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  • Axion Power Concentrator 76: Beginning March 13, 2012, Bangwhiz's Article, Selling The PbC Battery - It's Not Easy Being Green! 154 comments
    Mar 13, 2012 5:02 PM | about stocks: AXPW

    Be sure and either follow the Axion Power Host ID on Seeking Alpha or click the check-box labeled "track new comments on this article" just ahead of the comments section!

    A gem of an article by Bangwhiz:

    Selling The PbC Battery - It's Not Easy Being Green!

    There are two important facts about the Axion PbC battery stockholders need to understand. First, it is not a commodity product like bananas or standard lead acid batteries. Its different. Secondly, being different engineers have to design new systems versus whatever they've done before if they are to benefit from its unique performance characteristics. That means change, and like the Eagles sang in their song Sad Cafe, "But things in this life change very slowly, if they ever change at all."

    People and organizations resist change unless they are either forced by some outside pressure, or the benefits to them are so great it is sufficient motivation alone. In the case of the PbC battery two organizations, Norfolk Southern and BMW, were drawn to the PbC battery because they had a problem the PbC might solve for them. Conventional commodity lead acid batteries were not up to the demands of stop start automobiles or battery powered electric locomotives. They were embracing and seeking change.

    Inventors have been waving magic beans in front of engineers eyes forever and often those magic beans lose their magic very quickly when engineers attempt to put them to practical use. Consequently, engineers are inherently skeptical of anything new until it has proven itself truly useful and reliable.

    Because the PbC battery has different electrical and performance characteristics engineers at a fork lift manufacturer, auto company, railroad, or any other company will need to design and build new electrical and or mechanical subsystems specifically engineered for the PbC battery before they can benefit from the PbC 's magic beans.

    BMW and Norfolk Southern possessed a strong enough interest in the PbC to commit to the time and money required to conduct preliminary test and evaluation programs followed by conceptual system designs, then building actual prototype systems made specifically for the PbC. That has been followed by more test and evaluation of the prototype systems and perhaps modifications to the prototypes leading to a final design. This activity would be coupled with trade off studies of any final PbC system design versus all the other possible solutions including detailed cost benefit number crunching studies. The engineers design and develop, the bean counters rule.

    Because of any non-disclosure agreements Axion has signed we do not know the status of most of the ongoing potential customer development programs for the PbC battery. Big organizations are big because they haven't made any big mistakes. It is an inherent slow process demanding patience from Axion and its stockholders. No one is more anxious to sell the the PbC battery and produce millions of PbC electrodes for the lead acid industry than Axion's management. It is just going to take the time it takes and not a minute less.

    Axion does have one product not subject to so much trial and tribulation - the PowerCube ranging in size from the mini-cube to 20MWs. You could almost write a design spec and purchase order on the back of a napkin. 10 MWs standby power for 30 minutes. Some have suggested Axion create some sample PowerCubes and give them to prestigious customers to try free of charge. You just "plug" them in. Not hardly. You need to run the power into and out of the PowerCube and that means site specific power distribution systems, building permits and construction. The installation may need to be fixed inside a building with all the design and construction that entails versus sitting outside in a trailer.

    I'm not an engineer so I am not going to try and describe what all a customer has to do to utilize a PowerCube, but it is going to be a lot more than "just plugging it in." Axion Power Concentrator commentator, DRich, who is an engineer, said, "I don't know if this covers it, but even in grid applications, 'samples' aren't all that practical. Even though the batteries are the same, it is easy to assume that is where 'sameness' ends. Each business will have a different power use profile and thus the inverters/transformers will be different almost every time. The BMS and/or the software may need to be tailored to each power profile. There is considerable cost in engineering associated with those 'samples'."

    Anyone who wants to buy whatever size PowerCube they want for all its benefits will need the services of an electrical engineering firm, or an in-house electrical engineering staff, to integrate the PowerCube into their facility. Then there are all the software control issues that will need to be sorted out for the specific customer's power usage profile. It isn't rocket science, but it is involved and takes time and money to accomplish. There is no free lunch. For my money I would rather Axion Power Director of Marketing, Vani Dantam, just sell someone a PowerCube than probably spend the same amount of time and money trying to convince a prospect to take one for free.

    An Axion Power sales rep can't just waltz into a E-Bike or forklift or UPS manufacturer and say, "We've got a special on PbC's today, 3 for the price of 2." Think about how many people in a prospective customer have to agree that building anything using the PbC - a product they've never seen or used before, with nothing sitting around they can just drop it into and then turn it on - is worth their time, money and effort?

    I have a lot of major account sales experience. I've been Vice President of Sales for a hardware design, development and prototype engineering company. I've been Manager of Business Development for a nuclear engineering firm. Most of the time when you go through the door of a large company representing a new product or service it is just like pushing in the side of a sponge, the minute you leave everything pops back out just like it was before. Nothing has changed. If you are lucky maybe whomever you talked to talks to their boss, who then talks to his boss, etc etc.

    When they want you they call you. Until then, you are just whistling Dixie. Then after they call you it isn't a done deal. Everybody up the line has to confirm the decision. The numbers have to work, the details have to mesh, the timing has to be right - and on top of that they have to like and respect you and your organization. They have to be true believers.

    So when you are screaming for Axion Power CEO, Thomas Granville, to just sell or give away Powercubes or PbC's, you need to understand the complexity of doing so, and the time required to achieve an actual sale. Engineers are methodical, cautious professionals who have their careers at risk every time they draw a line or circle. They are not going to endorse anything until they are certain of the cost and benefits.

    About a year ago I made a bold statement that I would like to get on the phone and sell PbC's on straight commission. I said I might starve for a while but I would eventually find somebody who would buy some PbC's. John Petersen said "I wish it were so simple." He was right and I was over reaching a bit. I just didn't realize the complexity involved in selling the PbC because it is different from existing commodity lead acid batteries.

    I fully recognize the sales and marketing issues now, and if you haven't thought about it before perhaps this article will lead you to further contemplation on the subject. I still wouldn't mind selling the PbC, but I would pack a lot bigger back pack full of food before I picked up the phone. I would also plan on it taking one or more years of work before I might get a sale. Its just a tough business being green if you are a frog, or selling a PbC battery nobody has ever used before.

    ####
    Hearty gratitude to Bangwhiz on behalf of the Axion Power Concentrator series!

    ####

    During the past seven months the Axion Power Concentrators have organically grown into a vast trove of information all things Axion Power related, all things battery related, all things Energy Storage Sector related.

    Between now and 15 years from now, the global expenditure on energy in every way energy is created, delivered, conserved and used will be in the trillions of dollars.

    Derived from well over 12,000 Axion Power Concentrator comments comes to us a compendium archive created by APC commentator Bangwhiz. In short here is what it is, and does:

    The Axion Power Concentrator Web Sites is a complete easy-to-use online archive of all the information contained in the entire Axion Power Concentrator series from day one; including reports, articles, comments and posted links.

    It also contains a "New to Axion" section for people who are new to Axion and want a good starting point for their own due diligence. The site is updated daily as new links are posted to current comment threads. Links are posted by topic and can also be found using the "Search This Site" tab.

    The Comment Search Feature on the homepage is great for finding a comment you want to read again that would normally be lost in all the thousands of past comments. Simply search using a good key word or phrase, or any Google search term modifier, such as AND etc.

    New Feature: You can now search all past comments or just the past 3 months.

    Complimenting the Axion Power Concentrator Web Site is the Axion Power Wikispaces Web Site, "A repository of information about Axion Power International, Inc. and PbC® battery technology" created by APC commentator WDD. It is an excellent ongoing notebook aggregation of Axion Power facts.

    Want to ask, or have someone ask, Axion Power leadership a question during the forthcoming late March 2012 conference call? The following link led by Bangwhiz is where you can write your question, maybe have it discussed and expanded upon before the conference call.

    http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/667879-bangwhiz/279411-axion-power-2011-q4-march-conference-call-questions-list?source=kizur

    ####

    This is a troll free zone. All disruptive comments that violate Seeking Alpha's Terms of Use Agreement will be removed and permanently recorded in a separate Instablog.

    Be sure and either follow the Axion Power Host ID on Seeking Alpha or click the check-box labeled "track new comments on this article" just ahead of the comments section!

    Enjoy!

    Disclosure: I am long OTCQB:AXPW.

Back To Axion Power Host's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (155)
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  • Axion Power Host
    , contributor
    Comments (466) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Last hread from prior concentrator by BangWhiz

     

    ==============
    If anyone is experiencing slow load times just disable flash in your browser. For a while I used just firefox for SA with flash disabled. My normal browser is Chrome, but I have flash disabled in Chrome also now. I have a dual core 2Ghz laptop that scrolls to the bottom of the APC's over 54G wifi very fast in Chrome with flash disabled.
    ==============
    13 Mar 2012, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • Axion Power Host
    , contributor
    Comments (466) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » And a repl;y from metroneanderthal

     

    ==============
    bangwhiz,
    I also use chrome, don't know if flash is disabled, but have no problem with speed. The whole concentrator downloads in a second. Fairly new laptop, but not top of the line.
    metroneanderthal
    ==============
    13 Mar 2012, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (733) | Send Message
     
    Haven't seen the thumbs up icon for awhile. Is it no longer relevant or has it been lost?
    13 Mar 2012, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4161) | Send Message
     
    Seems to have been eliminated from this iteration of Seeking Alpha. They change things pretty regularly.
    13 Mar 2012, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9916) | Send Message
     
    AB: Seeking Alpha may have witnessed the incredible thumbs up tallies the APCs used to get, and decided to go another way, with the present five star rating system. I actually like the new rating system better.

