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STTR Phase I: Ultra-thin Laminar Flywheels for Utility Scale Energy Storage
Phone: (832) 875-9096
Phone: (832) 875-9096
Contact: Eric L Severson
Type: Nonprofit College or University
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project is to advance energy storage technology for the large-scale implementation of renewable energies, such as solar and wind. Not only would it be useful in large centralized grids, butregions with isolated micro-grids would benefit greatly from cheap, robust energy storage that can tolerate a wide range of conditions without negative environmental impact. The new technology would also find uses outside of energy storage, such as electric motors, propulsion systems, public transportation, and satellites. This Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Phase I project seeks to develop a practical superconductor-based bearing for flywheel energy storage applications by overcoming some limitations that have previously been obstacles to commercialization. We will explore how new geometries can impact the requirements for stabilization; by modifying the arrangement of permanent magnets with respect to each other, the amount of external force required can be reduced. The project will include a simulation of the electromagnetic fields of the proposed designs and analyzing the stability, stiffness, efficiency, and other parameters. Substantially reducing the amount of external force required will allow it to implement superconductor-based bearings into commercial systems with low-cost, compact, and efficient cryocoolers that have become widely available in recent years. The project will improve the safety of flywheel energy storage systems by simulating a laminar-type flywheel composed of partially decoupled sheets, seeking to understand failure mechanisms and maximum rotational speeds. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *