generated from wind is uneconomic as a standalone proposition in most circumstances in the continental U.S. Coupling windpower with energy storage capacity can be economic where fuel costs are high (islands mostly).

     

    Windpower generation is FINANCIALLY viable with subsidies, but someone must pay for those subsidies and that expense will be borne in two ways -- 1) suppression of the investment and employment in economically viable energy production displaced by wind generated power and 2) distortion of consumer and commercial demand for non-energy goods and services (depression of demand if subsidy mechanisms raise power costs and over stimulation if subsidies lower power costs). Continuation of windpower subsidies MIGHT have some positive potential for supporting PbC sales but without any apparent prospect for multiple day charge/discharge cycles I now regard such prospects as extremely limited. Termination of windpower production tax credits would more likely benefit my pocketbook, both directly and through other investments.
    24 Apr, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2302) | Send Message
     
    A sad reality, wind power profits when it sells at negative rates due to taxpayer subsidies, but the grid is too stressed for this game to continue much longer:

     

    http://bit.ly/1fcbwDg
    24 Apr, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9983) | Send Message
     
    Kevin: Thanks!

     

    TG said -- In the frequency regulation market, the battery does not discharge much more than 30 to 35%. In this application, Granville says the chemistry is capable of hundreds of thousands of such cycles.

     

    Anyone who has been following this blog closely knows I have had a long term beef for years now about how many light duty cycles the PbC can endure. Previously, we have only heard of 100,000 LD cycles in regards to the automotive industry.

     

    I have numerous times here in the APCs wondered aloud why there was no info about how many light duty cycles the PowerCube can endure. Reading 100s of 1000s cycles is comforting, if not exhilarating.

     

    Until your link, there was only hearsay. Thanks again.

     

    Plus...this is also good, no great news for stop/start, ePower, and also for both the 999 and hybrid locomotives.

     

    Huge news! Simply huge...finally!

     

    Thanks again. 100 Likes!

     

    Maybe we surge to .1555 tomorrow ;-)
    24 Apr, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2656) | Send Message
     
    Good article.

     

    TG states:

     

    Cost comparisons with other batteries depend, of course, on the application. With regard to cost, the PbC design is approximately one and a half to two times that of an advanced lead-acid battery, but Granville says Axion’s battery will last four times as long.

     

    What type of batteries is he referring to when he says an advanced lead-acid battery?
    25 Apr, 01:17 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2656) | Send Message
     
    Our score, on a scale of 0 to 100 with 70 as passing, has averaged over 94 since we began participating in 2011

     

    Appears to be about even with the Ultrabattery?

     

    Edit: overall a very good article. Nice to see TG tipping some of his hand on the PC. Someone has to try to sell them ...

     

    Edit: Interesting that he did not refer to Viridity, but to a CSP ...
    25 Apr, 01:22 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Stefan, IMO he means AGM when he refers to "advanced lead-acid battery". This is, of course, the platform that the PbC battery is built off of.
    25 Apr, 06:21 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2656) | Send Message
     
    I hope that the comparison is against AGM. However, isn't even Axion PbC sometimes classified as "advanced lead-acid" in some publications?
    25 Apr, 08:27 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Stefan, Yes, unfortunately the lines are not always perfectly clear when different sources apply nomenclature to the different battery chemistries.

     

    While confusing, at least it's not as bad as the microhybrid/mild hybrid mess in the mass media.

     

    Edit: Or for that matter trying to decipher TG's rants! 8-I
    25 Apr, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • kevin lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    We discussed this yesterday but I still don’t have an answer.
    D-inv thank you for the insight, and I agree with your conclusion, but your answer is more encompassing than my question deserves. I am looking for a more short term answer and specific to the timing of standby power design and purchase.
    According to the U.S. wind energy fourth quarter 2013 market report “A record number of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) were signed in 2013. At least 60 PPAs for nearly 8,000 MW were signed by utilities and corporate purchasers, of which 5,200 MW have not yet started construction.”
    http://bit.ly/1lNsf2t

     

    When a power purchase agreement (PPA) between a power supplier like PJM and an alternative energy producer of wind or solar is agreed upon, are the engineering details already defined to the point of what type, if any, stand-by power is to be used? Or does that planning come later?

     

    The reason for my question is I’m trying to decide at what point the potential sale of a powercube is relevant. If the purchase of standby equipment is part of the design, as I would expect, then the supplier of the standby power would already be known but the purchase of the equipment would not be announced until the purchase is actually made. This would explain optimistic comments of impending sales, but delays to the project would postpone the actual sales announcement. At this point I am willing to insert my own reality and assume sales have been designed in but not yet made.
    25 Apr, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • kevin lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    If I could edit out the ppa link I would. Obviously poweshares aerospace has nothing to do with the comment.
    25 Apr, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    kevin, to my thinking, TG has already told us that projects delays are involved. IIRC, early this month he mentioned waiting for government approval and financing as two causes. For those, an engineering decision delay is not needed to explain a delay.

     

    Easy to put together a reasonable speculation from there, such as, an island has done a preliminary deal with the group of which Axion is part, but the deal is subject to financing and/or government approval. Both of those can take awhile, especially on 'island time.'
    25 Apr, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (531) | Send Message
     
    I agree that the Dvorak article is extremely important. Mayascribe hit on the most important point which is that the PbC can handle hundreds of thousands of 30-35% discharge cycles.

     

    While previously Axion had reported that the PbC could handle over 100,000 start-stop cycles those cycles were characterized as 1% cycles (Vani Dantam told me that at the Axion Annual Meeting two years ago).

     

    The only other data point we had previously had was the 2500 100% discharges which are also mentioned in the article (note it was 2,000 cycles before the automated sheeting line).

     

    Playing with the numbers a bit you can generate a number called "capacity turnover". Dr. Buiel shared that with me as the technical term for what I was calling "amount of electricity moved". If we value electricity at the grid-connected rate of $.10 per kwh we can then generate a $ amount of capacity turnover enabled by the battery. Of course, that's the cheapest possible price for electricity and other "forms" of electricity can be much, much more valuable (frequency regulation as high as $2,800 as also noted in the article or for that matter $.40 cited in many island grid scenarios) which is what makes our Axion world go-round.

     

    So, getting started. If we assume a 30HT battery (because of its roughly .5kwh capacity) that works out to the battery storing $.05 worth of electricity.

     

    Doing the math on 100% discharge, we have 2500 x $.05 or roughly $125 worth of capacity turnover.

     

    For 100,000 start-stop events we get 100,000 x 1% which is 1,000 X $.05 or $50. If we assume 200,000 such events were still at $100.

     

    Now, if we assume 200,000 x 30% discharge we're at 60,000 x $.05 which is $3,000 worth of electricity at grid rates.

     

    As you can see that is an enormous increase in the amount of work performed by the battery. Now, part of the grid scenario is that the company is almost certainly assuming that the batteries would periodically be taken off-line and trickle charged for 36 hours or so to refresh. That assumption likely (and appropriately) was not incorporated into the 100% and 1% discharge numbers that have previously been reported.

     

    Stefan: To address your question, if a standard car battery sized AGM battery is assumed to be worth $150, then from Mr. Granville's quote, it can be assumed a similarly-sized PbC (NOT the 30HT which is larger) would be $225-$300 with Lithium Phosphate at $321-440 and Lithium titanate at $775-900.

     

    To close, I can't emphasis enough how important the 30-35% x hundreds of thousands of events information point is to me. I've been waiting for that datapoint for years. Now, I've suspected the battery could do that based on what Dr. Buiel has stated about the trickle charge opportunity as well as the service life estimates provided by ePower but it is very nice to see Axion going public with the numbers.

     

    Think about it. A battery that can move 10x its cost in base-price electricity (40-50x in an island scenario) is going to be economically viable in a great many scenarios.

     

    That number confirms in my mind that over the long-run the PbC is going to be worth billions of dollars. However, right now Axion is priced as if Mr. Granville is a blind squirrel with a 50lb ball chained to his leg and today, despite this news, the stock price went down.
    25 Apr, 05:34 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Stefan: re': "Appears to be about even with the Ultrabattery?"

     

    The "UltraBattery" is not what was tested, so the question/assertion is somewhat misleading. The Uber is a highly-optimized large-cell storage device using similar electrode technology as an "Ultrabattery".

     

    The PbC would kick its ass in any fair head-to-head test. We can put truck batteries on a shelf and beat the Uber. Read the report more closely - lots of downtime - plenty of troubles with thermal management - limited use of its total rated energy or power - most testing conducted at only 1/2 - 2/3 it's power rating.

     

    I wish we had similar kinds of "downtime data" and the like for our trailer-full of PbC batteries; I'm guessing (hoping) that is simply a matter of "no news is great news".

     

    25 Apr, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • michaelga
    , contributor
    Comments (22) | Send Message
     
    SMartin, Thanks for finding this article. What a crazy, wacko, ideological argument.

     

    I say: let's breathe that mercury!

     

    ""This EPA crusade against global warming continues even though last winter was the coldest US winter since 1911-1912."" Yes, except for floods in UK, a very warm winter in Alaska, droughts in CA and the west, and heat and droughts in Australia.

     

    Europe Hit by Powerful Storm: More Extreme Weather Is ... science.time.com/2013/... Europe began this week bracing itself against one of the most powerful storms in years. Gusts of ... Bad News for Storm-Battered Europe: There's More Extreme Weather on the Horizon ... By Kharunya Paramaguru @KharunyaOct. 30, 20130.
    Weather | euronews
    http://www.euronews.com › A - Z Site Index‎ Euronews
    euronews - Weather | the latest international news as video on demand. ... 10/02 - Flood crisis deepens as severe weather batters Britain and Europe's…
    US faces brutal hurricane season, Europe faces "year ...
    americablog.com/2013/....
    Americablog
    May 30, 2013 - Western Europe may see its coldest summer in 200 years, while the US ... NOAA's 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook indicates that an ...
    European Summary - WeatherOnline
    http://bit.ly/PBhQbe?MENU=204‎
    Weather for UK, Ireland and the world. Sailing, Marine Weather, Weather maps, radar, satellite, climate, historic weather data, information about meteorology, ...
    Europe Floods 2013's Costliest Natural Disaster - weather ...
    http://wxch.nl/PBhQbf...‎
    The Weather Channel
    Jul 9, 2013 - In this aerial view the Magdeburg, Germany, central park is flooded by the Elbe River, Sunday June 9, 2013. More than 20 people have been ...

     

    Hey! What problem?

     

    Oh: ""On top of existing regulations, the EPA is pushing for carbon dioxide emissions standards for power plants, as part of the “fight” against human-caused climate change. If enacted, these new regulations will force coal-fired plants to either close or add expensive carbon capture and storage technology.""
    ... Well, no one is forced to close their plant. They just will because it is cheaper to cause deaths 30 years later than prevent them now. Really pretty simple.
    25 Apr, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9983) | Send Message
     
    Great work, Al!

     

    A couple of weeks ago I did an easy calculation based on the 10 or 15 minutes I spent inside the PowerCube with Enders Dickenson during the 2012 SC. There was this clicking noise every 30 seconds or so. Enders explained that noise was the inverter switching from AC to DC. And then back, as the PowerCube was "smoothing" the grid.

     

    Recalling this, and my opining back a couple of weeks ago that the PowerCube had maybe taken over as testing facility for PbC LD cycles, I decided, again, around two weeks ago, to do a little simple math. I then figured 2 LD cycles per minute, or 120/hour, times 24 hours, times 365 days for one year.

     

    I sat back in my chair stunned when the number on my iPhone popped up at 1,051,200 potential LD cycles per year. And the PowerCube has been running now for 29 months!

     

    I realize that the PowerCube isn't always running 24/7/365 in conjunction with PJM and smoothing the grid, but right then I realized that the 100,000 LD cycles we knew of, was way too low.

     

    I chose back then not to write this simple math into the APCs , because I figured some of you would have jumped all over my simplistic conclusion.

     

    No doubt about it, the PbC is a beast.

     

    Thanks again, Al!

     

    Now let's get the message out!

     

    ####

     

    Back home. Cost me almost $1000 to get that locker cleared out. Ugh.
    25 Apr, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    OK, so the UBer system report contained a State of Charge graph for the system. For the most part, it operated in a narrow band from 45% to 50% SOC.

     

    Now reconsider this statement from the Dvorak article: "In the frequency regulation market, the battery does not discharge much more than 30 to 35%."

     

    This was NOT a quote from Tom. This MAY be a paraphrase of something Tom said. As such, I cannot rule out the alternate interpretation that the meaning relates to state of charge as opposed to depth of discharge.

     

    I would say that if in fact this does mean 30-35% depth of discharge per cycle, that would be at least as amazing, and IMO more so, than the hundreds of thousands of cycles Tom was quoted as saying; which Maya's math suggests it could easily be a million.

     

    Why? Because if it does mean a 30-35% DOD per cycle, that would be very high flux. Which means, at least to me, that there are NO thermal issues whatsoever.

     

    Using the other side of the napkins, assuming one 30-35% depth of discharge cycle per minute, that calculates to a 20C recharge rate. I *could* believe that, actually, especially if the battery is cycling somewhere within the ~25-70% SOC band. But it borders on the unbelievable when considered in conjunction with hundreds of thousands of cycles in the cramped quarters of a trailer.

     

    I very much want to clear this up, but failing to find an easy e-mail address for the author, I'm going to sleep on it and try again tomorrow.
    25 Apr, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2656) | Send Message
     
    Ed - "The PbC would kick its ass in any fair head-to-head test."

     

    I think that remains to be seen ... I wish we had proper comparable data.
    26 Apr, 12:56 AM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    Al & Maya,

     

    Thanks to Al for the calculations - I confess I didn't pick up on those new details until you pointed them out. Your previous estimates - for example on PbC cost, potential company valuation etc - have been conservative and fair so I think it's prudent for us all to take a good deal of notice to this. It does indeed show that, respective to cycle depth and number of cycles, the overall potential return per-battery is vast.

     

    My only criticism is that we don't know what the average discharge actually is. The specific wording is "the battery does not discharge much more than 30 to 35%", which implies that it can discharge up to this amount, but we don't know the actual curve here - maybe it's doing 1% discharge 99% of the time and only occasionally reaching that 30-35% figure. So 200,000 x 30% discharge may not be possible in practice - I really don't know.

     

    In addition, Maya's estimate that a battery could be doing over a million shallow cycles a year - though acknowledged as an overestimate and meant as encouragement - put a small worry into my head. The questions are, (a) how many cycles *can* a PbC do in total and (b) how many cycles *does* a PbC in this market typically do in a year? I'm sure the answer is "it depends", based on the specific type and irregularity of the particular installations that we're supporting. But with rough answers to that, we could also answer the question, "how often do the batteries need to be replaced"? - as obviously ROI is significantly impacted if it's too often.

     

    Axion's original "Letter to Shareholders Regarding Systems with Solar PV and Storage" (http://bit.ly/1k4mB6F) gives an example model wherein a theoretical installation with a 14.4 payback timeframe is reduced to 4.4 years when using a PowerCube. There's no mention of exactly how long the batteries can last though - are we to assume that they're likely to last 14+ years? How many hundreds of thousands of cycles will the original batteries have done after those first 4.4 years?

     

    I'm sure Axion themselves have a pretty good idea of this but even they may not know for sure as their own PowerCube has, as Maya mentioned, only been running for 29 months.

     

    Since our due diligence leads us to believe that one of the PbC's strength is in its ability to shallow cycle better/faster/cheaper than anything else out there, my worries may be foundless. I'll be very happy if my questions turn out to be stupid or easy to answer - I haven't read up enough on how frequency regulation etc works to know whether I'm being naive - but I'd rather ask than not.
    26 Apr, 01:28 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    The Bysolar project provides 300 kWh of energy storage and 500 kW of up and down frequency regulation for a C-rate of 1.6. Frequency regulation events typically last for less than 5 minutes, so they're not deep discharges unless something extraordinary happens. In that kind of a duty cycle, the PbC should have a very long and productive life, but I'm not sure anybody really knows how long the battery will last.

     

    As batteries go, the PbC is a cycling beast. It accepts very high charge currents and provides very high discharge rates. Nobody has had much luck with "test to failure" regimes because they take so darned long. When we did 100% DOD failure tests on the original cell prototypes, the testing went on for over 2-1/2 years and the cells were obsolete before they failed. You find yourself walking by a test rack and asking "Why in heavens name are we continuing to test that antique?"

     

    AFAIK the two toughest cycling regimes for the PbC are the NS and ePower projects. Axion is telling ePower "We're confident that you'll get at least 4,000 hours from the batteries and think you'll get a good deal more, but until we have an adequate experience base with PbCs that have been cycled for 4,000 hours in your application we won't know how much more."

     

    This is the reason they pull batteries every couple months and take them back to New Castle for tear down analysis. They're trying to learn how the batteries age and what the failure mechanisms are. So far it's been a pretty frustrating undertaking because the batteries age very well and we haven't had any failures.

     

    From ePower's perspective a 4,000 hour battery life is great and anything more just makes our economics better. We currently factor a two-year battery life into our economics but will be thrilled to get three or four years.

     

    Batteries fail and the PbC will not be an exception. But it won't fail before it pays for itself several times over.

     

    This article may help put the cycle-life question into better context for you:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    26 Apr, 06:38 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I found a means of contacting the website - here is the e-mail:

     

    "Hi Paul,

     

    Thanks for the great stuff on your site. I am an interested private researcher and investor, in AXPW and other alternative energy-related companies.

     

    From your recent article on Axion Power batteries:
    "In the frequency regulation market, the battery does not discharge much more than 30 to 35%."

     

    Are you saying that the battery is delivering 30-35% of its energy with each cycle? Or that the battery is delivering 5% of its energy by cycling between 65% and 70% state of charge?

     

    Thanks,
    Ed"
    26 Apr, 08:56 AM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (531) | Send Message
     
    Edmund and Sohkubo: You guys are right that I got a little ahead of myself there. Mr. Granville's statement that most events don't last an hour or even nearly that long combined with Mayascribe's description of the powercube operation, JP's description of ePower (power gauge is constantly moving between + and - even at constant speed), and numerous other examples would indicate that the skew is likely towards the much shorter events so the actual amount of "work" being done is only a fraction of what I projected.

     

    I suspect that Edmund's point about the C rate is probably more relevant than the number and depth of the discharges when it comes to PbC battery life because of the refresh capability.

     

    Question for JP: Does the 4,000 hour battery life expectation with ePower include the assumption that there will be periodic 36-48 hour refresh episodes?

     

    I think this is an important question. In the hybrid car scenario it would seem that such refresh episodes are out of the question (a potential business opportunity to buy and sell used PbC batteries?). In grid applications with relatively predictable usage patterns and where the batteries are networked to a management company I would think refresh opportunities should be expected and incorporated into battery life projections.

     

    I'm asking John because trucks might fall somewhere in between. Yes, the trucks are professionally managed and the data is available (if the company has a telemetry program) but it is an inconvenience and potential complication that ePower may not want to have to explain at this early stage, especially if the numbers are solid without it. That is, the refresh could become an icing on the cake bonus later on.

     

    My apology for getting a little bit ahead of myself here.
    26 Apr, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    We haven't seen any indication that a refresh cycle will be needed. That's one of those questions that can only be answered when you have enough experience under your belt to know what the issues are.

     

    As far as getting ahead of yourself goes that seems to be what Axionista's do best; worrying about crossing bridges that are still a couple hundred miles down the road;-)
    26 Apr, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2145) | Send Message
     
    Hi AM,
    I don't see a problem having time for a refresh on a truck. Unless the truck is slip seating (multiple drivers), the driver will need 34 hours off to reset his hours once a week and the truck itself will need normal periodic work. With a little co-ordination it will be a nonissue.
    26 Apr, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    We don't see a periodic refresh charge as a big issue if it proves necessary, but so far we don't have any indication that it will be necessary.
    26 Apr, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    We also shouldn't lose sight of the fact that total work performed is but one metric. It also needs to be recognized that the varying types of work to be performed, even to the extremes, needs to be factored in.

     

    For example we learned from Multilink that LABs can work fine in most areas where the grid rarely goes down and when it does it comes back up in short order. So in this case you might get ten years out of LABs. However if you have a region where the grid will go down more often and not come up in short order leaving your LABs at PSOC for some time, suddenly you have an unacceptable storage system. All this even though the amount of "work" both systems are really providing doesn't differ much.

     

    The total work a system can provide is important but if it can't do ALL the tasks, even at the extremes, it might make the system chosen a completed failure.

     

    A PbC battery is most noteworthy not for how it compares to the pack of other offerings in many areas but where they just can't run.
    26 Apr, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I dislike having to continually refer back to the UBer report on the East Penn/Ecoult/Lyon Station project, but I have no choice. Again, here is a link to one of several reports out there - I like this one because it gives a voltage graph and a couple of other details missing in other reports:
    http://1.usa.gov/ZQxna5

     

    If you look at the Power graph on p.8, you see there were a lot of requests and deliveries. I count ~120 in the twelve hours, or about 6 minutes per cycle.

     

    Since the SOC is essentially flat over that time, assuming similar charge/discharge rates, the battery spends about half its time charging (6 hr) and half discharging (6 hr).

     

    Each spike in the Power graph will have a corresponding event on the SOC chart, p.9. The magnitude of these events is also variable; the largest is a 5% discharge at ~14:30, several discharges of 3%, multiple in the vicinity of 2%, but there are many more less than 1%. I ballpark the average discharge at ~1% SOC.

     

    The system is a 3.6MW install, to get a useful 3MW of frequency regulation. 1% of 3.6MW is 36kW.

     

    That's 36kW being delivered 100 times in 12 hours.

     

    3600kw/12h = 300kwh

     

    300kwh x $0.10/kWh = $30/h, or 30 x 24 x 365 = $262,800/year for the 3.6MW install.

     

    Tom is claiming a 1MW PbC install can net $250,000 annually. That suggests the PowerCube has a lot better ROI than the UBer system.

     

    To calculate the C-rate that the system is operating at, we only use the 6 hours spent charging. 3600kW worth of charging occurred over 6 hours; that's a C-rate of C/6.

     

    Not a very demanding application, it seems. Yet they experienced significant thermal management issues.
    26 Apr, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    EM, since the PbC is between a pure capacitor and the UB, could Axion exploit the whole range between the two?

     

    For example, for shallow DOD applications, increase the carbon/lead ratio, so not as many batteries are needed, thereby lowering total battery costs even when the individual battery price goes up.

     

    For deep DOD apps, lower the carbon/lead ratio. More batteries are needed, but each is cheaper and more energy is needed.

     

    Maybe I have the carbon/lead ratio reversed, but either way seems like customizing the PbC to the intended use, as tightly as possible, allows the PbC to use its power/energy customization to its advantage. Pure capacitors are only capacitors (until they're teamed with a chemical battery---seems like having both in one box, as is the PbC, would be cheaper, though?) and the UB is mostly lead. So I'm thinking we have more flexibility, or at least more easily configured flexibility.
    26 Apr, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Mr. I, You may recall that ePower was not purely satisfied with the PbC as a result of the first set of batteries supplied. Based on their work and Axion's support they made adjustments to the battery to better support the needs of the application. Also, IIRC, the carbon sheeting process changed from a manual process to the fully automated process between the two groups so there was also a slight improvement in the characteristics between the two iterations due to more uniform process control in the automated line.

     

    Anyway, we know Axion has some level of ability to balance the electrochemical and electrostatic balance in the PbC battery so you comments are spot on. How much we don't know but they can turn some knobs for unique application needs.
    26 Apr, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Mr.I, That is a very complicated question, beyond my ability to answer.
    At this point in time, I consider the PbC to essentially be a fixed format device of limited flexibility and certain unmatched capabilities. The idea that NS is building a rack system to hold a bunch of truck batteries instead of re-engineering the PbC battery technology to create a loco-specific module is a stunning endorsement of the PbC battery in its current form. Their locomotives are million-dollar machines, not weekend warrior projects suitable for jerry-rigging.
    As it stands today, the PbC can be built with regular lead acid battery anodes on a lead-acid battery manufacturing line. That's an significant cost and margin advantage, benefiting both AXPW and the buyer.
    To your question: It has been noted numerous times that the energy capacity (the total amount of energy the battery can hold at one point in time, regardless of how fast it can cycle) of a PbC is less than a typical lead-acid battery. That limit is *most likely* created by the limited surface area of the activated carbon. I would think that increasing the carbon electrode surface area would improve the energy capacity (as would any more effective means of activating it, but we'll assume that's already maximized). So then you either have to find a source of higher surface area carbon (e.g., certain nano-materials, prohibitively expensive) OR put bigger electrodes in a new case, or perhaps thicker carbon electrodes and thinner PbO2 electrodes. Either way you lose some of the manufacturing advantage. Nonetheless, I consider something in this vein to be a likely product development if the "truck battery PbC" proves out and the PbC cell technology moves forward. (There's a couple of very good reasons for the UBer grid storage system to be based on very large electrodes - such that a six-cell UBer-electrode battery would weigh ~2000 pounds compared to our miniscule 73 pound PbC truck battery).
    26 Apr, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    iinde and EM, I always liked Axion saying they can tune the energy/power split; we just haven't talked about it much here yet.