     

    Seeking Alpha allows authors of published articles to see Page Views. Instablog authors can't. I wanted to know how many Page Views each Concentrator was getting, so as my only tool available, I began encouraging all readers to please hit the thumbs up button.

     

    I still have no idea what the page views are, but I did once see an incredible 35 thumbs up in a new APC...after only 3 comments were made. An almost 12:1 ratio of page views to comments.
    This was the only way I could ascertain what kind of readership the APCs were generating. I imagine page views for all the APCs series must be approaching 75,000, or more. It could be way more, because many of us check the APCs more time per day than we talk to our significant others.

     

    ####

     

    I'm very much liking what I am seeing going on market-wise. Issues such as the Great Greek Tragedy have been canned-kicked another 6 months (although Portugal and Spain are next to the ECB feedstore). Iran, according to all that I have read, still needs another 12 to 18 months to produce enough yellow cake from their 16 production "minor" facilities, each on their own not a threat. The enriched uranium is then moved to two deep inside mountain facilites, where further enrichment occurs, of which these two facilites are considered a threat. Hence all the bunker busting news when the Israeli PM visited DC last week.

     

    My take is that we have at least another six months before the Iranian situation worsens significantly.

     

    These two issues were my greatest fears to tank the markets in the near future, just when Axion begins moving from developmental phase, into implementation phase.

     

    ####

     

    Had a young fellow call me today from CA about my signing up to receive some best 150 list of "Smart Grid" investments. I never take solicitation phone calls, and do not recall ever signing up for such a list, but this one call I found irresistable. He was aware of Axion Power, but did not know about Axion's Smart Grid potential. And so I exlpained it to him.

     

    After about 10 minutes, I asked him if there was anything else he would like to talk about. He said, "No." We hung up. I'm not sure what to conclude from this, but here's a young buck trying to sell me on his Smart Grid knowledge, and he just gave up!

     

    Hilarious.

     

    All thanks to all the fantastic commenters from which we all gain from here on the APC series.

     

    13 Mar 2012, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13508) | Send Message
     
    LOL, I always ask telemarketers and polltakers how much they will pay me for my time...

     

    And I value my time very highly.
    14 Mar 2012, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4161) | Send Message
     
    The best response I ever heard of to a telemarketer call was a friend of mine who was a pastor at the time, as well as a Steve Martin - Mike Meyers fan.

     

    Phone rings.

     

    He answers. Telemarketer starts speaking. He starts shouting like a little kid, "Got a phone call! Got a phone call! Hey honey! We got a phone call! We're somebody! Got a phone call! Wooh hooh! Phone call!..."

     

    Telemarketer was laughing too hard to get their speech out.
    14 Mar 2012, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/wQvABp

     

    In an incredible twist of ironic role reversal, Looks like John made it halfway 'round the world while the MSM is just now getting its boots on...
    13 Mar 2012, 08:11 PM Reply Like
  • Articula
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    Just playing the contrarian. But couldn't instability in the Middle East be a huge catalyst for Axion. They have a system that could save your fuel costs. Nothing like becoming more efficient when fuel is quickly becoming the biggest expense on companies P&L?

     

    Of course as BW alluded its not like you can just plug & chug with a PBC. But the PBC could play a large role in the US and Europe by continuing to push us away from fossil fuels.
    13 Mar 2012, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >Articula ... I've seen your point play out before. Even as fuel (or energy) becomes more expensive and larger part of everyone's spending, no one wants to pay more for it. Fact is, they want it cheaper but that is not possible because alternatives really do cost more in material, labor, energy efficiency ... etc. The rise in fossil fuels may (or may not) be a true price discovery via supply & demand. Fossil fuel is high margin (Exxon said last year the average cost of barrel of oil, in aggregate, was ~$26) and is well supported by infrastructure. Hydrocarbons can reduce marginal profit of even take a loss for a short time to make some alternative wither.

     

    A straight head-to-head New Tech to Status Quo is a loser. The first winners in the transition will be those that bridge both solutions without upsetting the cost structure that makes the change necessary. I'm hoping PbC is just such a device but I've been hoping this a long time now.
    13 Mar 2012, 09:09 PM Reply Like
  • Articula
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    The problem we've always taken in the US (and for most of the world) was to subsidize alternative energy. We should have let the weak alternative energy ideas fail and tax carbon. We know in the long term its bad for us, and still we pump the living hell out it. We also have our entire infastructure built to support it.

     

    Tax carbon, lower income taxes. Use the carbon taxes to build up public transport infastructure. We need to continue to make our economy more efficient. Taxing carbon and putting excess funds into a public transport plan is a great idea imo.
    13 Mar 2012, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    Articula > "We should have let the weak alternative energy ideas fail and tax carbon. We know in the long term its bad for us,...."

     

    I quite disagree with the premise that 'we' know carbon is bad for us in the long term. That is the story line of elements of the UN and most West European governments and 'supported' by computer model projections of less than impressive skill. Observed facts over the past decade differ from the model projections.
    13 Mar 2012, 11:14 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >D-inv ... Differ how? What "Observed facts" are you talking about?
    13 Mar 2012, 11:20 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    DRich > "Differ how? What "Observed facts" are you talking about?"

     

    DR, I have no wish to undertake extended OT discussion on climate change here. I made an observation that runs counter to a presumptive statement by another poster (Articula). My inference from the 'carbon is bad for us in the long run' sentiment expressed was that he accepted the anthopogenic global warming due to CO2 emissions thesis. The observed facts to which I referred are global temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration measurements. Atmospheric CO2 concentration has risen monotonically for decades (increasing 5.5% in the most recent 10 years, for instance). Average global temperatures were basically unchanged over the same period (no statistically significant trend) while they have declined over a somewhat longer period. The HadCrut global temperature series (http://tinyurl.com/27km5b) used by the UN's International Panel on Climate Change in preparation of their most recent (2007) report on climate shows a global average temperature "anomaly" of 0.340 degrees C for 2011 vice 0.548 for 1998, 0.352 for 1997.

     

    IMO, the only rational bases for government policies promoting greater energy efficiency are conservation of scarce resources for future generations, reduction in economic and military vulnerabilities arising from dependence on supply from uncontrolled and possibly hostile sources, reduction in dispersion of hazardous materials (arsenic, cadmium, mercury, etc.) and airborne particulates and dangerous chemical precursors from combustion of fossil fuels.
    14 Mar 2012, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5020) | Send Message
     
    If your report holds true explain please:

     

    1. Glaciers melting at unheard of rates
    2. Sea Coast cities now preparing for the rise in Ocean levels
    3. Rising Sea/Ocean temps threatening certain life & coral reefs
    4. Global droughts causing famine more widespread
    5. I guess you don't believe in "peak oil either"

     

    Which report you read depends on who funded the research as to numbers & cause. The above is just facts. I won't engage or respond any further.
    14 Mar 2012, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    LT > "If your report holds true ..."

     

    :-) If I had "thin skin", LT, I would say you just called me a liar. You can attribute this response to that derogatory.

     

    What you call my "report" is an objective reading of temperature (HadCrut3 - (http://tinyurl.com/27km5b)) and CO2 (http://tinyurl.com/klwyuq) statistics published by government funded agencies plus a computation of the percentage increase in CO2 over the most recent ten year period. If my "report" is untrue that lack of truth is entirely attributable to the statistics compiled and published at taxpayer expense. And, I received no compensation in any form or kind for making and sharing my observations.

     

    I submit that each and every one of your claimed "just facts" is opinion subject to, and reflective of, bias (and ignorance).

     

    The subject matter here is definitely OT and PM is the appropriate avenue for anyone choosing to respond to my remarks.
    14 Mar 2012, 12:07 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (769) | Send Message
     
    There is no such thing as "excess funds" in Washington. I say that confidently, in every case, without exception.
    14 Mar 2012, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9916) | Send Message
     
    Articula: Ooooo, I do agree. ME war could potentially be huge for Axion Power.

     

    Generally, history demonstrates, before and when war breaks out, the markets tank, as the big boyz run to the hill-caves until they can better understand expected duration, costs, and what the war will manifest itself into.

     

    Luring in a whale or three during the guise of war would likely be more difficult. In short, whenever we finally do see a significant PO from some major company buying the PbC, I would prefer that to happen not in time of war. Including POs from the DOD.

     

    That's why I'm glad of what I've recently learned about Iran still needing 12 to 18 months to get enough weapons grade uranium to make a nuke; why I am pleased to see the Greek situation now in a "lull," as John Mauldin wrote in his latest piece.

