Wind & Flywheels... finally?

Sustainable and renewable energy.

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SquidInk
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Wind & Flywheels... finally?

Post by SquidInk » 09-30-2010 10:03 AM

It has long been a dream of mine to see the day when flywheel energy storage is deployed on a massive scale. This is a wonderful way to mitigate power fluctuation for wind energy. Flywheels are an ancient form of energy storage (like a potter's wheel), and coupled with wind turbines make a beautifully simple & highly stable power source.

It looks like we might be getting closer.

Solar? Don't make me laugh.
Nuclear? Don't make me laugh, and then puke! :D

First 20 MW Plant - Construction

The world's first grid-scale, flywheel-based energy storage plant is being built in Stephentown, New York. When completed, the 20 MW plant will operate continuously, storing and returning energy to the grid to provide approximately 10% of New York's overall frequency regulation needs. More information on the frequency regulation service and how Beacon Power flywheels provide it can be found here.

August 2010 - Construction activity in Stephentown continues to proceed smoothly with significant portions of the plant's infrastructure and electronics now in place. The project remains on schedule for commissioning 4 MW of flywheel regulation capacity in Q4 2010.

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About Flywheel Energy Storage

Flywheel energy storage works by accelerating a cylindrical assembly called a rotor (flywheel) to a very high speed and maintaining the energy in the system as rotational energy. The energy is converted back by slowing down the flywheel. The flywheel system itself is a kinetic, or mechanical battery, spinning at very high speeds to store energy that is instantly available when needed.

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Who We Are

Beacon Power is a global leader in the development and commercialization of flywheel-based energy storage solutions for grid-scale frequency regulation services and other utility-scale and unitary energy storage applications. Our goal is to use our environmentally sound flywheel technology to deliver superior performance at lower cost, and generate long-term value for our Company, our stakeholders, and society. With today's urgent need for clean energy solutions that do not burn fossil fuel, Beacon Power is well positioned to provide sustainable solutions for a broad range of energy-balancing applications in multiple global markets.

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Every Cub Scout learns about flywheels. I'm glad the energy industry is finally catching up. Imagine what could happen if the industry started trying to earn a Webelos Badge.
Last edited by SquidInk on 09-30-2010 10:33 AM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Fan » 06-13-2012 01:40 PM

It seems to me that the size and energy needed to get the flywheel going might be a problem... I mean you need a serious size wheel to store enough kinetic energy to last for any amount of time. I can definitely see it working, but it sounds rather dangerous as well.

I wonder about a combination, could you use centrifugal force in association with this? Liquid in the spokes gets pushed outwards, making pressure that can be used, or even turning small hydroelectric devices in the spokes...

I always was fascinated with centrifugal force, I remember my dad showing me how to fill up a bucket with water and then carefully get it swinging over your head in a circle, and you can look up and see water upside down, but staying put. Ah the good old days.

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Post by voguy » 06-13-2012 04:59 PM

Requires as much energy to start one as the force to stop one. I know there is a mathematical formula to calculate it, as I was working out how many kilowatts could be generated by a paddlewheel connected to a flywheel, connected to a generator.
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Post by SquidInk » 06-13-2012 06:50 PM

Related: http://hint.fm/wind/

Cool wind map!
An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future.

This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US.


Imagine huge partially subterranean flywheels, inside towering metallic/bronze colored enclosures - like nautilus shells, and attendant wind turbines scattered over the landscape.
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Post by Dale O Sea » 06-14-2012 09:16 AM

voguy wrote: Requires as much energy to start one as the force to stop one. I know there is a mathematical formula to calculate it, as I was working out how many kilowatts could be generated by a paddlewheel connected to a flywheel, connected to a generator.
Perhaps a combination of the flywheel design and this design using magnets would work?

http://pesn.com/2012/06/10/9602106_Comi ... gy_engine/

And, pointing out the obvious but, aren't we riding a giant flywheel now? The Earth is more than just a flywheel tho, - its a huge iron core magneto, or maybe more accurate is it's like a rotor in an electric motor..and most electric motors work on the same principles as electric generator do in reverse. Just sayin' there's a lot of potential for tapping existing energy if we figure out a way to use what is around us right now. Heck, just harnessing half the power from lightning would light the world. (just guessing)

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Post by voguy » 06-16-2012 08:48 AM

Yeah, we are on a flywheel. Just think of the energy that started it.

I think if someone was to use magnets in some sort of generation system, because one energy requires another force to keep the motion going, it would seem logical that some other technology (wind, water, solar, clock spring) is needed to keep the motion in check. Don't need much.

I we sure need more thinking in this direction to fan the flames of energy alternatives.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

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