Mar 17, 2010

Another HHO scam/pitch or good 3R's of battery tech?

I was forwarded a email regarding a 'secret' battery technology from 'Rob Matthies'. (full linked here)
Nearly every week for the past decade I have been sent information on the 'next perpetual motion machine' or 'energy storage device'... most in the long run prove only that the inventors of the technology were simply wrong about laws of physics, thermal dynamics or energy loss by scale and application (i.e. lost in translation).

But, every now and then the underdog of energy is mentioned - 'R3'
That is an idea that Reduce, Reuses and Recycle (R
3) is the best sustainable energy.

Nothing is more true in eco or economics, than ...'what we do not waste we do not have to produce'.
And due to translation loss, it always takes more energy to produce, store and transfer it. Therefore 'R3' will always trump even free energy if we continue to not reuse our waste streams. It is fairly basic math... And on the first pass of this 'buy my invention email, I quickly realized he had 'just another HHO, A.K.A 'browns gas' unicorn power source (he calls his "secret sauce").... yet when I read, I look for the 'good in everything'   Regardless if Mr. Matthies battery claims are proven or disprove in the long run, he provides inarguable 'R3' facts regarding batteries. Sure he is has the typical HHO, 'browns gas' things muddle up for 'experts and engineers' to try to completely disregard his ideas, but when he is right, he is sooo right. Facts they can not argue without grossly ignoring costs or laws of thermal dynamics:
  • There are massive cost, resource and longevity issues with current lithium-ion batteries to prove even remotely sustainable from a raw material and recyclable stand point.
  • At current energy rates, nearly all forms of 'electrical storage' can not return on cost of initial investment over lifespan, maintenance and longevity costs... even with heavy upfront and annual subsides (ouch).
  • Traditional batteries and earth batteries are VERY underrated and offer more hopes than delusions when incorporated into a battery exchange, ultra capacitor and dense core methodlogies.
Here are the reference points Rob Matthies makes in his rant:
Vancouver Gadgeteer of the 'Revived Battery' electric vehicles
Regarding 'Revived Battery':
ROB'S OPINION OF LITHIUM-ION BATTERY PACKS FOR EV'S ­The price is too high. The replacement cost to run my pickup truck on Li-on is $40,000. Furthermore, a Li-on pack might last only 2 years. Worse yet, is the nightmare of tiny sensor wires needed to monitor individual cells, or group of Li-on cells in the pack. Then, there is the unperfected Battery Management System ("BMS") required for each pack. Yes, there are a few companies who have almost all the problems solved, but they haven't brought out a "universal" Li-on battery pack, with a matching, internal BMS, at affordable prices.  
ROB'S OPINION OF SABOTAGED LEAD ACID BATTERIES ­ Here's something you probably didn't know: Lead acid batteries, which are dirt cheap, can have 4X to 10X more capacity, but the big manufacturers aren't selling the high performance models any longer.   Here's a second example: There is a genius battery re-builder, now in Asia due to his frustration with his own US home, who has converted lead acid batteries to contain ten times more energy. His electric vehicles powered by modded SLA batteries do incredible burn- outs. However, he has been hounded out of the electric vehicle community because everybody expected this genius to simply give everybody his knowledge for free. I hope we will soon see boatloads of affordable hyper-powered lead acid batteries coming out of China and Singapore with his technology. These hyper-powered lead-acid batteries, similar to Hawker's Genesis batteries made in the US, can provide Li-on energy densities at slightly-higher-than lead-acid battery prices.  
ROB'S VIEW OF NO-WEAR NEW LEAD-ACID BATTERIES ­ Most flooded and gel batteries wear out after several hundred charge/discharge cycles. Except for one brand, which kept it original capacity for 1,000 cycles, even without my battery revival process. All batteries could be just as wear-proof, if the manufacturers wanted to sell 'em to the public; or, the batteries age prematurely due to less-than-perfect charging cycles. Who mandates these battery charging cycles?  
WHAT KILLS BATTERIES? I learned that not all battery charger companies use the industry-standard charging pattern. At least one brand of battery chargers was able to make batteries last 2X to 6X longer, simply because its charging curve didn't conform to the industry-suggested standard charging pattern. And vise- versa, I found an expensive, highly-regarded, battery- charger that killed a battery in less than 10 cycles. This experience made me realize that there could be an industry conspiracy to make sure that we keep on buying batteries needlessly. Even the CBS' 60 Minutes ran a documentary on how the AA alkalines were originally invented to be rechargeable, but the manufacturers purposely made them non-rechargeable. 
...opt for marine batteries when their OEM (original equipment) batteries die, because the marine batteries will live some 4X longer than the factory original. Here in British Columbia, there are retired fishermen who know how to make lead acid batteries last 30 years on their boats.
a 500W electric scooter that has an ultra-capacitor capability that makes the 500W electric motor perform like a 3000W electric motor, for those steep hills.
BAD NEWS.  WITHOUT BATTERY REVIVAL, EV's ARE TOO COSTLY On a per-mile basis, an electric scooter's battery replacement cost is higher than buying gasoline. This economic disparity is the real hurdle for electric vehicles and off-grid solar-powered homes.
Here's the calculation: A 50cc two-stroke gasoline scooter requires $3 worth of gasoline every 100 kilometers. (Don't believe anybody who tells you otherwise.) On an electric scooter, on a worst case scenario, the cost is $20 per 100 kilometers. Based on several Zenn electric car owners who contacted me, the battery replacement cost is $50 per 100 kilometers. For comparison, the gasoline cost for a Nissan Sentra is only $6 per hundred kilometers. However, with battery revival, your replacement cost is zero? Never buy another battery. For $300, you can get the equipment, supplies, and knowhow to revive all kinds and sizes of batteries. You can even turn this into a business, if you like, especially in third world countries and remote islands. The good news is that a few people with knowhow, like myself, never have to buy another lead acid, alkaline, or lithium battery in this lifetime. 
BAD NEWS. EV COMPONENT DEGRADATION NEEDS "SECRET SAUCE" EVERY 2 YEARS ­ Did you know that EV's with individual hub motors were running in Germany in around 1880 or so? You'll find them in the Porsche museum. However, components today will degrade unless you apply a "secret sauce" to them, as NASA does on its space satellites. Proof? Just look at the number of 3 to 4 year old scooters for sale, at huge markdowns, in Craigslist. They no longer perform adequately, even though, as the ads state, they have "new batteries". Good news: The component degradation is reversible, inexpensively.

TAKE ACTION ­ WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET ELECTRIC VEHICLES BACK ON THE ROAD? I suggest the following actions: Do not trust any large manufacturer's possibly-sabotaged information or products. Buy your products and e-books from the small guys and gals who have a proven track record of cutting-edge performance. If you want a durable EV, you must be modify several components, which is not hard to do. Be a Man! Be a Tinkerer! Be a Gadgeteer! Don't be afraid to fix almost all those failing electronic items, like I do, with my "secret sauce".  
REASONS TO OWN AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER OR ELECTRIC CAR An electric bike or scooter makes economic sense if you're now paying for parking meters or for-fee parking lots, e.g. downtown. If you don't need a car, the purchase of an electric bike or scooter, will save you about $6,000 per year. Furthermore, the authoritative book by Terry Taminen,"Lives Per Gallon" states that the fumes from a gasoline car are slowly killing you, the driver, or passenger. What is your life worth? ­ 
RELATED SUBJECT MATTER ­ I am able to revive all batteries except cell phone and lap top batteries. "All" includes even single-use Lithium coil cells, despite the declaration by Battery University and Scientific American that Lithium batteries cannot be recharged. And now here is his pitch... (sorry I can not post sales pitches, but you can read it here)  
Haase - After you 'google' Mr. Matthies and fall into 'the great EV conspiracy theory'. Filter out the noise and obvious 'browns gas' issues and reflect by what is right in his data as it applies the the entire battery and EV market. Even the extra buttons on my calculator prove Rob's math on traditional batteries more right than wrong ;-)