     

    My admittedly "loose" point is that I would rather have Mr. Market all happy and frothy when Axion hits paydirt, than having Mr. Market all frowny and obfuscated from war.
    13 Mar 2012, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • Articula
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    Saying that as an investor in Axion, I'd still rather not see a ME war. No sense in seeing financial gain when the world could fall apart around us. I prefer to let the Arab Spring continue.

     

    This will be a very interesting spring. The younger generation of Arabs are finally being clued in to what the world has to offer them outside of the ME. I'm not criticizing Islam at all. I do not want to turn this into a religious debate. But the tide is turning in the ME.
    13 Mar 2012, 09:21 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    What do you do with an unemployment rate of 50%+ among the 20 to 35 year old? Many Middle Eastern countries have this problem and we might too, soon.
    13 Mar 2012, 09:29 PM Reply Like
  • Articula
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    Hence they are turning to the internet and finding out most modern countries aren't like this. They can also vote for their political leadership. It's a big difference that the young generation of middle easterners are just waking up too.
    13 Mar 2012, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9916) | Send Message
     
    DRich: Ugh! Are you saying that 50% of future Americans from 20 to 35 years old "may" someday be unemployed?

     

    That's nutz. And if this does happen, both you and "me" will be broke, because financial doomsday is then in our livingroom (something I will never lift off the coffee table discussion until the whole world understands fiscal prudence--fat chance).

     

    Since forever, the youth of the world have moved to where they can best find opportunity. The US still tops that list, by far.

     

    But the Africans are moving into Europe, largely through Italy. The Greeks are bailing, many moving to Australia. And the Chinese are moving by the tens of thousands into Russia.

     

    The ME country's youth are just discovering Face Book. Facebook has played a large part in the changes we saw occur in Egypt and Lybia, and now Syria and Iran are forthcoming.

     

    Countries where this kind of unemployment happens...is occurring, are going to lose out future productivity, in a grand scale.

     

    In my lifetime, 50% unemployment of 20 to 35 year olds in the US better not happen. If it does, than those of that age, will be employed, in the armed services.
    14 Mar 2012, 12:32 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >Mayscribe ... I was listening to the radio yesterday and these two guys were spouting off two government statistics, one FED-one BLS, that put the current 24-35 age range at 19% or 23%. Depends on how you want to slice the data. Purely unemployed, Under employed, Temporarily employed, At or below subsistence. Now I haven't gone and verified this for myself yet but I will because it sounds interesting. The USA is headed down a road we haven't been on since the 1870's with no frontier to hide the problem. Without industry and/or public works (and all that entails) I don't have a problem thinking it could happen here. The top 10% of income earners make 46% of all income

     

    http://bit.ly/xFgsyW

     

    and own close to 60% or 80% (depending on the data source) of all capital (and growing)

     

    http://bit.ly/xd6iTr

     

    so it is not that much of a stretch to getting to look like a 3rd world country.

     

    And shame on you saying "If it does, than those of that age, will be employed, in the armed services.". I thought you were against government jobs

     

    Anyway, enough non-battery BS for now because this could get political and I'm not among friends here on that score.
    14 Mar 2012, 01:25 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9916) | Send Message
     
    --And shame on you saying "If it does, than those of that age, will be employed, in the armed services.". I thought you were against government jobs

     

    ####

     

    Excellent. That's funny. You are correct...I'm very much against the US with more soldiers at arms. I'm also against public political cyber-pugalism verbiage here in the APCs and heartily agree that we should take this underground.

     

    I'll be there, with a pint poured for ya'. ;-)
    14 Mar 2012, 02:07 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2740) | Send Message
     
    When I encountered a doomsday prospective client, I would often just ask them where the Dow was when I graduated college in early 1982, amongst gloom not unlike today. When they heard it was under 1,000, vs 13,000 now, they usually STFU. Those that didn't, well, as they taught me in sales school, take the easy ones, let the hard ones go.
    14 Mar 2012, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1844) | Send Message
     
    Some of us agree with you, DRich. You are not completely alone here.
    14 Mar 2012, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >D.McHattie ... Thanks. Comforting to know but to go too far into the socio-economic weeds we refer to as politics would bring out mindsets that would make the EV-angelics look open-minded. Nothing useful would be gained. Entertainment level could be high but doubtful since so many (myself included) take ourselves as being serious ... even right (as in correctly) minded.
    14 Mar 2012, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • Metals are Precious
    , contributor
    Comments (713) | Send Message
     
    Drich

     

    Why do you think i have been buying metals?? Those that dismiss the possibility are not looking at the true facts!!! I am with you..

     

    map
    14 Mar 2012, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2648) | Send Message
     
    Local Pittsburgh news

     

    http://bit.ly/yezXac

     

    This document was created on 3/8/12 and Yahoo has AXPW last listed at 64 employees.
    13 Mar 2012, 11:04 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    This brand new article on an interview with JCI's Alex Molinaroli speaks volumes about where the industry is going:

     

    http://bit.ly/ziE86D
    14 Mar 2012, 01:04 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    Very interesting interview article, JP. Thanks for sharing.

     

    In addition to the scale of AGM battery sales JCI envisions for itself, I was impressed with an element of his final reported comment - "The design of lithium ion batteries isn't stable yet."

     

    Takeaways from the interview article are twofold. First, JCI expects to be a dominant player in automotive OEM markets going forward and since it has already licensed Ultrabattery there is little reason to expect AXPW sales to JCI. Second, prospects for mass market automotive Li-ion systems are virtually nil in the near term.
    14 Mar 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    JCI has no rights to the Ultrabattery. That's an East Penn project.
    14 Mar 2012, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for correcting my misinformation, John. :-) That ultrabattery license confusion is the kind of detail that matters.
    14 Mar 2012, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Sometimes it's hard to tell the players without a program ;-)
    14 Mar 2012, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    Hey JP, you and the President of JCI Power Solutions could co-author an article. Certainly reflects your views. I'm sure JP3 would tell you both that you both that you are all wrong.

     

    "Will lithium ion batteries generate major earnings for you any time soon?

     

    A mass market for EVs is still a long way off. That's why we don't spend a lot of time talking about all this.

     

    Recently the CEO of Continental AG predicted that electric cars won't generate big sales for another decade. Would you agree?

     

    Yes, I would. In fact, the EV market may be even further away than that.

     

    What about hybrid-powered vehicles?

     

    Hybrids are still only 3 percent of the market. [To design a hybrid] you still have to make huge platform changes and add a whole lot of cost, because of the electric motor and all the other components.
    14 Mar 2012, 06:25 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    Hey Bang!

     

    We missed you! Doing well?

     

    I know it wasn't that long, but...

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 06:31 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13508) | Send Message
     
    He had to wait until prices hit "our target" at .37. Mud jacuzzi was set on "cruise" otherwise...
    14 Mar 2012, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2171) | Send Message
     
    >D-inv: re: "The design of lithium ion batteries isn't stable yet."

     

    That's a rather strange statement. I can only assume that they mean "WE haven't found a Li-ion design we like and that might make us some money". They can't compete with the big Asian boys on the commodity cells and there isn't much of a market, as JCI would define a market, for the larger format plastic box styles.

     

    When they signed up with Saft as a partner, I believe they had visions of millions of heavy hybrids and BEVs rolling off the production line each year. With a 2-20k$ battery pack in each one.

     

    Hasn't happened yet and probably won't until a much better battery design and electric distribution infrastructure shows up, IMHO.
    That's 10+ years, minimum. Those batteries might be Li-ion or they might not. But they are unlikely to have innards that are close to those Li-ion cells produced today.
    14 Mar 2012, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    I was just busy for awhile. I'm ok.
    15 Mar 2012, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2779) | Send Message
     
    I don't think EV or full hybrids will ever be much of a threat to Axion's success. I think our only really worry is whether people go for the easy access of the "good enough" agm batteries that'll last a year or two. Or will consumers demand energy storage solutions that keep all their auto bells and whistles working for the life of the car.

     

    Beyond that I worry about things like the ultra-battery and other lead based batteries that maybe we don't know much about yet and I have minor concerns that 5-20% gas savings aren't worth these extra expense (and/or they may wear on the cars other systems negating their benefits).

     

    >>Will lithium ion batteries generate major earnings for you any time soon? A mass market for EVs is still a long way off. That's why we don't spend a lot of time talking about all this.
    Recently the CEO of Continental AG predicted that electric cars won't generate big sales for another decade. Would you agree? Yes, I would. In fact, the EV market may be even further away than that. What about hybrid-powered vehicles? Hybrids are still only 3 percent of the market. [To design a hybrid] you still have to make huge platform changes and add a whole lot of cost, because of the electric motor and all the other components.
    14 Mar 2012, 03:06 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    The most important bit of the Molinaroli interview was his statement that JCI plans to sell "Thirty-five million batteries a year by 2015, primarily for original equipment."

     

    Nine months ago JCI planned on expanding their AGM capacity to 18 million units a year by 2015. So they've literally doubled their expectations in the last nine months.

