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.

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overhead scene of trees and a lightbulb in middle
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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.”

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