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Flywheel Energy Matrix Systems: Today’s Technology Enables Efficient Combined Cycle Operation

[+] Author Affiliations
Alex Rojas, Matthew Lazarewicz

Beacon Power Corporation, Wilmington, MA

Paper No. IJPGC2003-40195, pp. 1057-1062; 6 pages
  • International Joint Power Generation Conference collocated with TurboExpo 2003
  • 2003 International Joint Power Generation Conference
  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA, June 16–19, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3692-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3677-0
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


Based on field-tested performance and third-party evaluations, Beacon Power has demonstrated that high-energy flywheel systems are a sustainable energy storage option for many electrical applications. Successful power quality implementations range from low-power telecommunications equipment (low-kW for hours) to high-power industrial support (hundreds of kW for seconds). Using this proven technology, Beacon Power has begun development of a modular, high-energy system to deliver robust and responsive megawatt output levels — for seconds, minutes and even hours. This flywheel energy matrix would be ideal for grid stabilization, spinning reserves, renewable power, and distributed resource applications. For example, a system such as this would have sufficient energy to provide the minutes needed for ride-through capability to start smaller gas turbine-powered generators. This paper describes thc tecchnical feasibility of combining thc best features of flywheel energy storage with standard high-power electronics for energy storage and delivery. Two system-level configuration options are discussed: 1) Fixed installations, comprising a matrix of flywheels installed in a building with the Power Conversion System (PCS); and, 2) Deployable, portable equipment, based on a system-modular approach comprising an array of flywheels and PCS packaged in a standard shipping container to be easily dispatched for grid stabilization or load support. The technical discussion includes a building block-level component description of the flywheel and its motor/generator drive, electrical ratings, mechanical ratings and more. At a system level, an overview of component interconnection is provided, including links to the PCS. In addition, footprint and weight values are illustrated for both proposed system configuration options. This paper also includes a more detailed examination of ways in which this innovative energy storage solution can be economically used in electric supply systems. The flywheel’s deep discharge and resilient, high-power cyclic capability, combined with a long design life, make it an ideal solution for voltage and frequency stabilization as well as an attractive, passive alternative for spinning reserves. The paper focuses and expands upon the strengths and limitations of today’s flywheel technologies. Finally, the effects and impact of the ways that energy is produced, delivered, and consumed are summarized.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME
Topics: Flywheels , Cycles



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