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Beacon Power develops flywheel systems for utility-scale power storage.
They also develop solar inverter systems.
"Smart Energy flywheel-based systems are designed to store up to 25 kWh at the unit level, and megawatts for minutes at the utility-grade matrix level.
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Solar Inverter Systems
Our new Smart Power M5 series is a family of battery backup photovoltaic power conversion systems that offer field-tested performance with high efficiency and reliability for grid-connect applications.
Beacon Power Corporation was founded in 1997 as a spin-off of SatCon’s Energy Systems Division, to develop flywheel-based energy storage. We became a separate operating entity in 1998, and became a public company in 2000 (Nasdaq: BCON). Our first flywheel systems were deployed in multiple locations in North America for telecommunications backup power applications. As the telecommunications market slowed, we applied our technology to UPS and higher power applications, leading to the Smart Power and Smart Energy systems.
Realizing the synergy between flywheel energy storage and solar power, in 2003 we acquired the intellectual property assets of Advanced Energy Systems of Wilton, New Hampshire, a manufacturer of photovoltaic (solar) power conversion systems. Today, as we continue to explore new applications for flywheel energy storage, we have launched a new line of solar power electronics products, beginning with the Smart Power M5.
Marketing Strategy / Stage of Development
- "Rather than marketing its flywheel-based energy storage systems to utilities, the company plans to build its own merchant flywheel plants that move power on and off a power line to stabilize the grid.
- "Beacon Power's flywheel storage systems are programmed to zero out frequency fluctuations by recycling energy: an electric motor uses excess grid power to accelerate magnetically levitated carbon and fiberglass flywheels to as high as 22,500 rpm, then discharge that stored kinetic energy by regenerating the electricity when the grid frequency dips. Unlike batteries -- the leading competitor in energy storage -- Beacon's flywheels can withstand continuous deep cycling without losing capacity.
- "The most recent test of its technology, a four-month trial begun last week at Pacific Gas and Electric's San Ramon research center, employs seven 6-kilowatt-hour flywheels, each the size of a small refrigerator, ganged together to form a system that can absorb or discharge 100 kilowatts of power for 15 minutes. For commercial systems, Beacon Power is building 25-kilowatt flywheels the size of tall refrigerators, which would be combined in clusters to deliver 1 to 20 megawatts." 
In the News
- Storage > Flywheels > Beacon Power >
Stronger, More Cost-Effective Flywheels for Grid Storage - Beacon Power is now working with U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) on the development of a next-generation of flywheel storage. The new flywheel storage system is expected to be able to store 4 times as much energy as present flywheels, and at one-eighth the per kilowatt-hour cost. (EcoGeek; Oct. 4,2010)
- Beacon Flywheel Plant Approved by New York PSC - Beacon Power Corporation announced that the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has granted the company a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for its proposed 20-megawatt flywheel frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, New York, and approved the project's overall financing. (Renewable Energy World; Oct. 21, 2009)
- Grid / Beacon Power >
Beacon Power Tests Megawatt of Flywheel Storage - Beacon Power has built and tested an integrated matrix of ten high-power flywheels that when operated together can absorb and supply a full megawatt (MW) of electricity for 15 minutes. (Renewable Energy World; Sept. 22, 2008)
- Making Electrical Grids More Efficient - Rather than marketing its flywheel-based energy storage systems to utilities, which move notoriously slow in adopting such innovations, Beacon Power Corp plans to build its own merchant flywheel plants that move power on and off a power line to stabilize the grid. (MIT Technology Review; Aug. 10, 2006)
- Beacon Power Provides Demonstration Energy Storage System - Beacon Power Corporation has been awarded a contract from Bechtel Bettis, to design and deliver an advanced flywheel-based power system demonstration unit. (Renewable Energy Access; April. 1, 2005)
- BeaconPower.com contact page includes email contacts, address, phone.
- Beacon Power Corporation
- 234 Ballardvale Street
- Wilmington MA 01887
- (978) 694-9121
- (978) 694-9127 Fax
- (888) 938-9112 Toll Free
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