     

    Perhaps that's what they did with the battery for ePower---I don't recall if Axion said what they changed to get more power except maybe better manufacturing, not necessarily a different split by other means.

     

    Anyway, some of our competitors on both sides may be less flexible than us. Capacitors have to be connected to an outside battery---sounds more complicated and costly to me than the PbC's all-in-one-box approach. And the UB can't legally approach the % of carbon we have, but we might be able to overlap the amount of lead they have. Not at all sure that the potential advantages in this area are achievably real, but food for thought.

     

    I wonder about li-ion's flexibility, too. Do the various chemistries come in different energy/power splits? Or is a way to achieve the result simply by using different chemistries? The PbC might be able to have a fairly wide, easily achievable tunability that few if any competitors can match. But maybe that's mostly for later, when the design can be better optimized for the need, over time.
    26 Apr, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I doubt they have much ability to do anything with the "power/energy split".

     

    First off, the power comes from the same place as the PbCs superior dynamic charge acceptance rate (DCA) - or "negative power"? - the activated carbon electrode.

     

    And the energy capacity is purely a matter of the size/surface area of the carbon electrode and its activation.

     

    Unless this tweaking involves changing the relative sizes of the electrodes as I suggested just above, there is nothing they can do to change the power/energy split in any positive way. And they would never choose a lower surface area carbon source.

     

    That's because the exact same property of the carbon is involved in both increasing both power and energy capacity - the "activation" efficiency. How many charge-holding groups per unit carbon are created by the activation process. If I increase the activation, I will increase the power, the DCA and the absolute energy capacity. And all three properties will suffer if my activation is poor. While they may not improve at the same rate, there is no advantage in depressing the activation to tweak the "power/energy ratio" - your battery will only get absolutely worse on all three counts.
    I am fairly certain then that carbon activation is a maximized process. I am not sure who is doing the activation, Kuraray or Axion, or whether it is done before or after electrodes are made - probably before. I do not know if it can be overdone - I would imagine there might be an "over-charging" penalty, to use an analogy, but the activation process is likely designed to prevent it from being a major penalty.
    26 Apr, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    What they likely did for ePower was deliver batteries with better activated carbon electrodes - in which case the battery would have better everything.
    26 Apr, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    Axion has never told ePower what it did differently on the second set of batteries. The only thing I know is that Jay wasn't happy with the first set and he was thrilled with the second. You can bet your bottom dollar that these questions will never be answered to your satisfaction.
    26 Apr, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    "In the hybrid car scenario it would seem that such refresh episodes are out of the question"

     

    Actually they could just have a plug in charging option. The owner's manual could just say to plug it in overnight once a week or something. Same is possible with ePower or any motive application for that matter, unless it is too remotely located from line power. Even then a trickle solar charger might be helpful.

     

    The option to add a 'plug in' refresh charge is one reason I'm not too worried any more about lower SoC applications killing the PbC prematurely. It seems the killer is longer periods sitting around at low SOC, not short periods at low SOC even if frequent. From what I've been gathering, higher SOC's actually begin to dissolve the problematic lead sulphate crystals that form at lower SOC. So taking it down to 10 or 20% shouldn't be a problem if you don't leave it there for long. Consider that the ePower test run of 20 road hours plus an overnight the 56 PbCs were *fully* charged upon return with no need for time on a charger. I think this bodes very well.

     

    We know the negative is immune from sulphation. We know the positive will eventually fail by sulphation or perhaps another of the mechanisms that plague lead electrodes. However if sulphation is what eventually does in the PbC (likely), it can be mitigated by less time at low SOC and more time at 100% or just high SOC.

     

    Dr. Buiel said the refresh charge at 100% or above can reverse some but not all hard sulphation. But hard sulphation proceeds more slowly the higher SOC you keep the battery at.

     

    Another preventive measure could be to have operators monitor the voltage of the pack on a dash meter and if it falls below a certain level to idle the vehicle a minute or two before shutdown to get the voltage up.

     

    So I really think there are low cost workarounds if deep cycling does tend to put limits on longevity.
    26 Apr, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    It was actually ten road hours there, an overnight, and ten road hours back home.
    26 Apr, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    The difference between the two sets of batteries Jay tested would be that they had two different batches of activated carbon electrodes; one manual, one robotic. That would be a satisfactory answer. I believe that answer has been offered and accepted in the past, in fact.

     

    "We 'tweaked' the activated carbon" - that would not be a satisfactory answer.

     

    In any case, I already bet my bottom dollar on something far more interesting.
    26 Apr, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    I think the new carbon sheeting was part of the solution, but I think they did some other things too. When I asked for details I was politely told no.
    26 Apr, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (990) | Send Message
     
    "Think about it. A battery that can move 10x its cost in base-price electricity (40-50x in an island scenario) is going to be economically viable in a great many scenarios."

     

    Thanks AM!
    That little snippet puts the Pbc in context for the non techies.
    26 Apr, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Just to add the last piece of what I understand on the issue. I recall Kirk Tierney years ago mentioning that they were striving to reduce the amount of binder in the carbon sheeting process as this material, while necessary, was not a contributor to the active material volume and also added to the resistance of the system. Perhaps the change from the manual dough rolling process to the automated process allowed for an adjustment in the quantity, teflon IIRC, required? Or, at a minimum, assured uniformity and thus a more efficient overall string might have been the reason.

     

    Maybe if I call TG he'll tell me! <ES>
    26 Apr, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3450) | Send Message
     
    Edmund,

     

    I may be missing some key context, but for the life of me, I get lost here:

     

    "The system is a 3.6MW install, to get a useful 3MW of frequency regulation. 1% of 3.6MW is 36kW.

     

    That's 36kW being delivered 100 times in 12 hours.

     

    3600kw/12h = 300kwh"

     

    Particularly that last equality, which to my eyes, appears faulty--because the units fail dimensional analysis.

     

    kilowatts (power) *times* hours yields kilowatt-hours (our familiar unit of energy)

     

    kilowatts *divided by* hours doesn't have a conventional meaning, or at least one that I understand...
    26 Apr, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (1038) | Send Message
     
    48, I think you are mixing up MW and MWh. The 1% would be measured in MWh, which you can't compare to MW.
    26 Apr, 06:12 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    48, I don't like it either.

     

    Back to the napkin back.
    26 Apr, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3450) | Send Message
     
    Thanks, EM. To my eye, it's a pretty difficult undertaking, to tease out from those graphs, (especially at the scale given) the integrated total of energy exchanged. And then also to get to some meaningful aggregation of all the power excursions, which vary in magnitude, and then, to somehow calculate a total dollar value of all that. Hat's off. I'll await the revised napkin calcs in peace and with much curiosity... ;)
    26 Apr, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • jcrjg
    , contributor
    Comments (174) | Send Message
     
    Apm - Now, part of the grid scenario is that the company is almost certainly assuming that the batteries would periodically be taken off-line and trickle charged for 36 hours or so to refresh. That assumption likely (and appropriately) was not incorporated into the 100% and 1% discharge numbers that have previously been reported.

     

    Does this mean that if the trickle charge is used then the numbers will be even better than your calculation suggests?

     

    In the article TG says that our battery lasts 3-4 times as long, but this is for full discharge, it seems like the difference is much greater for partial discharge. Is that true?

     

    Thanks for so clearly laying out the importance of the information in the article.
    26 Apr, 09:51 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I'm restarting my calculations at the point where I've derived 36kW being delivered 120 times in 12 hours (I counted 120 events, but I used 100 in the earlier calculations, so I'll "correct" that here, too). Those events are occurring in six hours. The other six hours the Uber was recharging.

     

    Anyway, let's just see where this goes.

     

    Each of the 36kW power units was delivered in 6/120 of an hour, for a work unit equal to 36kW x 6h/120 = 1.8kWh.

     

    The system delivered that work 120 times in 12 hours or 240 times a day, so for the year the system should deliver 1.8kWh x 240/day x 365 = 157,680kWh/year;
    that's also for just one string, so I need to multiply by four strings, for a total estimated work performed of 630MWh.

     

    This from the report:
    "Annual Storage Dispatch
    The data indicates a round‐trip AC‐AC efficiency figure of 81.5% and an average regulation level of 2MW.
    In a commercial system, this 2MW average, with an assumed performance score of 96% and 90%
    availability, would result in an Annual Storage Dispatch figure of 15,137MW*h of regulation service." [NOTE: System efficiency was only 74.9% when adjustment was made for the cost of system maintenance like air-conditioning and forced air venting and the like]

     

    My calculations differ by a factor of 15137/630 = 24 on the amount of work delivered compared to their calculation.

     

    So what's the discrepancy from?

     

    Of course their 15,137 MWh is only their calculation, which I can back-calculate to be derived as 2MW x .96 x .90 x 24h x 365d.

     

    Whereas my calculations are based on actual work, their calculation is based on the power rating made available to PJM.

     

    At this time, the billing is too obtuse for my taste, so the bottom line for me is not a financial conclusion, just this: They are NOT doing a whole lot of work and they are still sweating. They did NOT manage 90% availability, because the system had a lot of thermal issues amongst others, nor was their average performance score 96 (93.7). They had a significant auxiliary load.

     

    They reported receiving $189,000 from PJM for 6,874 MWh for the 12 months. (A factor of ~10 greater than my 630MWh estimate) Someone's smoking hopium and blowing smoke.

     

    The system cost was $5,000,000 according to DOE.

     

    sorry I couldn't do better, 48. good catch on the dimensional analysis, btw.
    26 Apr, 11:24 PM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (531) | Send Message
     
    One technical note to Edmund before I go on. I believe the energy capacity of the PbC is directly proportional to the amount of lead in the battery. I cannot discuss the why just seem to remember that being stated as fact many times in the concentrator.

     

    A question also for Edmund on the 3.6MW installation.
    In that example, you seemed to estimate a 1/6 C average charging rate. Does this mean that if you cut the size of the battery to 1.2MW that the C rate would then have to increase to 1/2?

     

    I think your focus on the C rate is very important. As we all know the PbC can handle a higher C rate than pretty much all other battery types, including many LI types. I can't remember the PbC C rate but hopefully some others will remember the right number.

     

    I guess I'm trying to extrapolate from the data estimate you used, what size PbC installation would be required. Presumably it would be smaller than its UB counterpart. I think TG made a similar point at the last annual meeting in comparing the PbC to lithium ion. However, that presentation went a bit over my head so I didn't fully understand.

     

    I started this note intending to talk about my pushing the idea of this refresh. It seems clear that JP thinks I'm over-emphasizing this point by describing it as nearly a 36 hour cure-all for anything that ails the PbC. That was my understanding, but I think we should defer to JP's more sober assessment.

     

    Before leaving the refresh issue behind, my impression was that it was something that might be done once a year rather than a once a week thing.

     

    Finally, I'd like to take issue a little bit with iindelco (something I very rarely do). You seemed to be pointing out that I was over-emphasizing the importance of the amount of "work" metric in terms of the PbC. Sure, if there is one thing we've all learned from studying Axion and this industry it is that batteries are very complicated and matching batteries to applications is rarely a simple thing. No doubt that there are many applications for which the PbC likely is not the best solution and your examples are good ones.

     

    However, this metric, which I referred to as "work" is in my mind the defining characteristic of the PbC.

     

    So, if we go from having a battery that can do its cost in "work" (move an amount of $.10kwh electricity equal to the cost of the battery) to doing a larger amount (my 10x estimate was likely way too high as Edmund and Sohkubo pointed out) then that will enable totally new applications.

     

    Two years ago, Bob Averill was basically saying this same thing at the annual meeting when he kept shifting his hands to his left then to his right saying that the ideal application for the PbC was one where electricity needed to be moved repeatedly "back and forth" and the more often the better.

     

    In other words, the PbC is for moving the electricity NOT for storing it. I know that we all know that, but we really need to internalize it. That is why frequency regulation and ePower are such great targets for the PbC. I'm rambling, but, given all that we know about the PbC, in my mind this "work" metric is the key factor that will make or break Axion.
    27 Apr, 12:18 AM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3450) | Send Message
     
    Edmund,

     

    Thanks to you for expending such noble effort. I will have to do a lot more thinking about it to get myself clear. At the moment, I still don't quite follow how you arrived at the statement "36kW being delivered 120 times in 12 hours". ISTM only work/energy can be "delivered", whereas power can only be "applied". The system is called upon at various times to either add energy (apply power) to the grid, or take energy from the grid (absorb power), in varying amplitude, all the way up to +/- 3MW...

     

    The area under the Power-time curve for each of these events would yield the energy transferred for each event. Each event would vary in both intensity (power) and duration. Obviously a high-power event of a longish duration would involve more total energy per event than lower-power or shorter-duration events. The sum of all the events over the twelve hours would yield the total work that the battery has performed. But there obviously has to be some kind of sophisticated scheme to properly value and take into account both of the dimensions involved--the power and the energy.
    27 Apr, 12:19 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    48, time for me to hit the hay, but this integration is exactly what is needed. I have the 36kW as the average power pulse with the 6h/120 as the average time in which it occurs. That produces my "work unit" per response, where 240 units are produced per day.

     

    I will be thinking about the C-rate while I fall sleep.

     

    Caveat: This is all fairly new to me. My goal is to understand the application better, and to understand both the UB and the PbC better. If we can ever get the two side-by-side, that would be great; until then we only have the comparison of the New Castle PowerCube (very limited data) and the Lyon Station UBer (quite a bit of data).

     

    The Uber certainly had heat troubles despite being optimized and only being put to what seems light duty (~5% DOD cycling). If the PbC is doing 30-35% DOD cycling, that would be all but incredible.
    27 Apr, 12:49 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Al Marshall, "Does this mean that if you cut the size of the battery to 1.2MW that the C rate would then have to increase to 1/2?"

     

    Yes. If the work being done is the same by both batteries, the C-rate is higher for the smaller capacity battery - it's just a calculation based on battery capacity. That's one reason why it's not always a significant metric.

     

    It is an Coul one, though: http://bit.ly/1k7uYhT

     

    back to bed
    27 Apr, 01:24 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    AM, for sure on ur last point. The utilization rate of every asset is important. For inventory, it is turns. Same thing for money itself---velocity. For the PbC, too---turns, velocity, full cycle equivalents, work, whatever the metric is called. Max the utilization rate.

     

    Importantly, coupled with an application that can pay well enough for the utilization: # of full cycle equivalents * benefit per full cycle equivalent = value, I'm thinking.

     

    Then subtract the cost and u have the net benefit.
    27 Apr, 01:45 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    APMarshal: " I believe the energy capacity of the PbC is directly proportional to the amount of lead in the battery. I cannot discuss the why just seem to remember that being stated as fact many times in the concentrator."

     

    I *believe* this was stated a *long* time ago in one of TG's discussions in a CC? I'm not sure. JP may have also said this - but again unsure as time has eroded details, as usual.

     

    It comes to my mind that the *energy* capacity is not related to the carbon, but the the amount of lead, possibly the acidity of the electrolyte (PbC electrolyte is less acidic than normal, not subject to as much stratification) than VRLA/AGM normally are, internal resistances(?), ...

     

    Uncertain about all this though.

     

    HardToLove
    27 Apr, 08:39 AM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    HTL, Al: it's moments like, especially as I'm a software engineer, that I wish the concentrators were databased, tagged and easily searchable. One day...

     

    Having said that, I recall reading the same, so I think it is the case. I also have (very) limited Google-fu; here's but one reference:

     

    JP, APC #194 (http://seekingalpha.co...):
    "The PbC technology can be tuned to favor energy by using thicker lead electrodes and thinner carbon electrodes. It can also be tuned to favor power by using more carbon and less lead. It's not an infinite range of variability, but there is enough for customers to make differentiated products."

     

    There's probably entire paragraphs dedicated to this topic in one article or another, if only I could find them.
    27 Apr, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    The big reason the PbC has a very low volumetric energy density is that lead stores energy in electrochemical form while carbon stores it in electrostatic form. An ounce of lead can store orders of magnitude more energy than an ounce of carbon.

     

    While the PbC is tunable within a range to favor energy or favor power, it's not infinitely tunable and its strength will never be storing electricity for its energy value.

     

    In a frequency regulation context the utilities don't pay for the number of kilowatt hours the system delivers. They pay for the ability to instantaneously add kilowatts of power to the system and keep everything in balance until slower responding resources can kick in and provide a longer term balance.

     

    The easiest way to think about FR is as a massive UPS. You don't want the UPS to carry the load for more than a couple minutes while a generator comes on line to carry the load for hours or days if needs be. FR does the same thing but it performs the function at a grid-scale level instead of a circuit or enterprise level.

     

    For FR the utilities pay to have a kW or MW or GW on standby in case they need it. The payment is the same hourly rate if they use none of the standby capacity, a fraction of the standby capacity, or all of the standby capacity.
    27 Apr, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    As a means of "tweaking the power/energy split", I get the method, but to be honest, the effects are opposite what I was thinking.
    27 Apr, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    The volume inside a battery case is constant but the principal energy storage medium is the lead. The carbon contributes power and fast DCA and eliminates sulfation, but it stores far less energy per cubic centimeter than lead.

     

    If the positive and negative electrodes have the same thickness, a PbC would have about half as much raw energy storage capacity as an AGM battery. If you make the carbon electrodes thicker, you'll reduce the amount of lead you can put into a fixed volume and reduce the total stored energy. The payback for the reduced energy will be increased capacitance, power and charge acceptance.

     

    The negative electrodes in a PbC do not use paper thin coatings like you see in lithium-ion batteries. Instead the carbon sheets are more like thick cardboard and the surface area the electrode is based on the number of grams of carbon per sheet.

     

    I've always used a rough estimate of 8 oz of carbon per PbC battery, or about 224 grams. At 1,500 m^2 per gram the carbon sheets in a PbC have about 83 acres of surface area.
    27 Apr, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Page 6 pretty much explains what their point is. The lead electrochemical energy storage is so much higher per unit volume and mass that the electrostatic side of the PbC can almost be disregarded by comparison when energy storage is being calculated.

     

    http://bit.ly/1k8QuCN
    27 Apr, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • JamesBBecker
    , contributor
    Comments (385) | Send Message
     
    I was sort of suspicious of John's assertion on the energy per weight front (energy per volume is obvious). So I went to the mouser web site and got energy / kg data on various supercapacitors.

     

    Damn if he isn't right. Supercapacitors have energy density of about 4.5 WH/kg - or about 100 WH for a 50 lb battery made of nothing but Super-Capacitors. Which is about 1/7 - 1/8 the energy density of a lead acid battery.

     

    Maybe someday someone will figure out a super-capacitor material that provides for higher voltage while holding the same charge. Doubling the voltage limit from 2.5V to 5V would increase energy density by a factor of 4, which would bring it close to Lead-Acid. Not that I know of any such technology.
    27 Apr, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Al Marshal, Sorry if my wording was not chosen wisely to properly make my point w/o reducing the emphasis you were making on the importance of how the PbC storage system can turn over energy more quickly and thus do more "work".

     

    I tend to look at the PbC, as it relates to grid support and the ePower applications, in a different way vs the amount or value of the energy that is being cycled through the system. The way I tend to look at the value that the PbC can offer is in its support of the entire system. What does the system need to do its work or to do it better? I look at what it contributes as one sub-system in a far more complex system. The value of the unit energy that the battery provides is IMO not that valuable. It's how it can sink and source the energy that makes it stand out if used for the right applications. In effect, to me the value of the energy changes based on how quickly and at what magnitude it can be sunk and sourced.

     

    This in my mind is why organizations like PJM are offering different pricing for different response times. The various sub systems, or energy sources, all provide energy but the worth of the energy varies based on the needs of the system it is integrated in.

     

    A simple way for me to make my point is comparing the energy in a portable device vs a home wall socket. The value of the energy in your portable device is valued far more than the same level of energy that can come from the wall socket. And for some, if the portable device battery could be half the size or charge in xy% of the time, the value of the storage device with the same level of energy would be even more. Why? Because the energy can be sunk and sourced in a manner that makes the energy more valuable to the entire system for some users.

     

    Again, I'm sorry for the manner in which I tried to make my point. I really think we're getting at the same thing to some extent via two different paths. Or maybe I'm wrong but even then my only intent is to learn and contribute. And I certainly appreciate your contribution as I do many others here.
    27 Apr, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I'm not all aboard with what is being said about "capacity". A battery is dead when it can't push electrons through an external circuit. That occurs when a limiting reagent in the internal electrochemistry is consumed or unavailable. The typical lead-acid battery is limited by the sulfuric acid/sulfate which carries charge between electrodes. It's used at both electrodes where it plates out of solution. Once it's gone, the battery is dead. The electrodes still have "capacity", because they aren't completely consumed, i.e., there's still PbO2 at the positive and Pb at the negative that isn't PbSO4. I could bring the battery back to life by adding charge-carrying sulfuric acid/sulfate until one or the other electrode ran out of Pb/PbO2.
    With the carbon electrode, the charge carriers are adsorbed to the activated surface. When they run out, the battery is done. If you want to bring it back to life, you'd have to add more activated (and charged) carbon.
    27 Apr, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    Outside the sphere of personal electronics and battery powered cars, there are very few applications where users completely discharge their batteries. A typical automotive starter battery cycles in a narrow range of 98% to 100% SOC. A micro-hybrid cycles in a range from 75% to 85% SOC. The ePower tractor cycles its batteries more deeply, but most of the intervals where we need battery boost range from a one minute acceleration interval to a four or five minute hill climb. For our purposes, the total energy capacity of the battery is a meaningless metric. Even the NS 999 is an application where energy is used in short acceleration spurts and then recovered in short regenerative braking spurts.

     

    One of the greatest myths the lithium-ion hucksters foisted on an unsuspecting public is that energy density and total energy capacity are mission critical metrics in all applications. It's simply not true for the vast majority of battery applications.
    27 Apr, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2428) | Send Message
     
    Edmund - you thought that increasing the carbon would increase the energy of the battery. I think that is rather unlikely: the energy is in the lead, the power is in the carbon.

     

    This somewhat oversimplifies the chemistry. A bio-carbon has less energy for the same volume because it has less lead. Likewise, it is lighter for the same volume. Adding carbon/reducing lead would make even more of a power battery, and less an energy battery.

     

    Using "tiny" truck batteries for a locomotive is certainly the cheap, easy solution. Once/if the volumes are worthwhile, I would strongly expect to see multi-thousand pound batteries in production. Large UPS batteries are over 1,000 pounds PER CELL, not battery.
    27 Apr, 05:08 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Edmund, all true. However an electrochemical battery does not perform digitally during it's life due to aging processes you understand better than I. So in effect the battery is pretty much "dead" to the function it was purchased to perform one it can no longer perform that function at an acceptable level dependably. It is true that some can be redeployed for other functions or reconditioned to again perform at an acceptable level for some period, but based on costs for numerous steps of the redeployment/reconditi... these cases are pretty rare on average.
    27 Apr, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Rick, that is exactly what I have been saying in the past couple concentrators, to wit, (1) the "truck batteries on a shelf" PbC PowerCube, based on the very limited information we have from Axion at this time, seems to match the speed of the UBer™ USB-480/750KW UltraBattery® Storage Block, even though the latter uses 260-290-pound cells designed to decrease both internal and external resistance and (2) I expect once the PbC is proven out we will see this product development. There are quite a few comments on this in APC 324.
    27 Apr, 08:38 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I am operating under the belief that the PbC battery involves exchanging the Pb electrode for a dimensionally matched activated carbon electrode and that the PbO2 electrode is unchanged from a typical LAB.

     

    Can anyone confirm that?
    27 Apr, 08:57 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    John, my comments on battery capacity are an attempt to illustrate my reasoning only. I am not interested in foisting a myth on anyone about anything.
    27 Apr, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    That's close. In a typical LAB cells have an equal number of positive and negative electrodes. That leaves one side of a negative electrode and one side of a positive electrode compressed up against a cell wall where it doesn't do much work.

     

    Since the negative electrodes in a PbC are far more costly, the optimal configuration for a PbC is N positive electrodes and N-1 negative electrodes per cell.
    27 Apr, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (1533) | Send Message
     
    I doubt it would be very hard to have different PbC configurations in parallel performing different jobs. One PC for power smoothing that is carbon-rich (power-rich), and one PC for peak shifting that is lead-rich (energy-rich), particularly now we know Axion is engineering grid-tie architectures on their own.
    27 Apr, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (531) | Send Message
     
    iindelco: Your wording was just fine. I didn't take your comment personally and thought you just meant to discuss the point you were making. Yes, I think we both understand what the other is saying so maybe it is semantics to some extent. Still, since we're having a positive and respectful discussion, let me push back at your point once again, hopefully in a way that will still be helpful to everyone reading.

     

    If I can over-summarize a bit, I take your note as describing a pyramid of applications with the top of the pyramid being the most valuable (like that $2.8k instance of frequency regulation or the power in a GPS receiver or a wristwatch) and the bottom representing instances where the value of the electricity essentially is zero.

     

    A storage asset at a certain cost/functionality point represents a line across that pyramid at some point. The greater the capabilities and the better the cost structure for the storage asset the lower the point you draw that line which represents a multiplication of the market size.

     

    That massive expansion of the market opportunity is for me the key to Axion becoming a truly important company.

     

    I believe we are on the same page and but I want to keep it simple because in some cases more information can confuse the issue, especially for those of us who are relatively new to Axion.
    27 Apr, 10:14 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    My color picture of a PbC:

     

    I want to make green ink. Which represents energy.
    I have a five gallon bucket of blue. That's the PbO2 electrode.
    I have a 1/2 cup of yellow. That's the carbon electrode.

     

    What is the capacity of my battery?
    1 cup of green ink.
    27 Apr, 10:27 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (879) | Send Message
     
    Until we get some sales of that battery, that would be 1 cup of red ink. ;)

     

    Joking aside, I like that example.
    28 Apr, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • Milo2
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    Well said.
    28 Apr, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • ARGE
    , contributor
    Comments (722) | Send Message
     
    While I was getting my oil change I saw a Winnebago (looked like a bus) for sale, could not help but look at the luggage carriers underneath, and think some PcBs would fit nicely under there...Given that it only got 8mpg.
    http://bit.ly/1rqeTbH
    24 Apr, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    The problem with Winnebago is that very few owners log enough miles every year to justify the upgrade. A trucker who spends $80,000 a year keeping fuel in his rig has a huge incentive to save a third on his fuel bills. A holiday rambler who spends a few hundred dollars a year on fuel doesn't have the same incentive.
    24 Apr, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (1533) | Send Message
     
    Unless it extends their off-grid range. If I want to make it back to the highway AND run my generator all day and night for a week, I'm going to need to conserve gas or carry extra.

     

    Nothing ruins a wilderness escape like having to return to civilization mid-trip to refuel.
    24 Apr, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • ARGE
    , contributor
    Comments (722) | Send Message
     
    Yea, but the dream is to sell the house and live on the road, but even then at a $51K price tag and overhaul made my frugal side say no thank you.
    That said I am sure that there are a few narrow markets that it might pay off, tour busses, book mobiles, giant wieners, Epower/Axion wrapped mobile advertising, etc.
    24 Apr, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    "The problem with Winnebago is that very few owners log enough miles every year to justify the upgrade"

     

    Same logic would apply to hybrid autos though for many drivers that own them.

     

    An ePower type series diesel retrofit may not be cost effective but a BSG stop/start mild hybrid might make a lot of sense in an RV as the cost could be modest. Especially as the hybrid market matures and cost comes down. I'm old enough remember talk of how putting air bags in every car was prohibitively expensive. Oh, the magic of scale and sunk costs!
    24 Apr, 11:00 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Living on the road might be a more attractive choice if the "mobile home" you bought to begin with was already equipped with PbCs to get you the 12 miles per gallon.

     

    Same goes for the truck of any class or the loco of the new age. We aren't always going to be begging to rebuild the inefficient - we will redefine the proper way to build to begin with.
    24 Apr, 11:19 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    The other thing about a mobile home is GVW is very modest. A heavy truck needs a bank of 56 PbCs and heavy duty generator and drive motor because potentially it could need to haul 40 tons up a hill. The biggest RV, what are we talking, 4 tons maybe including cargo? If so and efficiency functions are simply linear then in a series diesel electric you'd get by with a MUCH lighter engine, generator, electric drive motor and just 6 PbCs. Seems plausible to me. I certainly would not write off the RV market for hybridization with PbC.

     

    It may even turn out to be a sweet spot for cost savings. I'd be curious at scalability -- number of RVs on the road plus the marginal increase that hybridization would bring, as Edmund touched on.
    25 Apr, 03:13 AM Reply Like
  • ARGE
    , contributor
    Comments (722) | Send Message
     
    It also occurred to me that many RVs I see are towing a small car, given that that car would not be needed for long trips or high speeds, an electric "city car" would be useful in getting about...more so if the car's batteries could somehow be integrated into the RV's systems, like for long hills.
    25 Apr, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • RBrun357
    , contributor
    Comments (787) | Send Message
     
    My wife and I have been living in a motorcoach for 15 years now and have traveled all around the USA and most of Canada. We have a 43' coach with 4 slide outs, I have a Harley on a rack on the back and flat tow a 4 door Jeep Unlimited behind that. The coach weighs in fully loadd with the Harley at 40,000 lbs and the Jeep approximately 4,500 lbs. I have a 400hp Cummins that has plenty of torque and provides a whopping 6.5mpg average!

     

    What I would love to have is the PbC batteries for the "house" power along with solar panels. I currently have 4 flooded lead acid batteries for this but they are a real big pain in the a$$! I have found a LI battery that I may purchase to upgrade the system ($3,100.00) since the PbC's are not available nor would my controller work on the PBCs but I can just switch my controller/investor over to AGM battery type and install the LI.
    25 Apr, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    RBrun> Very interesting. Do you ever tire of living on the road?
    25 Apr, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Arge - very cool idea and probably fairly simple to put into operation - I recall one of the proto-hybrids had a towed range-extender.
    25 Apr, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2770) | Send Message
     
    EM
    EV range extenders.
    There have been several.
    Here's one
    http://tinyurl.com/kam...
    25 Apr, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • Billion003
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
     
    Pun? "'Tire' of living on the road?" Good one.
    25 Apr, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • RBrun357
    , contributor
    Comments (787) | Send Message
     
    RA,

     

    I will be the first to say that this life style is not for everyone but for my wife and I it is the best form of freedom available. Since we have been doing this for over 15 years we have become programmed and when we are in one place for a while we start getting real anxious to get back on the road.

     

    When we take off on the road we take everything we own with us so we don't have a "back there'" to think about. We are always looking to the future and where we desire to travel next and are not distracted by owning a house that we left behind that needs some form of attention or maintenance.

     

    When we took off from Michigan in 1998 we only planned on traveling for one year and then we were going to buy another house in a warm climate, reinvent ourselves again and live happily ever after. But at the end of the first year we decided that we found so many nice places and we did not want to stop traveling so here we are still on the road! I am hoping to get another 15 years in before we are through!

     

    Hopefully my future coach will be PbC Powered!

     

    RBrun357
    25 Apr, 08:40 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    RBrun> It really does sound intriguing. No house full of junk to tie you down, variety any time you want it in 'chasing the good weather' as you say. Escape winter but not stuck in some retirement camp permanently. I imagine it's not cheap living but no property taxes and home expenses helps a lot. You mentioned Canada, what about Mexico?
    26 Apr, 12:44 AM Reply Like
  • RBrun357
    , contributor
    Comments (787) | Send Message
     
    RA,

     

    We have not taken the coach and all of our "stuff" across the southern boarder, yet! Concerns regarding security do come into play. We have thought about doing the Baha but haven't gotten around to it, maybe within our next 15 years!

     

    The lifestyle provides us with a very comfortable home with my beer in the fridge and the only things that change is our backyard and neighbors! Sometimes the backyard is the ocean and then we head off to the mountains.

     

    It is not a cheap lifestyle but like anything it depends on how you travel. Last year we took off from Florida and traveled to Nova Scotia by way of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, etc. 8 months on the road, 11,000 miles on the coach, 4,500 on the Jeep and 2,500 on the Harley. Fuel cost was real close to $10,000.00 with $7,000.00 of it going into the coach. We move the coach and then do our exploration of the areas in the Jeep and Harley and then move on a little further and repeat. We spend a lot of time "dry docking" so only $1,500.00 went towards RV parks in 8 months.

     

    Life is good!
    26 Apr, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • jveal
    , contributor
    Comments (658) | Send Message
     
    RBrun,

     

    Have you ever considered writing a book about all of the things you have learned from 15 years of living on the road? After we get all of our kids out of college it might be something my wife and I would consider. (Assuming Axion gives us the cash we need.)

     

    If you haven't, do you know of good places to find info needed to educate someone on how to make the type trips you make?
    26 Apr, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    RBrun> If I did some motorcoaching I wouldn't take a Harley but maybe my 200 lb scooter, bicycle, and probably pull no separate 4 wheel conveyance (if rain is forecast just stay in the RV; if it's too cold to scoot pick up and move south!). Much lower RV size and weight should get fuel cost down a lot and maybe RV parks would charge less too??

     

    The potential negatives I would expect is difficulty finding attractive spots to set up (most RV parks are ugly to me) and possibly that a mobile home would feel too cramped after a while? Stir craziness.

     

    The positives would be as you say chasing good weather and escaping winter, sightseeing, and freedom. Also in visiting relatives instead of the guest room you would have your own space which would be great for everyone. I'm a musician and the idea of touring in a comfortable permanent home rather than a suitcase and hotels is very appealing too.

     

    What is "dry docking"?
    26 Apr, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    jveal> Here is a good resource. http://bit.ly/PFXEoG
    26 Apr, 10:47 PM Reply Like
  • jveal
    , contributor
    Comments (658) | Send Message
     
    Thanks RA.
    26 Apr, 11:07 PM Reply Like
  • RBrun357
    , contributor
    Comments (787) | Send Message
     
    JV,

     

    My wife is the writer in the family and she has written a vast amount of editions over the years regarding our travels and sent them off to family and friends. I along with many other folks have been prodding her to put her efforts into a book but she hasn't gotten around to it yet!! She must be busy!

     

    There are numerous books regarding full timing in an RV out there. Many people live full time in an RV but only stay in one location, some have two locations that they migrate back and forth between summers and winters (snowbirds). For us, we have resisted buying a lot in a RV resort as we do not want to be tied down to a specific location. We continue to really enjoy moving on!

     

    27 Apr, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • jveal
    , contributor
    Comments (658) | Send Message
     
    Thanks RBrun. If your wife ever gets around to putting it in book form, make sure you let the Axionistas know.
    27 Apr, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • RBrun357
    , contributor
    Comments (787) | Send Message
     
    RA,

     

    Dry docking is when we set up where there are no hook ups and we run on battery/generator power and utilize our 110 gallon supply of fresh water. We have stayed in all sorts of places as we are passing through areas. Our favorite is WalMarts as we can refresh the beer supply and additional food items!

     

    It is one thing to travel for a specified period of time in a RV but a completely different situation when you sell your house, liquidate the majority if your "stuf" and move full time into a 43' X 10' condo with tires.

     

    I understand the 200 pound scooter idea but for me cruising up the PCH on my Harley is much better than a scooter! That's just me I guess! I tow a 4 door Jeep because we do lots of off roading in the mountains and where ever I find opportunities. We have met so many people in the past 15 years but only a few that have a similar story and style such as ours. That is the secret, to find what works for you!
    27 Apr, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • RBrun357
    , contributor
    Comments (787) | Send Message
     
    j,

     

    I will absolutely do that.

     

    Thanks,
    27 Apr, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    RBrun> I'm surprised Walmart doesn't give the boot to an RV that's in their parking lot overnight repeatedly. Yeah the 200 lb scooter won't go over 55 so no cruising but it would be great for running into town for supplies. Relatively easy to winch it up and mount on the RV back too.

     

    I know BLM land allows free camping up to 14 days, but do they prohibit or restrict RVs? Seems like BLM land in the open spaces would be nicer than an RV campground and free too. Not great all the time but for the occasional "dry docking".
    27 Apr, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2145) | Send Message
     
    Hi RA,
    When I was driving over the road, I spent many nights in Walmart parking lots. I always parked in an out of the way part of the lot. Never had a problem, and was able to get food and stock up the ice box for the next day or two (no beer until I got home). I don't know about now, but Walmart was one of the few trucker friendly stores nationwide.
    27 Apr, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • Milo2
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    Let me add a comment here. Wife and I sold our home and spent a year on the road. We bought a 5th wheel and a truck as opposed to the motor coach and were fine with it for our needs. It was a brand new 40' Jayco Pinnacle with 4 slide outs, so very roomy and nice. Pulled it with a Dodge Ram 3500 dually with a 5.9 Cummins diesel. Plenty of power. We circumnavigated the U.S leaving Florida in June and driving to Maine then west to Washington State via Upper Michigan and then to the Black Hills country. In fact we met RBrun in Custer Wy. during the Sturgis bike week. He's the reason I own Axion. We had a great time with them and I can tell everyone here that you won't find a nicer couple and if you ever want to know anything about RV'ing he is the go to guy. We headed south from Wa. to San Diego and wintered in Palm Springs Ca. and the Patagonia area of AZ. before heading back east via Utah, Col. NM. We finished our trip on May 28 just days shy of a full year.

     

    Although full timing is not for the wife and I, (maybe more her than me, but I tend to subscribe to the axiom "happy wife, happy life" :)), that year was arguably the best year of our life. I would recommend it to anyone who has an urge to see this country and have some adventure.
    28 Apr, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Seem to be more recalls lately for rechargable batteries. Don't exactly know why but it appears to be more frequent.

