The fast-responding flywheel is an excellent grid stabilizing tool that provides flexibility and value across multiple applications.

Beacon’s proven flywheel storage systems respond instantly to store or deliver precise amounts of power whenever it is needed. Examples of high-value, high-cycle applications requiring power for a short duration include frequency regulation, frequency response, and smoothing and integration of variable output renewable generation such as solar and wind.

Typically in these applications, providing enough power (kW or MW) over a high number cycles is a challenge that flywheels ideally address. The related energy requirements (kWh or MWh) are usually modest and our flywheel’s typical five to fifteen minutes of useable energy at rated capacity is more than adequate. In addition, Beacon’s integrated four-quadrant inverter design can rapidly provide significant amounts of reactive power support for grid reliability. Applications can be on the transmission system, distribution system, integrated grids or stand-alone or island systems.

As more intermittent renewable resources are added to the generation mix, frequency regulation will become increasingly important to assure grid reliability while at the same time maximizing use of renewable resource output. Adding fast-responding flywheel energy storage systems to a generation portfolio also provides benefits to fossil-fueled generators by enabling them to operate at their highest efficiency, thereby reducing cycling and associated fuel usage, equipment stress and the production of harmful emissions. Applied at the distribution level, local system stability and power quality can be improved.

Photography credit: Data courtesy Marc Imhoff of NASA GSFC and Christopher Elvidge of NOAA NGDC. Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC.