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  • Axion Power Concentrator 120: June 25, 2012: Notes And More From The June 21, 2012 Shareholders Conference 183 comments
    Jun 25, 2012 2:02 PM | about stocks: AXPW

    These instablogs and the people who maintain them have no relationship whatsoever to Axion Power International. To our direct knowledge no person with a current relationship to Axion Power International other than being a shareholder participates in these instablogs.

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    Why I focus on Peer Group Comparisons

    Instablog by John Petersen

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    Axion Power: "About To Take Flight"

    by Mayascribe

    A veritable cold front blew in for this year's Shareholders' Conference. Last year it was searing, at 102 degrees; this year we topped out at only 94 degrees. The humidity was drenching, the beautiful New Castle Country Club pool looking inviting, even at 10 AM.

    Attendance was up significantly this year versus last year. Though the numbers are still small, and subtracting that there seemed to be half again more Axion Power employees present this year than last, it also seemed that there was a solid 50% increase from shareholders and perspective investors present.

    The business part of the meeting went smoothly. All motions were approved and seconded. Director, Mr. Glenn Patterson, was given a very nice crystal plaque for his "all-in" help over the years in bringing forth Axion Power to where we stand today.

    With the business out of the way, CEO, Thomas Granville, stepped up to the podium smiled, and said, "This is when the fun begins!" Tom did not this trip recount the early stories of how Axion Power came into being, but he did talk about the roster of contributors, from the board of directors, to leading officers, to developmental executives and shop foremans, of which I feel we are so lucky to have.

    I always enjoy listening to Thomas Granville tell a story, and my favorite this year was about the hiring of Vani Dantam. At first, Thomas wasn't sure that Vani Dantam, the new Director of Marketing, would become part of the Axion team. But Vani sought out Axion (if I am correct), because of the unique properties the PbC holds.

    It rapidly became apparent to Thomas that Vani had amassed over his working years and amazing depth of knowledge of the automotive industry, and also held an equally amazing array of key contacts throughout the industry.

    Seemed for a time, that Vani's pay grade was above what Axion Power could afford. But, a deal was made, Vani rented a place in New Castle, enrolled his kids into local schools, and now is a New Castle home owner in permanent residence.

    I think he was smiling more than anybody present, of Axion leadership, or the shareholders.

    As most of you know, Vani Dantam used to work with the now defunct Ener1. My absolute favorite story he told, was that his wife, "Made him park his Ener1 Lithium battery test car down the street from his home," reminding me of last year, when Thomas introduced the quite humorous new term, "Car-B-Que."

    Followers of this blog, must realize that that was a very prescient, and full of imagery new "Urban Dictionary-type term," as we all have read and seen pictures of numerous lithium cars spontaneously blowing up, the GM hardened laboratory having an eight inch thick steel door bent up, and some lab windows getting blown out; people unfortunately injured.

    Vani is indeed a very knowledgeable man, and I found him sincere and accomplished in answering all but Rastro's question (a shareholder from Pittsburgh) who asked about what scientific problems existed with the PbC. After a long, pregnant pause, Vani couldn't think of one! Except for trying to get industries to realize that the PbC has capabilities that rival, or in some cases, are better than lithium ion batteries.

    The PbC is cheaper to make, safer to make, easier use, and much safer to use. The PbC does not require TWO reinforced steel "casings." The PbC does not require as much ancillary costs, such as wiring, a clean room for making lithium ion batteries, and a much more complicated Battery Management System, and coolant barriers. The PbC is safer to transport. The PbC works better in extreme temperatures, and this is perhaps my biggest takeaway from this shareholders meeting:

    The PbC accepts a charge two to four times as fast as does a lithium battery. How huge is this fact when it comes to using the 12 Volt PbC (or the 16 volt big brother 30HT) in stop/start vehicles, for over-the-road and yard switching locomotives, and especially for grid applications.

    It wasn't until this meeting, my third time to visit New Castle, that I feel I have a much better understanding of the PbC. For lay people, or non-battery geeks like me, I will attempt to explain the PbC, and its make up.

    Each PbC is really a string of two volt batteries inside a single casing. For the 12 volt PbC, there are six two volt batteries. For the 16 volt 30HT, there are eight individual two volt batteries in a casing that stands about 30% taller than the 12 volt PbC.

    So in affect, each battery, the PbC, or the 30HT, is actually a string of two volt batteries within a single casing.

    I will herefoward refrain from using terms such as "cathodes" or "anodes" when referring the two "poles" that emerge from any battery casing. It will now be the negative pole and the positive pole, because inside the PbC or 30HT are many electrodes and carbon activated sheets (which I formally thought was the cathode).

    Many months ago, I was embarrassed, could not even post a comment about where the activated carbon sheeting was made. Been there twice before, and I had not seen it. How could this be? I felt I was letting all of you down, and quite frankly felt all the good and innocent qualities "ignorance" implied by my utter lack of where-about knowledge. I finally had it confirmed that I will never see them made. And very few ever will. My best guess is that the carbon sheeting is made in some "Bat Cave" below the Clover Lane facility...no way to be sure! Hugely likely that only a very few Axion employees ever get to see or work on the activated carbon sheeting process being manufactured.

    The 10 AM morning meeting went fast. The Q&A spilled beyond the allotted 1PM time. I believe about half of all questions asked, were asked by "Axionistas." All were very informed questions. Later in the day, at the cocktail party, Thomas spoke to myself and others that he really enjoyed answering, taking on hard questions, as it helps in the future with explaining the capabilities and the future potential for the PbC.

    Which circles back to Vani Dantam. The hardest thing for him and all of the Axion leadership to accomplish, is to take head on all the lithium hype, all the government subsidies, all the media coverage, the backing by uninformed, or improperly informed Washington DC politicos. The "appearance" that shifting away from lithium back to "lead acid" seems to have taken on a patina of going in reverse technological innovation. This is an ongoing very hard message to turn on its head: That lead acid is NOT a bad thing simply because lead is used. Lead acid batteries are the most recycled product of ANY product used in the United States. Over 99% of all lead acid batteries are recycled, and there is money in the reclaiming of the lead to be recycled into new batteries. Lithium ion batteries are virtually non-recyclable; people, companies get paid to recycle lead acid batteries, but they have to have to pay to dispose of, or recycle lithium.

    How our leaders actually want to obtain lithium, to become depended upon lithium sources outside the US, largely mined in unfriendly nations, is beyond this writer. The current policy in Bolivia, is to invite all the foreign investment they can obtain, to build lithium mines. But there is no guarantee that any plant built will not someday be nationalized. There are other countries in the world with lithium potential. But any new lithium mine of "worthy" size, will cost several hundred million dollars to create.

    Then, of course, there is lithium and "battery grade" lithium, much, much more expensive and rare. I encourage the more informed to comment about lithium potential resources availability around the world.

    The curious question for our US leadership, both corporate and public, is: Why are we hyping, subsidizing and developing multiple industries to use lithium when it comes from foreign and potentially unfriendly nations. Haven't we been sending trillions upon trillions of US dollars to the Middle East, to countries that don't like us, and now we're are on the threshold of doing it again?

    WHEN ARE WE GOING TO LEARN FROM OUR PAST STUPIDITY?

    Preposterous to me, especially when lead is cheaper, available, and mined in friendlier parts of the world, as well as being mined right here in the US.

    Perhaps, Axion's greatest challenge going forward is going after and challenging the lithium supporters. It seems the automakers are focusing more on weight and subsidies, than dynamic charge acceptance, driver (and homeowner's) safety, and most importantly, reliability and cost.

    SIDEBAR NOTE: I encourage all of us to come up with a boilerplate letter that we can all send to our senators and congressmen/women.

    The following are bulleted points (some of my opinion):

    Rosewater And The Residential Cube -- Rosewater CEO, Joe Picarelli, learned the night before the Shareholder's Conference that he was to give a mini-lecture introducing this new product. He did excellent job despite the short notice. The press report covers most of what I have to say. I will add though, that this market is a pretty significant development. It's really all about the uber wealthy, with their $100,000 home entertainment, lighting, and security systems.

    Many companies that do this have visited New Castle, some staying for two days on their own dime. Companies, or dealerships, also brought their installers, who basically couldn't wait until this product becomes available.

    This new cube can be stored virtually anywhere, in a basement, a garage, attic, or outside, in any climate. It locks down a perfectly smooth 110/60 deliverance of power, which, if solar is added, can take a Malibu or Miami mansion completely off grid.

    I want one of these!

    There remains some questions about UL approval, and if this product can or can't be sold without approval. I gathered that UL approval will be gained by the end of this year.

    Joe "Pic" invited me to the September Indianapolis show, the world's largest of its kind, and said he will provide me with a press pass, as this show is not open to the public.

    The Grid -- In about two weeks we should hear of an update about FERC regulations regarding pricing policies. My feeling is that the PowerCube sales delays have largely been because of the lack of some kind of pricing guidelines or formulas for the time shifting energy storage capabilities that the PbC holds, as well as other battery manufacturers attempting to help smooth out grid fluctuations.

    I do not believe this is an Axion Power exclusive problem, but rather, and industry-wide problem, which has no parameters, no past formulas to base future pricing decisions on, all because this is basically brand new evolving technology (more later).

    Railroads-- For quite some time I have held concern for Axion shareholders' hopes that the PbC could be potentially used by all railroad outfits. I had often questioned to myself how viable the PbC would be in the Rocky or Sierra Nevada Mountain chains.

    Vani Dantam did speak of Norfolk Southern and its Crescent Line, which basically weaves it's way all the way from New Jersey to New Orleans. Needing clarification of this, I approached esteemed Board of Director, Bob Avrill. My supposition proved correct. The PbC is NOT viable for any rail road company to use in high grade, steep mountains. Simply, and though no climb up is up all the way, nor decent straight down all the way, the PbC would be fully charged in say, the first 10% of a decent. The rest of the trip all the kenetic energy is lost. Nor, would the PbC contribute enough to make economic sense to help propel a long train hauling coal very far up a steep grade.

    The PbC further makes no sense in flat states like Iowa.

    However, in the "rolly poly" areas, like the Appalachians, the PbC should excel, and save any rail road significant fuel costs. Therefore, I believe that the numbers of potential over-the-road locomotives able to use the PbC with economic viability is greatly reduced.

    However, yard switchers, from all rail road outfits, remains prime potential for adopting PbC technology; still a huge market.

    According to Thomas Granville, all Axion testing is done, all Norfolk Southern testing is done. Only third party testing at Penn State is what is left. Shrugs followed.

    It was mentioned that there will be about 80 new locomotives (or retrofitted?) coming onto the Crescent Line, but not all of them will be using the PbC. I remain unclear if this is because, say for every two diesels used, another one will be a PbC locomotive.

    Lastly, far back into the early Axion Power Concentrators, it was suggested by me that racking issues could be a problem holding up things. My information from this meeting is that this was to some degree true.

    Automotive -- My sense from New Castle is that the major OEMs are going very slowly with adopting the PbC. Perhaps the biggest problem is in the Catch 22 category. Axion does not have the capability to make millions of batteries. How does Axion gain a major order from a major automaker, if they can't make the batteries? We all know the answer is Axion reaching a partnership with a major battery maker, like Johnson Controls, Exide, Enersys, or East Penn.

    This is a tricky area, because PbC technology is not limited to just the Automotive arena. No way can Axion afford to limit its future toward one sector, only to be contained in others. Thomas did mention licensing, or partnering up, but I don't expect this to happen soon with GM (the first time I have ever heard Thomas mention GM, btw) or BMW.

