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Beacon Flywheel Technology

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 5 months ago

Monday January 26, 2009

National Grid and Beacon Power Sign Agreement to Evaluate Flywheel Technology for Grid Applications

Evaluation to focus on benefits of fast-response regulation and heightened demand for regulation due to wind power



TYNGSBORO, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Beacon Power Corporation (Nasdaq: BCON <http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=bcon&d=t> - News <http://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=bcon>), a company that designs and develops advanced products and services to support more stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation, announced that it has executed an information sharing and performance evaluation agreement with the energy utility company National Grid.



Under the two-year agreement, the companies will share technical, performance and economic data associated with Beacon’s flywheel energy storage systems and their potential operational value to National Grid’s electricity transmission networks. Objectives of the agreement include National Grid’s evaluation of Beacon’s flywheel energy storage systems not only for fast-response frequency regulation, but also for wind-related ramp mitigation – another potential large-scale grid stability application.



“National Grid is committed to assessing new energy technologies and their capacity to help create a more efficient, environmentally responsible and cost-effective modern grid,” said Stan Blazewicz, Vice President, Global Head of Technology for National Grid. “The positive attributes of flywheel energy storage – especially its high efficiency, zero carbon emissions, and extremely fast response – make it a technology of significant interest and one we are keen to investigate.”



“National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned utility companies in the world, with an extensive footprint in the United Kingdom as well as the northeastern U.S.,” said Bill Capp, Beacon Power president and CEO. “Prior to this agreement, we collaborated closely with National Grid in 2006 and 2007 on our demonstration system in Amsterdam, New York, as well as more recently on three interconnection projects in Massachusetts and New York. We believe that additional benefits can come from the broader sharing of information provided by this new agreement.”



Beacon Power and National Grid will focus on the sharing of technical information and performance results for Beacon’s Smart Energy Matrix, the energy storage-based regulation resource that Beacon is now operating under ISO New England’s Alternative Technologies Program. The two companies will also be sharing technical information and analysis of the potential economic and performance benefits of fast-response flywheel regulation and wind-related ramp mitigation, in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom.



Ramp mitigation refers to the ability of regulation and reserve generation units to quickly compensate for a rapid system-wide change in aggregate power output caused by sudden changes in power production. As an intermittent resource, wind power generation often experiences rapid fluctuations in power output. As the amount of wind generation on the grid increases, many grid operators foresee the need to increase total regional ramping capacity to maintain proper energy balance.



Under terms of the agreement, Beacon will work with National Grid to forecast future increases in the demand for regulation capacity resulting from greater deployment of wind power. National Grid will also work with Beacon Power to define an optimal control algorithm for Beacon’s fast-response energy storage technology that would maximize regulation benefits on the grid.



Flywheel technology for electrical energy storage offers attractive features (see ref.[1]), such as 20-year service life, ~ infinite cycle capability (like supercapacitors) and little pollution [1]. Each of the modules by Peacon Power Co. (in Wilmington, MA) is <6 ft tall and <3 ft diameter, rotates on a vertical axis in a vacuum on magnetic bearings at <20,000 RPM, generates up of 750 VDC, outputs or stores energy at a 100 kW rate and stores up to 25 kWh. If it were adapted for automotive, such a flywheel could provide compact cars with a 125-mile range. These flywheels are presently offered in matrices of 10 modules each to provide line voltage and frequency regulation at energy and power levels of up to  250 kWh and 1 MW, respectively.



[1]  Matthew L. Lazarewicz &, Alex Rojas (Members of IEEE, and Beacon Power Co., Wilmington, MA), "Grid Frequency Regulation by Recycling Electrical Energy in Flywheels," http://www.beaconpower.com/products/EnergyStorageSystems/docs/Grid%20Freq%20Reg%20White%20Paper.pdf



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