Energy Storage System
Mechanical engineering Professor Ha Seong-kyu at the ERICA Campus of Hanyang University announced on March 31 that his research team signed a contract with Beacon Power to transfer its flywheel energy storage device technology. According to the contract, the team receives a fixed royalty of US$330,000, along with 1.5 percent of the sales for the next 10 years.
A flywheel energy storage device converts electricity to high-speed rotational motion energy and converts it back to electricity when necessary. Combined with wind power or photovoltaic power generators, it can ensure a continuous supply of electricity, even when wind or solar power supply is temporarily cut.
Such a device requires very advanced technology for the design and production of the rotor and the hub. Even global leading research institutions have failed to break the 35 kWh mark due to the challenges involved.
However, Professor Ha and his team succeeded in developing a storage device with a capacity of over 50 kWh by mixing and rearranging the glass fibers and carbon fibers in the rotor and working on a rotor-supporting hub with a diameter of one meter, weight of one ton, and approximately 20,000 rpm.
“The development of power storage techniques is as important as the development of energy sources, and a large number of techniques have been made available so far around the world,” the professor explained, adding, “Our new development at this time is better than the others, in that it is capable of boosting the power storage capacity while requiring less cost for repair and maintenance.”