Seminar - 02082013


Status of Global Lithium Industry and Related Energy Storage Technologies

February 8, 2013
ME Auditorium

James Kaschmitter

Chief Executive Officer
PolyStor Energy Corporation


This talk will provide a perspective on different energy storage technologies and the challenges of commercializing them. Jim Kaschmitter will contrast the relative advantages and deficiencies of each of these technologies. He will review his successful commercialization of lithium-ion batteries, micro fuel cells and supercapacitors, including peripheral involvement in commercialization of Zn-Air batteries in the U.S. and China. He will discuss manufacturing facilities he built for energy storage devices in California, Ohio, South Korea, China and Thailand. The talk will contrast the relative difficulties of commercializing energy storage technologies as compared with other technologies that the U.S. has enjoyed success in, such as semiconductors, software and the internet. Rechargeable energy storage presents a distinct new set of challenges that are somewhat outside of recent domains of experience in the U.S., and present a new challenge, particularly in light of the increasing flight of U.S. talent to non-technical disciplines. Recent reports indicate that there are now 1,000 lithium-ion battery companies in China. Recognizing its strategic importance, and in response to recent U.S. government investments in rechargeable batteries, China's government is making an unprecedented investment in battery technology and manufacturing, particularly for electric vehicles. The speaker will give a perspective on China's rapid progress in this critical area.


Jim Kaschmitter is a distinguished "serial entrepreneur" establishing his first startup in 1972. Following graduate school at Stanford and an early a career in supercomputer and chip design in Silicon Valley, he became a lead engineer for the Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO) "Star Wars Program" at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), with responsibility for fault tolerant computers and image processing. He subsequently co-founded nChip, an early innovator in multi-chip electronics packaging, eventually acquired by Flextronics Corporation. In 1989 he became the power engineer for SDIO's Brilliant Pebbles orbital kinetic kill vehicle where he led pioneering efforts in amorphous silicon solar arrays on flexible substrates, laser-doped SiC power conversion devices, carbon aerogel supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries. While at LLNL he led the development of the solar arrays for the Pathfinder solar powered UAV that were later incorporated into the Helios UAV that achieved an altitude record of 97,000 ft MSL. In 1993 he co-founded PolyStor Corporation, the only domestic company at that point in time to have manufactured Li ion in high volume on U.S. soil with sales to several leading OEMs. He also founded PowerStor (electrolytic supercapacitors) and UltraCell (small portable methanol powered fuel cells).


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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