Aerospace Flywheel Development 1) INTRODUCTION Presently, energy storage on the Space Station and satellites is accomplished using chemical batteries; most commonly nickel hydrogen or nickel cadmium. A flywheel energy storage system is an alternative technology that is being considered for future space missions. Flywheels offer the advantage of a longer lifetime, higher efficiency and a greater depth of discharge than batteries. A flywheel energy storage system is being considered as a replacement for the traditional electrochemical battery system in spacecraft electrical power systems. The flywheel system is expected to improve both the depth of discharge and working life by a factor of 3 compared with its battery counterpart. Although flywheels have always been used in spacecraft navigation and guidance systems, their use for energy storage is new. However, the two functions can easily be combined into a single system. Several advanced technologies must be demonstrated for the flywheel energy storage system to be a viable option for future space missions. These include high strength composite materials, highly efficient high speed motor operation and control, and magnetic bearing levitation.

2) COMPONENTS OF FLYWHEEL SYSTEM The main components of the flywheel energy storage system are the composite rotor, motor/generator, magnetic bearings, touchdown bearings, and vacuum housing. The flywheel system is designed for 364 watt-hours of energy storage at 60,000 rpm and uses active magnetic bearings to provide a long-life, low-loss suspension of the rotating mass. The upper bearing of the unit is a combination magnetic bearing, providing suspension axially as well as radically. The lower magnetic bearing suspends the shaft in the radial direction only. At each end of the shaft there is also a touchdown bearing. This provides a back up bearing system should the magnetic bearings fail during testing. The motor/generator unit is located at the lower end of the shaft. It consists of a two-pole rotor piece with surface mounted samarium cobalt magnets and a carbon fiber retaining wrap. On the stator side, there are three phase sinusoidally distributed windings in twelve slots. A water jacket around the stator provides cooling. Field orientation and a combination of mechanical sensor less techniques are used to control the motor from zero and low speed up to full speed operation. The selfsensing technique is used at zero and low speeds to start the machine, then the control is switched to a back-EMF based sensor less technique for the normal higher speed operating range of the machine.

A typical system consists of rotor suspended by bearings inside a vacuum chamber to reduce friction, connected to a combination electric motor/electric generator. On larger systems, the bearings are magnetic. The rotors are generally made of steel on smaller systems but large systems use hightensile-strength fibers (such as carbon fibers) embedded in epoxy resins, or some other high-strength composite material. Energy is stored by using an electric motor to increase the speed of the spinning flywheel. The system releases its energy by using the momentum of the flywheel to power the motor/generator.


FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. In charge reduction and discharge modes. The measured DC bus voltage and the estimated rotor speed from the back EMF estimation algorithm. the system is in charge reduction or discharge mode which means the flywheel system is regulating the DC voltage bus. The PI portion makes up for any inaccuracies in the relationship and guarantees zero steady state error. Otherwise. CHARGE REDUCTION AND DISCHARGE CONTROL In charge mode. This increase in Flywheel is measured and used to calculate the corresponding motor current. the flywheel motor must decelerate at the appropriate rate to maintain the DC bus voltage at the commanded value while supplying the necessary current to the loads . In charge reduction 3) FLYWHEEL CONTROL There are three modes of operation for the flywheel in a spacecraft power system 1) Charge 2) Charge reduction 3) Discharge In charge mode. to supply the new load. The transition from current regulation to voltage regulation is accomplished in the following manner. there are two components to the controller: the PI portion and a disturbance decoupling portion (DD).1) CHARGE. Thus the motor responds by decelerating more quickly. The solar array regulates the bus voltage to a set point value higher than the flywheel 2 FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. Thus fast.freetechpapers. even before a drop in the DC bus voltage causes the system is in charge mode (current regulation) when the solar array provides enough current to meet both the load demands and the charging current to the flywheel system. the DC flywheel current is measured and used as an early indicator to the controller whether there has been an increase or decrease in load. the capacitor will initially maintain the bus voltage and there will be an increase in the DC current. the solar array continues to provide load current but it can not provide enough current to charge the flywheel at its set point. the flywheel charges at a constant power. the DC bus voltage regulation function is transferred to the flywheel system. accurate performance is achieved with relatively low gains. the flywheel system provides the entire load current and regulates the DC bus voltage. the solar array produces enough current to charge the flywheel at its set point and to provide the required load current. If there is a sudden increase in load. The charge control algorithm regulates the acceleration of the flywheel motor so that the DC current is maintained at the commanded set point. In the decoupling portion. There are two components to the controller: the proportional-integral (PI) and the feed-forward (FF). The solar array electronics regulate the DC bus voltage during charge mode. In discharge mode. Flywheel. When this occurs. The feedforward portion uses the DC charging current command and converts it into a motor current command.freetechpapers. 3. constant DC current rate using the excess current from the solar array.

