American Flywheel Systems Acquires Percentage of Trinity Flywheel PowerAugust 13, 2000 by Jeff Shepard
American Flywheel Systems Inc. (AFS, Seattle, WA) announced that it has acquired 58 percent of Trinity Flywheel Power (TFP, Livermore, CA) for an undisclosed price and has introduced new capital and management into the company. In addition, Trinity is now taking orders for up to 225kVA super-fast recharge UPS and ride-through systems, with deliveries commencing in 2001. According to AFS, these are the first flywheel systems that can handle not only initial power anomalies from the utility grid but are also capable of protecting the digital economy from rapid successions of both minor and major sags and spikes. This capability is a result of TFP's bore-loaded, composite flywheel rotor and ironless motor generator, which can discharge and recharge completely in 10 to 20 seconds. The company plans to accelerate chemical battery, nonbattery and other flywheel ride-through solutions by infusing both capital and technology into TFP's flywheel ride-through and UPS systems, according to AFS and TFP Chairman and CEO Edward W. Furia. Advantages of the high-power ride-through systems include recovery times that are up to 100 times faster than other UPS, the ability to double as power flow management units, and they are small cool-running systems that do not require placement in individual battery rooms or equipment sheds.AFS and TFP President and COO Joel Levinthal explained, "Our strategy is to occupy the middle ground between sub-low-speed steel flywheels, now around 8,000rpm, and experimental super-high-speed carbon fiber flywheels, targeted for 90,000rpm to 100,000rpm operation. We operate our composite flywheel at 40,000rpm, which means we don't have to push the envelope. Our rotor has also undergone extensive independent safety tests conducted by Test Devices Inc. for the US government that shows it operates within a generous and reliable safety margin."