Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thank Galaxies

TGIT - Thank Galaxies It's Thursday

I was watching a TV show about the universe on the History Channel. Scientists have, since the time of Newton, used mathematics to model the physical world. Much of the modeling has been to describe motion and gravity. Einstein developed the notion of Space-time surfaces that warp in the presence mass. Einstein did not subscribe to the notion of an expanding universe even though his math supported this phenomenon. In order for the big bang theory to hold, there has to be this initial state where all the four fundamental forces (gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear forces, and weak nuclear forces) were all combined in a single force. When the big bang occurred the gravitational force was the first to split and break away from the other three forces. Soon thereafter the three other forces also split apart. An observation that led to the unified force theory and the initial inflation after the big bang is that most of the outer universe has the same temperature. This can only be explained in that the initial inflation (Guth's theory) occurred at a speed faster than the speed of light. This is very scary stuff and makes my head spin.

All this physics is fine, but we still have the basic inflation problem of high energy prices on planet earth billions of years after the big bang. Physicists and chemists are trying to develop nano-systems to store more electrical energy so we can use less gasoline and deploy plug in hybrids. This company in Texas (EEstor) claims to have an ultra-capacitor that can store enough electricity to allow an automobile to travel 500 miles. All of this energy is claimed to be placed into the ultra capacitor in five minutes. The rate the electricity is transferred exceeds 1 Mega Watt, so don't rush to buy one of these gizmos as you will need 10,000 amp service in your home at 110 volts. The typical home has 100 to 200 amps of service. If the ultra capacitor short circuits we could reenact the Big Bang right here in planet earth.

A much more likely technology for hybrids and plug in hybrids will be lithium batteries that recharge in three to four hours and let you travel a distance of approximately 100 miles. The recharge rate will be limited by the electrical service that PG&E has connected to your home. I am now doing an hour long radio show on Wednesdays at noon on blog talk radio. Last week I opined on the technical possibilities of the lithium batteries and how they may be the winner of the $300 million prize John McCain has proposed to leapfrog current automotive technology to gain increased fuel efficiency. The show can be heard either by calling on the phone at 347 838 8999 or using your computer to go to

One final word, our neighboring town of Mill Valley, California recently hired a sustainability consultant to guide the city on green policy. The consultant will be paid $30,000 a year. I say Tiburon – Belvedere where I live should leapfrog Mill Valley and let me consult to our town councils and make 94920 the greenest Zip Code in the nation. Maybe I could even run for mayor and my campaign slogan will be “Be Green Vote Leveen”.


  1. "If the ultra capacitor short circuits we could reenact the Big Bang right here in planet earth."
    Would you really get an explosion rivaling the Big Bang? NO. Even close? NO. Look chief, overhead transmission lines operate at upwards of 800kV and they don't blow up when they're shorted, why would a 3.5kV cap?

    No doubt it'll be dangerous and a bad idea to hang around if it does short out but COME ON now, get serious.

  2. The 5 minute recharge is only at a service station where you'd be using another capacitor to charge your own or switching them out. The regular home charge would take several hours, but would be very practical. Please check your information before posting slander/libel. When the product is released it will pass all safety standards (obviously).

  3. Near instantaneous discharge of an entire "tank" of energy (52 KWH the de facto standard for this initial EEstor offering) would clearly be a very, VERY, BAD thing. Supposedly, the design of the ESU makes that much less of an issue.

    As to 5 minute re-charges.
    So many get this wrong.
    The ESU is, essentially, a capacitor.
    With very little internal resistance.
    Making it *CAPABLE* to charge or discharge nearly instantaneously.
    LIMITED BY THE SUPPORT (charge / discharge) electronics, rather than the capacitor.

    As whatsyourevidence commented, 5 minute recharges would only be possible at "service stations" designed / capable of the very high power rate. Charging at home would obviously take substantially longer, on the order of hours - "over night" .

  4. Ladies and Gentlemen, please prepare to be educated! The EEstor will fully charge up in 3 to 6 minutes by having an "ultracap" in your garage dump its power into the "ultracap" in the vehicle. You will not need to go to a service station and the EEstor unit in the garage can be fully charged using a standard 110 or 220 volt outlet, no special power requirements needed. ALSO, the EEstor in the vehicle can be charged by a 220 volt outlet in about 2 hours and even with a 110 volt outlet in about 4 hours. These are the claims made by ZENN motors.

    ZENN Dealer

  5. I can only express a word of thanks! Nothing else. Because your topic is nice, you can add knowledge. Thank you very much for sharing this information.
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