     

    For now automakers and regulators have to settle for *good enough* because they don't have any choice in the matter.

     

    The most striking undercurrent I felt in Geneva this year is that automakers want to take micro-hybrids and other fuel efficiency technologies much farther than they can right now. They have to settle, but they don't want to because fuel efficiency offers more bang for the buck than any of the alternatives.

     

    The ultimate driver has nothing to do with automaker preferences. Micro-hybrids are a business response to a regulatory mandate, rather than a market mandate. The regulators understand that there's more than a little greenwash in the space today, but tighter regulations are useless until there are better technology choices.

     

    Everything we know says the PbC will offer an order of magnitude better performance than AGM in aggressive micro-hybridization. Between the automaker's desire to squeeze every ounce of benefit from the technology and the regulators' desire to circumvent future greenwash, I have to believe that the PbC can earn a big enough market share to make all of us very happy.
    14 Mar 2012, 05:23 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    Any clue on how much of that increase is for China? The article mentioned plant expansion in Europe, North America, and China, and I'm curious about their projections for the China auto market.

     

    Wonder if they're mainly exporting those Chinese produced batteries to Japan, or whether they are making big China sales. If so, the trends these days suggest they must have a JV partner ... anyone know about that?

     

    Fair amount of debate about whether the Chinese economy has a hard landing or not. Also, wages are going up (which might be good for auto purchases,) but some manufacturing is alleged to be moving to now cheaper locations, and GASP even some coming back to US (where unbelievably low Nat Gas prices may be helping along with people desperate for any kind of job lowering wage demands.)
    14 Mar 2012, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • jvanwest
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    John, in my opinion im not sure that he was stating that Johnson Controls plans to sell 35 million AGM's I read it as the entire market for AGM's in 2015 will be 35 million.

     

    JVW
    15 Mar 2012, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2779) | Send Message
     
    If we can just get a few million of those 35M units to be PbCs we'd have plenty of revenues to make us all happy shareholders. 2015 isn't really that far away either. =)
    14 Mar 2012, 05:42 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    I'd be thrilled to just make electrode assemblies for 10% of JCI's anticipated 2015 sales at $100 a pop.
    14 Mar 2012, 06:17 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (799) | Send Message
     
    In my notes, the balance is as follows

     

    -.18 M AGM by JCI.
    -.8.5 M AGM by XIDE.
    who produced the remaining 9.5?

     

    I'm pretty sure that both JCI & XIDE know that the AGM is an interim step in search of the AGM / PbC. They go step by step and first are focused on expanding their production facilities and establish new plants to later make the switch to the AGM / PbC.
    14 Mar 2012, 07:10 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    That was the amazing part – JCI is planning on selling 35 Million AGM batteries all by itself not counting what other manufacturers do!
    14 Mar 2012, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (799) | Send Message
     
    This is surprising, then we are talking about a figure close to 43.5M for the year 2015.
    Each AGM battery costs an average of USD. $150, correct?
    14 Mar 2012, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    IIRC, the best figure JP has guessed at was $250 USD?

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1930) | Send Message
     
    Hi Carlos,
    At $120 per AGM battery it would be $4.2B per year by 2015.

     

    The PbC receiving just 5% of that 35M units at $250 per battery would generate about $437.5M in revenue per year on $1.75M units.

     

    (Updated)
    14 Mar 2012, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    My estimates of rough market values are $60 for a flooded battery, $120 for an AGM and $250 for a PbC. My PbC number is probably on the high side, but the other two are pretty close.
    14 Mar 2012, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • f-kru
    , contributor
    Comments (260) | Send Message
     
    At the current pace the question is whether Axion's production process will be mature enough by 2015 to really scale.
    14 Mar 2012, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    LoL! Gone over to "The Dark Side" of pessimism?

     

    Have faith brother! Remember that "past performance is not an indication of future performance". And keep in mind that transition periods (as in from a promising R & D effort towards commercialization) often have long periods of nada followed by all hell breaking loose to the up side, IMO.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Based on what management said in the last conference call the production technology is ready to scale now, but there's no sense building more capacity until the OEM testing programs are completed.
    14 Mar 2012, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • f-kru
    , contributor
    Comments (260) | Send Message
     
    HTL, just beeing careful... I' not convinced the current Gen2 line is ready yet for automotive production. We're still waiting for proof that it's ready for rail and stationary applications, in which a single battery is not as critical and might fail without compromising the entire system.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • f-kru
    , contributor
    Comments (260) | Send Message
     
    John, you said the Gen2 line is more like a beta product.. ready to scale... maybe, but not for automotive applications.
    This will require a robust "v1.0". My best guess is that will be the Gen3 line.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    The Gen2 was a beta line as originally built and configured. Since then they've made additional upgrades to the existing line and decided that the modified configuration is the one they're going to scale.

     

    The problem with production processes is they follow a continuum and each modification you make to a beta line improves it and changes it. When your beta line includes all the improvements you think it needs, it becomes the first example of production 1.0.

     

    I believe Axion is at that point.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5020) | Send Message
     
    They already have gen2 & prob. gen2-b now....gen 3 will just be the normal upgrade for quantity & speed. Adding lines is just a matter of ordering/purchasing/in... ... them. Just time & money. As JLP stated, "no need to build them until the orders are there".
    That along with filling key mgt. positions is a good tip as to when sales are coming. When he orders more production capacity, I guarantee orders are coming.
    The price could still drop one more time on any negative or mass selling (2 big sellers competing again) but I am much more bullish with the pps holding in here and the new mgt. hires.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9916) | Send Message
     
    LT: As of late November there was only the single Gen2 line. I haven't heard anything about Axion already building the Gen2-A line...yet.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1930) | Send Message
     
    Maya, The Gen2-A is just refining the Gen 2 line; I would not expect any updates to "building" it, unless it is asked about on the CC or something -- it is a constant work toward more and more efficiency much like computer platforms Leopard 10.1, 10.2 etc. While a Gen 3 line will be a more substantial design change to increase efficiency even more, but might not be necessary until a substantial design win comes through. (However, I would bet they already have engineers generating blueprints of what the new Gen3 line will be.)

     

    The manufacturing process will always be constantly improved upon to drive down cost and increase production rates.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5020) | Send Message
     
    I am almost sure the TG said the gen2-A (or b) was already designed. Not built yet...because of no need for additional production. I know it's been mentioned and would not be surprised if it isn't installed in the next year to 18 months...maybe not.
    I did not intend to say "it has been installed" but would not be surprised if one is installed soon.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1930) | Send Message
     
    I believe last year there was a lot of confusion about whether the Gen 2 line was finished or still being worked on. It was finished but it constantly receives improvements. I believe TG decided to adopt the term Gen2A line to eliminate that confusion, so everyone could rest assured the needed Gen 2 line was done and ready for production, while at the same time showing they would be consistently working to improve it. I don't believe the Gen2A line is anything more than refining and increasing the efficiency where they can on the Gen2 line -- it is a Porsche they want to make it a Lamborghini.
    14 Mar 2012, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (799) | Send Message
     
    Thanks.
    Muchos millons.!!!!!
    14 Mar 2012, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (769) | Send Message
     
    I agree JAK. My impression, coming primarily from what JP has told us, is that they are constantly tweaking the Gen2 line. The Gen2A is literally the same physical line with the addition of a couple of workstations and some other *minor* tweaks. Gen3 then, will be an entirely new line, but from scratch, that it is fully inclusive of all the changes both implemented and/or designed since the Gen2 was built.
    14 Mar 2012, 05:38 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1930) | Send Message
     
    Hey Egg,
    I just wanted to be clear that my information is primarily from what I have heard from TG not JP. TG described it as getting it from a Porsche to Lamborghini at the Rodman and Renshaw conference held last year. TG chuckled on the last Q3 conference call over the confusion of whether the Gen2 line was completed or if they were still working on it, saying it was definitely completed. TG said in the conference call from Q2 2011 that, "Certainly the next raise...would give us enough to augment the existing robotic line (aka Gen 2A)." -- "augment" not build new.

     

    It is always nice when my findings are the same as those from the "Oz of Switzerland" but it would be next to impossible for me to be holding this bastard of a stock based on his findings alone (no offense JP) and not my own constant daily pouring over the company for the past year.
    14 Mar 2012, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9916) | Send Message
     
    jak: I should have written: I haven't heard anything about Axion building "another" Gen 2 line. Or, building "another" Gen2-A line.

     

    Changing out just one word...

     

    Perhaps better, and definitely safer! I should have written that I haven't heard anything about Axion building another 11 robot line.

     

    They only have one, last I heard.

