Beacon flywheels have a low lifetime cost per unit of work. In a typical bulk grid frequency regulation mode with each flywheel set to absorb or inject 160 kW, each flywheel has the ability to perform more than 175,000 full depth charge and discharge cycles over its lifetime.
This significant cycle duty means Beacon flywheels can outperform and outlast other storage technologies in high-cycle applications. And with partial depth-of-discharge cycles common in many applications, the cycle life increases substantially. Flywheels provide a great value in high-cycle applications, such as frequency regulation where rapid real-time adjustments correct generation and load imbalances to maintain grid frequency at 50/60 Hz, or smoothing and integrating the highly variable output of intermittent renewable resources like solar and wind.
Grid operators and utilities want to deliver the lowest lifetime cost of service for equipment in heavy workload utility system environments. Beacon flywheels can handle heavy duty high-cycle workloads without the ongoing degradation that shortens the life of other technologies. The full 100% depth-of-discharge range is available for regular use. There is no need to limit depth-of-discharge to specific ranges to manage cycle life or to oversize the storage capacity. Unlike some other technologies, charge and discharge rates are symmetrical, meaning the units recharge as quickly as they discharge which enhances their operational effectiveness.
The flywheel is designed with the power-to-energy ratios needed for grid stabilizing and renewable power smoothing. With a lifespan of over 20 years in demanding high cycle applications, the typical lifetime cost of a flywheel storage system is significantly less than competitive solutions.
Set in the frequency regulation mode, Beacon’s flywheel can move 5,000 MWh through the machine over its lifetime, making it one of the lowest cost per lifetime-kWh devices available.