Dynapower Helping To Power eVTOL Aviation Revolution


In a nondescript building adjacent to the Burlington International Airport and minutes away from Dynapower’s manufacturing facility in South Burlington, Vermont, a quiet aviation revolution is underway. Kyle Clark and his team at Beta Technologies are fast at work developing a battery-powered electric airplane that could revolutionize global aviation and personal transportation.

Dynapower is helping power that revolution with its energy storage power electronics.

Battery-Powered Airplanes

Electric battery-powered airplanes are widely viewed as the next great leap in aviation technology. They burn no fuel and more importantly emit no emissions. In the past 150 years, carbon dioxide levels have risen 35%, and aviation has heavily contributed to that rise. A single person traveling on a roundtrip flight from New York to London generates the same greenhouse gas emissions as heating a single residential home for a year. 3 billion people fly annually. The International Civil Aviation Organization estimates that by 2050, aircraft generated emissions will triple in volume. Clark and his team at Beta could help change that course.

“I’d like to take that 9 percent of carbon emissions that are produced by aircraft and make that zero,” Clark said in an interview with VT Digger. “I’ve got four little kids; I really don’t want to destroy this world.”

Beta founder Kyle Clark preparing AVA for flight.

Beta is not alone in its chase to fully electrify aviation. Google, Uber, Boeing, Airbus, and Raytheon are all developing fully electric battery-powered airplanes. While many of them are still in the theoretical stage or in non-manned flights, the AVA XC, Beta’s first iteration of its plane, has been flown by Clark dozens of times both in Burlington (KBTV) and Plattsburgh, New York (KPBG).

AVA’s Advanced Capabilities

Unlike traditional planes, AVA has the capability to vertically land and takeoff. Its magnetic rotors rotate to propel the 4,000 lb aircraft up, down and forward. The plane built mostly of carbon has two redundant battery packs totaling 124kWh. “We built AVA as much to learn as anything,” says Clark, whose team have been designing, building, and testing at a breakneck pace over the last twenty-four months.

Under construction now in Beta’s company’s workshop is a craft that will be twice the size AVA and able to go twice the distance. It will have a wingspan of under 50 feet and will be able to fly 290 miles before recharging. Clark expects the eventual commercial version to cost the same as a conventional six-seat propeller plane — $1 million. Beta’s planes are being built to transport cargo first, and then passengers.

At Beta’s office, engineers — some of whom have worked for the likes of GE and Twitter — design behind laptops around a communal table. 3D printers hum feet away generating prototype parts and airplane models. Across the room test pilots and computer programmers run simulations of the aircraft in development. A separate Beta facility mills parts and prototypes carbon propellers.

Flying Cross Country

Clark and the Beta team are preparing to fly AVA across the country this summer. A monumental task of coordination and aviation that doesn’t phase Clark. The lofty goal for the plane and Beta’s client whose funding much of the project is to create an electric battery-powered plane that will spirit human organs across the country for emergency transplants as part of a nationwide network of hospitals. Clark points to a map of over a dozen hospitals who’ve signed up already up and down the east coast.

Plane Charging Stations with Dynapower

In order to achieve the long term aims of the project, Clark and his team must not only develop the battery-powered electric plane and meet rigorous FAA safety standards in doing so, but they must also develop a charging station to charge and recharge the planes’ batteries. “It is here where Dynapower is providing critical support in both supplying equipment and expertise,” says Clark, a former Dynapower electrical engineer himself.

Illustration of Beta’s eVTOL charging station.

Dynapower is supplying Beta with DC/DC converters and energy storage inverters as part of Beta’s charging station. The Beta collaboration is a project near and dear to Dynapower’s Director of Energy Storage Chip Palombini. “Being a pilot myself, it is incredible to see the strides Beta has made in such a short period of time,” says Palombini.

Dynapower DPS-250 DC/DC converters integrated into Beta’s eVTOL charging stations.

Clark and the Beta team have built a mobile charging station in a former tour bus to power AVA’s charging. The bus is outfitted with Dynapower power electronics, and expandable roof for AVA to land on. While at the other end of the airport a team is building a prototype of the permanent charging station — the first of which will be deployed outside Beta’s offices in South Burlington a short distance away from the public air terminal.

Each charging station is constructed of a group of shipping containers. A landing pad spans several containers which will house everything from the actual charging station itself complete with batteries and Dynapower power electronics to quarters for the pilots to rest as required by FAA rules, and facilities for small airplane repairs. The modular structure assembles much like an erector set and is designed to be easily be transported by tractor-trailer without special permits.

“The stations can be grid-tied, tied to solar or wind and operated as a microgrid, or both,” says Clark, noting that when the stations are not in use the stored energy could be sold and fed into the local grid to offset expenses of operating the station and the planes. “Dynapower’s power electronics help provide us with that flexibility.”

