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Kinetic Traction Systems: Next Generation Flywheel for Rail Transport

5

Chandler Williamson Wed, 2011-03-16 12:07

Chandler Williamson · Wed, 03/16/2011 - 12:07

Business

Business Overview: 

KTSi acquired an advanced flywheel-based system that absorbs energy and generates clean power more reliably, economically, and with less environmental impact than existing technologies.

This high speed carbon fiber flywheel technology is ideally suited for electrified rail and subway systems offering green cost effective energy storage and recycling solutions. KTSi flywheel systems can be applied to capture and store braking energy that is typically wasted by the trains. The flywheel systems can also be applied to provide voltage support supplementing existing rail traction power substations. Metro transit agencies can benefit with improved performance, lower capital costs, and reduced energy usage.

The KTSi team has a combined 40 years experience in flywheel technology, manufacturing, and marketing, with expertise in project management, lean manufacturing, six-sigma quality, product development, new product launches, customer service, and international business.

What are your future milestones, and how much capital will you need to achieve each of the milestones outlined?: 

KTSi’s four year business projections include eight major metro projects, demonstration projects, and sales to OEM suppliers, requiring hundreds of GTR 200™ flywheels. Each project will generate between $1MM to $4MM in revenue. The flywheels can be integrated in modular power control rooms or installed in existing traction power substations. Six of the initial projects are based in North America, with the remaining two projects in Asia. We are seeking $1MM of bridge financing in April 2011 and a $3MM Series B funding in October 2011.

What is your total and operating cash burn (the amount you're spending) per month? : 

2010: $38,174
2011: $335,780
2012: $1,079,673
2013: $1,595,281
2014: $2,342,307

How many future rounds of financing do you project? : 

2

Who is the Customer?: 

KTSi’s customers and end users are national and international metro transit agencies using electrified rail traction power. The company is pursuing energy storage opportunities with metro agencies in New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Detroit, Washington DC, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Seoul and Beijing. In order to better reach and serve these customers the company is developing supplier relationships with leading global and regional transit OEM’s including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, ABB, Powell Electric and others.

What is the Customer Pain that you are solving?: 

Transit agencies are faced with the pain of constrained capital resources, rising energy costs, environmental commitments, and the challenge of meeting increasing ridership and maintaining system performance at the same time. Flywheel energy storage system will save energy, reduce peak power consumption while improving performance and ability to move more passengers at a lower capital cost.

Names of any current or recent customers: 

KTSi is bidding a flywheel energy storage project with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Agency (LACMTA) and the Island of Macau (China) new light rail systems which are both expected to be awarded in 2011. KTSi is in parallel pursuing testing and pilot projects with several OEM’s in the rail traction power equipment market. KTSi is positioning itself via the OEM partnerships for greater opportunities and exponential growth.

The Korean Rail Research Institute (KRRI) has approached KTSi for the installation of two flywheel units for trackside energy storage and recycling. The flywheel unit would be installed on the Gyeongchun Line (Gyeongchunseon) which is the railway line connecting Seoul to Chuncheon in S. Korea

What is the Target Market?: 

KTSi’s exclusive focus is national and international metro transit agencies using electrified rail traction power.

How big is the Target Market in terms of Annual Sales?: 
$1B-$2B
Sales/Marketing Strategy: 

Flywheels have already been successfully demonstrated in a number of locations. However, these demonstrations occurred more than five years ago and KTSi is reintroducing the flywheel solution. In order to build upon this history, KTSi will implement a two part “Push-Pull” sales strategy that will be managed in parallel to obtain first mover status.

KTSi is pursuing OEM supply agreements with leading industry suppliers. The test project will demonstrate the effectiveness of the flywheel technology and allow KTSi to showcase the application to metro transit agencies, industry suppliers, and governmental agencies. KTSi intends to leverage this project to generate additional sales opportunities.

Concurrently with the OEM sales strategy, KTSi also initiated a direct sales channel to the mass transit agencies in order to establish a solid base of projects in the electrified rail industry for energy recycling and voltage support energy storage systems.

One-line Pitch: 

Kinetic Traction Systems Inc. provides next generation flywheel system solutions for voltage support and energy recycling applications that increase performance, decrease capital costs, and reduce energy usage.