     

    14 Mar 2012, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    My memory is generally pretty good, but I'm the first to acknowledge that it's not perfect. Trust but verify is good in international relations and good in the investing markets because if I make a mistake I need to know about it.
    15 Mar 2012, 01:11 AM Reply Like
  • miane371
    , contributor
    Comments (30) | Send Message
     
    how much of a boost will 4.2B be to the giant JCI? about 10% in overall sales...doesn't seem like its a big big deal...but I have to admit...i know next to nothing about the company other than what I've scanned from the headlines and the last one I read was 2011 sales were around 40B with income of 1.6B.
    15 Mar 2012, 03:39 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    JCI Power Solutions accounted for $5.9 billion of their 2011 sales of $40.8 billion (14%). It also accounted for $808 million of their 2011 segment income of 2.3 billion (35%). They've consistently said that AGM sales will represent 2X the per unit revenue and 3X the per unit margin. So it's a very big deal.
    15 Mar 2012, 04:23 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    "ZBB Energy to Provide Power Management System to Support Department of Defense Net Zero Energy Installation Program"

     

    "... provide an integrated, continuous power ZBB EnerSystem™. This technology combines ZBB EnerStore™ flow-battery technology and ZBB EnerSection™ power and energy control capability for use in a unique application designed to operate in both grid-connected and transportable micro-grid applications at an undisclosed U.S. Military base".

     

    "... will be used continuously in an ongoing operational mode in conjunction with the base grid loop, and will also demonstrate the ability to disconnect from the grid and operate as a micro-grid in 'island mode,' and then seamlessly synchronize back to the grid interconnection as appropriate".

     

    http://mwne.ws/z2dDjv

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5020) | Send Message
     
    looks like the DOD is using a variety of new tech for their zero energy program. this should help ZBB
    14 Mar 2012, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • pianomanshl
    , contributor
    Comments (313) | Send Message
     
    Re ZBB,

     

    Positive news keep coming out, just wondering when stock price will recover.
    Still in the valley of death? couple of more years?
    14 Mar 2012, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >H.T.Love ... For about 2 years now I've thought that Axion & ZBB coming together would make one hell of a good match up. Axion for response time & reset, ZBB for duration. Both are the only two batteries that can endure total discharge and survive in any kind of economical manner. ZBB also has a great controls system.
    14 Mar 2012, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >pianomanshl ... I think UL testing has been the bane of ZBB. They have backlog & potential sales but ... they wait. Sound familiar?
    14 Mar 2012, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5020) | Send Message
     
    I tend to agree, It could be a merger of equals as both companies will struggle on their own. An all stock deal would make sense financially too. No cash.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    DRich & LT: From all that I've read, mergers or acquisitions involving two "weak" companies generally does not yield good results.

     

    Technically and market-wise, might be a good fit. But if those folks I read are right, one of them needs to be financially (and managerially - which I think one is for sure) strong.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >LT ... I'm not even thinking about "merger" and can't think of any reason that would happen. Axion's business model is to work in collaboration with other vendors so my thinking is ZBB or a vendor/customer cobbling a system together. I just think the product mix works in a superior manner together.
    14 Mar 2012, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5020) | Send Message
     
    There will eventually be consolidation in the battery space. I have no idea how it will play out....but if the big guys don't go for AXPW or ZBB, and a couple of others soon....I would not be surprised to see the small ones begin to come together.

     

    HTL is correct, but maybe it's possible if orders start coming in. Every one of these small companies, AXPW, ZBB, ACPW, etc. are struggling to get business to support them. JCI interview with their CEO stated "some small companies won't make it, they do not have the financial staying power to survive".
    14 Mar 2012, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >LT ... In the micro-caps, if I've been understanding Mr. Petersen correctly, look to the debt load & current ratio. A new tech company that looks out of balance stands a good chance of not making it. Axion could shut the doors and walk away for a short time if the world blows up because it owns their means of production and carry virtually no debt.
    14 Mar 2012, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    No it won't. There's been a fair amount of news for ZBB and it hasn't helped ... almost seems to have hurt!

     

    This is yet another demonstration project ... better than a sharp stick in the eye, but not much better.

     

    Selling one EnerSection with or without an EnerStore won't do anything for the stock price.

     

    Like AXPW, still dealing with Hopium and for who knows how long.
    14 Mar 2012, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    I've wondered about that also. I think their management styles are quite different though. ZBB is more promotional than Axion.

     

    Their financing styles have been quite different as well.

     

    If you go simply by hiring, ZBB would appear to be ahead of AXPW, as they've been relatively busy in the last 6-9 months. Hopefully they're not too early.

     

    So they think they're on the cusp and will not be giving up any control. ZBB too have a lot of insiders with skin in the game.

     

    We know the AXPW board haven't given up, and I don't see them starting now.

     

    About the only way I could see this happening is if TG decided he wants to retire. I'm no expert, but I've gotten the sense from reading JP that barring some health issue, he's not going anywhere in the next couple of years right when he thinks things may really pay off.
    14 Mar 2012, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (769) | Send Message
     
    "... provide an integrated, continuous power ZBB EnerSystem™. This technology combines ZBB EnerStore™ flow-battery technology and ZBB EnerSection™ power and energy control capability..."
    14 Mar 2012, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    Electrovaya Announces a New Product Line of High Voltage Mid Size (Approximately 25kWh) Lithium Ion Energy Storage Systems
    http://bit.ly/xKhTcj
    Its called the PowerBlock. Sound familiar?
    The press release notes the product "is designed to cater to a rapidly growing mid-size residential and industrial energy storage market"
    The stock appears to be up nicely on this news.
    14 Mar 2012, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    Does AXPW have a product ready to go, the way this one appears to be? It appears to me that the necessary systems are not yet in place to market and deliver the PowerCube.
    14 Mar 2012, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    They had another interesting (a 2 year pilot) announcement in Feb:
    http://bit.ly/y3imrC

     

    "The energy storage pilot will be two-fold. In 2012, the energy storage system, which was developed by Electrovaya Inc., a lithium-ion battery manufacturing company, will reside in an electrical distribution substation. At a later date, the system will be trucked a few miles up the road to support a neighborhood-scale solar power plant."

     

    Once again a reminder that "we will sell no wine before its time"
    http://bit.ly/wADLlv

     

    Note they were partnered with a big boy: ABB for power electronics.

     

    Related video here: http://bit.ly/zlF16W
    14 Mar 2012, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • bobhaeger
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    New pic posted by INDelco over on brand x.

     

    Posted at the Altoone Works facebook site (Yahoo will not allow a link to be posted). Of interest is that it's parked next to NS38 The Brick which is an research car. The NS38 has all kinds of track monitoring instrumentation/puters like one might use if they were developing an OTR hybrid locomotive and wished to integrate it with GE's LEADER platform.

     

    Update better link:
    http://bit.ly/woYOa0
    14 Mar 2012, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    Interesting report, D_L. Thanks for sharing.

     

    The approximate 25kWh capacity reference prompted me to check average power usage in my own home. Even if 100% of that capacity was available to homeowners, one of the Electrovaya units would be inadequate to provide even one full day of backup power for my home. This did not engender confidence in likelihood of a large market for the "PowerBlock."
    14 Mar 2012, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    D-inv: if we exclude natural disasters and rare extreme weather, that size may be very useful for the most common issues, short-power outages.

     

    In my boonies we've had only one or two multi-day outages from severe winter weather in the last 20 years or so and I can only recall one or two that lasted even 4-5 hours (Duke Energy services us).

     

    Combined with running essential services only (i'net service and computers, refrigerator and well pump), that size cube might be very acceptable for many folks. And things like refrigerator and i'net/comps can be run intermittently.

     

    So there may be a good market for that size.

     

    Upscale might want more, so maybe ganging the units meets that need.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    Agree totally, HTL... it all depends on the price of course, but 25 KWh of reliable battery plus a generator big enough to charge it (only run intermittently and thus efficiently) could be a terrific seamless combination...again, if and only if it's at the right price. Otherwise, most folks will just keep a generator and deal with the associated noise and hassle and fuel costs...not as elegant as a true UPS but acceptable...
    14 Mar 2012, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    HTL, 481' ... You may be well be accurate in your assessments. My perspective, and comment, is/was heavily influenced by general impressions of the size and cost of battery packs used in the Chevy Volt and Tesla EV. According to Wikipedia, the Volt is equipped with a 16kWh lithium manganese oxide pack of 10.4 kWh is usable. The Tesla battery pack allegedly costs ~$40k although the size of that $40K pack is unclear. One of the Tesla battery packs for which the company has issued an info document stores 53 kWh.

     

    I would likely choose a propane/butane fueled backup generator capable of handling lighting, refrigeration, pumps wired to auto-start on loss of grid power.
    14 Mar 2012, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    D-Inv,

     

    "I would likely choose a propane/butane fueled backup generator capable of handling lighting, refrigeration, pumps wired to auto-start on loss of grid power"

     

    Concur such is among the soundest of choices, but my idea is that mating it to a big, durable, and cheap enough battery to both handle the loads after a seamless switchover and then allow for the generator not to have to run continuously (IE the same advantage touted for the oil-rig application) would certainly be a worthwhile addition... again, only if priced low enough to make sense. (which is certainly a non-trivial hurdle.)
    14 Mar 2012, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    I think a lot of the lure of residential systems lies in the potential to do time shifting on solar and perhaps manage time of day energy costs. In Japan, they apparently still have problems with daily rolling blackouts in the wake of Fukushima so the pressure is much greater to find a solution.
    15 Mar 2012, 01:17 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    I like your configuration too. It likely does the same job for less expense, overall.

