Feeds

Mag-lev flywheel UPS firm says shipments speeding up

Spins composite whirly-power as wave of future

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A company making magnetically-levitated composite fibre flywheels spinning in vacuum bottles at 50,000 rpm claims it has just shipped its 500th unit. Pentadyne Power Corp also announced proudly that a mag-lev whirlywheel it sold to NASA in March 2004 - one of its first deals - has now racked up 35,000 hours operational.

"These two significant milestones occurring within a few days of each other underscores the rapid and growing acceptance of our product in the marketplace," boasted Pentadyne levitating spin kingpin Mark McGough.

The flywheels, in case you haven't guessed, are used as an alternative to batteries for storing energy in uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems.

Pentadyne chiefs reckon their tech needs much less maintenance and downtime than batteries. They say it also holds energy more efficiently than an ordinary steel flywheel system, because the Pentadyne composite masses are stronger and can be spun much faster, more than making up for the loss of mass (kinetic energy being proportional to the square of velocity).

This also allows for a comparatively small footprint. Finally, the mag-lev bearings mean that friction losses are minimised and the kit doesn't draw much power in order to stay topped off.

For longer-term backup, a UPS user still needs a generator; but Pentadyne say that flywheels alone will deal with short outages or blips in grid power supply, and can hand off to a generator after it fires up.

The company certainly seems to have landed some prestigious customers: not just NASA but the US Defense Department, which is buying 500 mil-specced flywheel backup systems for "homeland security [and] military defense applications" during the next few years.

At last, a story with IT angular momentum. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Lenovo to finish $2.1bn IBM x86 server gobble in October
A lighter snack than expected – but what's a few $100m between friends, eh?
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone
News of the Weird: Screen-rotating technology declared unpatentable
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.