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Climate KICs Open Innovation Labs

Climate KICs Open Innovation Labs

Birmingham City University teamed up with Climate KIC to run an open innovation lab, focusing primarily on cleantech commercialization.  This echoes Climate-KIC’s approach to breaking down siloes between sectors and disciplines, ensuring that those who have the motivation, capacity and skills to tackle problems relating to climate change through business activity are working together, enabling them to come up with sustainable, cutting-edge solutions.

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Schwungrad were in attendance and networked with other Irish delegates on the program.  Leachate Treatment Solutions, Orbis, SmartChange and Terrawatt were some of the other successful participants.  Schwungrad representative at the event Jake Bracken noted that ‘Attending the Climate KICs Open Innovation Labs enabled us to take a step away from the Hybrid flywheel technology and identify different applications for the technology.’

Expo Milano 2015

Expo Milano 2015

Milan hosted the Universal Exhibition EXPO 2015, the central theme being ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, a global audience of 20 million visitors were in attendance representing 145 countries.  The aim of the exhibition is to facilitate EU companies in a bid to increase business development in third countries and regions.

expo milano

Schwungrad Energie were in attendance at the EU-Sub-Saharan African Days that took place in the framework of EXPO Milan 2015.  R&D project manager Jake Bracken was the representative for the organisation, alongside an additional 439 international participants.  The aim of the event was to highlight the importance of Africa for Europe and the need for a real regional integration process in Africa. Schwungrads representative Jake Bracken reflected that ‘We gained an interesting insight into the Sub Saharan Africa energy sector and the potential applications for the Hybrid flywheel-battery in its fast expanding economies.’

First Hybrid-Flywheel Energy Storage Plant in Europe announced in Ireland

First Hybrid-Flywheel Energy Storage Plant in Europe announced in Ireland

Europe’s first grid connected Hybrid flywheel system service facility was today (Thursday March 26th) officially announced by Ged Nash, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Dr. Robert Lynch (UL), Dave Nickerson (Beacon Power), Nigel Reams (RR Projects), Lea Collins, Jake Bracken, Frank Burke, Ged Nash (Minister of State with responsibility for Business & Employment), Colm Staunton, Peter Duffy, Mervyn Keegan.

Irish company Schwungrad Energie Limited is behind the initiative which will be based in Rhode, Co. Offaly and is being developed in collaboration with the Department of Physics & Energy at University of Limerick. It has received the support of Beacon Power, LLC, a US based company and global leader in the design, development and commercial deployment of proven flywheel energy storage technology at the utility scale.

Approximately 30-40 jobs will be created during the construction phase which is now underway. A further 10-15 sustainable jobs will follow. Flywheel technology produces and stores small but highly flexible amounts of power to suit grid requirements.

Schwungrad received the first phase of up to €2.55 million European Commission Horizon 2020 funding to assist the project in December 2014, aimed at developing a hybrid system security and reliability technology, to overcome technical barriers and enable the establishment of low carbon and efficient energy systems.

Additional investment has been received from Offaly based company, RR Projects and the European Commission, to facilitate development of Europe’s first Hybrid flywheel system service facility.

The Irish Trasmission System Operator. EirGrid, selected this project as a potential “Demonstration Project” under its Smart Grid Programme.

This initiative promotes and supports the development, trialling and proofing of new concepts, solutions and technologies. It focuses on projects that demonstrate specific smart grid concepts in an Irish power system context, particularly system services.

Schwungrad and EirGrid are investigating possible collaboration on how best to operate the plant to provide rapid frequency response and voltage control, which contribute to system stabilisation

A team at the Department of Physics & Energy at University of Limerick, led by Prof. Noel Buckley and Dr Robert Lynch, are focused on electrochemical batteries for large-scale energy storage and grid stabilisation. These technologies are becoming critically important as an increasing fraction of electricity is derived from renewable sources such as wind. The work will include research and modelling.