     

    As "4" says, there seems an advantage of having some battery capacity as well. But for the difference in expense, I could probably stand whatever noise there is.

     

    HardToLove
    15 Mar 2012, 02:38 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    The sales pitch seems to be all about solar. The idea for many of us is to get away from burning fossil fuels.
    Looking at news of utilities experimenting with Lithium storage, I'm thinking that they have the scale to afford that. Residential storage is where the PbC can make use of its price advantage.
    15 Mar 2012, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    The sales pitch may be all about solar, but all of the applications are directed at smoothing minute-to-minute variability from the grid itself or from renewables connected to the grid.

     

    The utilities are experimenting with large scale storage but they're nowhere close to deploying it. Today they're trying to learn where grid connected storage is technically feasible. After several more years of testing, the results will be turned over to bean counters who will decide whether grid connected storage is economically feasible, and more importantly whether the utilities can include storage investments in their regulatory rate base. When it comes to rate base decisions by public utility commissions, cost to the consumer will be the only metric that matters.

     

    While utility installations will grab the headlines, the real business opportunity is with businesses that require more reliability than the grid can deliver and perhaps residential applications. It's hard to predict how the various potential markets will develop, but I wouldn't count the PbC out of any of them.
    15 Mar 2012, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    Sounds right to me.
    Its good to see that Axion just put up a Youtube video about the cube. They have to get themselves into the discussion.
    15 Mar 2012, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    (quote)Pike Research’s report, "Community and Residential Energy Storage" assesses the market opportunity for battery-based energy storage systems in community and residential deployments.

     

    Utilities, vendors and governments are currently testing CRES systems for enabling smoother peaks in electricity demand, enabling voltage support and frequency regulation, and providing islanding capabilities. Pike Research says that the leading technology in the CRES sector in the coming decade will be lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries. This technology currently leads in terms of utility demonstration projects. Advanced flow batteries and lead-acid battery technologies are in the development phases.(end quote)

     

    Read more: http://bit.ly/yCCVY1
    15 Mar 2012, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    D Lane: I suspect that unless Li-ion makes some big strides in all areas (cost, lifetime, recyclability, ...) the Axion PbC may have a place there.

     

    Since weight and footprint (for the most part) are not mission-critical for such applications and the PbC has (currently) a substantially lower cost, at least equivalent lifetime and 99% recyclability, I think there's a substantial portion of that market that Axion will get.

     

    And we have Rosewater on the case as well.

     

    Of course, my thoughts are only speculation based on what I think I've learned here, and from JP.

     

    HardToLove
    15 Mar 2012, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    (AXPW): Alittle unusual ...

     

    After a couple trades at $0.3855 an $0.3715, 6,5K and 9K respectively, a 100-share trade "lure"(?) @ $0.38.

     

    *If* this is a market-maker lure, it's the first time in a long time I've seen a trade go below recent trades and at the bid, which was $0.38.

     

    Is it possible that the MM has an order to buy a bunch and he needs some of those offers at $0.39 to lower their ask so the MM can fill a buy order?

     

    Tomorrow is the 15th, when we expect Quercus *may* be selling into the market. Does this play into this odd "lure" somehow?

     

    No clue yet, but it is a definite departure from recent practice we've observed.

     

    Yesterday's daily shorts were still low, 15.8%, as volume moved to 52,541 from 29,330, +79% but short sales went only from 6,400 to 8,300, +~30%.

     

    So yesterday there were no large low-priced sell orders entering (as self-evident by the price action). Further the buy:sell was 1:2.97 - bad but with small volume we can't read any large movement indications into it.

     

    So, if we see some more "lures" of this nature, it may be time to hold tight because it *may* suggest that somebody want's some shares and, if it's one of the market-makers' "good customers", there may be pressure to deliver.

     

    If that's the case and Quercus does come in tomorrow, we *might* see less downward pressure as the market-maker snaps up those shares for his customer.

     

    Heh. It'd be sort of neat to see "us" (retail investors) competing with the market-maker for those low priced shares and keeping price just out of his reach.

     

    If we get more low-volume days with lots of these sorts of "lures", *might* be suggesting time to buy as the market-makers, after buying low, will release some shares at a higher price to his customer.

     

    All supposition, speculation and pure ignorance about what may be really happening, as usual.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1930) | Send Message
     
    Interesting. One thing I will add is that under the SEC rules Quercus has a long span of 3 months to sell only 850k shares (in the month of January we averaged almost 800k shares per day). I doubt we will ever see downward pressure from them, unless others try to muscle their way in front of them.
    14 Mar 2012, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    My thoughts were really regarding what the market-maker might do *if* he's got a "good customer" asking for shares at a low price. As detailed in the link about market-makers I posted a while back, there's apparently some pressure to deliver or risk losing the customer's business.

     

    The market-makers, all by themselves, can apply downward pressure.

     

    If a distressed seller comes in as well, especially one we *know* has sold at lower prices in the past, that would add to the pressure, 10% and/or other sellers notwithstanding.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    I'd feel more comfortable if everybody hadn't gone into bottom feeding lurker mode in mid-February.

     

    January was very strong with 12 million shares of volume vs 4.1 million in 2011. February was also pretty good with 9.1 million shares of volume vs 5.7 million in 2011. March has been stinko with 1.5 million shares to date vs 13.1 million shares for the month in 2011.
    14 Mar 2012, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    John, I think with the CC so close now, in this current absence of news, potential buyers are more or less waiting with their fingers on the trigger... I mean why buy now? If there's good news from the CC then they can buy with more confidence and maybe at the start of a run....if there's no news or something negative at the CC then they can buy for a lower price....so with only just a few more days now to wait for that massive signal, I'm not surprised in the least that it's only crickets and tumbleweeds right now...
    14 Mar 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    I'm not surprised at all, I'd just find it easier to make predictions about a possible Quercus impact if volume was a bit higher.

     

    The period between the Q-3 and year end calls is always the worst because it's 135 days instead of 90 days. That being said, I expect volume to increase over the next two weeks in anticipation of the call because for the last two years volume in the second half of March has averaged 2x volume in the first half.
    14 Mar 2012, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    Yes, but the March 2011 was during the big run-up. I think we can't rally compare unless we see a similar price push. IIRC, AXPW presented at some conference around that time and I suspect that may have caused the sudden interest.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    Wow, hmm... that prediction will be really interesting to see play out...the only thing I can think of that's different this year is that so many buyers likely sated their appetites in the big selloffs of December and post capital raise. With so much anticipation in the air at the moment, I just find it hard to figure how anyone decides to move prior to the event...
    14 Mar 2012, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9916) | Send Message
     
    Hard: I think back then there was also speculation buying on Axion landing the DOE grant.
    14 Mar 2012, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    481086 (May I call you "4" :-)),

     

    Watching the Level 2 and Time and Sales bids and asks, I think we have lots of appetite out there. But, as JP alluded to, it looks they are all in "bottom feeding" mode.

     

    This *may* be an "unintended consequence" of the excellent, IMO, education provided by Maya's instablog and the response it received in the community. As speculated often, and supported by the statistics JP has gathered, there's a lot of lurkers that are out there with the trigger-finger well placed.

     

    And it won't matter if up or down, I think, when price starts to move I think they'll empty their chambers because by now they *know* that the risk/reward is *excellent*.

     

    Not saying it's "to the moon Alice" just yet, but for long-term investors they may feel like I do that anywhere below $0.42 was a good price and back at $0.42 and moving it's still a good buy.

     

    If they are willing to risk a small piece of the upside they *may* be able to benefit *if* there's some downside.

     

    I believe that's the strategy being followed ATM. Except for my trading blocks which I replaced at $0.39, it's the strategy I'm using.

     

    And my trigger-finger has been itchy ever since, but firmly taped to my pocket so that I stick with my plan.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, that would do it. My guess was from searching the news on the site a while back the only thing I saw was a presentation at a conference around that time. JAK thought that wouldn't matter, but I've seen other stocks move around presentations. And others didn't. So it was my best guess.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Mar 2012, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    I totally agree that there is plenty of potential appetite remaining, just not at this price, not at our particular juncture. If there were, we'd be seeing much bigger volume today. I just think virtually everyone is holding fire, if only for the next 12 days. Or even tomorrow if quercus reenters and produces bottom-feeder irresistible prices. Now if any significant new information hits, I think all hell could break loose. Likewise right after the CC many folks will then make their moves... I agree there may be a flurry of last-minute placing of bets just prior, but still I think the big volume spike comes after...

     

    4out. ;)
    14 Mar 2012, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (769) | Send Message
     
    4 ;-),
    I think the macro picture and some anticipation of a correction is also holding people back ATM because regardless of how promising the CC goes, a big correction in the market could easily wipe out any short-term gains in AXPW pps.
    14 Mar 2012, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1697) | Send Message
     
    An instructive tale for us.

