For JV Industrial, the majority of power glitches last only seconds, making the flywheel an optimum choice. If the power event lasts more than a minute, the flywheel seamlessly transfers over to the facility’s onsite generator. Based on this and the fact that Avent did not have to maintain and replace batteries, Avent chose to pair an 80kVA UPS with Vycon’s 215 kilowatt flywheel system.
“I was very impressed with the fast switchover time to the generator as well as the quick recharge time of Vycon’s VDC flywheel system. Because we have so many frequent power events, the fast recharge is especially important in order to be ready for the next hit. This and the proven reliability of the flywheel were especially important in our decision,” said Avent.
Since the flywheel was replacing the batteries, it was important that the flywheel did not take up any more space than the battery cabinet and fit size-wise with the UPS. By design, Vycon’s flywheel enclosures match the footprint of UPS systems so mating them together was not a problem. “The swap out of the batteries with the flywheel went very smoothly. With the UPS in bypass mode, the switch out was painless without any downtime.”
Return on investment
The latest flywheel designs sold by world-leaders in 3-phase UPS systems take advantage of higher speeds and full magnetic levitation packing more green energy storage into a much smaller footprint. Thanks to Vycon’s patented flywheel technology, Vycon’s flywheels do not require any kind of bearing maintenance requirements. This is important as some flywheels on the market today require bearing maintenance and replacement to the tune of nearly $10,000 for each flywheel every few years. Plus, bearing maintenance requires the system to be shut down for six to eight hours. The overall cost-benefit ratio of Vycon’s systems is very attractive. As shown in Figure 3, over a 20-year design lifespan, cost savings from a hazmat-free flywheel versus a 5-minute valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery bank are in the range of $100,000 to $200,000 per flywheel deployed.
Figure 3. These figures are based on a typical installation of a 250kVA UPS using 10-year design life VRLA batteries housed in a cabinet. The yearly maintenance for the batteries is based on a recommended quarterly check on the battery health to have some predictability on their availability. These figures don’t include floor space or cooling cost saving that can be achieved by using the flywheel energy storage vs. batteries.
The power hits keep coming
Since the installation of the new power protection system, the flywheel has protected JV Industrial’s data center against 39 power hits in just three months. “Vycon’s flywheel system is going to pay for itself very quickly.” When asked about managing his data center, Avent said, “I can now sleep at night.”
About the author:
Dann McKeraghan is the vice president of sales and marketing for Vycon and has held key positions with power quality leaders such as Eaton, Exide Electronics and Power Distribution Inc. During his career, McKeraghan has been on the forefront of power quality introductions that include harmonic mitigation, transformerless remote distribution for computer rooms and switchable uninterruptable dual bus UPS systems. McKeraghan is a graduate of Northern Michigan University with a degree in planning and design.