GE Expands Uninterruptible Power Supply Portfolio with New Flywheel UPS Solution

October 20, 2016

Alternative to Battery-Based UPS Systems Offers Improved Performance and Total Cost of Ownership in Mission-Critical Applications

System Incorporates VYCON’s Flywheel Technology into GE’s TLE Series or SG Series Uninterruptible Power Supply Modules

ATLANTA — Oct. 20, 2016 — In critical facilities, uptime is essential. When main power becomes interrupted, these applications depend on backup systems to ensure crucial equipment remains up and running. Not all mission-critical facilities are the same, though, and neither are their backup power needs. Adding to its extensive set of offerings, today, GE (NYSE: GE) unveiled a new series of flywheel uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. The new flywheel UPS systems range from 50 to 1,000 kilovolt-amperes and integrate patented flywheel technology from VYCON*, a subsidiary of Calnetix Technologies, with GE’s TLE Series and SG Series UPS solutions. Adding flywheel UPS systems to GE’s range of backup power systems provides flexibility to meet the needs of its mission-critical customers.

In the event of a utility power outage, a UPS keeps electricity flowing to vital systems and equipment until auxiliary generators cycle on. There are two types of UPS systems primarily used by mission-critical customers today — battery UPS systems and flywheel UPS systems. A battery UPS system stores energy and converts it to electricity through a chemical reaction. A flywheel UPS system stores kinetic energy in the form of a spinning disk and is designed for short-time discharge applications. Specific mission-critical applications well suited for GE’s flywheel UPS include data centers, medical imaging, broadcast facilities, transportation facilities, casinos and industrial critical processes.

“There are several advantages to using a flywheel UPS system instead of a battery UPS system,” explained Ray Prince, global product manager for UPS Solutions, GE Energy Connections’ Industrial Solutions. “By eliminating batteries, customers can avoid costs associated with environmental and safety codes as well the expense of replacing batteries every three to five years. Additionally, a flywheel UPS system takes up less space in the power room and can reduce a facility’s overall carbon footprint.”

Additional noteworthy benefits that GE’s flywheel UPS system offers customers include:

  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership: Battery UPS systems require a large temperature-controlled space with spill containment and hydrogen gas monitoring. They have a relatively short service life, high maintenance costs and are subject to fire code permits and hazmat disposal requirements. In contrast, flywheel-based systems have 20 times higher reliability, a design service life of more than 20 years, a smaller footprint and no hazmat issues.

  • Simple and Reduced Maintenance: The VYCON flywheel incorporates a high-speed motor generator and five-axis active permanent magnetic bearings to levitate and sustain the rotor. The fully sealed, frictionless bearings require no lubrication and no maintenance. Additionally, GE’s flywheel UPS can be operated in extreme temperatures without degrading performance.

  • Improved Carbon Footprint: Flywheels provide a 96 percent reduction in embedded carbon emissions compared to lead-acid batteries, based on a typical 1-megawatt requirement and a 15-year operating period. This is equal to approximately 65,000 kilograms of operational and embedded carbon.

  • System Flexibility: Up to six flywheel UPS modules can be installed in parallel to deliver greater power capacity, longer runtimes or redundancy. The flywheel UPS also can be integrated with batteries — with the flywheel providing the first line of defense for short-duration outages.

  • Real-Time Monitoring: GE’s iUPSGuard cloud-based remote monitoring solution provides UPS and flywheel status monitoring and alarm notifications. iUPSGuard notifies personnel of critical alarms and events via email or text message, allowing a user or GE technician to make timely decisions and repairs.

“Our flywheel energy storage technology is field-proven,” said Frank DeLattre, president of VYCON. “We have deployed more than 1,200 of these systems worldwide with a total of over 16 million discharge cycles.”

The flywheel UPS systems are backed by GE’s worldwide service organization with 7x24x365 support. The same service technician will service the GE UPS module and flywheel when needed.

To learn more about GE’s backup power solutions for mission-critical applications, including its Flywheel UPS system, visit

*VYCON is a registered trademark of Calnetix Technologies.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About Energy Connections

GE Energy Connections designs and deploys industry-leading technologies that turn the world on. We transport, convert, automate and optimize energy to ensure we provide safe, efficient and reliable electrical power. Uniting all the resources and scale of the world’s first digital industrial company, we connect brilliant machines, grids, and systems to power utility, oil & gas, marine, mining and renewables customers, that keep our world running.

About Calnetix Technologies

Calnetix Technologies, LLC (“Calnetix”), headquartered in Cerritos, Calif., is focused on Innovation That Drives Industries. The company specializes in high-performance, high-speed motor generators and best-in-class advanced magnetic bearings and control systems. Calnetix’s patented, underlying technologies, which have been in use since the company’s inception in 1998, have made Calnetix a world leader in the design and production of high-speed machines. The company’s overall technology portfolio and system integration capabilities have led to development and production contracts with industry leaders and the start of many successful subsidiaries that focus on unique niche markets. For more information, please visit