Power Electronics

Flywheels Gain Momentum in Back-up Power Market

Flywheel-based power systems are considered by some to be an emerging energy storage technology. According to Business Communications Company (BCC) of Norwalk, Conn., sales of flywheel energy systems are expected to rise from $109 million in 2005 to $222 million in 2010.* Recent announcements by manufacturers of flywheel-based power products attest to the fact this energy storage technology is gaining acceptance in mainstream, back-up power applications.

For example, Active Power just announced the shipment of a continuous power system to China for use at the country’s National Olympics being held in Nanjing in October. The system integrates an Active Power CleanSource flywheel UPS, diesel engine generator and transfer switch, all enclosed in a standardized mobile container that allows it to operate in harsh outdoor environments. Control software also is included that allows the user to remotely monitor all aspects of the power system at one central location.

The customer and local utility, JiangSu Power\Nanjing Power Supply Bureau, will use the system to ensure that utility power problems will not disrupt the games’ opening ceremony. “The Active Power continuous power system is well-suited for use at our National Olympics,” said Yu Shou Nan, chairman of the China Electrical Engineering Technology Institute and Civil Engineering Power Supply Experts Committee in Nanjing. “We like having a battery-free containerized solution that we can move around to different locations that isolates us from power disturbances.”

“Our mobile solution is a perfect fit for event power applications such as the Chinese National Olympics,” said Joe Pinkerton, CEO and chairman of Active Power. “These weatherproof units can be located nearly anywhere, be up and running within a matter of hours, and rapidly redeployed to other sites as needed.”

Earlier in the month, Pentadyne Power received an order for seven flywheel power systems from Beaver Aerospace & Defense. The systems are to be delivered between November 2005 and March 2006. The DX-A2 rated order for National Defense Use is the first of a series of purchase orders expected by Pentadyne. These orders will call for more than 500 Pentadyne flywheel systems to be delivered to Beaver over the next few years.

"This demanding application highlights the advanced capabilities of our flywheel system," said Flint Craig, CEO of Pentadyne Power Corp. "We are very pleased to be moving forward with this important program. To be selected for such a high profile national defense application confirms the ultra-reliability of our product."

"We evaluated numerous energy storage technologies and found that only Pentadyne could meet our rigorous demands," said Fred McCrory, vice president of operations for Beaver Aerospace & Defense. "The Pentadyne flywheel system performed in an exemplary manner and exceeded the extremely challenging performance requirements of this application." Pentadyne's commercially available flywheel power system, the VSS 120, provides a stable, reliable, low-maintenance, extended-life dc power source for a variety of applications. *For more on this topic, see “Energy Storage Device Market to Hit $12 Billion by Decade’s End,” Aug. 31, 2005, PETech Times, online at powerelectronics.com/news/energy-storage-market/index.html.

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