"round-trip" system efficiency of 84%. This reduces the command at point 2 to a value slightly larger than Flywheel. Superconducting magnetic bearings. When it exceeds the charge current set point. the flywheel energy storage system is capable of regulating the DC bus voltage both when charging and discharging. which is acceptable. is that the bearing itself consumes power. Once the solar array current begins to drop off. 5) FLYWHEEL ENERGY STORAGE (FES) It works by accelerating a rotor to a very high speed and maintaining the energy in the system as inertial energy. However.000 RPM in a vacuum enclosure. the integrator in the PI portion of the controller is reset. The three modes of operation: charge. Designing the flywheel system control to perform this regulation at all times would result in an overall simpler control strategy. charge reduction and discharge. obviating the need for multiple modes and the transition between them.000100. which it will be if the solar array is not producing enough current. This is an area for future study. the DC bus voltage begins to fall and the flywheel current. Because the flywheel system is intended to replace batteries. The rotors normally operate at 4000 RPM or less and are made of metal. Magnetic bearings are necessary as speeds increase to reduce the friction present when using conventional mechanical bearings.freetechpapers. also drops. If it is less than. then the system transitions into charge reduction mode where the DC bus voltage is regulated by the flywheel system. Advanced flywheels are made of high strength carbon-composite filaments that spin at speeds from 20. even when considering the necessary provisions to prevent over-speed or over current operation. and the bearing and cooling system power consumption must be included in the calculation of the overall system . as the system moves from eclipse into sunlight. however. were defined based on a battery energy storage regulation set point as long as the solar array current is sufficient to provide both the load and the charging current. The problem.Once this difference is less than the VTC. depending on the structure of the bearing and the control system. Flywheel. the solar array will produce more current. 4) AEROSPACE FLYWHEEL CHALLANGES The primary factor preventing the application of flywheels to long-term energy storage is loss in the bearings. This value is then compared to the charge current set point. The rotational loss of such a bearing is 1-10% that of a mechanical bearing under the same operating conditions. the integrator in the current regulator portion of the controller is reset and the system transitions back into charge mode where the flywheel system regulates the current into the flywheel and the solar array system regulates the DC bus voltage. these modes were duplicated in the flywheel system control. This transition is detected in the controller by comparing the difference between the actual DC bus voltage and the flywheel set point voltage to the "voltage transition constant". and this loss is sufficient to make a system using copper electromagnets uneconomical. have demonstrated losses of 10-2 to 10-3 watts per kg for a 2. on the other hand. This translates to an overall one-day.freetechpapers. A reasonable magnetic bearing consumes a few watts for each kilogram of flywheel weight. Any mechanical bearing with contact between the stationary and rotating parts will have enough loss to render the system uneconomical one solution to the problem is to use a noncontact active magnetic bearing that employs conventional electromagnets.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. Quick charging is done in less than 3 FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. VTC. which is dissipated as heat in the copper electromagnets.000 rpm rotor. When the array produces enough current to meet the load demand. Commercially available FES systems are used for small uninterruptible power systems. the command at point 2 in the controller will become positive. Similarly.

