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Flywheels and Greener Power

{mosimage}Because of the variable nature of many sustainable sources of power (most notably wind power) compared to their fossil fueled cousins, balancing the amount of power being supplied to the grid will become an increasingly difficult challenge in the greening of power supplies.

"Flywheel-based energy storage systems, unlike lead-acid batteries, are sustainable “green” technology solutions that do not use hazardous materials for production, nor create them during operation. Unlike batteries, flywheels operate reliably for many years with little or no maintenance. Their life cycle cost benefits and ROI have proven to canadian pharmacy scam be far superior to those of lead-acid batteries. Despite higher initial costs, flywheels offer an attractive and long-term cost-effective energy storage alternative for the growing number of companies implementing sustainable business practices."

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Flywheels have been used for years to provide uninterruptible power supplies, but Beacon Power has developed a system that can be used for grid level power balancing, which is 50mg cialis orders of magnitude greater. Beacon's system has just received certification from California's Independent System Operator - the not-for-profit corporation that operates California’s high-voltage electrical grid.

Flywheels are also likely to gain increasing use as wind and other intermittent generators become more prevalent. At the other end of the scale, small scale flywheels may make it easier for homes and small businesses to be completely off the grid by storing excess power their systems generate in peak periods of sun or wind, and drawing on that stored energy during slack periods.

via: Inside Green Tech

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written by James S., February 06, 2007
how do they work?
written by Philip Proefrock, February 06, 2007
Beacon Power has a couple of official viagra good Flash animations on their site that explain more about how flywheels are used for electrical power storage and distribution.

written by monotonehell, February 07, 2007
I'm not sure that you're presenting the SEM's purpose clearly. These units are intended to even out the minute to minute variations in a power supply quality. Not to store power for a long term to cover when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing. They quote only being able to cover a 40MW swing. Not a large gap in supply. To cover the large gaps that solar, wind or similar appear to have, we need the kinds of long term storage technology that Australia's CSIRO are working on.
written by Daniel, February 09, 2007
Philip, I think that monotonehell is correct. This technology is an energy regulator, not an energy storage solution. There's no way that the flywheel technology would be able to keep up with nighttime demand that isn't met by solar, or to cover electricity needs when the wind isn't blowing.

In terms of regulation, this may be a viable alternative, but I'm betting we'll need to see some more technology innovations before this really catches on. The reason is that a lot of energy will need to go in to buy viagra low price these facilities (to keep the heavy flywheels turning), and I'm not positive that the ability to meet small energy deficits will warrant the investment. Even if the power company were exactlymeeting demand, you'd still have to be spinning those wheels. I believe that a more eco-friendly idea would be a system that stores potential energy but doesn't require kenetic energy while it isn't being used. Any system that is continuously storing and releasing potential energy is going to waste quite a bit of juice.

Good post though.
written by Philip Proefrock, February 09, 2007
Flywheels are not a long-term storage system, like batteries can be. They are, however, effective for short-term storage, including frequency regulation, UPS, and the like. (There are also some vehicular uses which have been attempted, but that's a separate story.)

One of the biggest issues about bringing more variable systems such as wind and solar onto the grid is the erratic nature of the power they supply. Flywheels allow short-term over- and under-production from those intermittent sources to be interconnected with traditional, slow-response grid sources like coal, hydro, or nuclear power plants.

These flywheels are seated on magnetic bearings and are enclosed in rough vacuum housings, so the energy loss is wow it's great cheap levitra without prescription minimized. Any time you convert one form of power to another, there are going to be some losses. The issue is to minimize those losses, and flywheels are fairly efficient. Once up to click now cialis usa speed, only a very small amount of energy is needed to keep them spinning, until there is a demand.
A great form of storage
written by Paul Hanlon, February 20, 2007
Flywheels are a great form of storage and with enough of them, they could easily store all the power required to even out the peaks and troughs of renewable energy. The thing about a flywheel is that every time you double the revolutions, you quadruple the energy stored. With magnetic bearings and well sealed vacuum chambers, they can lose as little as 1rpm per minute. However, what has hampered their uptake was finding materials strong enough not to break apart under the massive centrifugal forces that occur, as these things can be spinning in excess of 100,000 rpm. Also, because they are stored in sealed chambers, the only way to spin them up and draw power from them is electromagnetically, and there are some losses (about 10-15% both ways) associated with that. All that said, because they are purely mechanical systems, thay are well able to cope with very wide fluctuations in both power input and extraction, and there are huge economies of scale to be had as more and more of them get made.
I believe they will be using 4 of them on the order prescription viagra ISS to even out the power cycle and to act as stabilising gyroscopes. If the technology is mature enough and reliable enough for that, then I'd say it's definitely ready for prime time down here on Earth :).
written by jhnlj, December 11, 2007
good job man, real cool 8) ;)
very interesting
written by Professer J. Corhan, December 11, 2007
written by SYED AZIZUR REHMAN, April 03, 2009
If you can send a flash animation showing how the flywheels work and the associated scientific principles involved. How long can it store the energy and how many are required for a 10 MW wind power plant.

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