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Flywheel-battery hybrid system installed in Ireland

The pilot plant in County Offaly was built for Schwungrad Energie. Source: Freqcon.
A flywheel-battery hybrid storage system has been installed in Ireland, a system that the companies involved claim is the first of its kind.

The system includes two 160kW by US manufacturer Beacon and a Hitachi 160kW/576kWh deep-cycle lead-acid battery. The power conversion system was provided by German company Freqcon.

The pilot plant in County Offaly was built for Dublin-based Schwungrad Energie and is now in a test and validation phase as part of EirGrid’s DS3 programme (Delivering a Secure Sustainable Electricity System).

“The flywheel system has a very high cycling ability and can rapidly absorb or generate energy to stabilise the grid frequency,“ Frank Burke, technical director of Schwungrad Energie. “The batteries can provide energy over longer durations but have more limited cycling abilities. The combined capabilities of flywheels and batteries make this hybrid system an ideal plant to stabilise the grid and allow for higher levels of penetration of the grid by energy from renewable sources.“

The PCS is designed for grid support services with response times of less than 20 milliseconds. The BMS manages the charging/discharging process and ensures that the batteries are operated within the design parameters. Norbert Hennchen, CEO of Freqcon, said: “The market for grid stabilisation systems is growing, and fast frequency response is a valuable system service to the grid. The flywheel-battery hybrid system is a very promising technology in this space and we are excited to partner with Schwungrad Energie and deploy the first unit in Europe.”

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