Richard

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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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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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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First Storage-Only Certified Smart Inverter

South Burlington, VT – Dynapower, the global leader in energy storage inverters, and Intertek, a leading provider of quality solutions to industries worldwide, are proud to jointly announce that Dynapower’s MPS-250 is the first storage-only energy inverter to be confirmed by Intertek to meet the UL 1741 SA requirements for a “smart” inverter.

Compliance with this standard ensures that Dynapower’s MPS-250 smart inverter is California Rule 21 and Hawaii Rule 14H compliant through development of advanced inverter features. This was achieved by Dynapower through the use of Intertek’s SATELLITE™ Data Acceptance Program.

“Dynapower has always been on the forefront of energy storage inverter technology and we are extremely pleased and proud to receive confirmation from Intertek that our MPS-250 inverter meets the UL 1741 SA draft requirements,” said Chip Palombini, sales manager of the energy storage group at Dynapower. “Working through the Intertek SATELLITE program enabled Dynapower to have full control over the timeline of the compliance process.”

“Intertek is proud to work with global leaders like Dynapower to advance the energy industry through smart inverter functionality, enabling PV integration and improving grid resiliency, crucial steps toward smart grids and smart cities,” said Sunny Rai, Vice President of Renewable Energy at Intertek. “Dynapower’s storage-only energy inverters are the first confirmed by Intertek to meet the UL 1741 SA draft requirements, and they achieved this through Intertek’s SATELLITE program, which allows manufacturers to run more efficient compliance programs.”

In addition to the smart inverter features required by the new standard, Dynapower also incorporated Dynamic Transfer as a standard feature into the Generation 2 MPS-250. Dynamic Transfer enables a “backup power” mode of operation for energy storage systems.

About Dynapower

Dynapower is a global leader in the design and manufacture of power conversion equipment including high-power rectifiers, energy storage inverters, microgrid control systems and transformers. Dynapower provides power electronics solutions for energy storage, industrial, mining, military, and research applications. With more than 53 years of experience providing power electronics solutions to a global customer base, Dynapower’s product range includes discrete power electronics and fully integrated systems ranging from 100 kilowatts to 36 megawatts. Dynapower has more than 300 MW of the company’s high reliability, energy storage inverters deployed worldwide. For more information, visit: www.dynapower.com.

About Intertek

Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide. Our network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 40,000 people in more than 100 countries, delivers innovative and bespoke Assurance, Testing, Inspection and Certification solutions for our customers’ operations and supply chains. www.intertek.com

 

For Dynapower & Media Inquiries:
Richard Morin
Marketing
Dynapower
+1 (802) 652-1313
rmorin@dynapower.com

For Intertek:
Sarah H. Linn
Senior Manager, Global Marketing
Intertek
+44 1372 370900 office
+44 7484 507334 mobile
sarah.linn@intertek.com