System Monitoring & Controls

Beacon Control System

Each flywheel storage system is managed by a Beacon-designed Master Controller that receives inputs and signals from a grid system operator or directly from the local grid depending on the application. Operating modes available include frequency response, frequency regulation, renewable smoothing, VAR support, and custom applications.

The Master Controller processes inputs, applies the operating mode logic and priorities in effect, and then directs the flywheel system to absorb or inject real and reactive power accordingly. It allocates the work between clusters consisting of up to 2 MW of flywheels and aggregates the state-of-charge and state-of-health information from the clusters. Operating modes and set points can be changed throughout the day and over the life of the system to meet evolving customer system needs.

At the 2 MW cluster level, a Cluster Controller commands individual flywheels based on Master Controller instructions and the real-time status of each flywheel module. State-of-charge and state-of-health are determined for the cluster. In the event of a maintenance issue, the Cluster Controller can take any individual flywheel module offline and redistribute the commands to the remaining modules. This fully distributed modular architecture results in high availability and optimizes performance.

Beacon’s control system can receive signals in any standard protocol or type of communication medium, typically via a fiber or TCP/IP connection.

Monitoring and Reporting

The flywheel system operations and performance is tracked and controlled via a Beacon-designed Graphic User Interface (GUI) that can be displayed on owner and operator SCADA systems, computers, tablets or even smart phones. The GUI monitors and reports instantaneously on high level system performance and state-of-charge information as well as dozens of system and flywheel state-of-health parameters. Together with operations and maintenance alarm and notification features, the GUI enables flywheel storage facilities to operate without on-site personnel.

Known State-of-Charge and Full Useable Range

System operators are always able to monitor the exact state-of-charge (SOC) of Beacon’s flywheel, which is simply a function of rotational velocity. Together with being able to use 100% of the system’s SOC range at all times, this enables efficient resource management and dispatch as well as maximum economic value. Beacon utilizes a proprietary algorithm to balance SOC across a group of flywheels so no energy is wasted while balancing is accomplished.