phd project

Energy storage in flywheel




University of Twente
Faculty of Engineering Technology
Chair of Production Technology
P.0. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
the Netherlands
Room: N128 , Horstring
Phone: 0629842690


This project is funded by SBE - Institute of engineering.


Storage of energy is one of the prime concerns for a sustainable future. As the fossil reserves are being depleted, technology turns around towards intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. However, the fluctuating nature of these sources makes it difficult to be integrated into our currently operating power grids. Among the various existing technologies to store energy such as chemical (batteries), thermal, electromagnetic and potential energy storage (compressed air, fluid reservoirs); kinetic energy storage with flywheels is highly attractive due to its short response time, long life time, depth of discharge and number of deep discharges. However, the bulky design of flywheel leads to poor energy capacity per unit mass and limitations in operational speed. The use of advanced composite materials for the construction of flywheels has the potential to change the primary design variable from mass to operational speed.


The objective of this project is to develop a concept of a flywheel for energy storage in the utility sector. The concept essentially has to advance the current state of the art further in terms of compactness, part count and ease of use. The sub-objectives are to find the challenges involved in the system integration and development of subsystems such as rotor, bearing systems, electromechanical conversion units, vibration suppression systems and vacuum housing.

Current work

As the first step, a domain of application has to be selected  which will drive the rest of the conceptualization process. Further, a part-level functional analysis is being carried out to find the parts which are redundant or parts which can be integrated to perform multiple functions. This potentially leads to a reduced part count and hence the complexity in subsystem design and integration. Subsequently, an analytical evaluation verification of the concept will be carried out to compare the performance parameters with the existing design and assess the advantages of the new concept.