Bulk Energy Storage

Bulk Energy Storage Solutions
that Cost as little as $0.05 / kWh to Operate


"Net Zero Energy" to Become $1.3 Trillion/year Industry by 2035

Austin, Texas

Palm Springs, California


Bulk Energy Storage

What is Bulk Energy Storage?

Bulk energy storage refers to various methods to "store" electricity within an electrical power grid.

Electrical energy can be stored during times that electrical generation from power plants exceeds the consumption by customers and the stored energy can then be utilized at times when consumption of electricity exceeds generation of electricity. Bulk energy storage permits power generation to be maintained at a more constant level, avoiding the sharp spikes in power generation so that the power plants can be more efficiently operated - reducing fuel consumption thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Sandia Labs in their report titled; "Energy Storage for the Electricity Grid; Benefits and Market Potential Assessment Guide" (February 2010), the market for energy storage exceeds $100 billion during the next ten years.


What is Frequency Regulation?

The electric grid is kept in balance at 60 hz. Any deviation from this may cause serious problems ranging from damage to destruction of electrical equipment to a blackout. Because the supply and demand of electricity is always changing, the grid's frequency is always changing and it is critical the electric grid to be kept in balance and maintain 60 hz. The continuous and instantaneous balancing of supply and demand of electricity is known as "frequency regulation" or frequency response.

What is Flywheel Energy Storage?

A Flywheel Energy Storage system is supposed to act as mechanical batteries that store power kinetically in the form of a rotating mass, or "flywheel."

When the grid goes down, the power stored by the rotating flywheel is converted to electrical energy through the flywheel’s integrated electric generator. The system provides the DC energy to the Uninterruptible Power Supplies or "UPS" system until grid power is restored or the facility's back-up power generator can be started. Once either the utility is restored or the genset provides power to the input of the UPS system, the Flywheel Energy Storage system will be re-charged by taking some current from the DC bus of the Flywheel Energy Storage until it is back up to full speed.

Problems with Flywheel Energy Storage

Mechanical - moving parts translate into high maintenance and operations as well as break-downs.

Operate at high speeds - some flywheel energy storage systems spin at 24,000 RPMs and higher.

"Wobble" effect - the flywheel spins at high-speed and its' inertia tends to make it wobble and exerts enormous force on the bearings as the flywheel works against the "natural axis" of the flywheel. To counter this, most flywheel energy storage companies use expensive bearings and magnets as well as expensive materials (high-grade carbon fiber &/or  high-grade steel) to counter the wobble and spinning forces on the flywheel.

Short run-down time - TFrom the time that a flywheel energy storage system has been "wound-up" and ready for use, to the time it can actually be used in means that they are not able to be used for long-term applications.  Most flywheel energy storage systems are therefore limited to short term applications ranging anywhere for a few minutes up to an
hour. This means that the actual run-time periods while deploying flywheel energy storage systems are very expensive, i.e. $300,000 to $3 million / MWh (megawatt hour). 

Expensive to buy, own and operate - The high costs of flywheel energy storage upwards - from $300,000 to $3 million / MWh (megawatt hour) for the best flywheel energy storage systems are not competitive with other energy storage and frequency regulation alternatives, particularly when the operating and maintenance costs are factored in. The biggest and best of all flywheel energy storage companies, Beacon Power, filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

Solutions and Alternatives to Flywheel Energy Storage

There are a number of alternatives for companies considering Flywheel Energy Storage systems for UPS, Frequency Regulation, Demand Side Management and Clean Power Generation. In terms of cost and run-time, CHP systems, operating in either cogeneration or trigeneration mode, are nearly impossible to compete with.

CHP Systems are inxpensive to buy, own and operate:

CHP systems cost +/- $2 million / MW to buy.  With natural gas at $3.00 / mmbtu, CHP systems, operating in either cogeneration or trigeneration mode have a fuel cost of +/- $0.03 (3 cents) / kWh and can run practically 24 x 7 x 365.

We can package a CHP system, operating in either cogeneration or trigeneration and have it installed, commissioned and running in about 2 months. Call / e-mail us for more information or a price quote. See pictures below of a 900 kW CHP system that was custom-built for one of our clients.


According to Pike Research, the requirements for frequency regulation is expected to double between now and 2020.


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What is Battery Energy Storage?

Battery Energy Storage, and Battery Energy Storage systems (BESS) use stored electrical power in batteries, and feed this energy to the electric grid (building, or facility) at times when it makes economic sense.  For a "Net Zero Energy" building or facility, a Solar Cogeneration, or Solar Trigeneration energy system is used that stores excess solar power in the Battery Energy Storage system during the daytime, for use when the sun goes down, and during inclement weather.

Battery Energy Storage is an ideal solution for utility-scale wind farms, particularly in Texas, when most of the renewable energy is generated at night when the power isn't needed. 

Battery Energy Storage is also an ideal demand side management, peak shifting or load leveling solution.


Bulk Energy Storage

Buildings of the Future  *  Micro-Grid  *  Net Zero Energy  *  Solar Cogeneration  Trigeneration


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