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  • Axion Power Concentrator 384: Dec. 17, 2014 [View instapost]
    Here is the bio of Dr. Schmidt who resigned. 10 years on the board.

    Dr. Howard K. Schmidt
    Independent Director
    Director Since: 2005
    AxionPower Committee Membership:
    Audit Committee

    Dr. Howard K. Schmidt is an independent director who joined our board in April 2005. Dr. Schmidt is also presently employed as the executive director of the Carbon Nanotechnologies Laboratory (the "CNL") at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Dr. Schmidt is an expert in the field of carbon nanotechnology and single-wall carbon nanotubes. In 1989, Dr. Schmidt founded SI Diamond Technologies, Inc., a company that received the prestigious R&D 100 Award from Research and Development Magazine in 1989; went public in 1992; and recently changed its name to Nano-Proprietary, Inc. Dr. Schmidt holds two degrees from Rice University (BS-Electrical Engineering, 1980 and PhD-Chemistry, 1986).
    Dec 23, 2014. 03:08 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 384: Dec. 17, 2014 [View instapost]
    probably but don't really care. I find two things about the September numbers interesting.

    28 is still a lot to me. When you figure they were burning $2-$2.5M/quarter and had 80+ people and they got $6M in cash ( $7M-$1M to Bob) and that is supposed to last a year. I would have expected Production to be around 10ish. If this # stays at this level I don't think they have the full year of runway.

    Also the idea that they called out the sales people is a sign of a shift. I have no idea if that is a change in reality but its a change in perception. That is good.
    Dec 18, 2014. 06:26 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 384: Dec. 17, 2014 [View instapost]
    I'd assume that with the deal completed with Bob they knew exactly their cash balance and can estimate their run rate pretty well at this point.

    Most surprising to me was the number of employees in the S3. It was at 48 at the end of September with: 28 manufacturing
    8 engineering
    6 in sales
    6 others (4 exec).

    In another filing at the end of June the employee count was 50. Please note that they have not included these in the 10-Qs this year where they had previously. The breakdown of the 50 was given as this:
    30 manufacturing
    12 science and engineering
    That leaves 8 other including sales staff (I assume 3 exec as CFO was a consultant)

    When you only go down 2 head but your manufacturing and engineering go down 6 total and you add an executive I think you see the adds being done in the sales area. That is good!

    For reference: End of 2013:
    83 staff, 10 engineering and 50 in manufacturing. No idea on the other 23.
    Dec 18, 2014. 05:47 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 383: Dec. 07, 2014 [View instapost]

    Great point. What is amazing is if you go back to the beginning of this year and read the associated filings for the reverse split, uplisting, financing transactions. They were very different documents even though they should have been familiar especially when reading the history of the company. Now its been tightened up considerably.
    Dec 16, 2014. 05:59 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 383: Dec. 07, 2014 [View instapost]
    It would be nice but very, very unexpected.

    In one of the filings this spring/summer there was this:

    On May 11, 2010, the Company was awarded federal contract number N00014-10-C-0094. Under the terms of the agreement, Axion shall furnish personnel and facilities to conduct the research effort for the development of new lightweight, high-powered batteries for use in vehicles operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. This cost-plus-fixed-fee completion contract requires scientific or technical reports to be delivered, inspected and accepted prior to reimbursement. Costs incurred during the performance period, will be reimbursed quarterly. The final report was delivered in July, 2011. The contract, provided $1,004,747 to us in funding for this project, and is subject to a financial audit upon contract completion which we anticipate will occur in 2013.

    I've tried to get more details on this program, etc. and have gotten nowhere. Anybody else care to help?

    For long time suffers I had assumed this was what Axion always referenced in their presentations in 2011 and 2012 about Military applications. What is disappointing is that Princeton Power did a whole bunch of BMS system projects in remote places (presumably for renewable, shifting power for FOB) and it was all standard lead acid and Lithium projects.
    Dec 16, 2014. 05:52 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 383: Dec. 07, 2014 [View instapost]
    Which is why they signed an employement agreement with Trego. When DDG and Trego were at Minrad they both signed updated employment contracts and the company was sold 3 months later. Previously Trego was a contracted employee who would have no rights beyond a deal being signed.
    Dec 11, 2014. 02:01 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Jay Bowman's December 5th Update [View instapost]
    Congrats John and Jay. Glad to hear all is progressing. I know its never fast enough but at the same time I doubt you can go any faster.
    Dec 8, 2014. 12:35 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 382: Nov. 22, 2014 [View instapost]
    Pennsylvania already made a huge push in solar. They had a tax credit/rebate program for homeowners that was the most generous in the country that expired at the end of 2012 and was not renewed. Legislators viewed the program as somewhat successful but were unwilling to expand or even extend the program. If the program was around today it would be a good place for the program that had been done with Rosewater at a cheap scale.

    Because of this solar tax credit program most electrical companies got into the solar installation business in the state and still can do installs. Most 100% solar installers have shut down. The Coatesville project was started during this time and CSI is one of the survivors. The market for solar in SE PA is much better than central and western.

    The reason for the tax credits/rebates were to support a bunch of small solar companies that had come out of the industrial slowdown in the hopes it would create a new business of manufacturing. It didn't happen.
    Dec 5, 2014. 03:22 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 382: Nov. 22, 2014 [View instapost]
    Viridity provides the software.
    Vani just presented in October at that conference on a panel with Viridity. There is still a relationship but it doesn't seem fruitfull.

