Flywheel Batteries Come Around Again

Kinetic energy storage will propel applications ranging from railroad trains to space stations

12 min read

What goes around comes around" is not just a popular expression and the title of a Bob Marley song, it is also a good description of what is happening these days with flywheel energy storage. The technology is coming around again after undergoing a round of improvements in materials, magnetic bearing control, and power electronics.

Of course, scientific and technical advances by themselves are not enough to renew interest in a technology, however good it may be. The advanced wizardry must also serve a genuine need. Today's flywheel batteries, which depend on a rotating mass to store energy, score well in both areas: they embody several exciting technological advances, and they are serious contenders for a variety of important energy-storage applications. They are, for example, competitive with chemical batteries in applications like transportation or improving power quality, which involve many charge-discharge cycles and little in the way of long-term storage.

Keep reading...Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

IEEE Discusses 6 Simple Solutions to Climate Change at COP27

They include switching to LEDs and making coal plants more efficient

4 min read
overhead scene of trees and a lightbulb in middle

Simple, effective solutions that can help lessen the impact of climate change already exist. Some of them still need to be implemented, though, while others need to be improved.

That’s according to 2023 IEEE President Saifur Rahman, who was among the speakers from engineering organizations at the COP27 event held in Egypt in November. The IEEE Life Fellow spoke during a session addressing the role of technology in delivering an equitable, sustainable, and low-carbon resilient world.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

Powering Offshore Wind Farms With Numerical Modeling of Subsea Cables

Hellenic Cables in Greece uses finite element modeling to analyze and validate underground and subsea cable designs

10 min read
Powering Offshore Wind Farms With Numerical Modeling of Subsea Cables

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

“Laws, Whitehouse received five minutes signal. Coil signals too weak to relay. Try drive slow and regular. I have put intermediate pulley. Reply by coils.”

Keep Reading ↓Show less