Flywheel energy systems are simple in concept. An electric motor is used to spin up a wheel or rotor to store energy, and energy is discharged by an electric generator, thus spinning down the flywheel. While the electromagnetic battery concept is decades old, recent advances in high-strength lightweight composite materials, magnetic bearings, and power electronics technology have brought renewed interest in flywheel energy storage technologies. Advances make possible flywheel speeds that can equal or exceed the energy storage capability of traditional chemical batteries. NASA’s Glenn Research Center invites companies to license this flywheel technology, which has implications not only for spacecraft applications but also for the transportation, utility, and manufacturing industries.
Listen to the Innovation Now Radio Show podcast: "Flywheels Put a New Spin on Power Storage"
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