Pfeiffer Vacuum offers solutions for stationary flywheel systems

 

The short-term storage of energy has shortly been revolutionized by an innovative technology: mechanical flywheel energy storages. They are used as stationary or mobile systems in different applications. Part two of the series on “vacuum for energy storage” by Pfeiffer Vacuum focuses on stationary flywheel systems.

Stationary flywheel systems are, for example, used as Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) in data storage centers and hospitals. Moreover, grid balancing tasks – which become more and more important due to an increased use of solar and wind energy – can also be supported by flywheel systems.

A long lifetime even when facing many load cycles as well as the possibility to provide the stored energy instantly when needed make them the ideal choice for this application.

Although the basic principle of saving energy through a rotating mass can easily be understood, designing an efficient and safe system is quite challenging.

Stationary flywheel systems are used for the short-term storage of solar and wind energyFig.1: Stationary flywheel systems are used for the short-term storage of solar and wind energy

Levisys Flywheel systemFig.2: Levisys Flywheel system

To ensure the efficiency of a flywheel as an energy storage device, the constant losses through friction have to be reduced to a minimum. To do so, the flywheel housing is evacuated with vacuum pumps. The vacuum pumps included in the flywheel system have to fulfill high demands: The most important ones are small dimensions combined with a good final pressure and low power consumption.

The French pioneer in the development of energy storage, Levisys, has trusted in Pfeiffer Vacuum solutions for its experiments and developments right from its beginning. The start-up company developed and implemented the first 10 kW stationary flywheel storage system at the production site of Engie Ineo, a French major player in electric engineering, in the city of Toulouse. The company has established a so-called SmartGrid in which a stationary flywheel system is used to equalize deviations in the power supply. In this way, the new storage method for electricity contributes to the regular energy supply of the production site.

Turbopump, rotary vane pump and Pirani gauge from Pfeiffer Vacuum in use at Levisys
Fig.3: Turbopump, rotary vane pump and Pirani gauge from Pfeiffer Vacuum in use at Levisys

Read more about this state of the art technology in the attached application report.

Should you have any further question, do not hesitate to contact us.

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