The Anonymous Widower

Flywheel-Lithium Battery Hybrid Energy Storage System Joining Dutch Grid Services Markets

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Storage News.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A hybrid energy storage system combining lithium-ion batteries with mechanical energy storage in the form of flywheels has gone into operation in the Netherlands, from technology providers Leclanché and S4 Energy.

These are some points from the article.

  • The system contains 8.8MW / 7.12MWh of lithium-ion batteries.
  • Six flywheels add up to 3MW of power.
  • The 5,000kg KINEXT flywheel operates at 92% efficiency.
  • The flywheels do not suffer from long-term degradation.

The article finishes with a discussion about the pros and cons of flywheel storage.

In the 1960s, when I worked at Enfield Rolling Mills, I heard stories of their 97-tonne flywheel on their main rolling mill for reducing copper wirebars to coils of wire for drawing into electrical wire for use in its myriad applications.

  • Copper wirebars, were bars of refined copper about a metre long and perhaps ten centimetres square, which arrived at Enfield by barge from the London docks up the River Lea.
  • The main rolling mill had arrived in Enfield, as reparations after the First World War. It had the Krupp trademark of three interlocked railway tyres all over it. It was probably built just after the start of the Twentieth Century.
  • The flywheel was spun by an electric motor and the rolling mill itself, where wirebars snaked through a series of rollers of diminishing size, was driven from the flywheel.
  • The arrangement meant that continuous power was supplied by the motor rather than intermittent power.

It was a fascinating process to watch, as the wire snaked through and was turned at each mill by an operator called a catcher, with a large pair of tongs. That was not a job for weaklings. The section I worked for, were always dreaming of automating the catching process. But I don’t think they ever did!

The flywheel was the source of legendary stories, many of which which have probably been exaggerated over the years.

One concerned its installation, where it was realised that there was no crane big enough to lift it from where it was delivered to the mill.

So the chief engineer, an Austrian Jew called Schimmatovich, devised a plan where men were used to roll it in to place. Like with the pyramids or in a concentration camp, where Shimmy had been incarcerated, as he said at the time.

It was successfully done on a Sunday morning, and after it was successfully secured, the Managing Director, who was called something like Freddy Pluety, suggested everybody join him in the Sports and Social Club for a drink.

So Freddy led a crocodile of perhaps a hundred across the road and walked into the Club, where the steward was just shutting up. Freddy ordered the drinks, but was told No! So Freddy picked him up and sat him on the bar. Freddy then noticed there were two very large and thirsty men on either side, so he said to them, “Are you going to hit him first or am I?”

They all got their drinks.

There must be many legendary industrial stories like this, that have been forgotten.

September 3, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 1 Comment

An Appropriate Story For Today

On Page 58, The Times has an article entitled Frictionless Flywheels Hold Balance Of Power.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Flywheels will be used to balance supply and demand on Britain’s electricity grid in a £3.5million project that could help the country to cope with more wind and solar power.

Sophisticated flywheels that can store electricity for long periods of time are to be installed next to the University of Sheffield’s battery storage facility at Willenhall near Wolverhampton, in the first project of its kind in the UK.

By using batteries and flywheels together, this makes a responsive battery that can fill in demand and overcome the degradation problems of lithium-ion batteries.

It looks a promising way of creating an affordable and reliable energy storage system.

Who needs coal? Trumkopf obviously does to buy votes!

In the United States, with its massive mountain ranges, it would be better to create construction jobs by creating hydro-based energy storage systems, as we did in the 1970s at Dinorwig and the Americans, themselves did at Bath County Pumped Storage Station a few years later.

To gauge the size of these plants, Bath County has about the same generating capacity as the UK’s largest power station at Drax, with Dinorwig being about 55% of the size.

Bath County and Dinorwig are big bastards, but their main feature, is the ability to pump water to store the energy.

Energy is like money, the best thing to do with excess is to put it in a secure storage facility.


June 2, 2017 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment