First flywheel hybrid energy storage plant in Europe is opened

Europe’s first flywheel hybrid energy storage plant has been officially launched in Ireland.

The plant in Rhode, County Offaly, is owned and operated by Irish energy company Schwungrad Energie and is expected to enter a test operational phase in February.

The Rhode hybrid demo project comprises two Beacon Power 160 kW flywheels and Hitachi Chemical valve-regulated lead acid batteries of up to 240 kW. Schwungrad and Yokogawa open flywheel energy storage project

The plant will have a maximum import capacity of 400 kVA and maximum export capacity of 422 kVA when completed.

Schwungrad says that the flywheel system has very high cycling ability and can rapidly absorb short-term excess grid energy and generate energy as needed by grid operators.

The company adds that the batteries can provide energy over longer durations but have more limited cycling capabilities. The hybrid flywheel will assist in disruption mitigation, during times of unexpected demand or sudden changes in energy supply/demand.

Schwungrad developed the hybrid power storage system in collaboration with the Department of Physics & Energy at the University of Limerick and will work with the Irish transmissions system operator to connect the plant to the grid as a demonstration project under Ireland’s Smart Grid Programme.

Yokogawa Ireland – part of Yokogawa Electric Corporation – delivered a FA-M3V high speed controller and its 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.

Yokogawa also supplied an Exaquantum plant information management system that allows Schwungrad to log and analyse plant data while “easily transforming this data into usable, high-value, widely distributed information”.

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