Christian Bailey, a pilot who co-founded a venture fund called Curated Innovation in Cambridge, Massachusetts told VT Digger that Beta is unique among eVTOL startups with its goal for long-range flight.

“I was kind of stunned to see those shipping container battery packs (and power electronics),” said Bailey, who visited Clark’s company in November. “They can drop those things across the U.S. and allow one of these crafts to cross the whole country without ever needing to go to an existing (base), and certainly nobody else in the space is doing that.”



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Helping to Power the Copper Mining Industry

Adam Knudsen, Dynapower President, and Abdoul Diallo, International Sales Manager, visiting ASARCO in Tucson, Ariz.

This week Adam Knudsen, Dynapower President, and Abdoul Diallo, International Sales Manager, visited ASARCO in Tucson, Ariz. to discuss future projects.  A subsidiary of Groupo Mexico, one of the major copper producers in the world, ASARCO’s copper refinery process is powered by Dyanpower’s high power rectifier.

Dynapower is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of chopper and thyristor rectifiers for mining and electrowinning applications. Most electrowinning units consist of a tank, pump, and rectifier, making Dyanpower a key piece of the process. Copper ores are placed in the tank and electrolytic solution is pumped in. Dynapower’s rectifier shocks the tank with electrical current, and the ores come together to form large plates ready for market.

One of the world’s most important natural resources, copper appears in a wide range of applications from cookware, to plumbing, to roofs. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that every American born in 2008 will use 1,309 pounds of copper during their lifetime for necessities, lifestyles and health. Dynapower uses a great amount of copper in its own equipment.

Copper also plays a significant role in sustainable energy innovation, due to its superior electrical and thermal conductivity. Up to 50,000kW of primary energy is saved over the life cycle of a system for each additional kilogram of copper used. Furthermore, copper can be 100 percent recycled with no loss in performance.



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Dynapower and Raychem RPG Advance Indian Storage Market

This week Adam Knudsen, Dynapower President, joined partners from Raychem RPG in India, at the Renewable Energy India Expo, Asia’s largest and most influential event in the renewable energy market.

Dynapower and Raychem RPG joined forces in May to bring Dynapower’s energy storage inverter technology to India and neighboring SAARC countries. “Dynapower’s differentiated technology such as its patented Dynamic Transfer, their focus on solutions, and aggressive growth mindset aligns perfectly with the Raychem RPG business model,” said Ramani Kasi, Raychem RPG President & CEO.

Since partnering, Dynapower and Raychem RPG commissioned India’s first 1MW microgrid at the Central Electronics Limited (CEL) solar-photovoltaic (SPV) cell manufacturing facility in Sahibadad, Uttar Pradesh, India. The project is a locally controllable power system composed to distribute generation combining solar and diesel gensets alongside energy storage connected to the main grid power system.

The CEL project was a central talking point at the Energy India Expo, where Knudsen cut the ribbon for Raychem’s booth alongside Nitin Sharma, Raychem RPG Vice President and Business Head Solar & Energy Storage, to begin the tradeshow.

“The project should run both in on-grid mode, as well as grid-forming mode, which is when the grid is not available, and still provide the best possible high quality, uninterrupted power, which is really critical. We’re extremely happy, the project is working well, and we had support from Dynapower,” Sharma said.

Knudsen not only met with partners at Raychem RPG, but also connected with other emerging renewable energy companies, to talk about DC-DC energy storage. “It’s great to see the excitement around the energy market here in India. We’re excited to introduce energy storage to the Indian market and hopefully impact people’s lives by providing clean and reliable energy,” Knudsen wrote back to Dynapower in an email.

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Passing of Dear Friend and Colleague Ken Ziemann

Ken Ziemann, our colleague, and friend passed away on August 9th. He was 62 … far too young to leave so soon. Ken had a long and amazing work life, virtually all of it spent in the world of large electrical equipment. He was a rare breed and we are proud that he spent his last years with us — his Dynapower family.

He leaves an amazing legacy. His memory as well as drive to keep every bit of information on design, test, and construction of his work is known by all who knew and worked with him. Drawings, designs, proposals, even test reports, were kept and cataloged. It is always amazing to learn their value now. We continue his tradition today; designing and building the next generation of high power transformer rectifiers.

Ken traveled the world, always willing and ready to go wherever the job required. He relished the opportunity to be with customers, many times knowing them for decades. Recently we learned of an opportunity to upgrade equipment that is 30 years old, still running but in need of modernization. Of course, the original equipment was designed, built, tested and started in the field by Ken. He had a deep passion for his work. He was proud of his designs and loved watching the team build what he designed, always there watching, teaching, making sure it was done right. His name was on every transformer, every big rectifier, and he was proud of that.