    Rather, though, it appears there is STRONG interest from smaller automakers. It is my opinion that the smaller automakers will come out being the smarter automakers, if they do indeed choose the two battery approach using the PbC, and a small cranking battery.

    All information we have found here in these forums, and Enders Dickenson's excellent Power Point Presentation at the morning meeting, show categorically that all AGM batteries will fail within about 8 months, some within two months, even if the vehicle is rarely used.

    But there is a problem within the problem. Both the automakers and the EPA just don't get it. I expect that the EPA currently is only interested in fuels savings of just bought, drive-off-the-lot mileage and EPA emissions requirements. They are clueless when it comes to when the stop/start feature degrades to where the AGM battery renders stop/start useless.

    Sure, the vehicle will still work. But the fuel savings proclaimed by the automakers, and approved by the EPA, essentially breakdown within months after the vehicle is driven off the dealership lot.

    It could be several years before the EPA wakes up, and I foresee many, many dissatisfied stop/start vehicle buyers coming more into the media forefront within the next few years. I believe a class action lawsuit could be looming someday. I also believe that someday the EPA will be forced by its own requirements and regulations to enforce the automakers to create a better solution.

    For me, and I fully recognize this could take years, but this potential scenario holds majestic, unbelievable promise for Axion Power and the shareholders.

    For those of you that recall my family's involvement two generations back, in buying a few shares of a company called Universal Wire and Spring, which then became Hoover Ball and Bearing, and then Johnson Controls: Near the end of the cocktail party I related that story to Thomas Granville, about my grandfather and Abe Lincoln's grandson, both contributing architects to the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, AZ, -- how one or the other of them recommended buying Universal Wire and Spring --that someday, Axion Power would surreptitiously team up with JCI.

    Thomas bloomed a smile, and added he had once stayed at the Camelback Inn.

    But...of course, he couldn't comment.

    Class 8 Trucks -- Heck, I didn't even know what a Class 8 Truck was before this meeting. But it appears there is potential for the PbC to be used and could obtain as much as a 50% increase in fuel savings, plus have added auxiliary back up power for when these trucks are forced to turn off, rather than idling all night long at rest stops.

    Seems like there is some potential here in using a smaller motor with as many as 24 30HTs.

    Tim Enright is our resident expert on this subject, so I will step out of the way, and encourage all related Class 8 truck type questions to be posed to him.

    Oil Rigs -- It appears the problems with oil rigs is that they just make so much darned money that they don't care about saving fuel. Further, I'm pretty sure the EPA doesn't do enough regulation of particulates spilling into the sky with offshore drilling.

    Here is something new. Every once in a while a rogue wave hits an oil rig. These waves can contain the power to disrupt or uplift the cables holding the rig in place. The first thing the rig operators do is to get the drill is pulled up as quickly as possible.

    But, if I am correct, firing up backup diesel generators takes far longer than a PowerCube, to begin pulling up the drill. This is a key safety issue both for companies and rig operators that has some teeth.

    The PowerCube can respond in milliseconds.

    It is expected by Rosewater that once the first PowerCube is sold to any rig operator, the PowerCube will become vogue, and more sales will rapidly pile on.

    Mega C's 2,000,000 shares -- To date, not one share has been sold. It is not known if they will be kept, or sold later on. As unpopular as my scenario was received about these shares, I still hold onto the idea that they will never reach the market.

    PbC and 400 Amps? Testing And battery Stress -- I was astounded to learn that the PbC can hit the 400 amp mark. But it really means little. No OEM could care about this fact, as they are only concerned with 100 amps. Norfolk may need 200 amps.

    But I also have another takeaway, or question to ask our battery geeks. Wouldn't 400 amps with a lithium ion battery put the battery into thermal runway mode?

    AONE was rightfully and respectfully hammered upon during this conference. Thomas joked that AONE was once upgraded because a large order was CANCELED, meaning AONE wouldn't lose as much money. The more topline revenue AONE generates, the more money they lose, and the sorrier their bottomline will look.

    He added that he was in no way prepared to have a lawsuit because Axion shipped batteries before Axion was 100% completely sure they will work as advertised. Lessoned learned, at the expense of AONE.

    It was also discussed that AGM batteries do not perform as well in both winter and summer months, something that will not occur with the PbC.

    Another aspect I want to clarify is that I reported from the PowerCube unveiling that the PowerCube can respond in 250 milliseconds. The utility response time is 50 milliseconds.

    I did ask Thomas about why there had not been an increase in PbC 100,000 light duty cycles since last year. His response was plain and evident; no OEM cares about any battery that can exceed 100,000 cycles. That's already 8 1/2 years of durable battery life.

    The PowerCube -- What's great about having more boots on the ground this year was that it allowed for me to roll around away from groups. I had a wonderful, near private meeting with Enders Dickerson inside the PowerCube. The innards have slightly changed; it seemed there were more batteries than at the unveiling. But, only 100 kw was working. The full capacity of the PowerCube, a half megawatt, has never yet been used all at once. Further, I believe that the PowerCube is NOT running 24/7. It is not producing revenue (which I wouldn't expect this prototype to do yet anyway).

    What was really cool was to hear it shifting back and forth every 30 seconds or so, to flawlessly take in power, than a half minute later deliver power back into the grid. So smooth.

    Though my iPhone's screen is almost as big, watching the ups and downs in frequency fluctuations was exciting to see on the computer monitor. Perhaps the best feature the PbC holds over all other competitors is how fast the PbC can gain, accept or deliver a charge. In other words, the more, the faster the "needle" (say like taking your forefinger and quickly wiggling it up and down) the better the PbC outperforms all lithium, AGM and flooded lead acid batteries.

    Solar and Wind -- There doesn't seem to be any more coming from Envision Solar. But what holds great promise is that there are VERY FEW solar or wind farms that use batteries to store energy. In states like Washington, wind farms have been told to shut down for a stretch of time; there was no room in the grid to accept more electricity.

    It appears these are two other industries that have yet to understand or engage in the potential for storing generated electricity, to time shift it and then deliver the electricity later. I have no idea if FERC is involved with this.

    Bottom line is that there is almost and endless potential for the PbC, as well as other battery makers, with storage generated from wind and solar farms...already in existence.

    Capital Raise, Financing, and Forward Guidance -- It appears almost a lock that the next round of fund raising will occur during the coming fourth quarter. There was very little talked about this. I did, at the cocktail party, relate this column's concerns over how this would affect share pricing to Thomas, Charles Trego and Bob Avrill. Obviously, no one could comment. I did briefly ask Thomas about a "rights offering" or other cap raise ideas, but, as a lowly shareholder, I expected no answer, and quite appropriately, received none.

    Earlier, Thomas, at the morning Q&A, assured that he was very confident revenues were ramping quickly. Every single leader of Axion, all sitting up in front, all nodded their heads in agreement.

    This is extremely important: East Penn sales are ahead of schedule!

    It appears that as fast as Axion can make flooded batteries, East Penn is buying them. Surely, we would all like to see PbC sales ramping, too, but what I covet is that this big brother, East Penn, is helping its little brother hire people, give them work and allow shop workers to be properly trained for when PbC and 30HT sales begin to ramp.

    Sidebar Note -- Inventory: Remember that "small mountain" of empty battery casings I witnessed at the PowerCube unveiling? Well, there are still some battery casings stacked on skids. 62 skids in all, 13 holding 30HT casings. But nothing like how many there were back in November. It also seems that Axion is now having them made domestically, rather than importing them from China.

    I could easily crunch out the exact numbers of both PbC and 30HT casings, but to me, it really doesn't matter, as another casing order could arrive next week, or next month, an obvious eventuality.

    What was important, was to take a quick glance at the Clover Leaf facility and notice it held a different "hum or bustle" than in past times I visited. Seemed there were far more batteries being made, pushed around, of differing sizes.

    Al Marshall reported a huge charging room, lots of shelves, which I did not see in past trips.

    The Gen 2 Robotic Line -- Last year, we shareholders were allowed to gather closer to the Gen 2 line. This year we were cordoned off, maybe 25 feet away. Being that pictures were not allowed this year or last, I had to go on memory. Seems the Gen 2 line is running much more fluidly than last year. I noticed that there were more sensors, that the electrodes seemed to be passing smoothly from one station to the next, and the dwelling issues of the past, are now in the past. I did not time how long each dwelling time lasted, but it seemed to be between 12 and 15 seconds.

    Four people were working the line on this day. In the future, it is expected that only two supervisors will be needed per line. I was assured that when Axion needs to expand and add more Gen 2 lines, that there is plenty of factory floor space to hold up to 11 robotic lines.

    This is one crisp looking line of machines, the robots provided by Epson, and then modified at New Castle. I was glad to see no lab coats, no hair nets, and though this plant is spotless, there is no expensive clean room needed.

    Axionistas in New Castle -- I want to thank all the Axionistas that made this year's pilgrimage to New Castle. It was simply fantastic to share a fine dinner at the Wooden Angle, to now match names, voices and faces with the Seeking Alpha cyber avatars. The questions all of us asked were far more valuable to myself, to this blog, and even to Thomas Granville, than last year's Shareholders' Conference.

    It was great fun to watch from across the room us Axionistas fan out, meet and talk with Axion leadership, existing investors, lurkers, and other investing houses present. It was also great fun to know that we had a bunch of us with attentive ears, active questionings, and feet on the ground, learning all we could about Axion Power.

    The mood this year was more upbeat than ever. I asked several shop workers how they like working for Axion Power. To a man, they all said they loved it.

    In final, I want to validate that Thomas Granville reiterated his view that Axion Power will strive into profitability during 2013. I was the only one of everyone present, to ask any forward guidance question; intentionally loosely worded.

    Later on, I tapped Thomas on the back near the end of the cocktail party, and told him that he has trained us well.

    I hold zero doubts that Axion Power will achieve a significant YoY top line revenue growth, in the area of at least 300%.

    In conclusion, I don't expect PbC sales to take off in the next month or two, but I do feel strongly that we are on the tarmac, and, as Thomas Granville began this years' 2012 Shareholders' Conference, that Axion is, "About to take flight."

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    LINKS to valuable Axion Power Research and websites:

    The Axion Power Concentrator Web Sites created by APC commentator Bangwhiz it 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.

    Axion Power Wikispaces Web Site, created by APC commentator WDD. It is an excellent ongoing notebook aggregation of Axion Power facts.

    Axion Power Website, the first place any prospective investor should go and thoroughly explore with all SEC filings and investor presentations as well as past and present Press Releases.

    Axion Power Chart Tracking, HTL tracks AXPW's intra-day charting.

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    Enjoy!

    Disclosure: I am long OTCQB:AXPW.

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Comments (183)
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  • Great work, Maya!

     

    Regarding Bolivian lithium: I would not count on them being a huge supplier in the near future. They have nearly half of the world's known reserves of concentrated lithium in the brine under the Salar de Uyuni salt flats (http://bit.ly/MTyYQE). But getting it out of that ground and out to the world will not be easy or soon, given the state of infrastructure and political realities in Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.

     

    I rode across the Salar de Uyuni a couple of years ago: http://bit.ly/NE327F

     

    This is what the roads into it and out of it look like, for many, many miles. Several of us got flat tires that day, including me, dealing with the severity of the roads:
    http://bit.ly/NE32nZ
    http://bit.ly/MTxOEF

     

    Only 5% of Bolivia's roads are paved, and the rest are like this.

     

    The workers in the mines and all over Bolivia chew coca leaves daily to deal with the harsh Andean altitude and climate, as well as the stark poverty and harsh reality of their lives.

     

    Bolivia is not going to submit easily to western industrialization, after 500 years of slavery and near-slavery working conditions under the Conquistadors and their descendants.
    25 Jun 2012, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • SMartin: Thanks! I recall your posting about Bolivia a while back. Excellent insights! Thanks again for the Bolivian information.

     

    ####

     

    Another point I forgot to place into the article is that with all the changes in corporate leadership within the energy storage sector, how many went bankrupt, or, how many of them are losing millions upon millions every quarter, I find it refeshing to have been at New Castle three times, and I'm still seeing all the smiling faces, the same faces, there.

     

    With news faces, too.

     

    Axion Power is not rolling over talent, or seeing talent flee.

     

    Axion Power is gathering talent, hiring talent.
    25 Jun 2012, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • (AXPW): Unusual AH trade - 11K x$0.335. 1/11th of our volume would be 10K+. So I think this might be representing some Quercus sale for the day?

     

    Our low for the day, excluding that, was $0.3351 at 10:37 this A.M. on a trade of 2.5K.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jun 2012, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • A small correction: including the AH trade, the 1/11th is 11,036 - right at the size of the trade. I had forgotten to add it in before doing the division.

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jun 2012, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks HTL.

     

    I was watching and finally gave up. You win the gold star for diligence. I'll make sure the alloy matches JPs hat that's coming so you're properly coordinated.
    25 Jun 2012, 05:22 PM Reply Like
  • Axion article Green Car Congress for their NS app and...

     

    http://bit.ly/NtHEOW
    25 Jun 2012, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • Then we have Davemart as the first poster on the article. :)
    25 Jun 2012, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • I was just going to comment on that! Good to see he's stayed true to form!

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jun 2012, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • I was going to say more than my brief comment but I bit my tongue and hit the send button. "True to form" is a very appropriate tag.
    25 Jun 2012, 06:37 PM Reply Like
  • Good article on Green Car Congress detailing latest developments of Axion.

     

    http://bit.ly/NtHEOW
    25 Jun 2012, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • jveal. excellent article. they are getting better each time. the "education" process I guess...
    26 Jun 2012, 12:08 AM Reply Like
  • Agreed. Very comprehensive. Did it strike anyone as odd that neither Viridity nor PJM was mentioned by name, but rather by a link?
    26 Jun 2012, 12:14 AM Reply Like
  • Isn't this a great site! You have contributors racing each other to find the latest morsel of info. Then you have experts in several fields to give opinions and analysis.
    25 Jun 2012, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • jveal, The shared research and opinions from a broad spectrum of people with different educational, professional and personal backgrounds is a real jewel. Adds so much more depth and efficiency to help in enhancing one's knowledge in an area of shared interest for sure.
    25 Jun 2012, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like the Toyota/BMW agreements are also extending into the area of carbon fiber technology as well. Two great companies hooking up in some pretty interesting areas.

     

    http://bit.ly/MNcYJp
    25 Jun 2012, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • Hybrid battery/diesel loco from Alstom in Europe. Using NiCd.

     

    Diesel-battery hybrid shunting locomotives leased

     

    http://bit.ly/MoJO4d
    25 Jun 2012, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • We are all familiar with the lead times from idea to sold project seen in this article. Somehow, seeing other battery companies go through the same thing is encouraging.
    25 Jun 2012, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • thotdoc, You're right. We can take some comfort from that. Yet we still feel the need for speed. Obviously we'd like to see the OTR app. at least kicked off before the next capital raise. It would also be nice to have NS throw us a bone and give some positive news on the NS999 in short order along with some vision of their future needs.

     

    Hey, I can dream.
    26 Jun 2012, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • Maya,
    I'd like to thank you and the other contributors for your diligent and above all generous reporting from last week's AGM. We are in your debt.
    Digesting all the reports, I'd say a healthy new reality is settling upon the group. While the technology and its myriad of potential applications continues to excite, there is an acknowledgement that market acceptance, and by direct extension commercial sales, are not coming as quickly as management and this investment community would like. This applies to auto, rail, storage, power conditioning etc. All major markets. The question is if, when and how this dynamic is likely to change.
    25 Jun 2012, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • (Sorry, posted on wrong concentrator)

     

    I got a chance to touch and play with the carbon anodes while at the factory.

     

    The ones I saw were about 5 inches square, quarter inch thick, with a thin, ¾ by 1.25 inch copper tab. They are very flexible, without memory, and felt like very smooth rubber or silicone. A little carbon rubbed off on my fingers, but much less than from good hardwood charcoal or anthracite. There was no visual or tactile sensation of porosity. I had (naively) expected to see some of the structure of the coconut shell precursor, and for them to be brittle, like graphite.

     

    For comparison, the lead electrodes were about a millimeter thick, rigid, and if bent stay bent.

     

    The electrodes are assembled (if my memory is correct) into sandwiches of insulator, lead, glass mat, anode (carbon or lead), and spacer. The sandwiches are stacked together into loaves. One line was assembling 11 all-lead sandwiches, which then are pushed into one of the six chambers of the battery and become a 2 volt cell. A 12 volt battery has 6 sections inside the case, one for each cell. The lead acid loaves are dropped in by hand. The AGM loaves are inserted six-at-a-time with a hydraulic ram, as they are under compression. [The “loaves” and “sandwich” descriptions are my made-up words, not the descriptions used in the factory].

     

    We were able to see the automated carbon electrode line from 25 feet away. It consists of 11 Epson robots in series, similar to the G3 bot at http://bit.ly/MltYtp . [I have no idea of the specific bots being used by Axion, this is just for illustration of industrial robots.] There are multiple layers of carbon, a very thin copper layer, some white chemical, and perhaps other materials. The line was operating and appeared to be essentially fully lights-on automated. My very rough guess was a cycle time of 30 seconds. This is Axion’s prototype automated line, and I thought it looked very good. Future lines may have fewer or more bots, run at faster cycle times, or, eventually, might be fully lights-out automated.

     

    The secret sauce in a robotic production line is not the robots themselves. The high cost / value is the tooling, defining travel paths, sensors (visual, tactile, proximity, etc.), coordination across every bot, escape paths for errors and non-standard conditions, etc.

     

    The carbon manufacture process is a proprietary secret. Nothing was revealed whether the carbon was made in house or off-site, or any other information. Fine with me.

     

    We had heard a rumor that there had been zero defects in the first quarter. The factory manager corrected that, and said there had been 2 rejects (customer returns) out of 60,000 batteries, a reject rate of 33 per million. (This is the battery assembly line, not the carbon anode line). This is about sigma 5.5 quality. I asked him about this, and he responded that every department was better than 3.5 sigma, which is a 97.7% compliance rate. I was very pleased to hear the him responding with a technical measure. I have been in all too many factories where quality is “really, really great, except on Fridays”, and no numbers.

     

    Six Sigma (“one in a million”) is the common goal for quality programs, and is actually 3.4 rejects per million. A discussion of whether Six Sigma even should be the goal of Axion is a much longer discussion, and not particularly relevant to investors.
    25 Jun 2012, 10:19 PM Reply Like
  • Just to finish the story about the 2 rejected batteries:

     

    The 2 rejects were caused by a disgruntled employee who is no longer with the company. He apparently had a very negative attitude and his performance was not acceptable.

     

    Although it is easy to blame employees for a bad process, the description I was given was that a good process was simply ignored by a poor employee. I was actually impressed with the explanation because it told me much about the HR process as well as quality control.
    26 Jun 2012, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks Futurist,
    I will also add, that when asked about the stellar performance Tom added that they now have a incentive program in place, and it was working very well.
    26 Jun 2012, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • Rick - you'd make a good industrial spy. Good assessment.
    26 Jun 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • Rick:
    Gracias.
    Have a nice day.
    26 Jun 2012, 07:29 AM Reply Like
  • (AXPW) 6/25/2012 EOD
    # Trds: 34, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 11000, Vol 121396[1], AvTrSz: 3570
    Min. Pr: 0.3350, Max Pr: 0.3500, VW Avg. Trade Pr: 0.3429
    # Buys, Shares: 19 75846, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.3455
    # Sells, Shares: 15 45550, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.3385
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1.67:1, DlyShts: UNAVAILABLE SO FAR

     

    [1] Includes the AH trades which would be excluded from the FINRA Daily Short Sales report, if it was available, which it isn't. Interesting that it's also the largest trade of the day.

     

    Evidence of Quercus being in? 11K AH buy at $0.335, the low for the day; the intra-day low prior to that trade was $0.3351. The size of the trade was almost precisely 10% of volume prior to that trade. Asd JP has suggested in the past, I think this must be the market-maker balancing his position.

     

    The real average trade size might be a bit larger, as several trades in close-proximity temporally would add up to typical "round numbers", but there weren't very many instance of this. I think that most buying is still retail as the average trade size resides in the lower range of our "normal" band.

     

    Based on what JP suggested the other day about "flippers" being likely out of the game, but Blackrock maybe filling the void, and Quercus having filed for another 850K to be released to the market, it looks like bottom-feeders with patience might benefit again. Let's hope some of the recent publicity starts to have effect as I'm guessing may of us Axionistas might be in the "enough for now" camp.

     

    I suspect difficulty in getting out of the range even if the PR causes a noticeable increase in buying. It might work out well for me as (TSLA) looks like it might be breaking lower this A.M and some other options are moving into the money as well. I'll trade some of the proceeds from those gardens for more AXPW if the timing gets right.

     

    Adjusts tin-foil tam ...

     

    Anybody find it interesting, or more properly "curious", that Blackrock (and Quercus - but that's normal stuff) is *apparently* getting busy and suddenly around the same time the "Little Company that Couldn't Be Recognized" is getting PR from previously quiet quarters?

     

    I know, I know - a coincidental confluence of events and expanding awareness by media, who should have been on-board all along, and they are just late to the party.

     

    FINRA has moved some personnel round and this A.M. there is no daily short report for the OTC market and it has been coming later the last week or so. I've sent of a very brief e-mail and will post if there's anything of note, other than typical excuses. They've still not fixed a bug relating to inconsistent format of the various files, but they think they have. I won't waste more of my time helping them on that front.

     

    HardToLove
    26 Jun 2012, 08:16 AM Reply Like
  • That TSLA short of yours is looking better every day HTL. I had really expected a bit of a bounce to the upside based on the deliveries and the Jefferies reconfirmation. The downdrafts tell me that every possible bit of good news is already fully priced into the stock and there's only one direction it can go from here. The question is how far and how fast.
    26 Jun 2012, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • Yeth thir! After we get through this window-dressing week I suspect I'll increase my position next week. But I'm being cautious - batting 1000 is way out of character for me and I need to make sure I account for that.

     

    HardToLove
    26 Jun 2012, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • HT , Maybe you are doing TSLA puts,? I believe. I tried to do a plain Jane short with Schwab and a new message came up that said this stock is not available for shorting,,or if you really really want to you can, but it will cost extra for them to find the shares. I'm not sure how common that is. I took a look on yahoo, and they are saying short position is a whopping 51% of shares.
    26 Jun 2012, 11:25 PM Reply Like
  • schwab doesn't hold the shares to let you go short and doesn't want to buy more imo. maybe someone with more exp here will chime in.
    26 Jun 2012, 11:36 PM Reply Like
  • AmishElvis: Yes. Using naked puts. They provide leverage as well, degree being dependent on the combination you pick, at the cost of time-decay risk.

     

    Short positions in (TSLA) have been very high for quite a while, ~44.19 of float (60M) shown by ETrade this A.M. With institutions holding 59.68% of the 105.2M outstanding and the short level this high, locating "borrows" should be difficult. And if found, it's likely an out-sized premium will be charged by the lender.

     

    If you're not familiar with options, keep in mind they have some risks to consider: on simple plays you must be right in direction, magnitude and time-frame, and time-decay in the value starts slowly and accelerates as you near the expiration date. Unlike holding the underlying equities, the risk of going to zero-value is very high if you miss on any of those three parameters.

     

    You should also be sure that you consider liquidity of any option you select unless you are willing to battle the options market-maker to get a decent price (either entering or exiting). Most of the time the market-maker will be the majority of the action and you will see out-sized spreads on bid/ask that serves the market-makers' interests (making money) and bid/ask action that is obviously being computer-driven.

     

    The risks are substantial enough that you are required to have certain levels of authorization to make certain types of plays in them. At ETrade (should be industry-wide?), "Level 2" is required for naked puts.

     

    Anyway, they do have one saving grace: your risk is limited to the premium paid (when you are the holder - you're long the options) whereas if you short the underlying directly your risk is theoretically unlimited.

     

    If you are considering this play, I suggest using a modeling tool (available on ETrade and s/b available at the Options Industry Council web site and other places) to see the effects of changes in price and time and how they affect the value of the options positions you might consider (strike price and expiration date combination). Select "American Style" in the modeling tool, if there's a choice.

     

    Risk can be reduced by using combinations, such as bull or bear spreads and other constructs. Some combinations pay off for movement regardless of direction.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 05:55 AM Reply Like
  • Tragic: it may be that they have started using one of the "locator" services that find shares to borrow. "Lends" are very often made by some institutional holders of various types. and (maybe?) hedge funds.

     

    The broker may also have good connections in the industry and do the "locate" themselves.

     

    I have no idea how many brokers would want to hold the shares themselves for this purpose. Most of the time they just lend the shares, without explicit permission, of longs in margin accounts of their customers (IOW, if you are long your broker is likely aiding and abetting those betting against you!).

     

    Moreover, when a put is bought from the market-maker a short sale should be immediately executed to keep the maker "market-neutral". So if volume is high enough, the opening of a long put position helps push the price down - further damaging the folks long the underlying.

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 06:08 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks HT and Tragic, I didnt feel like I wanted to get into the options arena with tsla, so just let her go.. I appreciate your thoughts.
    27 Jun 2012, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • Nice PR article concerning the mini cube.

     

    http://bit.ly/MmM4eo
    26 Jun 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • I haven't quite forgiven CleanTechnica for letting somebody dub me the Black Knight a couple weeks ago, but I'm beginning to think they may ultimately find salvation. - http://bit.ly/LVgy3B
    26 Jun 2012, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • Well if the adage " any publicity is better than none" is correct, then your well off.
    26 Jun 2012, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • George M. Cohan said it best "I don't care what you say about me, as long as you say something about me and as long as you spell my name right.
    26 Jun 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • John, For the world I wish your stance concerning raw materials and electrochemical energy storage is dead wrong. Just too many of those darn facts getting in the way of some of humanities dreams.

     

    Here's to hoping that in time this changes. If it does it's going to take lots of time and effort. In the mean time trying to push premature tech. on a large scale into the consumer durables market is a losing game.

     

    Toyota's success with Nimh and the Prius is a good example of partial success in this area. But it also shows the level of time and commitment required to take what is a smaller step than pure electrification for passenger vehicles.
    26 Jun 2012, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • I wish I was wrong, but the Magic Washing Machine Video tells a much bigger story than energy consumption. Without machines to turn energy into useful work, energy consumption cannot possibly grow at predicted rates.

     

    Humanity already uses 100% of available metals productions for the machines that consume turn energy into work today and many metals, like copper and rare earths, are not produced in volume sufficient to cover current demand.

     

    Nobody can afford to increase copper or rare earths or other metal consumption for the simple luxury of shifting from one energy source to the other without impacting total consumption. The resource base cannot support it.

     

    The only metal in the world that's far more abundant than it needs to be is lead, which has about 1.5 billion metric tons of known identified resources.
    26 Jun 2012, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • JP> I thought the Black Knight outfit was quite becoming on you!
    26 Jun 2012, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • AB

     

    And the author actually identified himself versus the previous one!
    26 Jun 2012, 10:06 PM Reply Like
  • NEW INSTABLOG

     

    I got a scanned copy of the Ford presentation at last week's AABC. The resolution is terrible so I haven't posted the scans online but I have hit the high points in the Instablog.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    26 Jun 2012, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • I searched via your Ford exec. He is supportive of the teams wish for obvious reasons.

     

    http://bit.ly/Mnx5Rp
    26 Jun 2012, 03:44 PM Reply Like
  • Dr. Karden is more than a little supportive of the team. He was the co-author of the Ford-BMW presentation at ELBC 12 in Istanbul – http://bit.ly/KXTW3N

     

    You remember. That was the presentation that had this message on the final slide:

     

    "Special Thanks to:

     

    • Ed Buiel, AXION Power, which initiated our thoughts with his work. Thanks also for the fruitful discussions and the support."

     

    I've published the link more times than I can count and I've always refrained from pointing out the last slide hoping somebody else would notice.

     

    I've waited long enough.
    26 Jun 2012, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, I noticed but alas didn't correlate the Ford execs name to your more recent post. Thanks for pointing that out at this most opportune time.

     

    See, I can bumble it and offer the perfect set-up!
    26 Jun 2012, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • BLOOMBERG VIDEO IS UNKIND TO TESLA

     

    http://bloom.bg/LNSErv
    26 Jun 2012, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Nice part about Moore's law ... lol.
    26 Jun 2012, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • Hybrid Kinetic slows down expansion on battery concerns

     

    "However, the outlook for the environmental automobile market had began to weaken in the first half of 2011 due partly to the global economic downturn, and the situation was aggravated by the mounting auto incidents occurred in the PRC and faulty electric vehicle batteries recalled by a major battery manufacturer in the USA which have raised safety concerns and shaken confidence of consumers and potential consumers and cast doubts on the quality of lithium-ion battery and related products and the viability of mass-manufactured lithium-ion battery technologies generally."

     

    http://bit.ly/LznIPu
    26 Jun 2012, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • "Optimal Energy shutting down"

     

    Looks like the South Africans have come to their senses.

     

    http://bit.ly/Nxgl6b
    26 Jun 2012, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • SA developed a great technology in the Pebble Bed Modular (nuclear) Reactor. Inert gas cooled (couldn't "blow up" from a steam explosion), walk away safe, no refueling shutdowns. 250MW per "can". They even had a demonstration factory built to manufacture the baseball sized "pebbles" that contained the fuel.

     

    They let some politically connected "native greens" shut down the project. I almost cried. It was the most elegant technology I've seen, other than the Molten Salt Thorium Reactor (it can reprocess it's fuel during operation). The PBMR didn't need a massive containment dome because it didn't contain any mechanism that would produce a pressure rise!

     

    Why is there so little real innovative energy technology being developed? Compared to the money we wasted (are wasting) on the bizarre Afghan war, the cost isn't even significant!

     

    29 Jun 2012, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • >siliconhillbilly ... I totally agree with your sentiment. I had envisioned tearing out the coal burning boilers and dropping this technology in. The day will come ... but, why we wait I wish I understood.
    29 Jun 2012, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • According to a video I previously linked, it was about entrenched financial interests in the existing technology which makes most of its profit using the "razor blade" business model.

     

    It's one of the factors that makes (LTBR) interesting to me (no position yet, but watching closely). They recognize the scenario and try to add technology that works within that scenario for the time being. The only downside is it may help propagate the status quo.

     

    They also have technology that makes good use of Thorium, although I don't recall them being in the MSR space yet.

     

    HardToLove
    30 Jun 2012, 07:05 AM Reply Like
  • HTL: You make a good point. Most of the current business of the "nuke reactor companies" is supplying hugely expensive metal tube based fuel assemblies. Anything that affects their technology and revenue stream is quietly suppressed to the best of their abilities.

     

    I would be less than surprised to find that industry pressure was applied to scuttle financing for the SA version of the PBMR.

     

    Could you post that video link again? I missed it the first time.
    30 Jun 2012, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • http://smrt.io/K76NDg

     

    Scroll down to "Video explaining thorium nuclear technology:" (~2 PgDn?) and play the video. It's entertaining. ~16.5 minutes.

     

    IMO, ignore the "deprecated" message - this one is better I think.

     

    HardToLove
    30 Jun 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Let's see how they do.

     

    Hyperion to build nuclear pod at DOE test site

     

    http://bit.ly/LsW1U4
    2 Jul 2012, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • Sihb, I don't know how much money is in supplying nuclear fuel rods. The French are choking on their nuclear assets. The Russians, Who knows with them? They are probably doing well and dumping their waste in Siberia. And USU? Well they have old tech. enrichment and can't get money for new tech. Most of what they supply comes from an agreement between Russia and the US called Megatons to Megawatts. They are down-blending HEU to LEU for fuel rods. So far they have converted 20K former Soviet nuclear warheads to fuel rods. The agreement just got extended for 1 more year.

     

    The wind card is Silex. Originally conceived by the US, spun off to USU and now being developed by GE and the Aussies.

     

    http://bit.ly/LsXGJa
    2 Jul 2012, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • John: FINRA got stuff fixed. In case you haven't got it yet, daily short sales was 43,600 (excluding the AH trade which *may* have been a short, although your MM covering seems more likely).

     

    Including the AH trade, this is 35.9%. Excluding it yields ~39.5% short.

     

    HardToLove
    26 Jun 2012, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • The AH trade would have been a short too, so the percentage would be up into the low 40s.
    26 Jun 2012, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • New research on the "Edison battery".

     

    Stanford Scientists Develop Ultrafast Nickel-Iron Battery

     

    http://bit.ly/QdyLfA
    26 Jun 2012, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... I just love graphene. Hope to live long enough to see it become at least commercially available enough that I can't afford it.
    26 Jun 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • Yup - active material/grid surface area matters: and then to be able to get the electrolyte in and the heat out. Especially as the electrodes get stacked etc., and cell size becomes useable, not to mention stacks of cells, which may require external cooling.

     

    We were there in the 60's with electrodeposited NiOH's on fibers of various sorts. We even recirculated the electrolyte and cooled it.
    26 Jun 2012, 05:20 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, I've also seen tons of articles about the virtues of graphene in chemical energy storage.

     

    But alas you're right. It's a someday thing.
    26 Jun 2012, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... the boys over at MIT keep thinking that by 2017 they will have a prototype machine that can rollout a 1 meter square of the stuff, so I'd put a guestimate of 2020-2025 on that. I really think that Intel and/or IBM will be in vapor dep production of semiconductor devices sometime in the 2025 neighborhood (military & aerospace stuff).
    26 Jun 2012, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • (AXPW): 6/26/2012 EOD ODDITY!

     

    2 AH trades: 16:02:25 20K $0.35 and 16:07:12 16K $0.348. Both flagged as "buys". Bid/ask then was $0.335/$0.345. So these must not have been regular trades - maybe back-channel or market-maker EOD or?

     

    If one is Quercus, the running total before those two trades was 146,951. 10% = ~14,695. Both Quercus? One? The other?

     

    These won't show in the FINRA daily short sales (or total volume reported by FINRA) either and there's no way to know for sure if they were short sales or market-maker balancing his portfolio after shorting during the day or what.

     

    HardToLove
    26 Jun 2012, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • Something important to read and keep in mind:

     

    http://bloom.bg/Nz5Dw8

     

    From the article:

     

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was “unambiguously correct” in moving to set limits on industrial and automotive emissions of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, a federal appeals court said.

     

    Again: Micro Hybrid (Start-Stop), Mild and Full Hybrid.
    26 Jun 2012, 07:46 PM Reply Like
  • If the economy survives inept regulation of CO2, that will create huge amount of additional demand for all sorts of electric storage. The big mystery is 'who is gonna pay for it?'

