New UPS System Uses Flywheel

Two companies in the United States will develop a 250 kW uninterruptible power supply.

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, US, 2001-05-08 <> SatCon Technology Corporation and Beacon Power Corp will collaborate on the UPS to be launched later this year. The unit will include a steel flywheel from Beacon, power conversion electronics from SatCon, controls and grid interface, and a commercially available diesel, natural gas or dual fuel generator. “We believe there is a growing market for these kinds of systems,” says SatCon president and CEO David Eisenhaure. “We see the problems some places are having with power reliability and, in today’s economy, businesses just can’t afford to be without power.” The unit will be marketed to customers such as manufacturing plants, communication nodes, financial services providers and hospitals who need a compact and reliable solution to offset line faults. The venture will also develop a scaled-up product in the 2 MW range. Assembly will be performed at SatCon’s manufacturing facilities in Worcester, Massachusetts and Anaheim, California. The goal is to offer a system that can provide reliable power of high quality at a lower cost than current steel flywheel UPS systems. When electricity is interrupted, the flywheel provides power for several seconds until the generator is automatically started. The power from the UPS is synchronized and conditioned to provide seamless transition to the on-site generation. SatCon manufactures products for distributed power generation, fuel cells and other applications. Beacon manufactures advanced flywheel technology products. The market for power backups at remote communications sites is estimated at $4 billion, and UPS is considered to offer significant advantages over lead-acid battery back-up systems, including higher reliability, longer life, reduced maintenance, quicker recharging, remote monitoring and environmental friendliness.


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