It was well earned.

A work ethic like what Ken brought every day is hard to find. He lived in actions, showing his team hard work and dedication — every day, day after day.

We will remember him.

We will miss him.

We will continue to value what he brought to us every day.

And, we thank him and his family for the time he spent with us.

and the entire Dynapower family.

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Dynapower Launches DC-DC Converter Partner Program For Central Solar Inverter Manufacturers

Dynapower, the leading independent manufacturer of power electronics for energy storage, is pleased to announce the introduction of a DC-DC partner program for central, solar inverter manufacturers. The program enables participating central, solar inverter manufacturers to include Dynapower’s patent-pending DC-DC converters as part of their utility-scale offering.

Dynapower was the first to commercially deploy DC-DC converters in utility-scale solar plus storage application, and received the 2018 ees Award (Electrical Energy Storage) Innovation Award for its DC-DC converters.

Dynapower’s parallelable 250kW and 375kW DC-DC converters are proven to improve project economics for utility-scale solar owners. The DPS line increases energy production, and enables PV energy to be a time shifted for peak demand events… A recent NREL report cites DC-coupled approach as the most economically advantageous solution for utility-scale solar plus storage.

“We’ve had a tremendous response to our DPS line of DC-DC converters from solar developers and installation owners. We want to be sure that our technology is available to as many customers as possible so we can help accelerate the deployment of utility-scale solar, in the transition to a more sustainable grid,” said Chip Palombini, Director of Energy Storage.

Benefits of the program for participating central inverter manufacturers include access to Dynapower’s patent-pending DC-DC converter technology, OEM channel pricing, and engineering support for DC-coupled utility-scale solar plus storage projects. If you are a central solar inverter manufacturer click here to learn more.

Dynapower’s DPS-250 and DPS-375 can be paralleled to 3MW, and are available as part of a fully-integrated BESS. They have been deployed in installations in Florida and North Carolina and will be deployed in numerous other installations nationwide this year. “This is a very exciting time in solar plus storage,” said Palombini.

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AC vs. DC Coupling For Solar Plus Energy Storage Projects

NORTH AMERICA currently has tens of gigawatts of installed utility-scale PV generation with many more gigawatts under construction. Utility-scale solar will only reach its fullest financial and energy generating potential with the addition of energy storage, however. The majority of utility-scale PV base could expand energy production and increase revenues with the addition of energy storage. Choosing the right topology is critical to maximizing the impact of coupling energy storage with utility-scale solar installations.

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Dynapower DC Converters Awarded 2018 ees AWARD at Electrical Energy Storage Europe

This week Dynapower was awarded a prestigious innovation award at the Electrical Energy Storage conference in Munich, Germany for our DPS line of DC-DC converters for utility-scale solar plus storage. The 2018 ees AWARD recognizes Dynapower’s innovation in energy storage with the introduction last year of the first commercially deployed DC-DC converters for utility-scale solar plus storage in the United States. The DPS family of DC converters reduces the costs of coupling energy storage as well as increases energy production of utility-scale solar arrays to maximize installation economics.

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Dynapower & Raychem Announce Technology Licensing Agreement

Dynapower and Raychem RPG are pleased to announce they have executed a technology transfer and licensing agreement to bring Dynapower’s energy storage inverter technology to India and neighboring SAARC countries. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently hailed energy storage of solar energy in India as, “[the] next big technological revolution.”

“Dynapower is proud to work alongside Raychem RPG to help realize this revolution,” said Peter Pollak, Dynapower CEO. “For over 50 years we have deployed our power electronics around the world and pioneered the development of energy storage inverters, including the first UL-1741 listed smart inverter. We are excited to bring our technology and know-how to India as well as the SAARC countries as part of the agreement”.

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Dynapower & Viridity Enter Master Supplier Agreement

The First 40MWs of Energy Storage Bound for New Jersey as Part of Agreement

Dynapower, a global leader in energy storage, is pleased to announce it has reached a master supplier agreement with Viridity Energy Solutions, Inc. to supply inverters and fully-integrated energy storage systems for utility-scale and behind the meter energy storage projects.  The first projects Viridity chose Dynapower for are two 20MW/20MWh stand-alone in-front-of-the-meter battery energy storage installations in New Jersey scheduled to come online in 2018.  These projects totaling 40MWs were designed and will be financed, constructed, owned and operated by Viridity.

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Dynapower Deploys First DPS-250 DC-to-DC Converters

Dynapower Company, the world leader in energy storage inverters and converters, is pleased to announce the first deployments of its patent-pending, UL-listed DPS-250 DC Converters in utility-scale solar plus storage projects in the Southeastern United States. The deployment of the DC Converters at three project sites are with two of the nation’s largest independent power producers.

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