[Paleopsych] Flywheels for energy storage

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Fri Aug 19 14:34:05 UTC 2005

This is how to make an intermittent source
like sun and wind into a continuous source.

A flywheel energy storage system draws electrical energy from a primary 
source, such as the utility grid, and stores it in a high-density rotating 
flywheel. The flywheel system is actually a kinetic, or mechanical battery, 
spinning at very high speeds (>20,000 rpm) to store energy that is 
instantly available when needed.

Upon power loss, the motor driving the flywheel acts as a generator. As the 
flywheel continues to rotate, this generator supplies power to the customer 
load. Performance is measured in energy units indicating the amount of 
power available over a given period of time. Typical single-flywheel 
systems, such as the Smart Energy 6 <SmartEnergy6kWh.htm> and Smart Energy 
25 <SmartEnergy25kWh.htm>, are intended for standby power applications.

A more recent Beacon Power flywheel design proposes an integrated system of 
10 higher-power (25 kWh) flywheels, interconnected in a matrix to provide 
energy storage for utility-grade applications. The Smart Energy Matrix 
<SmartEnergyMatrix.htm> is designed to deliver megawatts of power for 
minutes, providing highly robust and responsive frequency and voltage 
regulation capabilities for increased grid reliability.

Steve Hovland

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