Renewables, fuel cells, hydrogen, and efficiency
Ken Novak's Weblog
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Battery investor roundup:
"A123 Systems Inc., a Watertown, Mass.-based battery maker today raised $40 million in Series D funding [making] it the sector’s best-capitalized company, having raised a total of around $102 million since being founded in 2001. General Electric Commercial Finance led the round, with other return backers ... The only new investor was Duracell maker Procter & Gamble...
A123 Systems makes lithium-ion batteries.. A123 products are non-combustible and “do not release oxygen if exposed to high temperature or in the event of battery failure or mechanical abuse.” .. Its initial contract was for a line of Black & Decker power tools, but more recently signed a deal to help develop battery packs for General Motors’ upcoming line of plug-in hybrid vehicles (most current hybrids use nickel-metal hydride)... [US] Army venture arm OnPoint is [an investor] so that soldiers can carry lighter battery packs that won’t catch fire if pierced by shrapnel.
A quick search of the Thomson VentureXpert database shows that ten lithium-ion battery companies have raised VC funding in the past two years. The second-largest raiser after A123 is Golden, Colo.–based Infinite Power Corp., which scored around $35 million in Series A funding from firms like Applied Ventures, Core Capital Partners, D.E. Shaw, Polaris Venture Partners, In-Q-Tel and Springworks. Next up was Boston-Power, which raised nearly $25 million (at a $60m post-money valuation) from firms like Gabriel Venture Partners, Granite Global Ventures and Venrock Associates." 12:45:32 AM
Friday, January 26, 2007
Wireless Telemetry Growing to $25.3bn by 2009, as Enterprise Wakes up to Real-Time Efficiency Savings:
"wireless telemetry (or AMR – Automated Meter Reading) will [grow] -
according to industry analysts Juniper Research - with revenues rising
from $11.6bn in 2006 to $25.3bn by 2009. According to Juniper, the substantial rise in revenues - expected to
quadruple by 2011 to $40.8bn - will contrast with limited growth in
telematics from $6.4bn to $11bn in the same period – owing to current
widespread usage in many commercial vehicles due to legislation. Other
outlets including security and surveillance, highway and public
transport signs, and health care will show encouraging signs rising
from a cumulative low of $2bn in 2006 to over $9bn by 2009." 11:59:01 PM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Ford launches plug-in hybrid with hydrogen fuel cell:
Jan 2007: "Ford launched a hydrogen-fuelled, battery-powered plug-in powertrain concept in the new Airstream concept vehicle this week at the North American International Auto Show. The system, trademarked HySeries Drive, is powered by a 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack at all times and has a range of 25 miles on a full electric power. Once the battery pack is depleted by about 40%, the hydrogen-powered fuel cell begins generating electricity to recharge the batteries, increasing range by another 280 miles, for a total driving range of more than 300 miles. ..The HySeries powertrain reduces the size, weight, cost and complexity of a conventional fuel cell system by more than 50%, and also promises to more than double the lifetime of the fuel-cell stack...
"You could take out the fuel cell and replace it with a hydrogen or diesel internal combustion engine," [the chief engineer] explained. "And instead of a six- or eight-cylinder engine, I could use a considerably smaller three- or two-cylinder engine as an auxiliary power unit to recharge the battery pack."" 8:51:58 AM
Monday, January 08, 2007
GM introduces a concept car with hybrid drive and a 40-mile battery. Plans to introduce by 2010. 10:21:27 AM
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Wal-Mart promotes CFLs:
More info about WalMart and compact fluorescent lightbulbs. An example of how irrational consumer choice is, by seeing how easily it's manipulated by merchandising; and how both environmental and economic results are far from optimal in a "free" market. "Wal-Mart sold only 40 million [CF bulbs] in 2005, compared with about 350 million incandescent bulbs..
At the same time that it pressured suppliers, Wal-Mart began testing ways to better market the bulbs. In the past, Wal-Mart had sold them on the bottom shelf of the lighting aisle, so that shoppers had to bend down. In tests that started in February, it gave the lights prime real estate at eye level. Sales soared.
To show customers how versatile the bulbs could be, Wal-Mart began displaying them inside the lamps and hanging fans for sale in its stores. Sales nudged up further.
To explain the benefits of the energy-efficient bulbs, the retailer placed an education display case at the end of the aisle, where it occupied four feet of valuable selling space — an extravagance at Wal-Mart. Sales climbed even higher.
In August 2006, the chain sold 3.94 million, nearly twice the 1.65 million it sold in August 2005.." They need to double again to hit 100m in a year. 11:58:00 PM