Business Model: 

KTSi business strategy is to leverage first mover advantage in clean rail energy storage applications utilizing superior technology and increase that advantage over time by providing a reliable solution, reducing product costs, improving margins, and increasing market acceptance of technology and benefits.

Product/Services Overview (what does it do): 

Kinetic Traction's unique high-speed carbon flywheel systems feature high cycling composite rotors running on magnetic and hydrodynamic bearings at up to 36,000 RPM to provide 200kW each. Our systems are capable of delivering more than 1000 charge-discharge cycles per day for 20 years with minimal maintenance.

The GTR flywheel utilizes a fully integrated, permanent magnet, brushless, DC motor generator to provide clean energy capture with significantly lower costs than traditional energy substations. The GTR flywheel technology was introduced a little over ten years ago and tested in major rail and subway systems in New York, London and Lyon. KTSi builds on this technology, pioneered in the 2000's, to develop high-speed flywheel systems that absorb and deliver power more reliably, economically and effectively than any competing technology.

Technology

What makes the technology/business unique and have a defendable competitive advantage?: 

KTSi GTR technology distinguishes itself from the competition in the flywheel industry with its unique green flywheel technology and demonstrated experience in rail traction power applications. The ability to recycle energy many times per hour, one full cycle every 90 seconds, while offering system longevity, reliability, and safety, is unmatched by any other flywheel manufacturer.

This same cycling capability and the ability to do so rapidly (charge and discharge in seconds) and frequently (45 full cycles per hour) also separates this technology from battery and ultra capacitor technology. KTSi flywheels are capable of millions of full charge and discharge cycles over the life of the system with no degradation in voltage, power, or storage, something no battery or ultra capacitor technology can claim. Flywheel technology is also considered the only green technology of the storage technologies applicable to the rail market and in the energy storage market in general.

Describe in detail the technology used in the Project - Address the innovation in significant detail : 

A flywheel system is a dynamic energy storage technology that stores energy mechanically in the form of kinetic energy by spinning a mass about an axis. Electrical inputs spin the flywheel rotor and keep it spinning until called upon to release the stored energy through a generator. The amount of energy available and its duration is governed by the mass and speed of the flywheel.

In a rotating flywheel, kinetic energy is a function of the rotational speed of the flywheel and the mass moment of inertia. The mass moment of inertia relates the mass and diameter of the flywheel.
The kinetic energy of a high-speed flywheel takes advantage of the physics involved resulting in exponential amounts of stored energy for increases in the flywheel rotational speed.

KE ~ M(rpm)^2
KE = kinetic energy M = mass of the rotating object rpm = revolutions per minute

What are the principles of the technology? : 

Until recently, commercially available flywheels relied primarily on mass as a source of energy, doubling the mass doubles the energy. Using a large mass, however, limits maximum speed thereby lowering energy density. Instead of utilizing the mass as a primary source of energy, KTSi’s flywheels take advantage of rotational speed. The higher the speed, the smaller the mass needed for any given stored energy. Doubling the rotational speed quadruples the stored energy, while doubling the mass only doubles the stored energy.

What, if anything, has been proven (and how far is this from a commercial scale)? : 

Many years of production experience combined with a strong supply base, extensive technical talent and “know how”, yields a commercially ready product with production capacity of 100 units per year in its current facility. The product has been developed, tested and proven in real world applications. Suppliers have been developed and qualified, with initial production quantities sourced.

Patent Numbers (Filed/Approved): 

US 5717263 A

US 5760508 A

Team

NameTitle
Richard NewarkCEO
Rudi LautzCFO
Chandler WilliamsonCMO
Ken Keller, Dir. of Engineering DIRECTOR
Current Investors: 
DTE Energy
Rustic Canyon Partners
Loudwater Investment Partners

Financials

Amount Sought: 
$3,000,000
If raising funds, what shall the funds be used for?: 

With an encouraging business future,the company is seeking strategic partners and/or investors to help market its solutions globally, drive greater operational efficiency, and commercialize clean flywheel power systems.

Pre-Money Valuation: 
$3,000,000
Funding Received to Date: 
$1,100,000
Funding Stage: 
Pre-Revenue
Funding History: 
Funding Round Funding TypeFunding dateFunding Source/ InvestorsAmountPre-Money valuation
Series AEquityNov 2010Venture Capital11000003
Internal Rate of Return (IRR): 
42%

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