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TECHNICAL PAPER

Development of Compact Flywheel Energy Storage System (ComFESS)
A. KUBO H. KAMENO

R. TAKAHATA

The objective of this research program is to develop a flywheel energy storage system that can replace the lead battery,
which has inherent problems in regard to maintenance and environmental protection. The basic development target has been
a "1 kWh class system (ComFESS) capable of providing a backup power supply of 300 watts for approximately 3 hours," for
which challenges were reduction of windage loss and rotation loss. Therefore, the flywheel is housed in a vacuum container,
and an active magnetic bearing has been adopted to support the flywheel without contact.
This paper concerns the watt loss as related to the specifications of the active magnetic bearing (AMB) and
motor/generator. Specifically, discussion will be focused on the approaches employed to cut down on overall watt loss of the
flywheel system to approximately a quarter of that involved in the conventional system. This improvement stems mainly from
the reduction of AMB loss achieved by means of the zero-power nonlinear control.
This zero-power nonlinear control, being able to dispense with the bias current, enables both AMB loss and power
consumption for AMB control to be minimized.
Key Words: flywheel energy storage system, ComFESS, active magnetic bearings zero-power nonlinear control,
hysteresis motor

1. Introduction

2. Target of Loss Reduction

Along with the advance of the IT revolution, the impact of
disrupted communications due to blackouts and the like on
social and personal life has become extremely serious. That is
why many lead batteries are currently used as the backup
power sources, and rapid expansion of their usage is expected.
However, the lead batteries have service life of only several
years (3~4 years) and require maintenance. To make matters
worse, as they contain chemical substances and heavy metals
that are hazardous to the human body and plants, the batteries
cannot help facing the environmental problems.
Under such circumstances, clean, high-performance energy
storage systems that can replace the lead batteries having
maintenance and environmental problems are demanded. The
flywheel energy storage system is one of the candidates,
regarding which development has been progressing
worldwide1).
This research program has been aimed at development of
elemental technology that would comprise a compact flywheel
energy storage system (hereinafter referred to as
"ComFESS"), which would be a 1 kWh class system capable
of supplying 300 W power for approximately 3 hours,
replacing the lead batteries. In order to ensure 3 hours backup
power supply, it is necessary to minimize the windage loss
and bearing loss of the ComFESS. Therefore, the flywheel is
located in a vacuum chamber and the flywheel rotor is
supported by active magnetic bearings (hereinafter referred to
as "AMB") that provide non-contact support with minimum
loss.

With a view to constructing a system of 300 W × 3 hours, a
conceptual system design was first worked out2). The structure
of the ComFESS is shown in Fig. 1.

Koyo Engineering Journal English Edition No.167E (2005)

Main shaft upper side
Flywheel

Hub

RaAMB unit

Vacuum
container
Axial AMB
Lower side RaAMB unit

Motor / Generator

Fig. 1 3D drawing of ComFESS

To make the system compact, we incorporated a flywheel
440mm in diameter made of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced
plastic). Inside the bore of the flywheel is mounted the rotor
unit comprised of the hub and the shaft. The rotor unit is
accelerated up to 24 000 min−1, and the electric power is taken
out while the unit is subsequently decelerated. Here, however,
a part of the energy stored in the system is consumed as the
driving power for the AMB controller and the inverter. Taking
this into account and assuming that the power of 300 W × 3
hours is taken out, calculation is made to approximate the
rotational decay of the rotor as shown in Fig. 2. In this figure,
the "+" marked curve represents the rotational decay pattern