     

    http://bit.ly/LAbFzw has calculated that to provide a partial week of backup power (no wind, rain, snow, fog) would require a lead battery about 5 billion tons of lead, but their are only about 80 million tons of Pb reserves in the ground globally. We are 98% short!

     

    Of course, since it is impossible, "friends" will have permits that exempt them from CO2 regulation.....Crony capitalism at its best.

     

    What's next, repeal of the law of gravity?
    26 Jun 2012, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • When did congress ever repeal a law when they could give exemptions to their political cronies?

     

    Expect St Elon to get an exemption to the law of gravity that the rest of us must observe.
    26 Jun 2012, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • Putin's smiling like a Cheshire cat. Just like after the disaster in Japan.

     

    http://bloom.bg/KCjpNj
    26 Jun 2012, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • Ayn Rand called it. The corrupt government will make everything illegal, and thus gain power over all us "criminals", and then its just a question of who can buy the most 'pull".

     

    I don't know if Atlas is Shrugging yet, but my back is sore, that's for certain.
    26 Jun 2012, 11:43 PM Reply Like
  • Putin can build a string of cheap nuke plants near Germany and charge what the market will bare for electricity.

     

    Then sell Russian NG and motor fuel to the Germans at high markups.

     

    What a wonderful monopoly to have during cold German winter nights!
    29 Jun 2012, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • Hi gang,
    I am finally catching up on my reading and would like to thank all our Mark One Eyeball reporters for the info about the SM and factory tour impressions. JP, congrats on receiving your knighthood, you may want to consider some gold trim on the armor (coat of arms on the breast plate?).
    26 Jun 2012, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • The biggest problem with the knighthood thing is they seem so believe that I'd willingly skewer a lithium-ion battery pack with my steel tipped lance.

     

    Even dressed in armor I wouldn't consider such a foolhardy action because my self-preservation instincts are far too strong. I've seen the pictures from China.

     

    http://bit.ly/MTdDKF
    26 Jun 2012, 11:33 PM Reply Like
  • JP,
    You might want to use a military bomb disposal robot to handle a joust against a Li-on battery.
    27 Jun 2012, 07:25 AM Reply Like
  • >JP ... The second article (writing style is quite similar to one of your trollish followers) on YOU and not so much on facts. I'm almost convinced your not popular among a few people on that site. I wish they would clarify why.
    27 Jun 2012, 08:28 AM Reply Like
  • It makes me want to sit down over a beer and discuss everything with some of those people. They pick over definitions of words instead of addressing the main points. Heck, one of the commenters got real close when they mentioned that battery factories can come online in a year which could have spurred a really interesting conversation about how new copper mines take a bit longer.

     

    I'm exactly the same way -- super excited about electric cars -- and if I only read one of JP's articles at a time, I could "rip it to shreds" too (i.e. pointing out that since almost nobody drives the average amount, using average driving range is invalid) but when I looked into the arguments as a whole, there was always another damning detail on the other side of my, "yeah but...".
    27 Jun 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • (AXPW) 6/26/2012 EOD stuff. First, note the oddity of two AH trades of 16K and 20K noted in my comment above.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    # Trds: 34, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 58000, Vol 182951, AvTrSz: 5381
    Min. Pr: 0.3391, Max Pr: 0.3500, VW Avg. Trade Pr: 0.3481
    # Buys, Shares: 24 158951, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.3494
    # Sells, Shares: 10 24000, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.3395
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 6.62:1, DlyShts 68051 37.2%[1]

     

    [1] Considering the 2 AH trades of 16K and 20K as short sales would move short, based on FINRA-reported values, to 56.9%. We don't know if they were shorts or not.

     

    Considering general trends, the 10-day VWAP has left the flat trend and been rising the last three days while the high has been holding essentially flat. The 25-day average VWAP has left it's down trend and gone to flat. The price compression (maintaining <= 1.5 cents the last five days) combined with continued low volume and a rising trend in daily short sales percentage suggests a change is quite near.

     

    We have strong indications that Quercus is providing shares to the market now and there is suspicion that Blackrock may also be doing so. Given this scenario, I'm surprised that VWAP has been holding up well: 0.3479, 0.3474, 0.3467, 0.3461, 0.3429, 0.3481.

     

    This is reflected in changes to the 10-day average: 0.3277, 0.3275, 0.3274, 0.3282, 0.3304, 0.3340.

     

    In my experimental charts there is still a lot of choppiness in the buy:sell ratio, daily short sales and average trade sizes. This makes me think we don't have a stable trend establishing yet, in spite of the positives mentioned above.

     

    On the traditional TA front, there are suggestions that we'll see some weakness in price develop. However, with the recent spate of articles concerning AXPW, I wouldn't be banking on this yet - TA indicators are backwards looking and should not yet be reflecting any change in sentiment that might overwhelm, even marginally, the Blackrock and Quercus effects, if any.

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 08:27 AM Reply Like
  • A week ago we were at 123 followers, and now at 130.
    27 Jun 2012, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Anybody note that we seem to have a dearth of market-makers in this A.M.? I'm seeing only 6 on each side - missing about 2/3rds of normal?

     

    This looks like a set up for a lower price possibility as we won't have the normal amount of "competition" for price advantage and volume.

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • "June 20, 2012 EBay Plans Data Center That Will Run on Alternative Energy Fuel Cells"

     

    (cells from Bloom Energy; Center will be located in southern Utah, where apparently much of the power is generated from coal)

     

    http://nyti.ms/NBxawL

     

    "Arrays of various sizes are in use by more than 20 major organizations, including FedEx, Wal-Mart, AT&T and Kaiser Permanente. But Peter Gross, vice president of mission critical systems at Bloom, said that nothing was comparable to the data center redesign undertaken by eBay. That redesign, Mr. Gross said, is “an extraordinary step to do something that has never been done before.”"

     

    "Although the Bloom cells function at high temperatures internally, the charge is maintained by chemical reactions, not combustion, so the efficiencies are much higher than at an ordinary power plant"
    27 Jun 2012, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • I've been corresponding with the author of this article for several months and while I don't particularly like his blogging style which has a bit more blatant mockery than I'd feel comfortable with, he's a very bright guy and I think quite credible.

     

    http://bit.ly/Mw94FO

     

    The bottom line is the bloom box isn't all that efficient and pales in comparison to combined cycle NG.
    27 Jun 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • The GigaOm take of the Ebay Data Center; includes a number of links to the Delaware case mentioned below, as well as Apple's use of Bloom in their NC data center.

     

    http://bit.ly/LBuOBb

     

    "Bloom Energy has made a consistent effort in recent months to make its fuel cells reliable enough to provide power to the data center industry. The company launched a data center focused division earlier this year and hired on Peter Gross, who co-founded and led data center design and operation firm EYP Mission Critical Facilities, which Hewlett-Packard bought in 2007."

     

    So selling is getting done to some big boys.

     

    Perhaps using the grid as backup instead of primary (plus perhaps more certainty in future energy expenditures?) may be more important factors that some might appreciate.

     

    Wonder if Capstone (CPST) got to bid on either project ...

     

    Also wonder how much HVDC is getting used at both Apple and Ebay.

     

    Also wonder how this affects the UPS market going forward, and whether UPS costs where reduced significantly.
    27 Jun 2012, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • >JP ... So what is it that makes the Bloom Box so popular. I know it would have to be quiet, conditioned power but I've seen reference that it produces power at nosebleed prices compared to standard power conditioning equipment and wouldn't it still need backup for gensets, UPS, flywheels and such. That leads me to believe that these businesses are being paid (subsidized) to implement it at scale or is it really that much more reliable.
    27 Jun 2012, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • I'm not all that clear on what their pitch is, beyond the ability to go off grid in bite sized pieces instead of 10-50 MW at a time.
    27 Jun 2012, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • The sales pitch. Notice that everything they mention as a competitive platform is expensive. But you get clean CO2.

     

    http://bit.ly/MAmnpZ
    27 Jun 2012, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • Speaking of Bloom Energy,

     

    ""Lawsuit challenges Bloom Energy deal in Delaware
    By Randall Chase on June 21, 2012"

     

    http://buswk.co/Mwbh45

     

    has quite the mix of today's hot button politics, charges of crony capitalism, promises of job creation, and whether fuel cells should count as "renewable energy."

     

    Another take here: http://onforb.es/MA9dcx

     

    and here:
    http://onforb.es/MTXdBZ
    27 Jun 2012, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • Wow, excellent comparison. I always suspected Bloom was a bit of a fraud, and this blogger seems to have the numbers to substantiate it.

     

    As background info, a combined cycle gas turbine, is an excellent power source for a data center. CCGT are great for consistent loads, but do not not react well (fast) to volatile loads, and are not used for peaker plants. New CCGT plants have efficiencies about 60%, double the efficiencies of coal and much higher than single cycle peaker plants.

     

    Data center power loads are very constant and forecastable, a perfect fit for CCGT.
    27 Jun 2012, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • You have to admit though, Bloom's Box is much prettier and cooler than a CCGT with HRSG.
    27 Jun 2012, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • "Bloom's Box is much prettier and cooler..."

     

    Sleek.

     

    Like Al Gore's botoxed eyes.
    27 Jun 2012, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Rick, if interested check the Syracuse U case study on this page to see how (CPST) is used.

     

    http://bit.ly/LCsHim

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • I have been casually following Capstone for a while. I have never seen any economic numbers, though. The general concept of combined fuel use and local turbines sounds nice. Small scale turbines are expensive compared to ICE. My understanding of absorption cooling is extremely high capital costs.

     

    One a tiny scale, a consumer absorption refrigerator is at least 3x more expensive than a compressor driven machine. At campus scale, MIT uses compressor refrigeration (as opposed to absorption) from their steam plant for their coolers.

     

    At least Capstone does not subscribe to hype and cronyism to market their products. I wish they would publish hard, real operating numbers compared to the actual alternatives. I read several cases where the actual economics (from "free" landfill gas) were horrible, so the projects did not come to pass.

     

    I have not looked at their financials at all, so no comment on that.
    27 Jun 2012, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • So many questions ... fascinatingly complex subject.

     

    How small does can CCGT go and remain cost effective?

     

    If you "go big," can you sell excess back to the Grid? Does this kind of thing vary significantly by state or region?

     

    How much ongoing maintenance and specialized employees to maintain it? IF they believed the Bloom system was simpler (and very reliable) on an ongoing basis, maybe that scored a lot of points.

     

    Maybe CCGT drags the decision makers much further out of their core competency or comfort zone.

     

    How much would I love to see the head to head Bloom v. Capstone "decision tree" for Ebay!

     

    Since, according to the NY Times piece, the majority (wish I knew if that was 51% or say 75%) of Utah power is produced from coal, perhaps there was much more uncertainty on potential power cost increases. Note that this could be a factor in PowerCube sales indecision (or deciding not to decide right now) when it comes down to scare dollars and competing technologies. Even time shifted power may still (potentially) get much more expensive in certain parts of the country where coal fired plants are being removed and at the very least the capital costs of new replacement plants could drive rates up significantly, at least for a while. Makes it a lot harder to spivy up that spreadsheet ... more uncertainty on top of FERC uncertainty for FR payments.

     

    For example, if you have limited $$ for energy cost reduction, do you spend it on a Capstone CHP system using cheap Nat Gas (with long term hedges?) or adding a PowerCube to the mix?

     

    Ebay might have made a decision in Utah it wouldn't have in a different state.

