Energy storage system converts heat to backup power

A new energy storage technology that provides extended runtimes of lead-acid batteries without the typical shortcomings of these cells has been developed by Active Power, Inc.


A new energy storage technology that provides extended runtimes of lead-acid batteries without the typical shortcomings of these cells has been developed by Active Power, Inc . The manufacturer of battery-free backup power products announced its thermal and compressed air storage (TACAS) technology will be incorporated into its newest offering, CleanSource XR, which will be available as an alpha prototype unit late this year.

CleanSource XR (left) incorporates thermal and compressed air storage technology to provide extended runtimes without the shortcomings of lead-acid batteries. Standard thermal storage unit supplies 15 min. of backup at full power, 2 hours at low power. Rated at 85 kW per system, the unit supports 100 k VA/80 kW UPS system. Output is 360-540 V dc. The product will begin shipping as an alpha unit late this year.

The product stores energy as heat and compressed air. During a utility outage, compressed air is routed through a thermal storage unit to acquire heat energy. Heated air spins a simple turbine-alternator to produce electric power. Air exiting the turbine is below room temperature and can be used to cool the protected load. Tanks that store the compressed air become cold during discharge and absorb ambient heat that can be converted into additional backup power. System also features a small, continuous-duty flywheel that handles small fluctuations in power and, in the event of an extended outage, supports the critical load during the brief period required for the air turbine to reach full speed.

According to Joe Pinkerton, chairman and CEO of Active Power, the product “transforms what customers don’t want—heat in their data centers or telecom huts—into the reliable backup power they do want.”

TACAS technology is expected to be competitive in cost and footprint with the lead-acid batteries used almost universally in UPS systems, says the manufacturer, but without the HazMat or other environmental issues associated with these cells. The new system will handle the same range of ambient temperatures and step-loads as the company’s flywheel-based products, and provide up to 15 min. of backup power at full load. The system can be configured to provide up to several hours of backup power for lighter loads.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, Senior Editor

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me