Energy Storage, Europe, EV Infrastructure, Smart Grid T&D, T&D Infrastructure

European flywheel battery storage project gets underway

Europe’s largest flywheel battery energy storage system is set to be connected to the Irish and UK grids after trials in Ireland.

The €4m ($4.5m) system, a first for the UK, will be capable of 500 kW peak power and able to store 10 kWh of energy.

The project is planned for installation in two phases, beginning with a pilot system at Schwungrad Energie Ltd’s Irish flywheel battery facility in collaboration with grid operator EirGrid. The system will then be installed at the University of Sheffield’s 2 MW energy storage research facility in England.

At that time the project partners plan to upgrade the system to provide 1 MW of peak power and 20 kWh of energy storage. Once installed, it will be used to provide frequency response services.

Schwungrad Energie Limited is co-ordinating the project, partnering with Adaptive Balancing Power GmbH, which will provide the flywheel technology, and engineers from the University of Sheffield. Freqcon GmbH will design and build scalable multi-source power converters to connect the flywheels to the grid, while Yokogawa has delivered the high speed controller and SCADA software to monitor and control the amount of energy stored in the flywheels and the charging/discharging of the lead-acid battery. 

With €2.9m in support from the EU’s Horizon2020 scheme, the project aims to develop a flywheel battery hybrid energy storage system that will help stabilize pressure on Europe’s existing grid infrastructure.

Jake Bracken, project research manager with Schwungrad Energie, said: “The existing Hybrid Flywheel-Battery Facility has concluded a trial with EirGrid, successfully demonstrating the technology’s capability to rapidly inject power following a frequency event. 

“When implemented at commercial scale the technology will assist in overcoming the challenges of operating a power system with increased levels of renewables.”