Two powerhouses in the flywheel and uninterruptable power supply (UPS) markets have merged after Active Power was sold to Piller Group.
The German firm’s purchase, which was announced in September but only finalised recently, comes as it angles itself for a greater share of the critical power market.
In the shadows of more well-known and ‘fashionable’ battery chemistries flywheel technology is beginning to shine in large-scale renewable energy storage systems (ESS).
Firstly, US start-up Amber Kinetics is testing its flywheel’s ability to integrate with renewables in pilot schemes in the Philippines and Hawaii.
Testing has proved that a lead-acid and flywheel hybrid energy storage system can handle renewable energy as a pilot comes to a close in Ireland.
The trial in County Offaly uses a 160kW lead-acid battery from Hitachi Chemical and a 60kW/30kWh flywheel by US company Beacon Power.
The hybrid system by energy consortium Schwungrad Energie, along with transmission system operator EirGrid (Irish Transmission System Operator), has shown the system can handle real-time response and power output requirements.
US flywheel firm Amber Kinetics and Hawaiian Electric Company (HEC) are set to test the capability of a flywheel system through a joint energy storage pilot project.
The project will use Amber Kinetics Amber Gen2© Model 25 steel flywheel system, at HEC’s Campbell Industrial Park generating station on O‘ahu, Hawaii.
The global battery energy storage system market (BESS) is expected to grow by almost ten times by 2020, according to a GlobalData report.
The sector is predicted to grow from 1.5GW in 2015 to 14GW. The main driver of the growth will be the increased share of renewable energy in the power sector and lower production costs in battery systems.
Many global BESS projects are expected to start in the near future as more wind and solar sources are being merged into power grids increasing the need for storage systems like CAES and flywheels that use electro-mechanical technology and batteries and super-capacitors based on electro-chemical technology, and pumped hydorelectric storage (PHS).
A lithium-ion and a separate flywheel project will bring 20MW of energy storage to the Philippines when they come on stream this month as the country tries to halt blackouts.
AES Philippines, a unit of AES Corp., alongside Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO) is set to complete a 10 MW lithium-ion based energy storage facility in Masinloc, Zambales province late this month.
The 10-MW energy storage system will be used to provide reserve power and grid stability services to the Luzon grid, said Chanin Chaonirattisai, president of the Thai independent power producer EGCO
Construction on the project began in December 2015 and is currently around 90% complete, he added.
Meanwhile Philippines renewable energy company Emerging Power has joined forces with US flywheel firm Amber Kinetics on a project that will begin its first operations this month.
Californian company Amber Kinetics is providing a 10MW energy storage system to harness power from the 150MW solar farm in the Philippine municipality of Subic.
The two hybrid projects are likely to be only the tip of the iceberg as three other solar farms totaling almost 100-megawatts come online in the country.
Flywheel energy storage company Amber Kinetics has named Daniel Bakholdin as its new chief technology officer.
Flywheel technology inventor and pioneer Bakholdin will be responsible for commercialising the Californian, US-based company’s product.
Flywheel manufacturer Amber Kinetics has hired a new senior vice president of manufacturing and operations as the company growth spurt continues.