     

    Looking much further down the line, imagine a "massive" influx of self generation by big businesses. How does that effect residential electric rates? Presumably much less capital expense would be required by utilities over time, but if they lose too much business, their existing ROI may get significantly dinged and residential customers might have to pick up the slack.
    27 Jun 2012, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • I'd also look to see if one of the motivations is also getting away from all the taxes and surcharges placed on electric bills. Could be that the business case is really in large part avoiding all these government charges. Surcharge this, tax that, delivery charge, etc.
    27 Jun 2012, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) usually is larger than 100 MW. This uses the exhaust heat to make steam to turn a turbine.

     

    However there are a lot of multiple cycle options for smaller turbines, such as CHP (combined heat and power) and CCHP (combined cooling, heat, and power)

     

    CHP is the most economic, assuming you can use the exhaust heat for space heating, process heat, hot water, etc. I think Honda makes a residential-sized unit internal combustion CHP.

     

    Cooling can be done with absorption chiller or using steam to spin a compressor. Either is rather capital intensive.

     

    A Powercube (single inversion) is not likely to add much value for a data center. Data centers typically have very smooth energy requirements, so there is not the surges that an oil platform has. I believe the 500 kw Powercube is a single inversion design, whihc is fine for heavy motor loads.

     

    A double inversion Powercube, as has been described by Rosewater for residential use, would be a benefit (necessity) for a data center, which needs very clean power. As the power shifts from grid to/from local turbine, double inversion provides the redundancy to make sure the power is clean.

     

    Note neither flavor of Powercube has an impact on the cost of power, only on the quality of power.
    27 Jun 2012, 10:45 PM Reply Like
  • Rick, AEG is quoting 96% efficiency for double conversion so I'm assuming there is some efficiency loss involved with double vs single. Almost looks like a factor of 2x. Is this correct?

     

    I am used to seeing numbers in the 98% range for inverters with one German company that recently was indicating they were over 99%.

     

    http://bit.ly/Qo42MZ
    27 Jun 2012, 11:41 PM Reply Like
  • Iindelco, double inversion is about twice the loss of single inversion.
    28 Jun 2012, 08:05 AM Reply Like
  • Rick, Thanks.
    28 Jun 2012, 08:16 AM Reply Like
  • Made a discovery on why I was not seeing new messages flagged on instablogs. I created a new SA ID and things worked fine on my system.

     

    It appears that SA will list all the "main" (non instablog) articles with unread comments before ANY instablog articles that have comments. It doesn't matter that the instablog article has newer comments than a "main" articl .

     

    So you have to clear out all the non-instablog articles with unread comments if you want to see the instablogs listed. In my case, that took quite a while, as I had a number of pretty old articles with just a few "new" comments.

     

    Each URL in the list of "articles with new comments" includes a magic identifier (after the question mark) that is used to see the "new" comments, so you need SA to show you that new URL to get the new comment flag to work.

     

    If you're running a slower system and your list includes some of JP's old articles with hundreds of comments, you probably want to right click and "Copy Link Address" in the list of articles, then create a new tab, past the URL, and then edit it to remove the question mark and everything after it. This lets SA load the article with only the beginning comments instead of all of them, and thus will load much faster. If you do this, you need to uncheck the "track new comments" box. This method works if you're really not that interested in reading the "new comments" that might be from over a year ago.

     

    27 Jun 2012, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • WTB: Great sleuthing! Unfortunately, it seems to be not the only cause.

     

    My list of articles and instablogs that I track are always current as I enter them through "My Feed" mucho times throughout the day every day. I take them in order (... I think!) and I still get unflagged new comments. My feed seems to get the count right, AFAICT, but when I go into the instablog, the flags are set on only a few many times.

     

    Happened again this morning.

     

    But now that you've alerted me, I'm going to pay close attention and see that I do articles first and then instablogs and see if my problem is gone!

     

    Thanks sir!

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • HTL ... yes there are still some issues.

     

    I can't trust that the orange number will appear in the upper right corner on top of the "pinned" list if there are only instablogs with "brand" new comments. But if I click the pinned list regardless of whether there is an orange number, it shows the top 6 articles with new comments, and will show the instablog in "orange highlight" if it's the first time I'm clicked since an instablog has new comments. Any orange highlighting disappears on the subsequent times you click on that list (though it still shows the number of unread comments) until there's been a new comment since you clicked on the list.

     

    It was odd before I got rid of all the "old" "main" articles with unread comments. It would show for example an orange 3, but I would only see one "main" article in orange when I clicked on it. Turns out that there were 2 instablogs with brand new comments, but since they wouldn't appear till after ALL the "main" articles, I was never seeing them because I didn't have the patience to wade through them all.

     

    (and to see them all you have to use the "My Feed" from the pulldown arrow and click "more" a bunch, or alternatively you can get the same screen from "more notifications" at the bottom of the pinned list.)

     

    I have a suspicion that while you are editing a new posting, the whole concept of "new comment" gets screwed up. That may include also the time after you've posted the comment, but you still have the ability to edit it. IF this is true, it would argue for composing your comments elsewhere, and then cutting and pasting the finished product in very quickly, and then (once you're satisfied with how it looks,) refreshing your tab, which I believe is one action that removes the ability to any longer edit the comment.
    27 Jun 2012, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • WTB: "... use the "My Feed" from the pulldown arrow".

     

    Try what I did. Bookmark the resulting "My Feed" and place it right on the bookmark toolbar. Then a single click gets your latest "My Feed" pulled up quick. I click that bugger probably 100 times a day.

     

    I almost never go into the pinned clipboard anymore except to double-check if I have a PM in my inbox.

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 08:15 AM Reply Like
  • Philly Inquirer (today); SEPTA continues onward with SAFT/Viridity/PJM:

     

    http://bit.ly/M4LPp1

     

    DANG! Good article on how it all works, though.

     

    This is what bugs me the most: "Viridity estimates that the one-battery system alone will return more than $250,000 in total economic benefits a year."

     

    It appears, in this case, there's a pretty decent ROI, using lithium.
    27 Jun 2012, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • Maya, not sure the numbers tie together well. Cost of the first system is at least $900,000 (from the grant). Viridity keeps 30%, so return to the "investor" is $175k, so that is worse than a 5 year payback. I assume there is some operational and maintenance costs, too.

     

    It will interesting to see the real numbers if they are ever published. I think PbC, which should be at lower cost, would be better solution.
    27 Jun 2012, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • Rick: Agreed. But this has a payback where no payback ever before existed.

     

    Further, the PbC can accept and discharge at 2 to 4 times the rate. So, there is a lot of merit in the PbC not only being cheaper, but also to have a better ROI.

     

    That's why I was so big on SEPTA using the PbC before this announcement.

     

    We are not out of the game, yet. There are lots of trolley stations around Philly.

     

    In another article today, I read where SEPTA chose diesle over nat gas, for their bus fleet. This was much to the chagrin of a PA-based repulican whip in the House, as he wanted nat gas, provided by the Marcellus Shale, here in PA, to be used in buses.

     

    SEPTA countered that diesle was much cheaper to run on, and to service the engines.

     

    Short of the long is that SEPTA is counting their beans, and by this, I believe they are still looking seriously at AXPW; as we know, Axion is PA-based. SAFT, France-based.

     

    Ahh...the politics....

     

    Here is that link:

     

    http://bit.ly/MAvBCC
    27 Jun 2012, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • >Mayascribe ... Thanks for the good info.

     

    My question still remains; When will AXPW's PbC get a real world demonstration like that? New Castle doesn't really count and military is nothing compared to the SPIDER minigrid or Duke Energy's wind farm. It's not like Viridity/PJM don't know Axion exists ... just don't seem willing to show some confidence.

     

    Alas, so we wait for Customer No. 1.
    27 Jun 2012, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • Customer #1 is Norfolk Southern. We await customer # 2.
    27 Jun 2012, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • I called the Philadelphia Inquirer author of the SEPTA nat gas versus diesel hybrid article; left a message, tying in the above choice SEPTA made of SAFT over Axion Power, and how the republican whip, Stan Sayer, should be equally frustrated that SEPTA chose SAFT over Axion Power, when what Axion Power makes is cheaper, safer, has a better charge acceptance, and is made right here in PA.

     

    Doubtful anything will develop, but there is a story there, of SEPTA now twice going away from PA interests. It's almost un-American. Hell, Volvo is making the diesel hybrid buses, in Canada!
    27 Jun 2012, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • >Rick Krementz ... I just don't look at it that way.
    27 Jun 2012, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • Particularly given your fascination with the rail application I'd love to know why you don't think of NS as Customer #1. With the amount of double redundant testing they did before making a decision on the retrofit and the amount they'll be spending on the two locomotives I have a hard time not thinking of NS as the first real customer.
    27 Jun 2012, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • DRich: Yeah, but this is a democracy! 2:1 now! :-)) Gee if that's all it took to make the stock price move ... ;-((

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • >H.T.Love ... Should we be so lucky. I'm no stranger to holding a minority view.

     

    >JP ... My definition of Customer No. 1 is still an entity that purchases the PbC for straight up economic reasons ... a solution to a work-a-day purpose. NS999 is unique in that it is both a Phase 3 Trial (to hit the biotech example) still subject to rejection & an OEM demonstrator. I'll move it over to another column when it is moved over to operations (without the fawning white coats) and there is a follow on order either for operations or to send out to other roads as demonstrators (typical railroad marketing).
    27 Jun 2012, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • Gives a whole new meaning to being railroaded. ;-)
    27 Jun 2012, 05:55 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed, Yep.

     

    Who wants to be railroaded?

     

    Me me, pick me! :))

     

    Bet you never thought you'd be jumping up and down asking for it!
    27 Jun 2012, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • That's a fair enough assessment. I can certainly live with NS being involved in the equivalent of a Phase 3 Trial, although I would like a better feel for the likely length and size of the trial.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:18 AM Reply Like
  • "Viridity gets to keep 30 percent of the revenue from PJM, he said."

     

    That's a good data point to have.

     

    BTW, I didn't see a system cost for the unit they have on line.
    27 Jun 2012, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco: I noticed that, too. I am not sure how much this battery system costs. The point is that for the first time, we are seeing SEPTA turn one one of its energy users into an energy creator, a new kind of asset that contributes toward profitability. Something, I believe SEPTA has never done before with electricity usage.

     

    Note: SAFT has already been working with SEPTA, and this project is an extension of the original SAFT/Viridity/PJM and SEPTA arrangement.
    27 Jun 2012, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • Great commentary on this issue. I know that awhile back it appeared that the news article about Viridity/Axion had disappeared and we worried that the relationship had maybe ended. This issue was put to bed by someone asking and Viridity saying it was a mistake. Then last month Viridity also featured both in the powerpoint presentation about Ft. Meade.

     

    In my research, I had always wondered if Viridity favored Saft as a battery supplier. However, I thought that was unlikely because of the PA connection.

     

    Maybe Saft has a connection to ABB Envitech, the company who appears to produce the wayside switching power/electronices?

     

    Either way, I also think the PbC would be a better solution for this application ...
    27 Jun 2012, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • One additional point. Clearly Axion would not have been a candidate given the timing of this application. They didn't have a product.

     

    http://bit.ly/LtgBSp
    27 Jun 2012, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • Maya, Also looks like SAFT had been working on similar systems in Europe which gives them a leg up.

     

    http://bit.ly/MUPwtu

     

    http://bit.ly/MUPuC5
    27 Jun 2012, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Hey daytraders, ARNA just got FDA approval with no need for REMS, and should rocket for awhile after trading resumes. Huge short squeeze coming.

     

    I'm tickled.

     

    Just thought you might want to take a look.

     

    edit: http://bit.ly/MArDd4

     

    official PR: http://bit.ly/MAt8bt
    27 Jun 2012, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • Resumes trading at 13:45 EDT.

     

    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Aabar pulls out of Daimler investment in Tesla

     

    http://reut.rs/L2uEor
    27 Jun 2012, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, 3800 shares after hours. Not only does it smell like Quercus it tastes like em as well. It's going to be a long hot summer if we trade volume like today often.

     

    http://bit.ly/LPmavx
    27 Jun 2012, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • Volume really appears to have fallen off the proverbial cliff!

     

    This is not good! I was all geared to hoover up a huge amount of shares at $0.20 but so far not one has come into my net. Whats happened to the Mega-C share dump? Enquiring minds want to know.

     

    Have the trolls convinced the bankruptcy lawyers that there is indeed good value in AXPW? Damm!
    27 Jun 2012, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • (AXPW): 6/27/2012 EOD stuff!

     

    Whoo-hoo! Big day - including Quercus sale indicated by the AH trade of 10% of the day's volume prior to that, we got 41,850 shares in 16 trades!

     

    The AH trade of 3,800 @ $0.3430 was almost exactly 10% of the volume prior to that trade, 38,050. Note the strong similarity in VWAP and the Quercus trade price.

     

    The daily short sales were only 1K so I'm guessing that it wasn't indicative of Quercus's 3K, but just one of the three 1K trades for the day (I'm betting it was one of the two that went at $0.3499 - *very* close to the high of the day).

     

    # Trds: 16, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 10000, Vol 41850, AvTrSz: 2616
    Min. Pr: 0.3370, Max Pr: 0.3500, VW Avg. Trade Pr: 0.3432
    # Buys, Shares: 11 18050, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.3482
    # Sells, Shares: 4 19800, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.3384
    # Unkn, Shares: 1 4000, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.3450
    Buy:Sell 1:1.10, DlyShts 1000, 2.4%

     

    With volume this low it is really hard to have confidence in any of the traditional TA stuff, other than to say a change could be near. All the oscillators are weakening ATM.

     

    Trying to stretch things, regardless of the volume ...

     

    On my experimental charts, looking at the period after 3/19 shorts spike, we may indeed be matching the pattern. When the daily short sales got as low as we were today, we were at the high range of the price movement! =>8-O

     

    Well, right now it looks the same, but in a lower range. The follow-on action was weakening price, as we all know.

     

    Having said that, I'm going to discount the possibility of any big drop in price. There's too many differences.

     

    Most of the differences are in the degree of "choppiness" in daily short sales, average trade sizes, volume fluctuations. Further, we've made an apparent low and risen above it and hung in there fairly steadily.

     

    Add in that there's a holiday coming up and it's likely that trading is down in stuff that's not traded mostly by the HFT computers (recall that I commented earlier that we only had 6 MMs showing. I later noticed the high count for the day was seven) and I think that 'splains the volume weakness.

     

    So we're more likely just in a period of some stroking along until the recent spate of articles have a big effect or the holidays are over.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    27 Jun 2012, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • From The Maritime Executive: "First True Hybrid to be Installed Onboard an OSV".

     

    http://bit.ly/Ow2YYO

     

    Devoid of details re. the "battery pack", but Off Shore Vessels like this use electricity on the scale of a small town. And they are very comfortable with heavy ballast. No idea if the PbC is a good fit here, but it would be like a whole string of locomotives.
    27 Jun 2012, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks WDD.

     

    Looks like a 500 kwh battery pack.

     

    http://bit.ly/Ow63bt
    27 Jun 2012, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • For the english version http://bit.ly/MY0nky

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • Unfortunately often the home language site does not mirror the translated site in content. Or it's presented differently so going back and forth easily is not an option.

     

    Makes it harder for snoopin.
    28 Jun 2012, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • For those that haven't seen it.

     

    Here's a link to the last update on the research East Penn is conduction with Sandia National Labs on the addition of various forms of carbon to the negative electrode of VRLA batteries. This is the path Exide has taken in their offerings from their new plant that they launched with help from the American Recovery Act funding.. As can be seen on the last slide they expect to wrap up this research in August of this year so we have something to look forward to.

     

    http://1.usa.gov/QnO7y7
    27 Jun 2012, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... Thanks. I had not seen this slide show. Now I wish I better understood all that I was looking at. First blush, it looks like a validation of Axion's design concept but does it mean trouble?
    27 Jun 2012, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, I'd not come to too many conclusions before the final report which will be much more important given the expectations of this enhancement. What we can say is that the AGM batteries they are stuffing in cars now are ugh.

     

    BTW, I need to go confirm again but I think Exide is using graphite which based on this limited testing is good for them.,,,so far,

     

    Oh, And didn't your mother tell you not to go looking for trouble! ;)
    27 Jun 2012, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • Ah yes, graphite.

     

    http://bit.ly/KK6ZGz
    28 Jun 2012, 12:08 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright in
    http://bit.ly/MUWYXl

     

    said (among other things)
    "I did tour the power cube and was inside when it shifted from accepting power to providing power to the plant. It was like being in a BIG UPS when disconnected from the AC source. Alarms started beeping and the display said AC source offline (or similar). It stayed in this mode until we left the cube. I asked what the preferred SOC was and was told around 60% which is a bit lower than I expected. This was the test unit and the electronics was an Eaton inverter with a Princeton power conditioner in front of it. Communications for the PC looked like a broadband connection"

     

    He also said in
    http://bit.ly/NE7Q9B

     

    "Adding to my post. The PowerCube that is currently installed at New Castle is a behind the meter only installation. If it were to be upgraded to the new specifications (Princeton inverter) it could provide power back to the grid. The value of this installation is the constant charging and discharging of the PbC batteries under a heavy load which is beyond the lab testing and proof of the PbC performance..."

     

    While things may have changed, here are my references for why I've suggested it was a "real" Princeton Power (not Eaton) inverter.

     

    The first clue was this Dec 2, 2011 PR from Princeton Power:
    http://bit.ly/NPx2xh

     

    This was just after the unveiling of the onsite PowerCube.

     

    The second reference is here:
    http://bit.ly/A79vvZ

     

    in the slide labeled Axion Power - PJM Fast Response System, though it does use the phrasing "Princeton Power Electronics"

     

    So I'm a little confused. And I freely admit I don't understand in detail the difference between a Grid-Tied (UL certified) Inverter and "Power Conditioning Electronics." I thought the initial announcement indicated that we were going to do FR for the Grid and I certainly read it as "imminently."

     

    Here's the original PR:
    http://bit.ly/LSovHJ

     

    Note that it says it is being integrated.

     

    I wonder if the redundant OTR testing for NS caused usage to change, or things were just put on hold when it became clear that there would be a long time lawyering over FERC order 755.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:31 AM Reply Like
  • WTB. Bear in mind the PC at New Castle is a test cube. Who knows when Princeton became involved. The inverter, according to Enders, is an Eaton. The Princeton unit (whatever it is) is used to condition power. I should have asked more questions but there was a line of folks waiting to get in...
    28 Jun 2012, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Guys,

     

    If you look at slide 24 on this presentation that Tim provided awhile back, it compare a regular set up with a PECC/EnerSection setup -

     

    Both have what are called converters and inverters -

     

    If I am not mistaken, the converters are the conditioning electronics ...

     

    http://bit.ly/KSw7wv
    28 Jun 2012, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • >Stefan Moroney ... FYI, definitions, as we use them here in the inverter design biz and ultra simplified

     

    Power converter - a device that changes Vdc to Vdc to +/- (or not) voltage.

     

    Power Inverter - a device that changes Vdc to Vac or Vac to Vdc to +/- (or not) voltage.

     

    Power Transformer - device that passes voltage from one set of windings to another via a barrier (like oil) or coupling reference (common ground) to +/- (or not) voltage. Like Vac to Vac (usually) Vac to Vdc or Vac to Vdc.

     

    Conditioning is a function performed by transformers in conjunction with filtering capacitors. It gets way more complicated in a heart beat, but that is the ha'penny tour.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • Drich - Thanks for the clarification! I knew it occurred within the line from PV to Transformer ... but wasn't sure where.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan, I am a little confused by that graphic. Traditionally, an inverter transformed DC to AC, while a converter (or rectifier) transformed AC to DC, although common usage was sloppy. Rosewater used the term "double inverter". Clary, http://bit.ly/LwdnO3, a top tier supplier, uses the term "double conversion".

     

    Both, as far as I know, mean exactly the same thing, and are slightly incorrect vocabularily. Both take AC power (standard or dirty), convert to DC and store in a battery, then invert to standard AC output.

     

    I am not sure what the ZBB graphic is trying to communicate, except that having the battery bank close to the PV is more efficient.

     

    I have used Clary products ever since I read http://bit.ly/LFNDFf two decades ago; I had suffered a similar experience with exploding light bulbs and a surge protector that caught fire. I would have liked Axion to partner with them as their battery supplier http://bit.ly/LwdnO7.
    28 Jun 2012, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • Drich, What do they do with commercial power xformers to convert AC to DC? Add full wave rectification into the package when sold? If so anything else in the package to condition the waveform? I'm just curious if this is an off the shelf commercial package.

     

    Thanks
    28 Jun 2012, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • >Rick Krementz ... might be making reference to a choke coil
    28 Jun 2012, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • Rick - (thanks for the links - they are a bit longer than I can get through now - will go through them tonight)

     

    Let me preface this by saying I am not an engineer, nor am I skilled in patent analysis. Please clarify any misunderstandings ...

     

    My understanding is that patent on the EnerSection covers the common DC bus ... as a result, all of the local energy inputs run into the DC bus and through the EnerSection to the EnerStore ... each input has a "bucket" which allows the energy source to connect to the DC bus -- then the EnerStore puts out a constant stream of electricity for the loads in a single output.

     

    See slide 5, 6 and 18
    http://bit.ly/KZUYOQ

     

    As a result what that initial slide that you mentioned says to me, is that it is cutting out the inverter for going from DC to AC to battery and then from DC to AC ...

     

    Rather going DC straight to the battery and then outputting through a single inverter AC to the loads ...

     

    Again, your expertise is very much appreciated!
    28 Jun 2012, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • I wish I had a better idea of how much the Princeton Power inverter in question costs. I wonder if this was a financial decision to not yet have it on the Axion campus in keeping with their frugal nature.

     

    I'm still not clear if they were completely set up whether they would be receiving ANY payments for selling power back to the grid, pending regulatory finalization.

     

    Note that Princeton isn't standing still ... they have two new "Demand Response" inverters that are not yet UL certified in addition to the "Grid-tied" one that is.

     

    You can find a spec sheet link in the description pages here:
    UL listed Grid Tied:
    http://bit.ly/LTm33M

     

    UL pending 100kW DRI: http://bit.ly/ODkKdZ

     

    UL Pending 10kW DRI:
    http://bit.ly/ODkLPa

     

    I hope the Ft. Meade system really does use both the PbC and Princeton Inverters, and maybe at some point we'll get through Freedom of Information more real numbers.

     

    I don't know for a fact that Princeton will be used at Ft. Meade, but I do note here
    http://bit.ly/M4Qe5d

     

    Viridity uses the term "Demand Response Inverter."

     

    This is an important "proposed" project for Viridity and includes a big Demand Response piece that I presume has either already has been implemented or could be implemented separately first.

     

    There may be an interesting race between
    1) normal bureaucracy inertia
    2) end of year potential huge military budget cuts
    3) the desired Princeton Power demand response inverter actually getting UL certified (these things often take longer than you expect or hope for)
    4) FERC 745 and 755 getting out of court and actually "finalized."
    28 Jun 2012, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan, not sure what you are asking...

