Bellcore Developing Specs for Flywheel Batteries for Use in Telecomm
Source: UFTO
Date: 1/28/97    Record No.: 10424
Contact: Lawrence M. Slavin, Bellcore, Morristown, NJ
201-829-4330 201-829-5886 (FAX)

Bellcore Developing Specs for Flywheel Batteries for Use in Telecomm
Bellcore (now owned by SAIC, but still representing the technical needs of the RBOCs) is developing what they call "generic requirements" for flywheel batteries to meet growing needs for extremely reliable back up power on the telecomm system. The key goals are high reliability, low maintenance and long life in what they call "outside plant batteries," which support equipment in remote locations. Systems would range from 0.1 to 5 kWh, over several hours (i.e. relatively low power). Their view is that they have an existing need that provides a good first application and sizable first market. Their leadership could prove useful to the overall development of flywheel batteries, which may take on a much larger role in storage, power quality and uninterruptible power applications, where utilities have a strong interest.

They are inviting outside parties to participate with them in this process, as outlined in the announcement attached below. The cost schedule hasn't been determined as yet.

Bellcore has had very little contact with utilities thus far, but they would like to, particularly to take into account issues of seismic effects. (Only one utility was represented at the safety forum in November 1995. Incidentally, the documentation of that meeting is available from Bellcore for a fee of $200.)


Bellcore has been active in the potential use of Flywheel Energy Storage Systems (FESS) in telecommunications for over three years. This was motivated by our involvement in dealing with the many problems associated with valve-regulated lead-acid batteries in the telecommunications outside plant environment. Bellcore envisions FESSs as eventually replacing those batteries in that environment and perhaps many other applications.

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. Bellcore has an experimental FESS test facility in Chester and has an operating 5kwh system and some smaller FESSs operating experimentally. Bellcore conducted a basic materials investigation in 1996 that consisted of iterative computer modeling and testing of the impact of carbon composites into steel containment targets. This has led to a three-dimensional finite element model that enables us to identify generic design requirements for containment regimes.

Bellcore now invites all interested members of the flywheel energy storage system industry and local exchange and interexchange carriers, and any other members of the telecommunications industry to fund and participate in the development of a new generic requirements document to specify functionality and operability requirements for FESSs in telecommunications applications.

Bellcore proposes to convene a Bellcore Technical Forum (BTF) for funders to address development of a new Bellcore GR covering proposed requirements for FESS applications. The BTF would consist of one or more meetings to:

- Scope out the issues associated with FESS functionality in telecommunications, as well as operational issues, such as Network Equipment Building Standards (NEBS), Lightning and Earthquake concerns, power concerns, and physical design. - Develop a schedule for funders' participation in development of a draft GR - Determine if additional Industry input will be necessary - Produce and publish a Bellcore GR on FESS in Telecommunications.

It is expected that the development of the GR will take most of 1997 to complete.

Funders will have the opportunity to provide nonproprietary input into the technical descriptions of the material, to comment on all draft text, to receive the GR and Issues List Reports(ILRs), if any are funded, pertaining to this release of the GR, and to exercise other rights and undertake responsibilities as provided by the applicable funding agreements with Bellcore and by law. Interactions beyond any meetings with funders may be via letters, conference calls, faxes or electronic mail.

It should be noted that Bellcore does not make procurement decisions for any Bellcore client company. Bellcore activities that involve industry interactions in no way indicate a potential purchase or selection decision by any Bellcore client company.

Bellcore reserves the right to alter or withdraw this proposal if there is insufficient interest in this invitation.

If your company is interested in funding and participating in the development of these proposed Bellcore Generic Requirements, please contact Bellcore by March 31, 1997:

Lawrence M. Slavin Bellcore 445 South Street, MCC 1C-117B Morristown, NJ 07960
201-829-4330 201-829-5886 (FAX)

Attached is a draft proposal received Feb 10, 1997 from Bellcore for its Technical Forum on Flywheel Requirements.

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.