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.
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.’
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.
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.’
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
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.”
Press Release: Wednesday, August 29th, 2019
State of the art technology is necessary to strengthen grid stability and ensure renewable energy targets are met, Commissioner Phil Hogan said at the launch of the Trial Phase of a new hybrid flywheel energy project in Rhode, Co. Offaly.
The “AdD HyStor” project, coordinated by Irish company Schwungrad Energie, has already received close to €3m EU investment and will now be trailed for development commercially. It is being developed in association with German companies Adaptive Balancing Power and Freqcon and the University of Sheffield in the UK.
Officially launching the Trial Phase Commissioner Hogan said: “The 2020 renewable energy targets will have to be met by all EU Member States, including Ireland.
“In order to meet its targets and avoid potential fines, Ireland needs to heighten its ambition and speed up implementation. The European Commission will continue to invest in projects which contribute to enhanced energy sustainability for our citizens, and the state of the art Hybrid Flywheel-Battery pilot in Rhode, Co. Offaly, is a good example.
“Ireland is making good progress in renewable energy generation, notably through wind power, but storage capacity needs to improve in order to strengthen grid stability, which is why the Commission supported this project to the tune of €2,944,001. This facility can make an important contribution to Ireland’s energy future,” Mr Hogan said.
The project has important potential both commercially and in assisting a rapid move to a decarbonised electricity supply which has knock on benefits for low carbon transport and heating, Jake Bracken of Schwungrad Energie explained.
“It will enable transition to wind and solar electricity delivery, providing essential stability and reliability to the electricity grids both in Ireland and throughout the EU.
At a commercial level, it has very significant potential to deliver manufacturing jobs. The project will provide access to Irish and UK markets and will be a contributor to requirements arising from the DS3 programme being rolled out currently by the EirGrid.
Dr. Hendrik Schaede, Co-founder and managing director of Adaptive Balancing Power said “the AdD HyStor project has enabled us to increase our team and manufacture our first commercial scale flywheels for grid balancing demonstration. Following this, we will expand the team and manufacturing capability further to supply equipment for grid scale commercial projects across Europe.”
The current trailing phase involves approximately six months testing at the Rhode facility followed by a further six months at the University of Sheffield, after which it will be expanded to facilitate full commercial development.
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.
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 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’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