     

    The "Conventional Architecture" slide is probably what a union electrician would do a few decades ago, but I don't think many current electrical engineers would do that. Other companies have smarts for integrating multiple non-dispatchable resources, although not necessarily with flow batteries. I don't know if ZBB has a better electronics solution than their competitors. I assume (hope) ZBB is using their electronics as a tool to sell their unique batteries, as power electronics can easily be re-engineered by copycats.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • One fascinating thing I noticed when I reviewed the Viridity presentation today is Slide 3 which only identifies two battery partners; SAFT and Axion.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • >JP ... And yet, Axion has yet to be fielded. Maybe, hopefully soon. I'd love to see some economic numbers attached to an Axion product.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • Plus if there are budget cuts.

     

    "Fort Meade Meets Energy Goal Two Years Early"

     

    http://bit.ly/OzHPgt
    28 Jun 2012, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • The description Viridity used is basically the same configuration we've been seeing for the PowerCube, 560 batteries with 500 kW of power and 250 kWh of energy. If the NS pricing of ±$400 per battery holds, I'd expect to see battery revenue of $225,000. I wouldn't even try to guess what the power electronics and integration revenues might be. The end-user value attributed to the storage system comes in at $93,400 per year.
    28 Jun 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • "I assume (hope) ZBB is using their electronics as a tool to sell their unique batteries, as power electronics can easily be re-engineered by copycats."

     

    I guess what I have been trying to figure out is whether ZBB's patented design of delivering power from multiple sources is uniquely better than other methods of doing the same thing.

     

    ZBB claims that a large portion of the value of the EnerSection is the ability to eliminate multiple inverters as opposed to other schemes that require an inverter for each generating source.

     

    "Stefan, not sure what you are asking..."

     

    Do you have any opinion on whether the method by which the EnerSection eliminates inverters and "routes" power is any better or more cost effective than other methods or devices which are currently on the market?
    28 Jun 2012, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... Kinda' out of my element here. I'm the mechanical engineering type but, Yes, to answer your question. XFMR's going AC to DC use diode bridges (bridge rectifiers). Whether they are off-the-shelf or not ... my experience is that the answer would be NO (not to say there aren't ... mind you) because these are built for specific applications & loads. The application might be better served with a rectifier in high voltage/current but not typically in applications I'm around.
    28 Jun 2012, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks DRich . I was really kinda wondering if there was enough application and benefit that they started packaging some of the power electronics right in the xformer package. I asked because you stated AC to DC so it's obviously more than just an xformer unless quantum physics changed something. :)

     

    While I took some power distribution years ago my professional apps pretty much stop at 480VAC 3 phase. No transmission or distribution.
    28 Jun 2012, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... I know the "Duh" factor too. I would have thought that with the number of switchyards & cogens I've installed over the years some of it would have sunk in. Now I help build power supplies, signage & instrumentation and still nothing. I'm much better at purifying/cleaning water, gases & air.
    28 Jun 2012, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, I just placed a bet with someone that you and I will be perfect in 80 years. Don't let me down! I'll split the winnings with ya.

     

    And I am an expert at doing the opposite with water, gasses and air.
    28 Jun 2012, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... 80 years, huh. Well, I don't know where I will be located then but I'll be sure to leave a shovel up top so you can plant those winnings.
    28 Jun 2012, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • Note the last line of the PDF linked to in iindelco's Ft. Meade article:

     

    "Viridity recently signed an agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency, and will work with the Department of Defense and at federal installations throughout the U.S."
    28 Jun 2012, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • I always like encouraging words.
    28 Jun 2012, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan, no opinion and don't know. Nothing I've read about ZBB's electronics seems patentable to me, but I am neither a power electronics or patent geek. Probably should pay attention, as I am an underwater stockholder.
    28 Jun 2012, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • Rick, yes please pay more attention and share with us on Stefen's instablog <smile>
    28 Jun 2012, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • I second that motion! lol.
    28 Jun 2012, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • Are we reading too much into "Viridity"? They seem agnostic as to battery, witness the SAFT connection in SEPTA's effort.

     

    I'm not saying they won't mention us, but I would be surprised if they fought the prevailing winds of government bias and recommended other than a Lithium-based solution.

     

    I'm assuming they're out to "Take Care of Number 1" first.

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • HTL; As iindelco pointed out, the PowerCube wasn't even in existence when the SEPTA/SAFT/Viridity proposal first went out (2009?).
    28 Jun 2012, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • Maya: I know. But my thought was really that they don't care whose storage is used - they make money regardless. AFAICT they have no reason to be partial to AXPW.

     

    Mentioning the SAFT, since it will be again used apparently, was just demonstrating the point.

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I suspect they are doing like BMW and covering all the bases. They are working closely with several storage companies so that they multiply the possibility of success. In fact they will probably have success with more than one storage solution. JP has constantly explained that there is plenty of storage business to go around.

     

    The silver lining for us is that Viridity will know which storage solution works best. If PbC is best in many applications as most Axionistas believe, we will be the ones to benefit. When Viridity chooses Axion for the projects where PbC works best, we will have fewer projects that hit a dead end.
    28 Jun 2012, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • Well, if we end up in Viridity's Ft. Meade project, perhaps you'll feel better, and more of us can worry less. If we thought we had our foot in a military niche, we would be happier!

     

    We have no idea what kind of terms (sales price [loss leader?] and financing) Saft might have offered, or whether Saft and ABB have formed some type of "jv/partnership" for this particular "railroad" application. Lot of deep pockets between those two.

     

    But how marketing is handled between Rosewater, Axion, and Viridity does become something really interesting to watch and ask questions about on conference calls. We've got Vani, but how much can he do largely by himself?

     

    It may take a "win or two" (possibly including bigger flooded sales?) to give us the financial "visibility" to hire more people to market the product more directly.
    28 Jun 2012, 11:44 PM Reply Like
  • Update article on Viridity and Saft partnership with commuter trains.

     

    http://nyti.ms/LD1n1A
    28 Jun 2012, 06:46 AM Reply Like
  • "Saft and the developer of the system, Viridity Energy, are hunting for other applications."

     

    Should say - "[Axion] and the developer of the system, Viridity Energy, are hunting for other applications."
    28 Jun 2012, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • jveal: Sorry for the duplicate article in the next APC.
    28 Jun 2012, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • HTL & jveal, FYI, Looks like wood is the feedstock.

     

    Sundrop Fuels finalizes ExxonMobil MTG technology license for “green gasoline” production facility

     

    "Sundrop Fuels, Inc., a gasification-based drop-in advanced biofuels company, finalized a licensing agreement to use ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company’s methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) technology to be incorporated into a “green gasoline” production facility."

     

    http://bit.ly/KFtzMY
    28 Jun 2012, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • The Quercus Trust filed their form 4. They're back.
    28 Jun 2012, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • Their reported sales also match perfectly with the AH trades we've seen for the last couple days, so it looks like they're being as circumspect as possible to avoid pressuring the price.
    28 Jun 2012, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Yep. If we MUST be haunted, at least it's by a relatively friendly ghost...
    28 Jun 2012, 09:53 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » This way to a new concentrator ---->

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    28 Jun 2012, 11:21 AM Reply Like
  • Oops if true. Need to be careful how you select your supply base.

     

    Rumor claims battery production problems with next iPhone

     

    http://bit.ly/OzQU8U
    28 Jun 2012, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • How Long Will Your Electric Car Battery Last? It Depends Where You Live.

     

    http://hgm.me/MD8U0J
    28 Jun 2012, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • IINDelco,
    My question is whether they've got any hard data yet on how long a hybrid's battery pack will last (and a comparison for the different battery types)? I was up on a car website yesterday and there was a plethora of 2008 Priuses for sale. Not that I want one, but it makes one wonder, how many years or how many miles have the batteries been shown to last before needing replacement? Without that information, I think the secondary market for all these hybrids is really going to be impossible.
    28 Jun 2012, 11:59 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech, I've heard great things about the life of the Prius battery pack. That being said I'd still wonder about the value of the vehicle once you start getting into the 6 year plus time frame. Perhaps if they offered some form of metering system that gave an indication of where the battery is in its life cycle that would help. Perhaps not in the area of unforeseen hard failures but an indication of where it is given the normal population.

     

    Of coarse the Prius is an exception given its tenure so the other would not have the same opportunity.

     

    They seem to be holding up pretty well. Of coarse on Ebay the last few minutes is what counts in pricing for many items.

     

    http://bit.ly/KHUI1U
    29 Jun 2012, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • The Ultrabattery mentioned. Vani. Hellooooo.

     

    The Future Of Lead Acid Batteries In Data Centers

     

    http://bit.ly/KG7U7u
    28 Jun 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • I'm surprised it was termed an "asymmetric super-capacitor".

     

    Maybe I just don't understand enough yet.

     

    HardToLove
    28 Jun 2012, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • Well, An oversimplification, but it is part LAB and part asymmetric super-capacitor. Somehow they complement each other to allow the LAB side to live longer although not as long as the PBC. But it also has higher energy density.

     

    Oops, Posted it on the older concentrator. Sorry.
    28 Jun 2012, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco

     

    btw...what took you so long to "join" SA AXPW?

     

    Comments much appreciated!
    29 Jun 2012, 12:03 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq, I always read the Axion concentrators and there were enough people here that went to both forms so I figured it was about the same thing for the sharing of critical information. Then fewer and fewer people started to come over to the brand x board and the board pain in the a$$ there got to be too frustrating so here I am.

     

    The brand x boards can be OK if there are not too many morons to sort though. But they can become toxic to the point where they are of no value quickly. There is a purpose for moderators and as we see here the hosts that are willing to take on the task do a great job. Hats off to Maya and the Axion Power Host.
    29 Jun 2012, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • So we are now about the pps level of the last capital raise .... And the fourth quarter looms ... Any thoughts on how many shares will be sold this time? Seems without substantive news (read: orders) the market is already building in the effect of the upcoming dilution?
    30 Jun 2012, 08:07 PM Reply Like
  • At March 31st Axion had $10.6 million of working capital, $8.5 million in cash and a burn rate of $1.7 million per quarter. My calculator says that's five to six quarters of runway. Axion is well funded through Q1-2013 and could probably push through Q2-2013 if it had to.

     

    While some of us have speculated that Axion might want to raise money between Thanksgiving and Christmas so that its year-end financial statements will be pretty, there is no Sword of Damocles.

     

    I don't know anyone who thinks Thanksgiving and Christmas are *looming*

     

    The oversupply of shares that's kept the price down for the last couple years can't last through the summer. While there haven't been any important sales events yet, Thanksgiving is a long ways off and there really won't be significant financial pressure until next spring.

     

    Conservative is good, but the selling pressure will end with pleasant days at the beach. If you honestly believe Axion will wallow without news for another six to nine months, then you might want to ask yourself why you own the stock. In any event management wont raise money while sitting on a big working capital and cash cushion unless the terms are very attractive.
    1 Jul 2012, 03:08 AM Reply Like
  • Sarcasm aside .... My point is that the longer we wait for positive news, the closer the time to another round of financing we get, and the price will continue to ebb. I actually am looking forward to another buying opportunity if and when that does happen. I was curious as to whether anyone had any opinion on what sort of amount they will want or need to raise, at what price.
    3 Jul 2012, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • The price is not ebbing. It's trading in a narrow range because one or more large holders has decided to sell at a specific number. Once they're gone, the supply side will be very meager and the price is likely to rise. How far and how fast is anybody's guess.

     

    Predicting how much money a company like Axion might need nine months down the road is impossible unless you know what it's expansion plans are.
    3 Jul 2012, 11:35 PM Reply Like
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