     

    Summer Infant Recalls 800K Baby Monitors Due To Overheating Risk

     

    http://cbsloc.al/1fbDFu6
    24 Apr, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    That's what I want! - NOT! - Ten more lithium-ion batteries near my children at every age.
    24 Apr, 11:21 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    Between the low volume over the last couple days and the falling FINRA short percentage (15.3% today) it's beginning to look a lot like ZRPSOD. I'm still waiting to see FINRA shorts in single digits before making the call, but things are shaping up nicely.
    24 Apr, 06:55 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    Level 2 was very quiet today on the offer side. IIRC, parts of the 3rd full week of March were, too, though, so too early for trading to confirm PIPEnd.

     

    That I've seen, and I've watched Level 2 a lot over the last year, we've never gone more than a few consecutive days w/o clear PIPE selling, though, so we shouldn't have long to wait for trading to give us a supportive sign.
    24 Apr, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    Counterpoint: is there any relationship between the PIPEr activity and daily volume i.e. do they hold off at all (or otherwise behave differently) when the volume is low?

     

    Looking back there seem to be a few data points where short percentage is low when volume is low, but I can't say there's enough there to suggest a genuine correlation.
    24 Apr, 07:13 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    Sohkubo: My best assessment is that when buy % is very low, daily short sales tend to be low. Also, after a few days of very high buy %, as we just had, the daily short sales will tend to drop down. When buy % is very high daily short sales are high.

     

    My belief is this is due to the mechanics of market-making and settlement and order (shares flow) ...

     

    I did a one-month run of the 8K+ companies on the OTC a while back and the average daily short percentage was above 40%.

     

    JP discounts and disagrees with my conclusions.

     

    HardToLove
    24 Apr, 07:21 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    I disagree with your conclusions because I look at the data from a very different experience and knowledge base. We're both only human and we can both only speak our truth from the perspective of the shoes we stand in.

     

    While I'm amazed at the depth of your TA over the last couple years, I can't help but believe that it's only given you insight into the behavior of a stacked deck where a small handful of eager sellers control everything. When those eager sellers' accounts hit zero and they don't have any shares to pound into the market, I believe an entirely different market dynamic will emerge.

     

    I may disagree with your conclusions, but I respect your process and acknowledge that your views may prove to be every bit as valid as I think mine will.

     

    We're both mystics trying to extract meaning from tea leaves. The future may prove that one of our views was better, but that's the future's decision.

     

    Please don't take offense at the fact that we take different paths to a common goal.
    24 Apr, 07:38 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    I take no offense John. When you first spotted the correlation between daily short percentage and the heavy selling that was going on, and explained about the delays in conversion to electronic form, it added to my knowledge *and* fit with my understanding of the mechanics of trading going on out of sight.

     

    But as Quercus, Manatuck et al wound down their selling, the market, IMO, would slowly begin to operate more "normally".

     

    Since then we've had the more-or-less constant selling from the additional financing rounds and I've (sporadically?) seen the correlations I expect sans the effects of Quercus et al become more common.

     

    E.g.: high buy % = higher daily short sales, several days of high short % followed by a drop, etc. The "cycles" were apparent on my charts and I had trend lines that highlighted such.

     

    So I await an extended "normal" period to either confirm or negate my general conclusions. As I've mentioned several times, my view of the effects are with a "normal" trading environment. which we have yet to see for any extended period.

     

    HardToLove
    24 Apr, 08:07 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    The only shares Axion has sold in the last four years that wouldn't require additional back room compliance work was the 2012 registered direct deal.

     

    While there was significant overlap during 2012 with the new purchasers flipping, Blackrock exiting and Manatuck changing managers, I view the lower short percentages during the second half of 2012 and the first part of 2013 as confirmation that my thesis about FINRA short sales is correct.

     

    When I correlate the numbers with what I've learned about market maker behavior over the years, I can't wait for the next page to turn and either confirm or disprove my thesis.

     

    For now I'm a student and the only hat I wear from time to time is the tall pointed one they reserve for dunces.
    24 Apr, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I believe Gandalf has sported one on occasion as well.
    24 Apr, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    04/24/2014: EOD stuff partially copied from blog (up now).
    # Trds: 46, MinTrSz: 7, MaxTrSz: 25000, Vol: 230043, AvTrSz: 5001
    Min. Pr: 0.1451, Max Pr: 0.1520, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.1497
    # Buys, Shares: 8 35810, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.1506
    # Sells, Shares: 38 194233, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.1496
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1:5.42 (15.57% "buys"), DlyShts 35245 (15.32%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 18.15%

     

    With today's buy percentage down to ~15%, meaning sells were around 85%, I suspect the effort to penetrate $0.15 is nearing an end. If so, we should expect some price weakening. Might take another day or two to appear, but it's the most likely looking outcome for now IMO. Keep in mind the very few trades above $0.15 I detail below – no volume to speak of above $0.15.

     

    The average of the lowest 20 VWAPs times 80% today is $0.1114 vs. $0.1093, $0.1071, $0.1049, $0.1029, $0.1012, $0.0996, $0.0979, $0.0954 and $0.0929 on prior days. 80% of today's VWAP is $0.1198 vs. $0.1196, $0.1180, $0.1148, $0.1075, $0.1100, $0.1154, $0.1313, $0.1351 and $0.1425 on prior days. These are potential prices for the next tranche of shares to the PIPErs.

     

    Today's low, high, VWAP, trade volume, and daily short sales moved -1.63%, 0.66%, 0.15%, 9.09% and -13.40% respectively. Price spread today was 4.76% vs. 2.37%, 7.86%, 7.14%, 13.76%, 19.23%, 21.48%, 7.97%, 14.31% and 8.57% on prior days.

     

    The low and high of the day was one trade each today. The low was set at the open with a 3.5K trade at $0.1451. The next lowest was $0.1472 with six trades for ~22.6K shares. The high for the day was for 10K at $0.1520 at 12:37. The next highest was $0.1519 in two trades of 2K and 215 shares and then $0.151 with a lot of trades and volume. Using ...

     

    There were only two “larger” trades (>= 15K) today – both for $0.15 and of sizes 15K and 25K. These went off at 13:10 and 13:08 respectively.

     

    Yesterday I said “This is starting to look a lot like “consolidation” - a sideways trading pattern for a period, ...”. Today reinforces that assessment IMO. If you consider my comments above are valid about the low and high for the day, it looks even more so.

     

    Our VWAP of $0.1497, up from yesterday's $0.1495, remains slightly above the rising 50-day SMA of $0.1457. We've now closed above it four of the last six days and below two of those days. But that $0.15 resistance seems to be holding strong, so I don't know how long this situation might maintain. The 50-day will continue to rise for quite some time if price remains in this range. In a week or so we could see consistent closes below the 50-day SMA.

     

    The newer version's chart pattern broke the “continues to improve. Likely upward movement in price is more strongly suggested now, but we've still not gotten the pattern yet that says it's very likely”. I said yesterday I though we were seeing the chart just showing price stabilizing after a long period of inexorable downward movement. Today seems to support that thesis.

     

    The usual is in the blog here.
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    HardToLove
    24 Apr, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2770) | Send Message
     
    OT
    Race Detroit to Long Island
    Found this in the January issue of Car and Driver
    http://bit.ly/1lLooP2

     

    The Race of the Centuries: 2013 Tesla Model S vs. 1915 Ford Model T
    We stage a multi-state enduro to find out if today's automotive pioneer can outrun its predecessor.

     

    Advantages/Disadvantages
    Model S's route 682 miles. (No superchargers)
    Model T's route 765 miles. (Not Capable of minimum speed on some highways)

     

    Model S ran without Climate control. (heat)
    Model T has no enclosure.

     

    Race start: 9:17 A.M., TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15
    Finished an hour and ten minutes apart Wednesday AM

     

    No spoiler here.
    24 Apr, 08:06 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (879) | Send Message
     
    With the spring thaw, there should be some update on BySolar I would hope.
    24 Apr, 09:24 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    The "third world street lighting" comment made by TG in the comments of April 1 has not been the subject of recent comment here, AFAIK. This "opportunity" has been mentioned before: What lurks behind it?

     

    http://bit.ly/1lLQnyc
    24 Apr, 10:34 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    At the stockholder's meeting we had an opportunity to see a PV-PbC cordless streetlight system. The battery box, solar panels and lights are all mounted on the same pole. It's a very cool way to get streetlights where you want them without any fuss muss or bother with grid connections.
    25 Apr, 05:20 AM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2803) | Send Message
     
    John/Ed - does the standalone PbC/PV street light application give credence to the fact that the capacitance side self-discharge characteristic of PbC is miniscule when compared to its high charge rate acceptance and long term cycle life vis other systems, be they Pb1, Pb2 or any of the Litiiums due to their own problems or cost, etc?

     

    FWIW, I like the streetlight application (and many others).

     

    Where can we read more about the streetlight?
    25 Apr, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1375) | Send Message
     
    Is a PbC equipped streetlight for sale? I suspect not yet.
    25 Apr, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    They had best put a wireless tracker on the unit if it's not grid-connected.
    25 Apr, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2656) | Send Message
     
    D Lane - the real question is whether there is a PbC for sale at all ... take the blue pill.
    26 Apr, 12:59 AM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2803) | Send Message
     
    Oil drillers in Texas "pack" - so no threat there.

     

    Any farms wanting off-grid yard lights are also probably equipped with racked-pickups and firearms galore - so no threat of theft there.

     

    Of course, with a good clamp-on device and a portable pipe cutter, it would not take long to make off with the upper working portion of an remote, isolated pole. Thieves have no problem stealing irrigation pipe and copper wire power lines, some still in service.

     

    And then, there are some countries where people have a higher moral code and common decencies are above those of the US. In some of those, theft is really punished. Severely. We should try it.

     

    It works. Just like guns work; a great deterrent. Effective. Even on the wrong side. So............pack up.

     

    Now, back to the question: does anyone have any info on the PbC/PV steetlight?
    26 Apr, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2428) | Send Message
     
    The PbC streetlight is rather substantial. The pole is typical heavy municipal style, not some econo-pole from Home Depot. The battery and inverter case is a heavy, vandal resistant cases, and the whole thing is mounted with a substantial cement foundation.

     

    Yeah, one could start pulling it apart, but how often are regular city lights stolen, even in bad neighborhoods?

     

    Please stop with the silliness of armed farmers, like that ridiculous Faux News welfare cowboy that "doesn't recognize the US".
    27 Apr, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2803) | Send Message
     
    Rick - thanks for the streetlight description. Is there a company or research product description available somewhere? For instance, is it really for city use only where electrical hookups are house to house already, above or below ground??? I'd think more remote would be more attractive.

     

    As for the American cowboy, I didn't even think of him as I countered the theft considerations expressed by EM.

     

    AS for recognizing the US, it ain't what it used to be and the direction it's going demands packing; like it or not. The enemy is not the American cowboy or farmer. And when "he" takes our guns, the battle is really over. In the interim, the enemy is winning the battles in (il)legalities, regulations and gone-amuck power grabs by those that have the power. And we have "elected" them, and allowed them, sadly. For far too long.
    29 Apr, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2428) | Send Message
     
    I have not seen any written descriptions of the PbC streetlight. It was/is intended to be powered by pole mounted PV, and not have any grid connection.

     

    I can make suppositions about the best markets, but I do not have any info. Non-remote applications could be along waterfronts or piers, large piazzas with fancy mosaic or stonework that would be damaged by underground wiring, historic districts that abhor above ground wiring, Interstate highways, rest stops, parks, etc.
    29 Apr, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2803) | Send Message
     
    Ok. Got it. Sort of....

     

    It's all in the pricing/recovery because someone(s) is going to PAY, but we are not creating any basic energy/power savings (sans micro-second or smaller Harvard teachings, Madison Avenue and Wall Street tactics and practices, BECAUSE THEY CAN!); so we are back to the corruption regulations community - not unlike that of wheeling power around the nation and paying deerly for those that can measure and report finitely small; such as they are!!!! Traders!! Or is it traitors? Those again dealing in nothingness, but getting away it (did I mention carbon credits?? swaps? etc.??)

     

    From Axions releases:

     

    With Storage, 4.4 year Payback
    ComEd service territory.

     

    $300,000 annual bill. 7.5 cents/kWh 20 year totals

     

    500 kW PV only 200 kW PV
    400 kW/kWh storage

     

    Project cost ($1,500,000) ($1,500,000)
    Tax benefits $900,000 $900,000
    SRECs $40,000 $15,000
    Energy cost savings $600,000 $300,000
    Demand charge savings $200,000 $100,000
    Capacity charge savings -0- $600,000
    Power market revenues -0- $2,300,000
    Total benefits $1,740,000 $4,215,000
    Payback (years) 14.4 4.4
    Project net $240,000 $2 ,715,000
    IRR 2.9% 20.2%
    Chart by Intelligent Generation

     

    So this streetlight applications is not too much unlike a particular rich guy that owns railroads being in cahoots with the US CEO that wants to keep the oil on the railroads instead of using THE KEYSTONE pipeline. And he's got the power to do it.

