Barloworld Power helped keep the lights on at Francistown Stadium for several FIFA sanctioned international soccer matches by completing its order for the CAT flywheel UPS (Uniterruptible Power Supply) technology solution in early 2014.

As the main dealer for CAT Power in Southern Africa, Barloworld Power supplied two 500kVA Cat flywheel UPS systems that were commissioned to supply back-up power at the Francistown Stadium.

Electric Power Sales Engineer, Emmanuel January, clarifies that Flywheel systems store energy kinetically rather than chemically, whilst explaining that “Instead of dozens of containers of batteries containing lead plates submerged in sulphuric acid, flywheels use the inertia of a spinning mass to store and regenerate power. Flywheels spin in a vacuum to minimise aerodynamic drag and they are magnetically levitated to reduce the loading on the mechanical bearings.”

The CAT flywheel UPS improves energy efficiency by 4% annually (compared to a battery UPS of a similar size) and is up to 75% smaller than a battery based UPS system. The lack of harmful chemicals and elements also makes this technology an environmentally friendly solution that – coupled with existing generators – ensures the stadium has about eight hours of uninterruptible power supply.

The UPS is well suited to warmer climates and can also work in high-humidity conditions, with no need for air-conditioning, other than ventilation.

The UPS system requires minimal maintenance with a single annual vacuum oil change and a bearing change every four years, and can be monitored and controlled remotely to avoid unforeseen failures.