Active Power Gets $10 Million Flywheel Order

An Active Power PowerHouse unit providing containerized power infrastructure for a modula data center.

Flywheel specialist Active Power has received a $10 million order from one of the leading power distributors in Switzerland, marking the company’s largest single order to date in terms of dollar value. The deal with Net Powersafe is for power infrastructure equipment to support a large enterprise customer opening a new data center campus in Switzerland.

The order consists of 10 CleanSource 1000 kVA UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems, totaling nine megawatts of total rated UPS capacity. Active Power will also provide six Active Power GenSTART generator starting modules and six standby diesel engines rated at 3.15 MVA each. The equipment will ship during the course of the second and third quarters of 2012 and will be installed soon after delivery.

“Our CleanSource UPS technology is well suited for large scale datacenter environments as it maximizes the system’s inherent benefits,” said Martin Olsen, vice president and general manager, Global Sales and Business Development, for Active Power (ACPW). “The system provides industry leading energy efficiencies and high availability in a demand scenario, but is also extremely power dense which resonates with end users who manage large IT environments. This frees up white floor space that the end user can dedicate to additional server equipment.”

Flywheels are an alternative to using batteries in a data center UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system. A flywheel is a spinning cylinder which generates power from kinetic energy, and continues to spin when grid power is interrupted. In most data centers, the UPS system draws power from a bank of large batteries to provide “ride-through” electricity to keep servers online until the diesel generator can start up and begin powering the facility. See our video demonstration of how a flywheel works.

Who is the customer? Active Power isn’t saying. But one possibility is Yahoo, which has been a major user of Active Power equipment and is opening a new data center in Avenches, Switzerland.

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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.

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