Auto Tram Photo from Fraunhofer-IVI in Dresden
The Energy Blog relays a Reuters story about how federal energy legislation, which was passed this summer and extended a production tax credit for two more years, is stimulating growth in the American wind energy business.
John Krenicki, president and CEO of GE Energy, a $17 billion unit of GE, told Reuters that they forecast revenue from wind energy to grow by 50% in 2006 to $3 billion, $4 billion in 2007 and more than 10% a year through the end of the decade.
Speaking of stimulating, I have been musing over the coupling of a VAWT with an EMAFER. A VAWT as you already should know is a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. However, VAWTs suffer from (said sotto voce) “the Intermittency Problem“, which is where, as previously suggested and Energy Storage Council endorsed, we could apply a stationary EMAFER, for improving the power quality (voltage stabilization) of energy to the Grid.
Dr. Ir. F.J.M. Thoolen tell us more about the EMAFER (Electro Mechanical Accumulator For Energy Re-use).
The EMAFER is a high power flywheel energy storage device that is capable to take up and return considerable amounts of energy efficiently and in short times.
The design philosophy of EMAFER is to make full use of the high power capability of the flywheel. This and the high-energy efficiency and the long cycle life distinguish the system from the well-known electrochemical battery.
The concept includes a high speed system consisting of a composite flywheel integrated with a synchronous permanent magnet motor / generator and controlled by a powerful converter with high frequency power switches.
The EMAFER system is well suited for mobile and stationary applications. In mobile applications such a system can be used in vehicle propulsions for a clean, silent and energy saving transport in urban areas. For a city bus up to 35% energy reduction and 90% emission reduction are possible, compared to current diesel city buses.
Flywheels, We Got Your Flywheels Right Here
Where can you find one of those nifty flywheels? I am so glad you asked. From CCM, the Centre for Concepts in Mechatronics. What about elsewhere? Well, there also was Urenco Power Technologies flywheel technology, but they have stopped manufacturing. Thus, the source for the title. K.I.S.S. stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid”, whereas K.E.S.S. is an acronym for Kinetic Energy Storage System.
Holy Flywheel Modeks, Treehuggers
But, hey, it doesn't have to stationary. If you can get your KIKS in an Auto-Tram, a.k.a., a Flywheel (Sorry, Green, no Purple) People Mover, theoretically, you could store cyclic power generated from renewable sources, such as photovoltaics and wind power, into a fleet of flywheel modeks. For more about see the Green Car Congress article about a hybrid vehicle that uses a patented Active Rotating Containment flywheel.
At first glance, this approach to energy storage would seem to be better for the environment than hydraulic kinetic storage since hydraulic fluid is an environmental pollutant. And, pneumatic accumulators, a.k.a., Compressed Air Energy Storage, require larger volume containers and have similar requirements for dealing with fluids and gases under high pressure.