Minister Ged Nash said, “This announcement is great news for Offaly and the midlands region in general with up to 40 jobs being created in the construction phase of the hybrid-flywheel energy plant, and up to 15 full-time jobs thereafter. It is also an exciting development in terms of clean energy technology and I want to wish Schwungrad Energie well with the project.”

Frank Burke, Schwungrad Technical Director, with extensive industry experience and who was involved in the early development of system services, says: “Flywheel technology has the advantage of being a ‘100% clean’ power source as the hybrid technology has no direct fuel use or related emissions, and no water consumption.

“It simply absorbs power, stores it and is continuously ready to respond to any grid requirements to rapidly inject power… It is not a power plant in the conventional sense, but operates as a shock absorber and dynamic energy support system, absorbing and re-injecting small but highly flexible amounts of power to suit grid requirements.”

“The site in Rhode was selected due to the historical tradition of electricity generation in the area and the infrastructure available on the brownfield site. Access to the electricity network and other related services can be achieved with minimal disruption. The facility will be unobtrusive -the flywheels are under two metres in height and almost silent in operation.

Beacon Power President & CEO, Barry Brits says: “Beacon Power is very pleased to be working with the innovative team at Schwungrad and looks forward to supporting the successful implementation of this important project in Ireland. We are optimistic about the potential in Ireland and Europe for short-duration flywheel energy storage as a key tool to help address the grid system stability impacts of leading implementation of renewable energy sources.

“In this ‘new’ energy storage marketplace, we have been providing these kinds of services in the US for over seven years, have accumulated over eight million flywheel operating hours and delivered more than 300 gigawatt-hours of service to electric grid operators.”

Doireann Barry, EirGrid, says: “EirGrid will have a keen interest in the results from Schwungrad Energie’s proposal to build a hybrid powered flywheel test facility in Rhode. This project has the potential to address system operation issues including advanced voltage controls and system services reserve provision. This could provide additional flexibility to the grid and facilitate the integration of high levels of variable renewable energy sources.”

Schwungrad and EirGrid conclude successful Demonstration Project

Schwungrad and EirGrid conclude successful Demonstration Project

Schwungrad Energie is delighted to announce that the Demonstration Project undertaken in conjunction with EirGrid has successfully concluded following more than a year of testing.  The Hybrid Flywheel Battery facility will continue to operate as a pilot, further expanding the knowledge and experience of the company.

Schwungrad and EirGrid have published a joint report on the project in which EirGrid, as the Transmission System Operator, has validated the capability of the Flywheel, the Battery and the combination of the two technologies as a Hybrid Flywheel Battery, to provide several DS3 System Service products, namely Fast Frequency Response (FFR), Primary Operating Reserve (POR), Secondary Operating Reserve (SOR) and Tertiary Operating Reserve 1 (TOR1).

Schwungrad is greatly appreciative of the support provided by EirGrid throughout the Demonstration Project, and is hopeful that the learnings and insights gained by EirGrid can be implemented as part of the solution to assist the integration of additional renewable power generators on the Irish power system.

Schwungrad Energie_EirGrid – Demonstration Project Report

Schwungrads success in EU Horizon 2020 programme

Schwungrads success in EU Horizon 2020 programme

Europe’s largest and the UK’s first battery flywheel system will be connected to the Irish and UK grids to help respond to energy demand as part of a new project coordinated by Schwungrad Energie and involving engineers from the University of Sheffield, Adaptive Balancing Power and Freqcon.

The €4 million euro project, with €2.9 million coming from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, will develop an innovative flywheel battery hybrid energy storage system aimed at stabilising pressure on the existing grid infrastructure in Europe.

The Times feature Flywheels could join batteries in storing electricity for the national grid

Power Engineering International feature European flywheel battery storage project gets underway

Yokogawa Delivers Control system for Europe’s First Hybrid-flywheel Energy Storage Plant

Yokogawa Delivers Control system for Europe’s First Hybrid-flywheel Energy Storage Plant

Yokogawa delivered the FA-M3V high speed controller and the FAST/TOOLS SCADA software to monitor and control the amount of energy that is stored in the flywheels and the charging/discharging of the lead acid battery.  Please click here to see the following link for Yokogowas press release on their involvement with the pilot project.

