GE Adds Flywheel UPS Series

GE has expanded its uninterruptible power supply (UPS) portfolio with new flywheel UPS solution.

GE has released a new series of flywheel uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems that range from 50 to 1000 KV-amperes.

The new flywheel UPS also integrate patented flywheel technology from VYCON, a subsidiary of Calnetix Technologies, with GE’s TLE Series and SG Series solutions. Adding flywheel UPS systems to GE’s range of backup power offerings provides flexibility to meet the needs of mission-critical customers, the company said.

In the event of a utility power outage, a UPS keeps electricity flowing to vital systems and equipment until auxiliary generators cycle on. There are two types of UPS systems primarily used by mission-critical customers today — battery and flywheel UPS systems. A battery UPS system stores energy and converts it to electricity through a chemical reaction. This solution can provide backup power for several minutes or hours, depending on the system, until an auxiliary source of power is switched on. A flywheel UPS system stores kinetic energy in the form of a spinning disk and is designed for short-time discharge applications.

“There are several advantages to using a flywheel UPS system in certain mission-critical applications,” said Ray Prince, global product manager for UPS Solutions, GE Energy Connections’ Industrial Solutions. “By utilizing a flywheel UPS, customers can avoid costs associated with storing and replacing batteries. Additionally, a flywheel UPS system takes up less space in the power room and can reduce a facility’s overall carbon footprint.”

Flywheel-based systems also have greater reliability, longer service life, a smaller footprint and no hazmat issues when compared to battery-based systems, GE said.

The VYCON flywheel incorporates a high-speed motor generator and five-axis active permanent magnetic bearings to levitate and sustain the rotor. The fully sealed, frictionless bearings require no lubrication and little to no maintenance. Additionally, GE’s flywheel UPS can be operated in extreme temperatures without degrading performance.

Flywheels provide a 96% reduction in embedded carbon emissions compared to lead-acid batteries, based on a typical 1 MW requirement and a 15-year operating period. This is equal to approximately 65 000 kg of embedded carbon, GE said.

Up to six flywheel UPS modules can be installed in parallel to deliver greater power capacity, longer runtimes or redundancy. The flywheel UPS also can be integrated with batteries — with the flywheel providing the first line of defense for short-duration outages.

“Our flywheel energy storage technology is field proven,” said Frank DeLattre, president of VYCON. “We have deployed more than 1 200 of these systems worldwide with a total of over 16 million discharge cycles.”


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