STATE of SPACE CHARGE LLC May 17, 2021
Space Charge LLC investigates Energy market needs, and researches and develops novel technologies to address fundamental solutions for electrical generation and storage. The company offers these technologies as intellectual property to applications developers.
A “virtual” company, per its original cast, with an investor, CEO, and principal researcher. Contracted labor and/or joint venture partners, academic institutes, US National Labs, and partners in marketing and fundraising, fill out the team.
Its core competencies include market problem identification, needs assessments, primary and programmatic means to address identified energy inadequacies, deep experience and knowledge of technical means, to accomplish those outcomes and decades of experience in technological projects. It establishes credibility in these competencies through peer-reviewed papers and broad intellectual property capture, and through third-party verification of prototypes.
Space Charge LLC’s core team identifies unserved or underserved fundamental Energy market areas, conducts market and technical research in those areas, builds broadly applicable technological solutions, and implements programs to take those solutions from concept to commercialization.
The core team consists of three partners, and employs up to thirty full-time researchers in three teams in expanded development. The company employs contractors, teams, ad hoc virtual teams, and longer-term partnerships, as appropriate.
Space Charge LLC has designed, developed, and secured intellectual property in broadly applicable fundamental technologies in energy generation and storage.
In , it has developed a wafer fabricated, solid-state, direct thermionic transistor — currently at prototype Technology Readiness Level 4 (TRL 4). Optimized, that device holds potential to largely replace internal combustion engines (ICE) and power turbines within the foreseeable future.
In , it has developed a wafer fabricated, solid-state Nanobattery capable of depositing directly into integrated circuitry as part of the circuit itself, with potential to significantly change the cost, deployment, size, autonomous operation, and waste-heat reduction of semiconductor electronics. A rugged ceramic, capable of operating in environments ranging from the vacuum of outer space through the depths of the deepest oceans, in optimized form it will exceed any lithium chemistry battery in energy density, power density, flexibility, and affordability. It can provide bases for full autonomy in inductively-charged systems and networks on a chip.
We see these technologies as the parents of advanced industries, and as means to alter the global energy equation in a clean, universal, and compelling manner.
The Thermionic Wave Generator (TWG)
The device embodies as a wafer-fabricated vacuum transistor. That thermionic transistor forms part of a larger block of control circuitry that tells it what (AC/DC) to produce, frequencies, voltages, and where to direct the conducted transit.
This embodiment includes thermal coupling for emission, and inductive coupling for takeoff. It can operate singly for small electrical purpose, or ganged via high-temperature circuit blocks, depending on the application.
Using standard practice, one of the high refractory semiconductor ceramics, such as silicon carbide provides the substrate for single-wafer, monolithic fab.
A fabricator can serve as a strategic partner.
Because of its scalability, we can also look to manufacturers for whom this innovation would provide major business outcomes. These include the already known aircraft applications for propulsion, as well as other transport such as cars, buses, trains, and marine applications. This also includes robotics for the same reason that it would appeal to aircraft manufacturers — that is, autonomy, scalability, low-maintenance, high power density, and the usual suspects.
Building demonstrable prototype, and extended network of providers and potential clients.
Completing R&D on the TWG, to the point of a TRL 6 beta to a beta prototype of interest to potential investors. Monolithic fabrication of the entire device of silicon carbide or some similar material eliminates need for a separate enclosure. This beta prototype needs a means to demonstrate capacity to optimize. This likely consists of exterior access to the acceleration grid in order to boost voltage.
Third-party testing of results for verification.
Perform an initial optimization to derive power from the takeoff to the exterior world. These include means to gang and control the transistors (so-called “control blocks”), and a power supply for boosting grid voltage (initially external, but in optimized form, part of the same thermal-energy-derived source).
This includes — at least in detailed concept — thermal source based on combustion. We should include one simple buildout (BOP) for demonstration purposes, to run, for example, a stationary or portable power tool.
Prior to and during this fabrication stage, we simultaneously explore (1 to 1, and/or webinar) potentially interested parties, including Airbus, other transport (especially 2-wheeled transport), as well as robotics companies (incl. medical exoskeletons) and power tools companies. These companies become alliance/partners/ investors/ joint venture relations.
Research Scope, Alternatives, and Vision
After exhaustive examination of all forms of energy generation and storage, our R&D emerged from increasing recognition of the value of so-called Distributed Generation vis-à-vis so-called Smart Grid approaches, and wafer fabrication versus legacy machined parts, as the most effective means to high power-density combined with low cost and low maintenance, ease of manufacturing capitalization, safety, redundancy, portability, and flexibility.
Moving Forward Synergistically
Consolidate and strengthen intellectual property,
Review and continue development of our alpha prototype into a wafer fabricated, scaled beta prototype that includes exterior access to control grid.
Identify and engage resources for a vacuum wafer TWG in silicon carbide or a similar substance.
Build strategic relationships, and acquire investment capital.
We engage technological partners in fabrication and application-ready means to characterize best materials for optimization of the TWG. This could take the form of a joint venture(s) of mutual benefit to both parties. We produce at least one device-type for use in simple, illustrative, applications.
As an example, we have had in-depth discussions over a period of weeks with executive vice presidents representing Airbus — all of them under the aegis of the Airbus CTO, and all at their request. They have represented that when we are able to demonstrate our prototype in silica, they have an open door for us. Under general NDA, they have also written strong support for funding.
Momentum & Acceleration
Building momentum and accelerating development, via strategic relationships, provides effective means for attracting capital investment — whether from the strategic partners themselves, or from others who see the buildup, and want to participate.
Space charge LLC has designed and developed a variety of storage and generation methods, ranging on the storage side from capacitors and super capacitors through pseudocapacitors, before committing to the current ceramic Nanobattery. The company has also patented textured surfacing of electrolyte in supercapacitors, though not a current direction.
Likewise in generational technologies, we experimented with hot-rod quasi-turbines, alkaline concentration cells (in which we replicated the so-called Pluto Express, designed by JPL to power the NASA spacecraft on the Pluto mission) and other variants on concentration cells, while exploring and experimenting with direct thermal to electrical conversion, before settling on a wafer-fab vacuum thermionic model.