Schwungrad Energie feature in Energy UK “A Future of Choice” Documentary

Schwungrad Energie feature in Energy UK “A Future of Choice” Documentary

Schwungrad Energie’s Hybrid flywheel-battery pilot plant was featured in the Energy UK’s “A Future of Choice” documentary. The documentary focuses on the choices to be encountered by countries to ensure energy security and examines the transition of the energy generation portfolio as more sustainable sources are adopted and the technological challenges which renewables can introduce.


The documentary was launched at the Energy UK’s Annual Conference in London in October where the theme was “Choices in Energy”.

Please view our feature in the documentary below which shows how advanced technology can assist overcoming barriers and enable greater penetrations of renewable power generators while maintaining the security and reliability of the electricity system.


The full documentary can be viewed on the Energy UK website 

Schwungrad Energie’s official opening of its Hybrid flywheel-battery pilot.

Schwungrad Energie’s official opening of its Hybrid flywheel-battery pilot.

Our Hybrid flywheel-battery pilot facility to provide system services was officially opened in Rhode, Co. Offaly on Wednesday November 9thth by Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy, TD Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

The opening of the Hybrid flywheel-battery plant represents significant progress as we have reached a major project and company milestone. The efforts of proficient local contractors such as RR Projects, Hayden Plant and Pat Howley Electrical have greatly assisted this stage of the project.

Approximately 40 jobs were provided in the construction phase of the pilot project, and we feel that it benefited the local economy in Rhode and the surrounding area. This benefit could be replicated at much larger scale should we progress to the 20 MW plant planned for the site.

Schwungrad Energie intend to explore other opportunities to generate local employment from our future projects. Already options have been identified for manufacturing, fabrication and assembly of some components locally and we are confident that this has major jobs potential for the future.

Schwungrad EnergiePictured above, from left to right are; Barry Cowen (Spokesperson on Environment & Local Government), Donal Bourke (Yokogawa), Ogata Hiroyuki (Yokogawa), Hiroyuki Kusunose (Hitachi Chemical), Yoshihiro Nomura (Vice CEO Hitachi Chemical), Doireann Barry (EirGrid), His Excellency Mr. Chihiro Atsumi (Ambassador of Japan to Ireland), Simon Rogers (Managing Director, Yokogawa UK and Ireland), Nigel Reams (Schwungrad Energie), Tom Kelly (Divisional Manager for Cleantech, Electronics and Lifesciences Enterprise Ireland), Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (Chair of Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation), Peter Duffy (Schwungrad Energie), John McCann (Programme Manager for Electricity and Wind, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland), Mr. Jing Ping (President of Liaoning Zhengbang Investment Group. Vice Chairman of Liaoning People’s Political Consultative Conference), Robert Lynch (University of Limerick), Colm Staunton (Schwungrad Energie), Liam Quinn (Local Councillor), Mervyn Keegan (Schwungrad Energie), Lea Collins (Schwungrad Energie), Frank Burke (Schwungrad Energie).

Speakers at the opening included:
Ms. Marcella Corcoran Kennedy – chair of Committee on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation
Ambassador Atsumi – Ambassador of Japan to Ireland
Councillor Liam Quinn
Tom Kelly – Divisional Manager for Cleantech, Electronics and Lifesciences Enterprise Ireland
John McCann – Programme Manager for Electricity and Wind, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Mr. Barry Cowen – Spokesperson on Environment & Local Government
Mr. Declan Kirrane – Chief Executive of Offaly County Council
Mr. Yoshihiro Nomura – Vice CEO Hitachi Chemical
Mr Jing Ping – President of Liaoning Zhengbang Investment Group. Vice Chairman of Liaoning Peoples Political Consultative Conference.

Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy, TD said, “This is an exciting development in terms of clean energy technology and I want to wish Schwungrad Energie well with the project which has the potential to deliver large numbers of jobs downstream.”

A warm thank you is extended to all those who attended on the day and participated in the opening ceremony.