Beacon Power's Flywheel Energy Technology Sees Use In California

System replaces lead-acid battery backup systems.

Published: 29-Jan-2001

WILMINGTON, Mass., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Beacon Power Corporation (Nasdaq: BCON), an energy technology company that provides power reliability solutions using high-technology flywheel systems, has installed two Beacon Power model 20C1000 flywheel energy storage systems (FESS) to provide standby power for one of San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) telecommunications customers, Cox Communications. The flywheel system replaces an existing battery-powered back-up system. Beacon's 20C1000 flywheel is the first non- battery powered back-up system that offers a dependable, long-lasting and cost-effective alternative to lead-acid battery back-up systems.

"As part of San Diego Gas & Electric's goal to provide our customers with the most reliable and environmentally responsible energy solutions, we identified flywheel energy storage systems as an emerging technology with great potential," says Jim Corlett, manager of commercial and industrial technologies for SDG&E. "We chose Beacon Power's flywheel as part of this advanced technology trial. In this specific application, the flywheel's are providing standby power for a telecommunications customer until an on-site generator can be started, should an extended outage occur. We were pleased at how smoothly the installation went and commend Beacon's customer support group for their professionalism and excellent service and support."

"This is an ideal use of our 20C1000 system," stated William E. Stanton, president and CEO of the Beacon Power. "Our units offer improved reliability and longevity versus battery systems, resulting in better performance and an improved return on investment to the customer. They also provide significant environmental advantages compared with lead-acid battery systems. We are pleased that a forward-looking utility such as San Diego Gas & Electric chose our units for this important application trial."

Beacon's flywheel energy storage systems provide highly reliable power via a composite flywheel rotating on near-frictionless magnetic bearings within a vacuum chamber. When primary power is lost, the flywheel 's stored mechanical energy is instantly and automatically converted into reliable electrical power, allowing operations to continue without interruption. The 20C1000, designed specifically for the telecommunications and broadband cable industries, provides up to 1.0 kW of continuous electrical power and, at reduced power, can effectively support user operations for 8 to 10 hours.

Beacon's FESS offers a number of benefits compared to conventional lead-acid battery systems, including highly reliable, maintenance-free performance; remote monitoring to ensure certainty of operation; stable performance over a wide temperature range and through thousands of charge- discharge cycles; and more rapid recharging than conventional batteries.

About Beacon Power Corporation

Beacon Power Corporation designs, manufactures, and markets advanced flywheel technology products that provide reliable electric power required by the information economy. Beacon Power is the only company to have developed a flywheel made from proprietary composite materials that can store and deliver the energy needed for long-duration backup of remote communications sites. Beacon is initially targeting this $4 billion communications segment of the $12 billion power quality and reliability market with products that offer significant advantages over environmentally hazardous lead-acid battery back- up power systems, including higher reliability, longer life, reduced maintenance, quicker recharging, remote monitoring and environmental friendliness.

For more information, please contact Harvey Wilkinson at Beacon Power Corporation, 978.694.9121; fax 978.694.9127; email; or send mail to 234 Ballardvale Street, Wilmington, MA 01887. Visit Beacon Power on the Internet at

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