Caterpillar, Active Power Renew Flywheel Deal

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Active Power, Inc. (ACPW), which makes flywheel UPS systems, has renewed its global distribution agreement with its largest OEM partner and customer, Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT). The new three-year contract continues the previous agreement, with enhancements to reflect new products and pricing. As part of the distribution agreement, Caterpillar will continue to market Active Power products under the Caterpillar brand and as a complement to its own product line.

In 2007 revenue from Caterpillar and its dealer network represented 31 percent of Active Power’s total revenue. Last November Caterpillar placed a multi-million dollar order with Active Power for 11 900kVa flywheel UPS systems for a large Virginia data center. A flywheel is a spinning cylinder which generates power from kinetic energy, and continues to spin when grid power is interrupted.


In 1999 Active Power and Caterpillar partnered to develop and market a fully integrated flywheel based UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system. In August 2000, Active Power signed a multi-year worldwide distribution agreement with Caterpillar, allowing the company to market Active Power’s CleanSource UPS solution under the “CAT UPS” brand name.

“Today’s announcement reinforces the importance of Caterpillar’s business relationship with Active Power,” said Jim Clishem, president and CEO of Active Power. “This renewal agreement is a solid example of how we want to maintain and strengthen all of our various sales channels as the company continues to grow. Caterpillar and its dealer network are a key part of Active Power’s global growth strategy to market our energy efficient, economically green backup power solutions to an increasingly informed and receptive audience.”

Active Power has shipped more than 1,700 flywheels in UPS systems since it was founded in 1992.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.