     

    FCEL could be considered parallel to AXPW. Disruptive product; great story, yet years of $$ loss and downward share prices.... Dashed hopes to those of us true believers and steady investors. Same type of moat, but with many seeming competitors. Both have good management. Both have crawled through the valley of death; except FCEL has burned about 700MM$ in getting to this point.

     

    FCEL had years of demonstration projects, always fascinating ideas..Clearly stuff of the future. Few sales..Enough to keep up the dream.

     

    A few months ago, FCEL shares were truly drifting..Lower and lower. It looked pretty dark.

     

    Then, huge energy based companies in the US, Korea, Germany, Spain and South America, began to sign on to try, later buy and now market their products all over the world. POSCO in Korea was the first truly big multiple year sale. But, even working with POSCO was not enough.

     

    More companies signed on recently, the stock began to move up, sharply then steadily.

     

    FCEL has ad is tracing JP's elephant hunter graph.

     

    The lessons:
    1) Keep the faith, and
    2) No matter how many thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of shares you've accumulated, you will wonder why you didn't buy more, then hope for a pullback so you can buy more.

     

    It will happen, too, for AXPW and for those of us true believers.
    Now, I just have to decide if I buy more AXPW now, or wait till it moves up more steadily?
    14 Mar 2012, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (769) | Send Message
     
    I agree thotdoc. Good post. Thanks!
    14 Mar 2012, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1697) | Send Message
     
    Another thought. Fuel Cell companies have turned out to have niches. Up to several years ago, a fuel cell company was a fuel cell company, a great idea in search of a place to solve a problem.

     

    As the companies developed to the point of differentiation, they all went through the valley. Now, the ones that lasted have specific markets and are moving toward profitability.

     

    So, success starts with focusig on a niche, but it will not come until other much bigger companies use your product or service to make a profit for them selves.

     

    AXPW has at least 4 niches....We wait for someone(s) to need us to solve a problem they really need to solve.
    14 Mar 2012, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    Hotdoc" We wait for someone(s) to need us to solve a problem they really need to solve."

     

    We have to hope that turns out to be NS and other rail companies in the near-term. It certainly has the possibility based on the recent NS remarks reported earlier thanks to Indelco on brand X.
    14 Mar 2012, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1697) | Send Message
     
    Bang, my wife thinks I'm hotdoc (I hope), but it's really thotdoc. I'm a Police Psychologist.

     

    I'm going to paraphrase JP here, a lot. But, let's assume that energy storage will be important in the future; that means lots of niches.

     

    Likely every niche will be filled by some type of battery with specific characteristics. Right now, people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off; "My battery will work wonders (fill every niche) because it's this type of battery."

     

    As JP has said, every situation is different and only market needs will determine which batteries fill which niches, not people's wishes. We are seeing shakeouts now, certain dreams are vanishing, like EV. All this is very good for us.

     

    AXPW has built a battery that fills specific niches. IMHO we will get our play. I think that time is a bit off and we are early. For instance, NS may pop and we will get excited and then the traders will buy and raise the price, and then sell and depress the price. Most people aren't us, most people will trade, not invest and wait.

     

    NS will validate the product for RRs, but will probably not buy so many batteries to make the stock really run up and stay up. It will probably take more than 1 big sale to make the bigger market notice us and get us past the trading ups and pullbacks.

     

    Best to all the true believers.
    14 Mar 2012, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • bobhaeger
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    Here's the money shot on the OTR NS999 speculation:

     

    http://bit.ly/x67NI2
    14 Mar 2012, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    Interesting photo. Am I hallucinating/fantasizing in thinking I recall a recent photo of the NS999, absent its battery shed, sitting on a track outside the Altoona shops? If that recollection is valid, the current photo suggests to me that a delivery of batteries has occurred.
    14 Mar 2012, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Haeger
    , contributor
    Comments (67) | Send Message
     
    IINDelco thinks the significance of the photo is the pairing of the NS999 with "NS38 The Brick which is an research car. The NS38 has all kinds of track monitoring instrumentation/puters like one might use if they were developing an OTR hybrid locomotive and wished to integrate it with GE's LEADER platform."
    14 Mar 2012, 11:36 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    :-) IINDelco and I may be saying the same thing in different words. Having a car containing beau coup monitoring systems attached to the NS999 leads me to suspect the NS999 has batteries on board.

     

    Think I will visit X Brand board and peruse the chat just to see what it is like.
    15 Mar 2012, 12:10 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Haeger
    , contributor
    Comments (67) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, batteries on board. That's what it says to me too. Brand X board works OK once I click-ignored all the trolls.
    15 Mar 2012, 12:33 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2740) | Send Message
     
    Wtb, what are ur guys saying?
    15 Mar 2012, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    My source says NOT to read anything into it. It's just a track they use for storage near the roundtable.

     

    The pic was taken in February, and in early March he said nothing was happening.

     

    NS 38 is a "track inspection unit" and "It checks track geometry. Gauge, level, etc etc" (this from the comments on the Facebook page that the picture appeared on)
    15 Mar 2012, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • bobhaeger
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    Oh well, looks like some facts messing with our speculation.
    15 Mar 2012, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2127) | Send Message
     
    I hate it when facts get in the way.
    I thought it interesting that somehow the NS999 yard slug suddenly became an OTR locomotive in the discussion? I would assume that NS will use a separate engine for that testing since it has a different everyday purpose.
    But the speculation was fun .
    16 Mar 2012, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1930) | Send Message
     
    Would be nice if we could get Indelco in hear to talk a little more about why he thought the NS38 was something they might use for OTR locomotive/computation... if it is just a "track inspection unit." From what I have seen Indelco is usually pretty thorough in his sleuthing.

     

    I don't know the guys who run Altoona's fb site, but it is apparent they want to limit any speculative hype-talk around the NS999, which is a good thing and I encourage NOT reading anything into it because it doesn't do anyone any good, but I would not necessarily put all my "facts" in the basket of facebook comments either.

     

    I don't think we have any clue what is really going on with the NS999 right now and facebook comments and pictures do absolutely nothing for me. The latest true update we have on any of it is Gerhard Thelen's comments in his interview on progressive railroading, which clearly indicates they are moving forward with the project this year -- that is as far as I am comfortable going.

     

    (Now, if someone shows me a picture of a couple of guys lugging batteries onto the NS999 and they are clearly labeled Axion Power I might be more inclined to get excited...briefly)
    16 Mar 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4161) | Send Message
     
    Old Irish saying: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
    16 Mar 2012, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >jakkurtz ... You'll know something happened with NS999 when you see a picture of it on the other side of the mechanical shop or back in the storage yard. One good, one bad. Right now the photo history shows they are just moving it around to be ready but out of the way of actual work flow.
    16 Mar 2012, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5020) | Send Message
     
    Jak ... I agree, and that is the way I think too.
    16 Mar 2012, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >bobhaeger ... I was looking through the Altoona Works photos and this one struck me as a good candidate for Axionista speculation.

     

    http://bit.ly/wzwZtL

     

    found on: http://bit.ly/woYOa0

     

    It carries the caption "NS 7045 is slated to become a road slug"

     

    Could this be the donor frame for the all-electric road slug? I don't know. I would think that a 6 axle SD40 would be a better selection than a GP50 but I don't know anything. Just "red meat" speculation and it fits my idea of the timeline if NS999 is to be re-powered and the OTR project is moving forward.
    17 Mar 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    As I recall, the NS 999 will use 1,080 batteries but the electric road slug will use between 1,600 and 1,700 batteries. I have no idea how those numbers fit with the different locomotive sizes, but thought the information might be helpful for those that do.
    17 Mar 2012, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... The GP50 pictured in my last post is the same frame as the NS999 and is about 60 ft long 8 ft wide on 2 axles. A SD40 or 45 is about 10 longer and 2 ft wider (& a little taller) on 6 axles. With all the SD's that every road has in storage it would be my pick for bigger battery packs.
    17 Mar 2012, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Many thanks DR. It's fun to have somebody who understands the application sharing his knowledge.
    17 Mar 2012, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • bobhaeger
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the spec, DRich. JP's latest article has me wondering if BMW will beat NS out of the gate. Happy St. Patty's day to all!
    17 Mar 2012, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    You need to remember that I'm doing some serious speculating when it comes to what BMW is up to. The pieces seem to fit my speculation well and don't fit alternatives well, but it's still just a guess on my part.
    17 Mar 2012, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • bobhaeger
    , contributor
    Comments (39) | Send Message
     
    Roger that.
    17 Mar 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    Rebuilt From Rebuilt As Rbld Notes
    NS 7045 GP50 NS RP-E4C In progress

     

    from http://bit.ly/wj5Nkr

     