     

    Too bad we can't let real competition and real advances rule and be practiced.

     

    Well instead of this fairy tale application, Axion may be able to really win in the real world. Come on Axion/ePower, when trucks move into the 300-400 ton-miles/gal region with their built in flexibility, the rails will again rail, but not so much; unless of course, the over the rail Axion/NS tripods responding accordingly to move rail up into the 500+ tonmile/gal. Either way, hopefully some of those savings end up in the little guys pockets; operators or stockholders. (Yes, I know, those that have the power will get and keep their first cuts, because they can!).
    Regardless, some significant reduction in 28 Billion gallons of diesel consumed annually within the US is going to be a game changer, somewhere, somehow (hopefully!!). Maybe Europe, and other offshore places.
    29 Apr, 07:40 PM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    Probably everybody knew this, but I only just "got" it. I'd never really understood the correlation between short interest and PIPEr sales, because I've only known short sales in the usual meaning of borrowed shares, whereas the PIPE investors surely already *owned* the shares.

     

    I got lucky while perusing the December 2011 APC (No. #27!), thanks to our H. T. Love. In fact this long predates the most recent PIPE, but I assume the principle is the same:

     

    "As I've learned more I've concluded that the majority of short sales are an effect of regulatory requirements that sales be marked short by market makers if the shares sold are not yet in their portfolio. This occurs, e.g., when a broker says "Sell 120K" and the shares are in the brokers portfolio. The market maker begins selling and, by regulation, *must* mark these as short sales since the shares are not in the market-maker's control.

     

    I assume (because I've not been able to find a full system description yet) that shares eventually get into the market-maker's portfolio via a DTCC operation. Published maximum time for this (for *normal operations - there are exceptions) is three days.

     

    What this means is that for normal trading, there will likely always be some minimal average level of reported shorts sales that are not "real" short sales as *we* would think of them."

     

    Thanks again for your expertise, HTL! (Possibly I've read it before any number of times in a JP article too, but it takes a while for anything to sink in for me).
    25 Apr, 01:17 AM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    Might as well plow on while my ignorance is exposed: in JP's latest overhang worksheet, I *sort of* understand where the numbers are coming from, except for one: the "Assumed Percentage From Overhang", which is 85%.

     

    Where does this figure come from? Is it a best guess that brings the overhang to approximately zero at the end of each block of selling sprees, and thus matches the buying/selling behaviour you've seen? Why isn't this number the same as the "Percentage of direct investor sales"?

     

    And with the 85% the overhang balance is shown as negative in Q1-14 and Q2-14, yet how can that be if we haven't reached ZRPSOD yet (or at least until now)?

     

    I do apologise - while I get as far as I can with my skills, I'm afraid I'm in the deep end when it comes to financial mechanics.
    25 Apr, 01:43 AM Reply Like
  • kevin lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    Sohkubo, thanks for that summary regarding short sales. Until now I had simply put that topic in the category of - don't need to fully understand, but I now think I get it.
    25 Apr, 03:22 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    Sohkubo> My explanation of what the reported short sale numbers mean is very different from HTL's.

     

    When a company like Axion sells stock in an offering that wasn't registered under the Securities Act, every stock certificate issued to investors carries a restrictive legend that prohibits resale unless the second sale is registered under the Securities Act or exempt from registration.

     

    When a direct investor decides to sell his shares under a resale registration statement or available exemption, the back-office process at his brokerage firm and the market maker is very different from the process that occurs when shares move from a brokerage account at Firm A to a brokerage account at Firm B.

     

    The biggest reason for the delay is that share certificates have to be sent back to the transfer agent for re-issuance in unrestricted electronic form before the selling stockholder can make good delivery to a buyer. Other delays arise because the selling stockholder's broker has to confirm the legality of the resale by reviewing the registration statement or requesting an opinion of legal counsel.

     

    Any extraordinary back-office activities make T+3 delivery impossible, so they get marked as short-sales until the paperwork is done.

     

    I don't believe HTL's interpretation of what constitutes market maker control is accurate.

     

    If you look at my spreadsheet, the only shares that didn't require special back-office processing were the 27.6 million shares Axion sold in a registered offering during 2012. Everything else had to go through special procedures. When I started comparing the SEC filings from several of the identified purchasers with the FINRA short sales numbers, I found that the correlation was too precise to ignore.

     

    The 85% testing number on my spreadsheet is simply that, a testing number that lets one visualize the overhang on a quarter to quarter basis. You can change it if you want and the numbers will automatically recalculate.

     

    The red numbers you see for Q1 and Q2 of this year arise because the stock issuances to the PIPErs have been slowly declining, which means they represent a smaller percentage of sell-side activity with each passing month. Based on Axion's SEC filings and my own estimates, it looks like ~16.2 million shares were issued in January, ~8.6 million shares were issued in February and March, and ~6.7 million shares were issued in April. Since they have fewer shares to sell, the market eats through the overhang faster.
    25 Apr, 05:55 AM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    John, many thanks indeed for a patient and thorough answer.
    25 Apr, 06:01 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    This is complicated stuff but there's little I like better than explaining arcane administrivia to people who want to understand the process.
    25 Apr, 06:05 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    John: "I don't believe HTL's interpretation of what constitutes market maker control is accurate".

     

    You might be right, but ...

     

    "Rule 200(g) of Regulation SHO requires a broker-dealer to mark sell orders in any equity security as "long" or "short." Rule 200(a) defines a short sale as "any sale of a security which the seller does not own or any sale which is consummated by the delivery of a security borrowed by, or for the account of, the seller." Rule 200(g)(1) provides that "[a]n order to sell shall be marked "long" only if ..."

     

    http://1.usa.gov/IlYnau
    Question 2.4.

     

    Note that a market-maker may be a broker/dealer that has registered for market-making activities.

     

    Not stated here, but stated in other places, is the market-makers must also flag short sales and that they have exemption from pre-borrow so that they can provide liquidity, which matches what I've always understood. There is *no* exemption I've discovered that relieves market-makers of the marking requirements.

     

    There's other discussions that may be related. I won't pursue it further because the concentrator is not really the place.

     

    Those with an interest can start here.
    http://1.usa.gov/1rsQsu2

     

    HardToLove
    25 Apr, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    A broker dealer has to mark orders submitted on behalf of customers as long or short and if a BD is engaged in proprietary trading, it has to mark its own orders as long or short.

     

    So the question is whether the broker's customer (or the broker itself) can make good delivery. As long as the shares are on deposit in the customer's account and no additional back room procedures are required, the sale gets marked as long by the broker dealer and that designation carries through as a long sale to and by the market maker by virtue of industry standard clearing contracts.

     

    Market makers have a limited exemption from Reg SHO for short sales that are necessary to the market making function. With FINRA and the SEC overseeing market makers like hawks, nobody in his right mind engages in proprietary speculation based on the limited market maker's exemption from Reg SHO.

     

    These guys want to buy shares, hold them in inventory for a femto-second, and then resell them for a small premium. Unless they know where they can buy shares to cover, they almost never go short nano-caps because the price swings can be disastrous.

     

    Investors may view FINRA and the SEC as paper tigers, but those of us who work in the securities industry live each day in mortal terror that we'll mess something up, get tagged by a regulator and have our tickets punched.
    25 Apr, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    JP:"As long as the shares are on deposit in the customer's account and no additional back room procedures are required, the sale gets marked as long by the broker dealer and that designation carries through as a long sale to and by the market maker by virtue of industry standard clearing contracts".

     

    That agrees with my understanding.

     

    For an MM not processing his own BD's customers ...

     

    HardToLove
    25 Apr, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    It doesn't matter whether the market maker is affiliated with the BD that places the order or not. The long-short determination is made at the level of the selling BD, not the market maker.

     

    While I'd love to see additional clarification on the issue, I believe short sales by market makers end up being reported in the Short-exempt column.
    The OATS Technical Specifications seem to indicate that's the case.

     

    http://bit.ly/1rtmztR
    25 Apr, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    I just learned that PLUG increased the size of it's stock offering to 22.6 million shares priced at $5.50 per share, which gives PLUG a market capitalization of $700 million.

     

    It's absolutely amazing when I consider that their stock closed at $0.12 in February 2013, their annual sales are about 2.5X Axion's sales and their December 31, 2013 adjusted book value was roughly equal to Axion's.
    25 Apr, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (739) | Send Message
     
    JP,

     

    If only.....
    25 Apr, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2893) | Send Message
     
    Yup; a little promotion and spin from the ceo can go along way. Heck, Axionistas would take 10% of that market cap.

     

    Compare Axion's cone of silence with PLUG's ceo teasing a relationship with a major automaker even though the truth may be that Axion has a deeper inroad to oems than they do.
    25 Apr, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Actually closer to 11%; we need to get to $75M for purposes of easing financing.
    28 Apr, 10:49 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2434) | Send Message
     
    Layoffs at LightSail, Khosla-Funded Compressed-Air Energy Storage Startup

     

    Timing remains critical for a VC-funded startup in the energy storage market.

     

    Eric Wesoff April 24, 2014

     

    http://bit.ly/1lNgIjR

     

    "Unfortunately for LightSail and VC-funded startups chasing this business, the utility-scale and grid edge storage market is not going to emerge in an orderly and predictable fashion. That lack of visibility is going to force a shakeout in the VC-funded energy storage/battery bubble (Aquion, Ambri, LightSail, EOS, Pellion, Seeo, GELI, Sakti3, Qnovo, Energy Cache, Stem, Demand Energy, etc.)

     

    ...

     

    When it comes to energy storage mandates and RFQs -- it is likely that utilities will lean towards incumbents like AES, ABB, GE, S&C and Schneider rather than VC-funded startups.

     

    The one problem with CAES, Crane admitted in an earlier interview, is efficiency. “That’s the bet. If we can keep the price advantage while solving the round-trip efficiency [issue], we have an unbeatable approach.”

     

    Other startup innovators in smaller-scale CAES include General Compression, SustainX, and Bright Energy."
    25 Apr, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Gentlemen - PLACE YOUR BETS!

     

    What we have here is the classic tortoise vs hare race; Norfolk Southern vs ePower.

     

    Who is going to take the first ride, an NSC engineer in the NS999 or a 3rd party trucker in an ePower rig?

     

    My apologies to those who want to vote "all of the above", "none of the above" or "can't decide".
    25 Apr, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Like this to vote for the engineer
    25 Apr, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Like this to vote for the trucker
    25 Apr, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4673) | Send Message
     
    >Edmund Metcalfe ... This is not even a fair bet. ePower will be long on the road before NS999 ever moves on its own.
    25 Apr, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    meh. remains to be seen. there's a chance that the NS999 will be rolled out before spring is over, according to Altoona Works Facebook source, IIRC.

     

    Here's why I think so: No matter how well testing has gone on the battery strings, the NS999 past is present and the proof of the pudding will be in the eating thereof. Thus I believe it likely that they will seek to determine as soon as possible if the battery does in fact perform in situ. Until then, there is little sense investing the significant time involved in getting a rebuild program going. And given the emphasis on the OTR application in the patent, if the NS999 does work, they may be looking to create a prototype in that genre. So I am betting on getting a brief look before it goes back in the shop for program development.
    Unfortunately, given the size of the shop, they might just drive it around inside and out of sight.
    25 Apr, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • Sohkubo
    , contributor
    Comments (98) | Send Message
     
    > Unfortunately, given the size of the shop, they might just drive it around inside and out of sight.

     

    Edmund, this is why I voted for truckers; though the NS 999 might technically get an engineer in the cabin first, my feel for NS is that they'll be too cautious to do so publicly until they really, really know it's going to work.

     

    The NS 999 seems immediately most useful for its publicity and a very likely booster for the AXPW share price, so at least for me it's the public unveiling that counts.
    25 Apr, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I think any photo-posting of the "resurrection of the NS999", such as by an alert railfan, would be "a very likely booster".

     

    A yet more powerful booster would be an order for 1728 batteries (or so).

     

    But, at this point in development, a "public unveiling" would almost CERTAINLY mean that they have decided the PbC is a good fit for bigger plans. Possibly the big plan. Almost as certain is that Axion Power, most likely Tom Granville in person, would be on the podium.

