CFRP rotors empower new EnWheel energy storage systems

Germany-based STORNETIC's EnWheel flywheel energy storage system features large carbon fiber flywheels that rotate at speeds up to 45,000 rpm.

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STORNETIC (Jülich, Germany) has announced that its EnWheel flywheel energy storage solution, already offered as wayside energy storage for trains, trams and metros, has now been optimized for wind turbines. “EnWheel allows output peaks to be absorbed, thereby making the output of entire wind farms more even and predictable,” explained STORNETIC Managing Director Dr Rainer vor dem Esche.

As wayside energy storage for public transport, EnWheel stores the braking energy of trains and makes it available for the acceleration to leave the station, saving cost for the system operator at every stop and a benefit for the environment at the same time.

EnWheel flywheels rotate at 45,000 rpm. This has been achieved by reducing frictional losses to a minimum. The entire rotor runs in a vacuum, on non-contact bearings, and is made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). CFRP allows very high rotor speeds, which enable a powerful energy storage device with virtually unlimited charging cycles and outstanding service life.

The EnWheel flywheel energy storage is able to absorb load changes in milliseconds. Designed for more than 100,000 load change cycles for wind turbines and 1 million cycles for trains, trams and metros, EnWheel systems maintain full capacity over their entire lifecycle. They are therefore particularly suitable for applications in which many fast load changes are required. EnWheel is mechanical energy storage - free from chemicals – and reportedly is fully recyclable.

 

For more information on carbon fiber in flywheels, see CW’s Blog: www.compositesworld.com/blog/post/composite-flywheels-finally-picking-up-speed.

Video below explains the operating principle of EnWheel.