    Slug definition via wikipedia: http://bit.ly/Akw1bi)
    17 Mar 2012, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    "Road slugs are intended to serve as part of a regular locomotive consist for road haulage, and as a result have certain adaptations to suit them for this service. They usually retain dynamic brakes, a feature useless at the low speeds encountered in switching service, and they may be equipped to serve as fuel tenders for the attached "mother" locomotives.
    In operation, they are used to provide extra traction at low speeds. As speed increases they are disconnected from the power circuit and function as a control cab if they are in the lead, or simply as an unpowered car in the consist. In braking they augment the powered locomotives, both during dynamic and air brake application.
    Road slugs may take several forms. A group of GP30 and GP35 locomotives were converted by CSX and operated as half of "mother-slug" pairs. Externally they retain the general appearance of powered diesel-electric locomotives, though they can be identified by the lack of radiators and the removal of most of the access doors on the side of the body. They retain the cab and its controls, and therefore multiple unit control allows them to function as the lead in a string of units. The TEBU units created on the Southern Pacific Railroad from General Electric U25Bs, on the other hand, were cabless; this potential operational deficiency was compensated for by putting them as the center unit of a set of three. BNSF Railway has a number of road slugs that were converted from old GP7 and GP9 locomotives, retaining their cabs and high short hoods, but with their long hoods cut down.
    When at one end of a set, locomotive crews will often go to great lengths to arrange for the slug to be the leading unit, as the lack of a diesel prime mover provides them with a quiet and vibration-free ride."
    17 Mar 2012, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    Valid insights Thotdoc, but I think NS does more than just buy a few batteries. As you say, NS will "validate" Axion's product, and I think that is much more significant than you may be giving it credit for. Once NS is using PbC to do real work and make real money, and succeeds at doing this for several months, a year, two years... the PbC becomes not just a promising technology, a spectre of hope, but finally arrives as a real, bankable, reality. NS's growing experience with it, if it proves positive, will garner invaluable respect and credibility and will draw eyeballs and interest to the PbC and to Axion from across the spectrum . And will likely open checkbooks.
    14 Mar 2012, 08:35 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    I wholeheartedly concur in your assessment 481' but would suggest (given the prior experience with AGM batteries in the locomotive) that simply placement of an order for additional electric locomotives and/or battery packs might suffice for "bankable" confirmation.
    14 Mar 2012, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    Definitely. The order in and of itself will be huge. The proven track record that then begins to accumulate will only further grow the story...
    14 Mar 2012, 09:45 PM Reply Like
  • Metals are Precious
    , contributor
    Comments (713) | Send Message
     
    OK, I NEED SOME PUSHING HERE.

     

    I am the first to admit that i have no clue about anything technical. So would someone bring it down a notch and explain to me why this is still a stock to keep and hold while i watch it drop slowly daily and watch the MM get involved

     

    I mean seeing a 100 share purchase to prop up the price after a person bought 10k shares has me concerned and confused. So if one of you experts can tell me why i should be holding onto it i would sincerely appreciate it.

     

    Also are we getting Tee shirts, or is anyone planning on going to the shareholders meeting as i think it would be great some of you. Plus some of us need to get a hotel so not sure who is planning on actually going.

     

    I sincerely appreciate talking down to some of us, you gurus might just expect ALL of us to follow along and understand but i am willing to admit i don't.

     

    If you feel pm method is better, fine, but i have a feeling i am speaking for a group who just feel embarrassed to ask..

     

    Thanks
    MAP
    15 Mar 2012, 01:29 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE TROLLS !!

     

    Over on Brand X Omy just posted a link to a mid-February SAE International article that I missed. – http://bit.ly/ywszAU

     

    It focuses on JCI and the use of AGM batteries in micro-hybrids but includes the following quote in the Fuel-economy improvements section:

     

    "The fuel-economy improvements vary according to car maker, but a BMW study estimates up to 4% overall for current systems, with the potential for 10% if a higher charge-acceptance-rate battery (over 100 A) were available."

     

    We've known for a couple years that the PbC handles 100 A with no problem because BMW said so in their ELBC presentation with Axion.

     

    In a paper that ALABC gave on the Controlled Power Technologies Super-Hybrid at the Geneva Auto Show they estimated the OEM cost of micro-hybrid technology was €35 to €100 for each 1% gain in fuel economy. With the PbC representing a potential for a 6% gain at an incremental cost of ±$120, the decision is a no-brainer.
    15 Mar 2012, 02:08 AM Reply Like
  • anthlj
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    Also thought this article was actually a positive for AXPW. One question, where do you derive the 6% gain attributed to PbC?
    Thanks
    15 Mar 2012, 02:26 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    I don't like the sound of this.
    ==============
    The AGM design has low internal resistance, and in the time it has been in European service is on track to match the 4- to 5-year service life of a conventional lead-acid while meeting the added challenge of stop-start, said Craig Rigby, Vice President of Global Product Engineering for JCI’s Power Solutions. “There are no unusual warranty issues, which shows it is robust, and no reports of diminished function,” he told AEI.
    ===============

     

    Fact or hype?

     

    HardToLove
    15 Mar 2012, 03:06 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17900) | Send Message
     
    Ah! They ignore the real issue that s/s effectively stops functioning in the above statement.
    ==================
    when the battery cannot deliver the same amount of energy as at moderate ambient, and when cranking loads may be higher, the idle stop-start will be limited—if permitted at all. BMW says that maintaining an adequate SOC is an issue when ambient temperature drops below 0°C (32°F). High ambient temperatures (29-32°C/84-90°F), when A/C operation must be maintained, also result in cancellation of idle stop-start.

     

    These AGM and EFB versions of the lead-acid battery offer acceptable functionality, and there are extra-cost ways to improve the start-stop—even with present levels of technology, such as a second battery to maintain accessory load during an idle stop. The Volvo DRIVe and Mercedes-Benz BlueEFFICIENCY microhybrids are examples cited by JCI. Also under consideration is addition of ultracapacitors, which can be charged quickly and provide a burst of power for a restart.
    ================

     

    HardToLove
    15 Mar 2012, 03:33 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    The BMW study said they were getting 4% with current technology and that 10% was possible with 100 amps of dynamic charge acceptance. The Axion-BMW presentation at ELBC 12 and the PbC white paper both show that the PbC has tested through five years of use with stable dynamic charge acceptance of 100 amps.
    15 Mar 2012, 04:27 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5020) | Send Message
     
    I have said all along that it will take an auto maker to require PbC before the competition will adopt it. The discussion of the 100 amp thing above helps. I think BMW will move on it, I just don't know if it is one year or three years. I still think that "time" is not on our side for mkt. acceptance. If PbC could gain acceptance, we could ride this longer than we think. It fills too many gaps cost effectively.

     

    I like the NS pairing with the other loco. Something is going on, I just can't put my finger on it....I'm not sure that the 999 has been fitted yet, didn't that interview say "it would be this year"? and that was Mar.8th interview? I keep coming back to the thought that they are moving the two units inside to fit the new batteries soon. Anyway, I think we see something there soon now.
    15 Mar 2012, 04:47 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    It's already been two years and nine months since BMW started testing the PbC. By September 2010 they were impressed enough that they publicly wrapped their arms around the PbC technology before Axion had a Gen2 electrode fabrication line, much less a product. Another year is a possibility, but after investing millions to test the PbC in the laboratory and vehicles, I believe another year is an outside number for BMW, rather than a best case scenario.
    15 Mar 2012, 06:40 AM Reply Like
  • Lafferty
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    JP, would BMW have to install additional tech such as regenerative braking capabilities in order to get that 10% savings? If so, then it seems the math would not be as straightforward as approx. $120 (the extra cost from the PbC) for a 6% fuel efficiency gain; we'd have to factor in the cost of the accompanying tech.
    Alternatively, one could read BMW as saying that they are only getting 4% fuel savings even already counting tech such as regenerative braking - but I'm less inclined to interpret them this way because that percentage just seems too low to plausibly include something like regenerative braking. It would be nice to have access to the study that is being referenced.
    15 Mar 2012, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9916) | Send Message
     
    Lafferty: I'm pretty sure regenerative braking is going to happen whether lithium is involved, or the PbC. I would expect the ancillary costs of lithium to still far exceed the PbC.
    15 Mar 2012, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Regenerative braking in a micro-hybrid is nowhere near the same magnitude you see in the HEV world.

     

    In a classic HEV the electric drive motor is used as a generator during braking events and can throw off short bursts of power that run upwards of hundred horsepower.

     

    In a micro hybrid they let the starter-generator free-wheel during acceleration and switch to higher power settings during coasting and braking. It's the same basic mechanism, but the magnitude is more like a couple horsepower.

     

    I'm a stickler about providing source materials for my work because I have a personal economic interest in many of the issues I write about. When I quote authoritative third party sources like SAE International, I'm less concerned about drilling down into the detail because I understand that much of the detail available to engineering professionals is not available to mere mortals like me.
    15 Mar 2012, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    door number three: "artfulness" ;) Notice he says "on track to match" not "matched" and "no reports of diminished function" not "no diminished function" ... there's lies, damn lies, and squishy weasel word claims...
    15 Mar 2012, 03:20 AM Reply Like
  • Axion Power Host
    , contributor
    Comments (466) | Send Message
     
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    A new concentrator awaits you.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

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    15 Mar 2012, 04:38 AM Reply Like
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