29

a hysteresis motor and permanent magnet motor (hereinafter referred to as "PM") were comparatively appraised. the "zero-power non-linear control method" was adopted to minimize the bias current of RaAMB (total current supplied to RaAMB. The windage loss of 50 W is based on the pressure of 2 Pa.−Development of Compact Flywheel Energy Storage System (ComFESS)− for the case of conventional AMB technology and the motor/generator. The results are as follows. the figure indicates that the conventional system can take out the power only for 1. I0 + control current. 2 Magnetic Bearing (AMB) 10 000 5 000 0 In an attempt to achieve the above target.5 hours. In this project. Design of ComFESS 100 f2B : 1 185Hz (1st Bending mode of shaft) 50 # 0 # −50 f1B : 145Hz (1st Bending mode of hub) −100 −150 −200 0 100 200 300 400 500 Rotor unit length. hours Fig. 3. On the other hand. the hysterisis motor was selected because of its having the following features: · Simple structure with excellent cost performance · Smaller loss (PM motor has 4~5 times greater loss) · No need to develop converter (IGBT type converter available in the market was selected) 3. which is expected to be attained by adopting the non-linear control (zero-power control)4) and other improvements. the hub and the flywheel. 1 Motor/Generator & Converter As motor/generator candidates for this system. the AMB relies on the linear 3) control method consuming bias current .167E (2005) . the loss of the motor/generator is targeted for around 95 W by adopting the motor with smaller loss than the induction motor. whereas the motor/generator is such that the induction motor is driven by a conventional electric converter. 3 Rotor Unit The rotor unit of ComFESS is comprised of the shaft. As a result. we worked on design of ComFESS. 2 Estimated rotational decay of the rotor Table 1 Classification of ComFESS loss @24 000min−1 Conventional Target [W] [W] 500 100 50 50 Loss of motor / generator 200 95 Total 750 245 Loss of AMB Windage loss (at 1Pa) The target value for loss of AMB is set around 100 W. a PM biased axial magnet (PM biased AxStator) that allows PM attracting force was adopted. 2 with "×" marks. mm Fig. The values in the "conventional" column are for the conventional technology while those in the "Target" column are the values at which the new system is aimed. 1) PM Biased axial magnetic bearing (AxAMB) In this project. Table 1 summarizes various losses estimated for the −1 rotational speed condition of 24 000 min . mm Rotational speed. This result indicates that the taking power of 300 W × 3 hours would be attainable5). Ic). therefore. 25 000 15 000 3. which can substitute for the magnetic force required to sustain the dead weight of the rotor unit. Thus. The main specifications of the ComFESS are summarized in Table 26). Specifically. I = bias current. The rotational decay curve expected if the targets in Table 1 are achieved is plotted in Fig. 0 1 2 3 4 Time. min −1 : Target : Conventional 20 000 3. 2) Radial active magnetic bearing (RaAMB) A pair of radial active magnetic bearings provided on each of the upper and the lower parts of the spindle respectively are also required to save energy consumption. 200 # : Bearing : Sensor 150 Rotor unit radius. 3 Result of mode shape simulation 30 Koyo Engineering Journal English Edition No. which cannot be further improved. Its natural frequency was calculated as shown in Fig. 3.

8 1 Time. The third test machine was a flywheel AMB system (AMX095) designed to evaluate the zero power control.50A 0.2 0. After all element tests.86 0 0. The motor/generator Koyo Engineering Journal English Edition No.98 0 0 0.4 0. confirming the energy saving effect of the PM biased AxAMB.6 0. which clearly was far smaller than the target of 70 W.93 1. A direction AMB controller Mean : 0. 1 Measurement of Loss Each category of loss measured on the ComFESS BB at 24 000 min −1 is shown in Table 3.95 −3.1kWh (5 000min−1) Power capacity AxAMB ComFESS BB Measurement Motor / Generator (W) 25 30 Motor / Generator controller (W) 70 20 Motor / Generator total loss (W) A Ball bearing (W) Windage loss (W) AMB (1 DOF) Rotational loss (W) PM biased AxAMB Total loss (W) 95 50 200 200 50 50 B 250 250 A+B 345 300 Control method: Nonlinear control RaAMB AMB (4 DOF) 4. Touch down bearings Emergency support for Radial 5. 3. which met the target of 345 W. current for AMB: 40A (total) 8A (max. The first one was ComFESS BB.22 A which was far lower than approx.86 Upper side: direction 3. This test machine was used for testing such elements as the motor. Table 3 Measurement of ComFESS BB loss @24 000min−1 Length 258mm Flywheel: Outer dia. Thanks to this. 3. Nevertheless. The second test machine was a dummy ComFESS using a bakelite flywheel and active magnetic bearing. At that moment. 300mm Length 260mm Energy storage capacity 900Wh (effective) −1 Kinetic energy of the rotor 1. It was used for element tests of AMB and the natural frequencies of the rotor.−Development of Compact Flywheel Energy Storage System (ComFESS)− Table 2 Main specifications of ComFESS Rotor Total mass of rotor: 75kg Main shaft: Outer dia. sec (b) Conventional AxAMB Fig. 2.91 Lower side: Radial direction and axial Power supply for magnets: 80~150DCV Max.50 A required with the conventional AxAMB. 2 Test on PM Biased Axial Magnetic Bearing Control method: Linear control Electromagnets: Hetero-polar Rotor lamination: Silicon steel plate The rotor unit of the ComFESS was successfully levitated stably.8 1 Time.22A 1.4 0. ComFESS with AMB and CFRP flywheel was assembled by using some parts of Dummy ComFESS and ComFESS BB as shown in Fig. Therefore.88 Total current. flywheel and vacuum chamber. 4. The flywheel was comprised of CFRP and the main shaft including the flywheel and hub was supported only by ball bearings.95 2. The results of the basic element tests are as follows.) for each electromagnet Amplifier: PWM Total current.91 −5.91 2.2 0.86 N = 0 [rpm] 4. the waveform of electric current was measured with the results as shown in Fig. 4 Measured results of PM biased AxAMB The total current supplied to the PM biased AxAMB was significantly influenced by the noise. A Basic element tests were carried out to confirm the performance of each element with basic design. 31 . three kinds of test machines were designed and manufactured. the total measured loss on ComFESS BB was 300 W. the average current was held around 0.6kWh (24 000min ) 0. Basic Element Tests and Results (a) PM biased AxAMB 4. 75mm controller had a loss of 20 W.6 0. sec 4.167E (2005) 5.95 0 −1. 440mm Target Inner dia.

These waveforms demonstrate that at each moment only one of the two electromagnets is energized in accordance with the displacement of the rotor4).1676 m L1 0.5 0.1 Time. s 0 0 0. i. power consumption Rotational speed (min−1 ) Zero-bias method (W) Bias.−Development of Compact Flywheel Energy Storage System (ComFESS)− 4.5 −1 1 −4 ×10 −1 −0. m ×10 (b) Lower magnetic bearing (a) Upper magnetic bearing z Fig. 7 Control current (6 600min−1) However. the energy consumption was reduced to 60% of that required for conventional magnetic bearing control. 32 2 1. the measured current value was still high due to unbalance of the rotor. 3 Element Test on Zero-Power Control of Radial 7) Magnetic Bearing x=110Hz 0. −4 ×10 1 −0.1 112.8 64. A L1 L2 x L1 Sensor1 i3 x0 U3 i5. m 1) Flywheel AMB system (AMX095) Figure 5 shows the modeling simulation and figure of the flywheel AMB system used for the experiment. The parameters for this flywheel AMB system are shown in Table 4. 6.47×10−6 Nm2/A2 Kl 4.5 0 xu.04 0. This technology will make it possible to realize a highly efficient flywheel energy storage system that has not yet been achieved.47×10−6 Nm2/A2 X0. of which examples recorded at 6 600 min−1 for upper and lower magnetic bearings were shown in Fig.5 yu.167E (2005) . or that the basic control action is properly performed.4 0. As shown in Table 5.4 64.5 −1 −1 x=110Hz −4 ×10 1 0.06 0. 6 Orbits of rotor (6 600min−1) Magnet3 G f3 y hy Magnet7 i7 x0 U7 f7 x=100Hz i1 x0 U1 f1 Magnet1 Magnet5 i5 x0 U5 Sensor2 (a) Model of system (b) Picture of system Fig.04 0. m 0.1 48 47 48 41 Koyo Engineering Journal English Edition No. The control output is supplied to the electromagnet via a D/A converter and power amplifier.02 0.672 kg Ir 0. As further improvement is expected at higher rotating speed. s Fig.5 yl. it is conceivable to realize perfect zero-power control. An experimental attempt to perform the zero-power nonlinear control utilizing the conventional magnetic bearing mechanism for the linear control was successful.4 0 f5 x=100Hz 2 i7. Y0 −3 0. This flywheel AMB system consisted of a CFRP flywheel AMB. The control performance was evaluated by the orbit waveforms of the rotor.02535 m Ku 4. It is possible to reduce this current by additionally applying the unbalance force rejection control (UFRC) which rotates the rotor around the center of inertia without controlling rotation synchronous component.7 112. a feed back control system was constructed by means of a digital signal processor (DSP).5 1 0 −4 xl.8 0. method (W) Energy reduction (%) 0 600 1 200 1 800 64. m 0 0 −0. This control system receives input of 4-direction displacement information from 4position sensors and gives output control current to 8electromagnets.4 70. 5 Flywheel-AMB system (AMX095) Table 4 Parameters of rotor-AMB system Symbol Value Unit M 13.0499 m Ll 0.8 0.173 kgm 2 Ia 0.08 0.2 111.5 −0.2 0. Table 5 Rotational speed vs.e. a 4-input-8-output system.02 0.1 Time. a control unit and a high-frequency inverter.25×10 m 2) Test results For this test.9 112. A Lu 0 0. Figure 7 shows the waveforms of the control current on two electromagnets facing each other at the lower position of the spindle.2 1.06 0.6 1.08 0.6 1.186 kgm 2 Lu 0. It is also confirmed that the new technology can be applied to such other systems that involve high gyroscopic action or an elastic rotor.