    Viridity did the work with SEPTA and they have now 2 stations, one with Li and the second with UltraCaps and Lithium. Hmmm, who could do the third?
    Dec 4, 2014. 05:47 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 382: Nov. 22, 2014 [View instapost]
    I just like to see some signs of life.

    I thought I saw some a little while ago but then I realized that it was I was who was falling over, asleep.
    Dec 4, 2014. 02:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 382: Nov. 22, 2014 [View instapost]
    Mr I- Yes that is true. There are two different parts to this. (my caveat - is from talking to some truckers in my extended family over the past few holidays and reading some trucking business blogs - I could be completely wrong)

    Guys who have a separate APC system such as the Freightliner Parksmart have this issue but not as frequent. The systems are usually tied in with another system that turns the engine on when voltage gets too low. Reading forums these guys are getting 3-4 years of their batteries.

    Other guys (where the problem is more severe) don't have a dedicated electric APU system and try to run idle off their 4 starter batteries without a diesel APU. These will die and lead about starting in the morning and lead to anxiety with the driver and shorter battery life.

    The Maxwell system is great in that if they have an electric APU (such as the Parksmart) they can use those 4 AGM batteries + 3 more AGM batteries that replaced 3 of the starter batteries. Having 7 batteries will put less stress on and will allow these guys to easily go 10-12 hours with full AC, etc.

    For the guys who don't have an electric APU the Maxwelll system basically guarantees a start and they can use the AGM for 75% of an electric APU system as they have 3 free batteries and no anxiety issues of will the battery start in the morning.

    When Maxwell brought this to market they were charging $800 in the fall of 2013. Current pricing is now around $1000 as the demand is there. Supposedly there were dealer shortages in Q1 2014 as Maxwell underestimated demand. Its becoming very popular in Canada due to its always starting in cold weather. Maxwell has a winner here for large vehicles.
    Dec 4, 2014. 01:06 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 382: Nov. 22, 2014 [View instapost]
    GE is doing a few Caribbean projects with Princeton Power. (The same Princeton Power who has been the provider of the inverter on all Axions projects.
    Dec 4, 2014. 12:53 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 382: Nov. 22, 2014 [View instapost]
    Drich and Rick-

    I get your point and thank you for the comments. Initially I had thought this would be a good market but became disillusioned over time vs others. I had figured that issue was on the amount of discharge and remember you have limited space to store batteries inside the cab. I thought the slow capacitance was a non-issue for the AGM in this as you would have 10-12 hours of driving daily (supposedly it takes 4-6 hours) where you would use the AGM at night and that the complaints were on a lack of power. Truckers already complain that if the batteries on this system fail it takes about 8 hours to get it fixed due to access issues and get back on the road.

    Maxwell has been testing with large test fleets (200+) for a couple of years now as a cheaper less robust anti idle system and really hit the market in Fall 2013 starting in Canada. They replace the 4 starter batteries with 1 UltraCap and that frees up space for 3 AGM batteries to used to run hotel loads. Therefore you would now have 7 AGM batteries (3 freed up from starting + 4 from Electric APU) which should make the 12 hour break work. My understanding is the cost of the Ultracap is about $800.

    I've read nothing but positive on the Maxwell product.
    Dec 4, 2014. 10:18 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 382: Nov. 22, 2014 [View instapost]
    Freightliner Parksmart is a basically their branded version of the Bergstrom NITE product. The Bergstrom NITE product uses AGMs today.

    There are basically 3 types of technologies today in this market. An Engine APU, a battery powered system such as above and an Electric APU. The electric APU was made by a company called Idle Free which is recommended by Mack and has driven their growth over the past few years. The main complaints from truckers about the battery system is that batteries do not last the full night, the system states 10-12 hours, but if you run any technology such as a microwave, radio, tv you are looking at 6-8 hours and is worse for AC in the summer than heat. Therefore most add an automatic system from Vanner that starts the engine to recharge the battery if/when the voltages get too low.

    In theory the AGM battery should be a better option in this market than the PbC as the issue is not power but energy. The APU needs more energy for a longer period of time not less and in theory should be able to recharge over a longer period of time.

    John- Are you guys going to be at the Green Truck Summit in March in Indianapolis. It seems like it would be a good fit for your crew?

    To be honest I don't think this is a good fit for the PbC.
    Dec 3, 2014. 06:36 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Axion Power Concentrator 382: Nov. 22, 2014 [View instapost]
    Nice find 48. That is a good catch and ruins my thinking.

    In studying the design from my non-engineering view I had thought the same initially however I was convinced that the middle size battery was a 16V AGM as it would be good enough with a LAB for starting and the 16V for hotel loads. It would also make sense as the discussion that when you let off the accelerator you didn't actively brake to capture regenerative braking energy like a tesla does today and acts more like a normal s/stop.

    My belief is that BMW felt that the PbC may be preferred over an AGM in this spot due to its characteristics but was unwilling to pay the difference in price between an AGM and PbC was not needed to justify the price.

    I disagree with Iindy that if a deal was signed with BMW or a battery company it would require a release. It might not as no volume has shipped. I also agree that we would see rumors more than we do and volume increases as people while honest would act upon a tip. I think DDG would also have given more of a generic reference to automotive during the road show/analyst update. He could have easily stated "We are in various stages of testing/collaboration with organizations within or that support the automotive industry and do not comment on them other than to say they are at various stages of timing and development" Even if one was in a no talk period that vague of a statement if it was indeed true would have made the financing 10x easier.

    What I've learned is often what is not said is more important than what is said. Sadly this has been a very expensive lesson for me.
    Dec 1, 2014. 06:02 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment