Beacon Power Announces Major Patents for Flywheel Technology

The composite rim is a key component of a flywheel energy storage system, as a rim's mass and ability to spin at high speeds have a direct relationship to the amount of energy that can be stored.

WILMINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 2005--Beacon Power Corporation (Nasdaq: BCON), a company that designs advanced products and services for more reliable electricity grid operation, today announced that it has recently been awarded a United States patent for the unique design and construction of its composite flywheel rim, and that a few days ago, it received a written notification that another U.S. patent on the rim is to be granted in early February 2005.


U.S. Patent Number 6,824,861 is for a "Composite Flywheel Rim With Co-mingled Fiber Layers and Methods for Manufacturing Same," and the U.S. patent to be granted in February 2005 is for a patent carrying the same name. The composite rim is a key component of a flywheel energy storage system, as a rim's mass and ability to spin at high speeds have a direct relationship to the amount of energy that can be stored. Beacon Power, a pioneer in this technology, has been able to design and build flywheel systems that deliver the highest amount of stored energy for their size and weight, thanks in part to this critical proprietary knowledge. During 2004, Beacon Power also was granted four other U.S. patents pertaining to flywheel system hardware and electronics. These include patents for a method of heat dissipation, a higher efficiency motor, enhanced bearing tolerance under earthquake conditions, and an improved flywheel hub design. Multiple foreign patents are also pending.

Bill Capp, Beacon Power President and CEO, said, "These are among the most important of our patents, and reflect the uniqueness of our intellectual property, combined with considerable proprietary expertise. As we look to develop our full-scale Smart Energy Matrix for use in frequency regulation and electricity grid stability, this patented technology will give us both the performance we need, as well as a sustainable market advantage."

Beacon Power's Smart Energy Matrix is a design concept for a flywheel-based energy storage system that would offer a long-life, environmentally friendly solution for frequency regulation services, with no fuel consumed and no emissions generated. The equipment can be located nearly anywhere, including at a substation or within the distribution system, where additional benefits such as voltage regulation, backup power, or reactive power can also be provided for even greater value.

"Grid operators, such as those in our initial target markets, purchase frequency regulation services every day that are equivalent to 1-2% of the amount of energy used daily," Capp continued. "In 2003, the value of regulation services purchased by just four U.S. regional grid operators in open power markets exceeded $400 million. These operators were responsible for roughly 20% of the domestic energy sold in that year. The Beacon Smart Energy Matrix is specifically intended to address this sizeable and growing market with better performance and greater cost effectiveness than existing methods."

Beacon Power's growing patent portfolio helps solidify the company's unique position in energy storage applications in the electric utility, renewable energy, and distributed generation markets.

About Beacon Power Corporation

Beacon Power Corporation designs sustainable energy storage and power conversion solutions that would provide reliable electric power for the utility, renewable energy, and distributed generation markets. Beacon's Smart Energy Matrix is a design concept for a megawatt-level, utility-grade flywheel-based energy storage solution that would provide sustainable power quality services for frequency regulation, and support the demand for reliable, distributed electrical power. Beacon is a publicly traded company with its research, development and manufacturing facility in the U.S.

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