the following element technology has been established. Professor Nonami of Chiba University. Emeritus Professor Schloesser of Eindhoven Institute of Technology (the Netherlands). To meet this demand for high-output-short-time backup systems. wherein development of commercial products will be pursued. if the effect of PM biased AMB and zero biased control at the elemental development level so far are added. there is potential improvement by application of zero-power control including unbalanced force rejection control ("'" marked curve). : Conventional : Hysteresis motor : PM bias AMB (bias control AMB) : Zero bias AMB : Target : Zero bias AMB (Unbalance control) Rotational speed. Thoolen of Centrum voor Constructie en Mechatronica (CCN: the Netherlands). 4) For the zero-power-non-linear control to be applied to the ComFESS. This research program has been performed under the sponsorship of the NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization in Japan) as one of the NEDO International Joint Research Projects (NEDO-Grant Project) for these three years. that would enable further reduction of energy consumption. 8 Rotational decay of rotor Koyo Engineering Journal English Edition No. At the same time. the development program will be shifted to the commercialization phase. that would make it possible to achieve the target. And yet. we wish to extend our deepest gratitude to our research partners. however. 33 .. therefore. the unbalance force rejection control needs to be added. Based on the findings of this study. On top of that. issues needing to be addressed for commercialization have been clarified. Supposing the effect of the hysteresis motor to be added on the rotational decay curve for the conventional technology ("+" marked).167E (2005) Taking this opportunity of publication. 15 000 Acknowledgement 10 000 5 000 0 0 1 2 3 4 Time. Dr.−Development of Compact Flywheel Energy Storage System (ComFESS)− 5. there has arisen a new commercial needs or development of a power backup system that can provide several hundred kilowatts for around a minute. UFRC development will be pursued to complete the ComFESS incorporating the insights obtained in this study. rotational decay of the rotor was calculated with the results as shown in Fig. 1) Reduction of loss by optimum driving of the hysterisis motor 2) Reduction of power consumption of the axial magnetic bearing by utilizing the attractive force of the permanent magnet for supporting the dead weight of the rotor unit 3) Reduction of power consumption of the radial magnetic bearing through application of zero-power non-linear control On the other hand. Ltd. min −1 25 000 20 000 As a result of this research work. a new curve marked with "&" can be drawn. In the future. Feasibility of 300 W × 3 hours System (ComFESS) 6. Conclusion Discussion on the current technology level and issues to be addressed to realize the targeted system are shown as follows: Applying the findings of the basic element tests to the ComFESS. Obviously. they are still far larger than the target ("×" marked). hours Fig. 8. "(" marked and "S" marked curves are obtained. for their assistance and support. and President Nishimoto of NTRK Co. further advance of these elemental technologies will be pursued.

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