|The Smart Energy 25.|
Beacon Power Corporation has assembled and spun up to more than 11,000 rpm the first pre-production unit of its fourth-generation Smart Energy 25 flywheel energy storage system. This is slightly more than two-thirds of the target maximum design speed and represents significant progress in the next-generation system’s development, according to the company.
Conventional approaches to frequency regulation—balancing grid power generation with load—vary the power output from fossil-fuel or hydro generators connected to the electric grid. A flywheel system, however, is a storage-based approach, and thus is of particular interest for use in conjunction with renewable power generation (wind, solar) where the primary power output is variable. (Earlier post.)
The Smart Energy 25 is designed to store 25 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy and to deliver 100 kW of power. The system, manufactured under multiple Beacon patents, is expected to store significantly more energy than any other commercial flywheel in the world known to Beacon Power.
The results increased the company’s confidence that the unit will meet full performance specifications in further testing before the end of Q1 2007, enabling it to be coupled with other such units to build a Smart Energy Matrix later that year.
This flywheel system is the cornerstone of our commercial Smart Energy Matrix, and we’re very pleased that our team was able to progress from specification to initial operation two months ahead of schedule. This accomplishment gives us greater confidence in achieving our milestone of generating first revenues from frequency regulation services before the end of 2007.—Bill Capp, Beacon Power president and CEO
Upon completion of Beacon’s testing of this Smart Energy 25 unit, the Company plans to start production of units to build multiple Smart Energy Matrix systems, so as to supply commercial-level frequency regulation services. The goal is to manufacture and install a sufficient number of Smart Energy 25 flywheels to provide at least one megawatt of revenue-generating frequency regulation service before the end of 2007. Beacon also plans to expand production to achieve its goal of 10 to 20 megawatts of revenue-generating service by the end of 2008.