UPS with no downs

5 July 2002

A new supply protection device that it is calling 'a fundamental breakthrough in mechanical battery technology' is being offered by Advance-Galatrek. The CleanSource DC flywheel is marketed in conjunction with Active Power, and is designed to provide a compact, high efficiency alternative to conventional battery cabinets and racks.

CleanSource accepts an input voltage between 400 and 600 V dc, and is offered primarily as an alternative to the sealed lead acid (SLA) and Ni-Cad batteries normally used to support uninterruptible power system (UPS) installations. Its advantages over battery systems are seen by its makers as compactness, lower life-cycle costs, greater temperature tolerance and being almost maintenance free at 45 minutes per year for routine maintenance.

The device stores energy in a steel flywheel running a dc generator. Used in conjunction with a UPS, CleanSource is designed to bridge a power break or disturbance until a local standby generator comes into operation. The installed UPS depends on the CleanSource system to provide its DC power supply, until the generator starts and synchronises. A single CleanSource unit can be used to power several UPS units, and so can represent a cost-effective solution. Alternatively, if longer support times are required, two or more CleanSource systems can be connected together in parallel. The system can also be used to partner UPS installations that already utilise a conventional chemical battery. In this situation, the CleanSource unit is able to reduce the initial 'on-demand' load strain experienced by a battery set. This, in turn, helps to increase battery life, by reducing the number of partial battery discharges.

The CleanSource DC flywheel features microprocessor control, with meter functions, set points, alarm logs and built-in self-diagnostics. Each unit also incorporates remote monitoring, using a local serial connection or modem. Options include CSView software, which provides real time display and event logging, combined with remote monitoring and control, using a local PC or network.

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