Flywheel Stores Energy from Wind

August 20, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

beacon energy manageBeacon Power and TDX Power are partnering on a flywheel energy storage demonstration project located in the middle of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.

TDX’s existing hybrid microgrid on St. Paul Island is comprised of a 225 kW Vestas V27 wind turbine and two 150 kW Volvo diesel generators, along with smart switch technology and a synchronizing condenser. Originally commissioned in 1999, the plant supplies electricity and heat to an industrial/airport facility.

The Saint Paul Island Flywheel Demonstration project will integrate Beacon Power’s flywheel energy storage system into TDX’s microgrid. Beacon’s flywheel technology will stabilize and support the grid and is expected to increase diesel-off time by an additional 10-15 percent.

Beacon flywheel energy storage systems store and inject power to compensate for fluctuations in wind generation. During periods of excess wind, the flywheel energy storage system absorbs energy and then recycles it back into the system to ride through subsequent drops in wind production providing time to start-up backup generators. As a result, TDX will reduce both wind curtailment and its diesel fuel consumption.

The project received sponsorship from the Alaska Energy Authority’s Emerging Energy Technology Fund to demonstrate the flywheel energy storage system’s ability to improve system efficiencies in remote and harsh environments and to create a model for use across other island and remote grid systems.

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