use of flywheel accumulators is currently hampered by the danger of explosive shattering of the massive wheel due to overload. they have found a niche providing pulsed . The energy efficiency (ratio of energy out per energy in) of flywheels can be as high as 90%. and the more energy the system can store. Moreover. Fortunately. Generally speaking. composite materials tend to disintegrate quickly once broken. Gulia's tape flywheels did not require a heavy container and reportedly could be rewound and reused after a tape fracture.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. which increases the total mass of the device.freetechpapers. They are also less potentially damaging to the environment. the stronger the disc. releasing all of its stored energy at 15 minutes. Since FES can store and release power quickly. Another advantage of flywheels is that by a simple measurement of the rotation speed it is possible to know the exact amount of energy stored. Figure 5. this is commonly referred to as "flywheel explosion" since wheel fragments can reach kinetic energy comparable to that of a bullet. many customers of modern flywheel power storage systems prefer to have them embedded in the ground to halt any material that might escape the containment vessel). traditional flywheel systems require strong containment vessels as a safety precaution. When the tensile strength of a flywheel is exceeded the flywheel will shatter. Consequently. and so instead of large chunks of high-velocity shrapnel one simply gets a containment vessel filled with redhot sand (still. they are not as limited in the amount of energy they can hold. However. being made of largely inert or benign materials. plus high energy densities (~ 130 Wh/kg) and large maximum power outputs are positive attributes.1: Energy storing of flywheel 6) ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES Flywheels are not affected by temperature changes as are chemical batteries. 4 FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. nor do they suffer from memory effect. the faster it may be spun. One of the primary limits to flywheel design is the tensile strength of the material used for the rotor. Long lifetimes of most flywheels.

Issue 3&4. ASME paper 86-DET-41. Kirk. K. A minimum of four flywheels would be needed to provide three axes of attitude control plus power during eclipse REFERENCES 1. such as for electric vehicles. 7) APPLICATIONS In the 1950s flywheel-powered buses. “Simulation. transition between modes and DC bus voltage regulation during step changes in load was also demonstrated. of Mech. J. Additionally. and Anand. "Mechanical Capacitor".com When used in vehicles. J. No. since their angular momentum is typically of a similar order of magnitude as the forces acting on the moving vehicle.. Kirk.. this property could be utilized to improve stability in curves. J. NASA TND-8185. and Evans. lighter. 5 FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www. 223-231.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD – P. such as low capacity. 22. 2. 8) CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK This paper has presented a new algorithm for regulating the charge and discharge modes of a flywheel energy storage system using a sensor less field orientation control algorithm to provide the inner loop torque control. 5.Basic Science. Kirk. 19... Proposed flywheel systems would eliminate many of the disadvantages of existing battery power systems. Switzerland. A future application of flywheel technology is to use flywheels to combine the energy storage and the attitude control functions on a spacecraft. and have a greater capacity. heavy weight. and there is ongoing research to make flywheel systems that are smaller.A. 1977.K. A. 4. The algorithm mimics the operational modes presently found in battery systems and would allow the flywheel system to replace batteries on future spacecraft. Flywheel systems have also been used experimentally in small electric locomotives for shunting or switching. SEMINAR TOPIC FROM :: .. D. and Bangham. Experimental and simulation results show the successful control of the flywheel system permanent magnet motor in all modes of operation. Vol. long charge times.wikepedia. A. 3. 4. cheaper. March/April 1988 6. flywheels also act as gyroscopes. A. On the other hand. March 1976. Int.freetechpapers. E. pp. were used in Yverdon.. " flywheel Energy Storage Part I . and Construction of a flywheel Magnetic Bearing”. This property may be detrimental to the vehicle's handling characteristics while turning. D..html Kirk. Two externally joined flywheels spinning synchronously in opposite directions would have a total angular momentum of zero and no gyroscopic effect. Vol. known as gyro buses. Concepts". M.Design. A. Journal of Space Power. Anand. It is hoped that flywheel systems can replace conventional chemical batteries for mobile applications. and short usable lifetimes.freetechpapers.L. H. 1986. J. www.edufive. "Satellite Power Using a Magnetically Suspended flywheel Stack". J.

com 6 FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www.FREE TECHNICAL PAPER DOWNLOAD –www.freetechpapers. .com 7.gleinreserch.freetechpapers.