SatCon's Technology Center Selected for Development of High-Power Shipboard Power Converters

Company to develop components as part of US Navy program to develop All-electric ships.

Published: 09-Jan-2001

SatCon Technology Corporation(R) (NasdaqNM: SATC), a leader in power and energy management products, announced today that the U.S. Navy has announced awards to develop and demonstrate a new shipboard power plant distribution concept called the Integrated Power System (IPS). The program is intended to lay the groundwork for the electric plant architecture for future "all-electric" ships. The contractor team awarded the program includes General Atomics, Gibbs & Cox, Inc., and SatCon Technology. Under the planned $2.7 million subcontract from General Atomics, SatCon is scheduled to complete the detailed design, initial build and manufacturing planning for the modular, high-power converter assemblies and controls that are the major building blocks of the system. SatCon will design 100kW and 300kW modular, interleaved, electrical power converter and control assemblies that will be combined in the system to handle up to 3 megawatts of turbine generated power. The IPS program, which is expected to transition to full-scale demonstration by the end of 2001, will require full-scale hardware for two complete electric plant distribution systems, one of which will be outfitted in a sea-going research vessel.

"This is a significant opportunity for SatCon and another example of the rapidly growing need for distributed power systems," said David Eisenhaure, SatCon's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Distributed power reaches beyond land-based alternative power generation systems and is becoming pervasive across industrial and transportation systems as well, including shipboard applications. The work we will be doing under this Integrated Power System builds off our proprietary, modular powerchip technology developed for the Navy's Power Electronic Building Blocks program and is an extension of the work we are applying to the commercialization of power converters for fuel cell distributed power generation systems, hybrid-electric vehicles, and high-power UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems. Under this IPS program, the Navy will be funding, and accelerating, the further commercial development of SatCon's interleaved, high-power power switch technology and proprietary control architecture to complement our own ongoing efforts to develop smaller, low-cost, high-power electronics for commercial applications."

"Another reason for its significance," continued Eisenhaure, "is that the Navy has structured this IPS program to provide opportunities to companies that are non-traditional suppliers of hardware for ships, but offer innovative technology and a strong commitment to commercialization. As the program advances, we will be building electronic components at our automated facility in Marlborough, MA. Our Magmotor division will be building the passive components and, with Ling Electronics as a distribution source, SatCon can position itself to become a supplier of advanced ship power converters to support the Navy's future `all-electric' ship vision, as well as other commercial transportation and power management applications."

SatCon Technology Corporation manufactures and sells power and energy management products for distributed power generation, telecommunications, silicon wafer manufacturing, factory automation, aircraft, satellites and automotive applications. SatCon has three operating segments that contain six divisions. Under the Electronics Products segment, Advanced Fuel Cell Power Products manufactures and sells power conversion products for fuel cell and other power generation systems and Film Microelectronics, Inc. designs and manufactures standard and custom microelectronic circuits and interconnect products. Under the Motion Control Products segment, Magmotor manufactures standard and custom high-performance motors and magnetic suspension systems and Ling Electronics manufactures shaker vibration test equipment, power converters, amplifiers and controllers. Under the Funded Research and Development segment, SatCon Electronic Power Products performs contract product development for power electronics including hybrid and electric drivetrains, and the Technology Center is responsible for new technology and product development. Our affiliate, Beacon Power Corporation, is developing flywheel energy storage systems for uninterruptible power and power quality management. For further information, please visit the SatCon website at

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