Flywheel energy storage systems store kinetic energy (i.e. energy produced by motion) by constantly spinning a compact rotor in a low-friction environment. When short-term back-up power is required (i.e. when utility power fluctuates or is lost), the rotor's inertia allows it to continue spinning and the resulting kinetic energy is converted to electricity.
Active Power's CleanSource? Flywheel Technology, as shown below, integrates the function of a motor, flywheel rotor and generator into a single integrated system. The motor, which uses electric current from the utility grid to provide energy to rotate the flywheel, spins constantly to maintain a ready source of kinetic energy. The generator then converts the kinetic energy of the flywheel into electricity. This integration of functionality reduces the cost and increases product efficiency.
The flywheel rotor spins in a near frictionless environment, created by Active Power's patented magnetic bearing technology. This innovative technology unloads a majority of the flywheel's weight from the field-replaceable mechanical bearing cartridge. The efficiency in the chamber is further enhanced by the creation of a rough vacuum, which reduces drag on the spinning flywheel. As power is transferred to the load, the flywheel's speed decreases. Additional current is then supplied to the field coil to ensure that the voltage output remains constant throughout discharge. This enables the flywheel system to provide ride-through power during power disturbances.
Active Power's flywheel-based systems provide ride-through power for the majority of power disturbances, such as voltage sags and surges, and bridges the gap between a power outage and the time required to switch to generator power.
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