New Funding: NSF Project on Flywheels for Utility Scale Energy Storage

The Severson Research Group is working with startup company Revterra to develop and test a superconducting magnetic bearing and an ultra-efficient motor/generator for a flywheel energy storage system.

To get to 100% renewable generation, we need to rethink our approach to power grid energy storage. Chemical batteries won’t get us there due to their inherent limitations (usage of rare and hazardous materials, short charge cycle lifetime, and inability to scale power separate from energy stored). Other technologies depend on local geography (i.e., pumped hydro, compressed air, gravity-based), making them also infeasible for system-wide usage. This project is taking a fresh look at inertial energy storage. Revterra is collaborating with our research group on a National Science Foundation funded project to develop electric machinery (a superconducting magnetic bearing and an innovative motor/generator) to solve the self-discharge problem of conventional flywheel storage. Our goal is to create a new flywheel system that can provide ultra-efficient, long lasting energy storage to the power grid.

More information on Revterra here and here.

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