     

    That's no booster, that's a rocket.
    25 Apr, 04:50 PM Reply Like
  • robert barry
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    Can anyone comment on John Dvoraks article photo caption saying the axpw pbc battery is 30 to 35% lighter than its lead acid counterpart? I thought it was the other way around, the pbc being heavier
    25 Apr, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • User462699
    , contributor
    Comments (112) | Send Message
     
    Less lead = less weight.
    25 Apr, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • robert barry
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    Thanks user462699, but i still ponder the question i was once asked," What's heavier, 1 lb of lead or two pounds of anything else?"
    25 Apr, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1881) | Send Message
     
    PbC is lighter than Lead Acid but much heavier than Lithium batteries per watt.
    25 Apr, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • robert barry
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Retired Aviator
    25 Apr, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Perhaps 4-5 times heavier per watt. But then the PbC cycles and recycles 4-5 faster. So perhaps they're nearly the same on a watt-sec per pound basis. And in both cases we're assuming the lithium is babied, neither too hot nor too cool nor allowed to discharge too deeply. Because under those conditions, the PbC would kick its lithle butt. And of course the testing must be voided if the Lithium burns up or explodes, because it wouldn't be fair to compare a burned up lithium battery with a Pink bunny, much less a PbC.
    25 Apr, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Guam bill for 94 million USD passed. Looks however like much of the energy storage has been stripped. A little remains.

     

    http://bit.ly/1rtuvLD
    25 Apr, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    Axion has mentioned Caribbean islands. Never heard them talking about the South Pacific. Did I miss something?
    25 Apr, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1375) | Send Message
     
    Mr I
    I don't think you've missed anything. But island energy is of interest regardless.
    25 Apr, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (1533) | Send Message
     
    On the contrary, the largest share of the money ($54 million) goes to overhauls of existing turbines and diesel generators and the purchase of energy storage equipment. The ordering of the items does not seem to be related to cost structure - for example, parking lot is listed before both generation protection upgrade and liquified natural gas pilot project. If Axion is the main supplier for the energy storage equipment and it is 10% of the $54 million, that's a "significant sale" to be sure.
    26 Apr, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • Ranma
    , contributor
    Comments (1842) | Send Message
     
    Great catch PY. The timing falls right into TG's Q1-Q2 window, that's for sure.
    26 Apr, 09:43 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1375) | Send Message
     
    "Looks however like much of the energy storage has been stripped"

     

    :-(
    25 Apr, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (1533) | Send Message
     
    $54 million for overhauls of existing generators and purchase of energy storage equipment.
    26 Apr, 06:05 PM Reply Like
  • Ranma
    , contributor
    Comments (1842) | Send Message
     
    "(H) Substation Battery Banks/Chargers Upgrade;"

     

    What do we know about this?
    25 Apr, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Ranma, Just looking at news concerning how the various islands are approaching their urgent needs to change their energy needs given fuel oil costs. The possibility of a Guam energy storage purchase was discussed a little while ago when it was found that Necker Island had made a prime contractor choice.
    25 Apr, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (1533) | Send Message
     
    You misread the release: See my comment above. Item (I) under section 1 of the document iindelco posted says
    "energy storage equipment (renewable energy mitigation)" which is exactly what PbC is good for.
    26 Apr, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    Did anyone catch what MM put in the $0.149 x 45K bid @ 13:42? I was on the phone and couldn't catch it. Traded away in the same minute.

     

    Thanks,
    HardToLove
    25 Apr, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    I'd love to know who is trying to buy all these 50k share blocks. I count at least 5 today: one just went at .147 and .149, one earlier today at .147, two at .145(10k shares of the NITE one was hit earlier today, leaving 40k) and one at .142.

     

    The first time I saw some appear was early this week, when two appeared at .142. I think it was yesterday or the day before that one was raised to .147. They are being handled through at least three MMs. Don't know if the blocks are connected, but obviously it wouldn't be a surprise given the concurrent timing and identical size.

     

    Dunno, but I like it.
    25 Apr, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    MrI: @ $0.145 ATM is CSTI, MAXM, NITE. MAXM has 50K on bid and they started showing up two days ago IIRC. If what we see on L2 is representative of some sentiment at MAXM, maybe it's some folks there?

     

    CANT 50K bid $0.142 for a while now.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Apr, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    Anytime I see MAXM buying, I like it a lot, since they're an affiliate of the last placement agent. I believe the Chinese Wall generally doesn't have much height...
    25 Apr, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    I like it more when CANT shows up because the last time I checked all their business is institutional.
    25 Apr, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    Another 50k share block just traded, above the bid, in three pieces at .1498, .147 and .1499.

     

    And then CANT raised the bid to .147 w/ 50k shares.
    25 Apr, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • alsobirdman
    , contributor
    Comments (383) | Send Message
     
    Yes, I always like to see CANT show up, but moreso when they are only on the bid. I see them now on the offer as well. My guess has always been that they must allow their employees to do transactions through themselves?
    25 Apr, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    ABM: They've been on the offer @ $0.155 for many days ... weeks? Let me peek further back ... 4/15 offer $0.149x5K ... upped offer to $0.155 4/16 and IIRC they've been sitting there ever since.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Apr, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • alsobirdman
    , contributor
    Comments (383) | Send Message
     
    Yep. I've seen them sitting there. That's what makes me think it is an employee doing a bit of trading for beer money. I doubt an institutional owner would be looking to sell for 15 cents.

     

    Edit - especially only 5000K shares
    25 Apr, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • mds5375
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
     
    I bought 50K yesterday (Friday) through Fidelity. It was the one at about 1:40. Hope that helps.
    26 Apr, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    Thx, mds!
    26 Apr, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    Mds5375: I think I see your trades. Yesterday (Friday) I encountered some issues with the tools on Power ETrade Pro that I normally compare to ADVFN trades screen, which also normally has it's own issues, to determine "buy", "sell" or "unknown". So I did more than normal manual adjustments to compensate.

     

    If you could PM me if your order was entered as a bid and what price, or you just entered an order to hit the ask, that would help me assess if my ratios are close because several larger trades were in that uncertain category.

     

    Thanks,
    HardToLove
    26 Apr, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    HTL, just look at Time & Sales on otcbb.com:

     

    http://bit.ly/VRcxp7

     

    under the Depth/LII tab.

     

    Two trades at 13:42:4x totaling 50k shares: 5k at .147 and 45k at .149. I remember seeing these go yesterday, but thought they were in three chunks instead of two. The bid at the time was lower than .149, and IIRC the presented ask was .147. The trade happened so fast I didn't see who the MM was that mds' trade used. Almost no way it was CANT nor MAXM, of course.

     

    OT: I have noticed that recently, retail trades, at least mine thru TD Ameritrade, are being routed thru more MMs than before. Some of mine have even gone thru NITE and I think one or two thru ARCA. A year or two ago, they went almost entirely thru AUTO, then ATDF, now ATDF, CSTI, CDEL, NITE and I think ARCA, and maybe even one more.

     

    That can help explain the different behavior I've seen on Level II of, say, <= a few months ago and since then, especially very recently. E.g., ARCA darting in and out with small presents, when they used to represent a lot more shares than the present. NITE presenting 50k shares like on late Friday, when they were almost always 5k or 10k when the PIPErs were in control. IOW, retail is a much bigger factor now over almost all the MMs.
    26 Apr, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    MrI: I have the trades. And I have *supposed* bid ask at the time, neither of which I want to accept at face value - I cross-check each trade to try and compensate for known long-standing unreliability in both platforms.

     

    Having said that, I'm looking at the link and it looks like if I was quick enough it might give me confirmation. Do you know if it's got the 15-minute delay typical of free services? Does it auto update or do I need to keep refreshing ? I didn't see any way I could "scroll back" so if a question arose I could check a trade hours old, as I can with the tools I'm using right now.

     

    If if the answers are yes, no and no, it could still be useful if I recognize that my current tools are getting hinky today. Most days they are reasonably solid, requiring only a few minor adjusts that sometimes,in aggregate, don't even change the buy:sell results.

     

    Today was a diffent sort of error - Pwer ETrade Pro reported the wrong price on an 11K trade at 09:39:51. It would have skewed VWAP a tiny bit since our volume was so low. I think the error was triggered by a 55 share small odd-lot trade that went off at the open. The bad trade picked up the same price as that odd-lot instead of the correct price.

     

    Anyhoooooo, thanks for that link - can't have too many tools in the tool belt when you're relying on financial industry software AFAICT.

     

    HardToLove
    26 Apr, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    No problemo. I figured you have a lot of good tools already, but maybe you could use the otcbb's site in the probably rare cases where it's needed. I don't know if it's live or delayed. I do know that trades are timed stamped as you can see. Unfortunately, I don't know how to get the full day's data on days with more than about 20-30 trades. Normally the listed T&S data eventually starts truncating the old trades as the day goes by. Also not sure how to get T&S data for earlier than the most recent trading day.

     

    That's ok for me, though, as I don't have much of a need for any of that data. I only look at the trading to get a feel for the major influences, like whether or not PIPEnd is occurring. I'm not at all a TA guy, although I readily acknowledge it matters to some, although not usually for penny stks.
    26 Apr, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    I've been using the OTCBB site for years and can confirm that it is delayed 15 minutes. It also only provides data for the last 30 trades which can be a pain on a busy day. Mercifully I don't pay all that much attention to intraday action.
    26 Apr, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (18048) | Send Message
     
    Thanks John and MrI!

     

    HardToLove
    26 Apr, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2800) | Send Message
     
    I just can't see CAN'T wasting their time on a lil trade in a mostly illiquid stock, especially when they haven't until now. Not saying the 50k share blocks buyer is a whale, but could be. At a minimum, an interesting development to follow, coinciding with what might be PIPEnd or so.
    25 Apr, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • alsobirdman
    , contributor
    Comments (383) | Send Message
     
    Didn't we see CANT buy a large block last fall? IIRC it was several hundred K shares down around 10 cents.
    25 Apr, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Bad Assumptions & Why Lithium-Ion Batteries Still Catch Fire

     

    http://ubm.io/1lOGLXN
    -
    Edit: Better.

     

    Trace Degradation Analysis of Lithium-Ion Battery Components

     

    http://bit.ly/1lOIA7h
    25 Apr, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    Big battery packs: Solution to renewable-power challenge?

     

    "It's not news to engineers that one of the biggest impediments to the use of non-polluting energy sources such as wind, solar, and even water is their inherent intermittent availability (although many journalists and other starry-eyed pundits don't seem to grasp this fact). In short: storage is as important to successful implementation of this type of energy system as the generation itself."

     

    http://ubm.io/1lOOIMO-
    25 Apr, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (1533) | Send Message
     
    /begin snark Wow this guy just discovered the wheel. /end snark
    26 Apr, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9574) | Send Message
     
    It's interesting what Hitachi considers the failure mode vs the carbon additives guys. No comments on DCA.

     

    Hitachi Improves Capacity, Durability of Automotive Lead-acid Battery

     

    "The new technology was developed by using, for example, material processing technologies, in which the Hitachi Chemical group has expertise. Specifically, Hitachi Chemical employed a porous cell active material for electrodes and used a special non-woven fabric along with a conventional separator.

     

    The porous cell active material contributes to improving battery capacity. As the area in contact with electrolyte increases, capacity improves by 5%, making it easier to start up an engine and deal with an increase in electric load.

     

    The non-woven fabric was employed to improve durability. In general, with lead-acid batteries, deterioration of electrodes called "stratification" is caused by the temperature difference between the upper and lower parts of electrolyte. By using both the non-woven fabric and separator, it becomes possible to prevent stratification, improving the durability of rechargeable battery by 200%, Hitachi Chemical said.

     

    The Hitachi Chemical group has been selling lead-acid batteries for vehicles equipped with an ISS since 2010. The company is preparing for volume production of a battery using the new technology at the Saitama Office of Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co Ltd, which is Hitachi Chemical's manufacturing subsidiary."

     

    http://bit.ly/PBcUD3
    25 Apr, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message
     
    The FINRA Short Sale progression for this week was:

     

    21-Apr-14 – 19.85%
    22-Apr-14 – 54.59%
    23-Apr-14 – 19.30%
    24-Apr-14 – 15.33%
    25-Apr-14 – 11.06%

     

    So far the progression seems to be following the trend I'd expect as we approach ZRPSOD. What I'm looking for is a few days in the 6.75% range like we saw in March and April of 2013 when the last of the big uglies had left the building.

     

    I don't know whether we'll get there or not, but if my thesis about what the short sales represent is accurate, we should in fairly short order.
    25 Apr, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2893) | Send Message
     
    JP,

     

    ZRPSOD or not isn't it safe to assume that the PIPErs don't hold enough remaining stock to smack down sustained buying?

     

    Thus the real question becomes "where is the buying" going to come from? I think the "paint drying scenario" becomes the new near term threat. TG has a few weeks left to live up to his promise and get the Axionistas to start tipping again, hopefully he has a new dance routine.
    25 Apr, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30232) | Send Message