Yokogawa delivers control system for Europe’s first hybrid battery/flywheel energy storage plant

1 January 2016

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces that Yokogawa Ireland, a branch office of the subsidiary Yokogawa United Kingdom, has delivered a control system for Europe’s first hybrid, flywheel/ battery, energy storage plant, which is located in Rhode, County Offaly, Ireland. The hybrid energy storage plant was officially inaugurated on 4 November 2015 by Schwungrad Energie, the owner and operator of the facility.

Schwungrad Energie has developed this hybrid power storage system in collaboration with the Department of Physics & Energy at the University of Limerick, and will work with the Irish transmission system operator to connect the plant to the power grid as a demonstration project under its Smart Grid Programme.

The Rhode hybrid demo project comprises two Beacon Power 160 kW flywheels combined with Hitachi Chemical valve regulated lead acid batteries of up to 160 kW.

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

The flywheel system, with very high cycling ability, can rapidly absorb short-term excess grid power and generate power as needed by grid operators. Batteries can provide energy over longer durations but have more limited cycling capabilities than flywheels. The hybrid flywheel will assist in disruption mitigation, during times of unexpected demand or sudden changes in energy supply/demand. After the completion of construction, the plant is scheduled to enter a test operation phase from February 2016.

The Schwungrad Energie project represents first field test of a hybrid battery/ flywheel energy storage system in Europe.

Yokogawa delivered the FA-M3V high speed controller and the 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. In addition, Yokogawa provided an Exaquantum plant information management system that allows Schwungrad Energie to historise and analyse plant data whilst easily transforming this data into usable, high-value, widely distributed information. The company was also responsible for the engineering, installation, and commissioning of these systems.

Backed by this project, Yokogawa says it will actively continue in its efforts to win orders and strengthen its position in the power industry through the provision of grid-connectable power storage systems and other solutions that can help to build a sustainable society.

Schwungrad specialises in the installation and operation of high energy battery/ flywheel storage plants that can support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation. It is a consortium of energy specialists and financial investors and is based in Ireland.

Schwungrad intends to provide system services to transmission system operators (TSOs) in European countries that "will provide for the achievement of renewable electricity targets throughout the EU by enabling higher levels of intermittent and unpredictable renewable generation", with a focus on adapting proven flywheel and battery technology to produce "an innovative hybrid system."

Hybrid powered flywheels are not currently used in Europe to provide system services to electricity grids on a utility scale but they "have emerged as a feasible solution", says Schwungrad.


(Originally published in MPS January 2016)

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