Bellcore Flywheel Forum

Subject: UFTO Note – Bellcore Flywheel Forum
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 10:06:41 -0800
From: Ed Beardsworth

| ** UFTO ** Edward Beardsworth ** Consultant
| 951 Lincoln Ave. tel 415-328-5670
| Palo Alto CA 94301-3041 fax 415-328-5675

Attached is a draft proposal received this morning from Bellcore for its Technical Forum on Flywheel Requirements. (See earlier UFTO note Jan 28).

Additional details would be provided in the final, if and when outside organizations express serious interest in participating. Their present understanding is that the funding fee will be $50K per participant. It would probably be OK for several organizations to join as a “team”, entitled to one collective vote in any “standards forum”.


Bellcore Technical Forum Flywheel Energy Storage System Specification Work Proposal for Initial Generic Requirements

Short-duration backup power for telecommunications systems has traditionally been provided by lead-acid or Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries. These batteries are susceptible to temperature, and can potentially cause disasters (service outages plus significant damage to equipment and personnel) under certain circumstances. A new energy storage technology that can eliminate most of the problems associated with batteries are Flywheel Energy Storage Systems (FESS) or electromechanical energy storage. However, this technology is in its infancy, and no requirements or standards on their performance, safety, installation, deployment, and use exist.

In addition, no guidelines or experience exists vis a vis its long-duration (20 years) in below-ground deployment. The Project described by this Proposal has as its goal the generation of an initial set of proposed incremental Generic Requirements (GR) to allow a FESS to operate and be integrated into the telephony outside plant network as a replacement for the conventional electrochemical (VRLA) batteries. The FESS will supply backup power to a communications load within the network. It may be installed at a remote site such as in the vicinity of a Controlled Environmental Vault (CEV), Electronic Equipment Enclosure (EEE), or pedestal in the outside plant environment, ranging in nominal sizes from 10 W to 10 kW, and capable of providing between 1 to 8 hours of reserve; i.e. reserve capacity possibly ranging from 10 Wh to 80 kWh.

The FESS is intended to be used as a direct battery replacement and needs to be “maintenance-free” with a life of at least 20 years in the harsh outside plant environment. In addition, the FESS is expected to be buried below ground besides CEVs, EEEs, and pedestals, and minimal construction, concrete or masonry work, is desirable at these sites. The units need to be efficient, reliable, and immune to environmental conditions of the outside plant. Modular sub-systems are desirable as they facilitate maintenance, are field replaceable, and provide graceful growth. At a minimum the GR should address the following:

– Safety – below-ground deployment, maintenance, testing, and use
– Performance and reliability – system, device, component
– Installation – emphasis on below-ground procedures
– Maintenance – routine and corrective
– Graceful planning – methods to support graceful growth.

The primary deliverable will be generic requirements document entitled Generic Requirements for Flywheel Energy Storage Systems for Telecommunications Applications, to be completed in December 1997. Successful completion of this Project should be viewed as a springboard for future work items which are not included in the scope of this Proposal. Bellcore currently has a 5 kWh above-ground FESS which is operational at its Chester, New Jersey Research and Engineering Center. A 100 Wh above-ground FESS will soon become operational.

During 1997 Bellcore hopes to install at least one other FESS, below-ground, at its Chester Lab. Experiences gained with these operating systems will provide valuable information regarding heat dissipation, reliability, maintenance, special problems, and other areas that relate to the suitability for telecommunications deployment. In addition, during 1997 Bellcore will compile information on FESS technology as it relates to telecommunications applications, focusing on below-ground installations and covering the following areas:

– Size and shape comparisons with batteries
– Heat dissipation
– Placement
– Installation and deployment
– Maintenance requirements
– Monitoring and alarms
-Integration into the power train of broadband power nodes and sites
– Economics
– Pricing and availability
– Accelerated life testing
– Reliability and mean time to failure (MTTF)

Lessons learned from this work will help generate the generic requirements for below-ground FESSs. This Project will also consider requirements extrapolated from existing relevant Bellcore documents, such as TR-NWT-000766, Generic Requirements for Valve Regulated Lead Acid Batteries [Issue 1, October 1, 1991]. Bellcore convened a symposium on the subject of employing FESS in telecommunications in July 1995 in San Diego, and held a safety forum on FESS on November 15, 1995 at Bellcore’s facility in Chester, New Jersey.

A major objective was to discuss the need for the FESS alternative, as well as the new Generic Requirements process, and the opportunity for direct industry funding and participation. Wherever feasible, relevant specifications of outside standards organizations will serve as references. However, it is anticipated that exclusive reliance on standards groups and other industry forums would result in procedures that would take longer to achieve than the accelerated 9-month time-frame planned for this project.

This time-frame depends upon the cooperation of all funding participants in the work of the Bellcore Technical Forum (BTF) and related process under which the requirements work is to be performed and involves variables which are not within Bellcore’s control. However, although Bellcore does not guarantee completion within the time frame, it is Bellcore’s objective to complete the requirements in question within that time frame and funding participants under this Proposal agree to cooperate in achieving that objective.

——- Bellcore reserves the right to withdraw this Proposal and to terminate its efforts with respect to the anticipated generic requirements, without incurring any liability to anyone, should there be in its opinion insufficient industry interest in funding participation in this Proposal and the related Bellcore Technical Forum efforts.

Bulletin #23 – Ames Lab “Road Map”

UFTO Bulletin #23

June 12, 1996

To: UFTO Members:

. . in this issue: . . . . . . . . .

Ames Lab “Road Map” Underground Radar Brasil

1. Last week I visited Ames Lab, a different kind of DOE lab at Iowa State University. It started in the 1940s developing methods to purify uranium. Much of the funding comes from Energy Research/Basic Energy Sciences Office in DOE. The headcount is hard to determine, because there’s such a high degree of overlap with the university and its various centers, but in round numbers figure about 400 FTEs and upwards (counting grad students). The annual budget is about $30 million. As the smallest lab in the DOE system, they produce results and win awards in disproportionate numbers, and have the lowest overhead rates of any DOE lab.

They have unique capabilities and expertise in a number of interesting areas, including magnetic materials and applications, rare earth materials (they produce most of the world’s research grade supply),thermoelectrics (and TPV–thermo photovoltaics), ash characterization and use, biomass, coal cleaning, NDE , and fluidized bed combustion (FBC) operations and troubleshooting. They’ve got a monitor to measure carbon in ash, and an alkalinity monitor for gasifier diagnoses.

Also, some unpublished ideas for a new class of high temperature corrosion resistant coatings (needs a demo partner and a little funding). Also high strength conductors — 10 times the tensile strength of Cu, at 80% of the conductivity. [Wouldn’t this be interesting for transmission lines? No more temperature sag limits? Increased tower spacing? Not to mention high-speed generator rotors, and magnetizer coils, and other applications where strength is an issue?] These opportunities are virtually untapped.

If you want to jump on any of these topics before I return from vacation, Call Todd Zdorkowski, 515-294-5640, Email:

2. Following up on one of the discussions at the Tampa Meeting on the “process” of dealing with the labs, you’ll find enclosed a copy of “Road Map to Technology”, which Virginia Tong at Com Ed sent to me as she said she would. (Thanks, Virginia!) Chapter 6 and some of the Appendices look as though they might be particularly useful.

3. Underground radar — some of you are interested in this, for locating buried pipes, cables and obstacles. Our new member KEURP is sponsoring work (an EPRI TC) at the University of Kansas, Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Lab, with the goal of detecting pollutants underground. The professors and grad students have built a test facility, and have a detailed computer model of the entire system (antenna, ground layers, scatterer). They appear to have a very complete grasp of the field and all the other programs and players. Contact Prof. Richard Plumb, 913-864-7395

4. If your company is looking at utility acquisitions, Power System Research Inc. (PSRI) in Rio is very close to and knowledgeable about power systems and privatization issues in Brasil and throughout Latin America. See the web site at

As you know, I’ll be out of the country and completely out of touch with the office from June 13 to July 13 , on vacation in Brasil visiting family and friends and ending with a 10 day river boat tour on the Amazon. We’ll go 200 mi. upstream from Manaus on the Rio Negro. Wish us luck with the piranhas.

Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion Study

DOE Seeks US Power Company for Adv. PFBC repowering design study

Commerce Business Daily 4/13/96

The DOE is seeking a volunteer U.S. power industry electrical generation company interested in participating in a site specific study to develop a conceptual design for Advanced Cycle 2nd Generation Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion (PFBC) technology as a coal fueled repowering concept at the actual power industry company’s electrical generation site.

The site should be well-suited to such a repowering. Site selection preferred characteristics should align to the following: (1) Coal – Fueled Plant, (2) Currently Operating, (3) Subcritical Steam Plant, (4) 100 TO 300 MWe Single Unit Capacity or multiple units with combined capacity in this range, and (5) Medium to High Sulfur content in Fuel. The DOE and power industry participant will visit the site and develop lists of the necessary information about the plant, operations, fuels, and regional economics to allow preparation of the evaluation.

The DOE will work with the participant company to develop generation production costing evaluations to establish the capacity factor for each option for the unit dispatched using the host participant’s particular operating environment. This will be used to develop meaningful yearly projections of expected use, allow evaluation of the number of start-stop cycles avoided because of the improved dispatch with the repowering technologies, and to develop industry-method-based economic comparisons of the options. The DOE will develop a conceptual design and economic evaluation using procedures familiar to electrical generation company planners. The DOE will evaluate the technical requirements for equipment/plant compatibility as well as the economics and schedule requirements for a repowering project. Advantages and practical aspects of repowering will be determined. Issues such as remaining equipment life’ demolition requirements, spare parts requirements, permitting, and dispatch requirements will be addressed.

All power company participant information will be conducted under policies that would provide strict nondisclosure of information these companies identify as being ”company proprietary information.” The power plant site will not actually be modified, but sufficient detail will be developed to show the feasibility of upgrading the participant’s site to Advanced Cycle 2nd Generation PFBC technology.

A final report summarizing all study activities will be prepared and submission of a technical paper for publication on this work, and attendance at a conference is suggested by the DOE.

If your company is interested in a volunteer partnership with the DOE to develop a conceptual design for High Efficiency Advanced Cycle 2nd Generation PFBC technology as a repowering concept, please respond in writing providing background information about your company along with information regarding the proposed repowering site (e.g., coal fuel type, limestone/dolomite availability, repowering unit size (MWe)).

To be considered for this volunteer partnership your response must be received no latter then 4:00 P.M. EDT on May 3, 1996. All questions concerning this matter should be addressed to Mr. Robert Travers at (301) 903-6166, DOE Office of Fossil Energy.