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Critical Power Supplies and Flow Battery are set to supply the Pnu Power range of compressed-air battery systems as part of Critical Power’s product portfolio. The collaboration agreement will see both companies challenging for the UPS market sectors, such as flywheel UPS, fuel-cell UPS and large data-centre UPS installation.

The compressed air backup at National Grid’s Elland Substation is fully integrated and low maintenance
The compressed air backup at National Grid’s Elland Substation is fully integrated and low maintenance

Flow Battery customers, including National Grid, have installed compressed-air batteries instead of conventional lead­‐acid batteries, which provide ultra-­reliable, low-cost back-up electrical power for their installations. 

Developed and supplied by UK-­based Flow Battery, the most recent installation was at Elland Substation, West Yorkshire, for National Grid.

The system concept is to supply a fully integrated package, using compressed-air cylinders to drive a scroll generator, which instantly delivers up to 4kW of AC or DC back-up power, with a run time determined by the amount of air available via the cylinder packs. 

Key benefits

  • The compressed-air battery system is designed to last for at least 40 years, with whole-life costs that are significantly lower than those of large lead-acid battery installations.
  • The compressed-air technology is inherently more reliable, more durable and lower maintenance than traditional batteries.
  • All of the customer units installed have reportedly operated with zero maintenance requirements and 100 per cent reliability. 
  • Compressed-air solutions are tolerant of a range of environments and can be mounted outdoors, without any special engineering requirements.
  • Installation has been virtually plug- and play, freeing up valuable space in the customer premises at Elland Substation, and has negated the need for other considerations such as ventilation and Ex engineering.

Critical Power Supplies

Established in 2009 by UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and energy industry specialist Jason Koffler, Critical Power Supplies is a provider and value-added reseller of power continuity products, critical power solutions, standby power and power protection systems.

The company specialises in providing products for mission critical applications such as data centres, banks, broadcast companies, healthcare customers, industry, marine and military installations, telcom operators and other vertical sectors. It also provides energy management and specialist cooling products, services and consultancy. Its primary customer base is the UK (plus Northern Ireland) and it supplies products and services to customers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. 

Critical Power Supplies’ product range includes UPS (from entry-level 300VA to 6MVA), fuel cells, generators, servers and data centre equipment including rack systems, power distribution units, source transfer switches, smart meters, consumables and spares, UPS accessories, power solutions and power conditioners. 

Critical Power Supplies also provides a range of services including: site surveys, UPS and generator hire or rental, remote monitoring and response services, battery testing and replacement, design and project management, installation and commissioning, maintenance and warranty services and the removal and licensed disposal of old equipment (including UPS batteries). The company’s extensive service network provides 24/7 support for customers running critical equipment.

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