Application research on high-tech flywheel

Application study design

Thanks to the growth of solar and wind power generation, there is an increasing need for flexibility. How can supply and demand be properly matched? Energy storage is an essential part of the solution. By deploying the QuinteQ flywheel, peaks and troughs can be accommodated on a short- and long-term basis. To discover more application possibilities for the flywheel in the industrial sector, an application study was conducted in collaboration with FLIE, Elestor and Innovation Quarter. The main objective of this application study is to identify and validate obvious partners and customers for a future pilot set-up in an industrial setting in South Holland. The energy storage system is a very good peak-shaver of frequent, high power peaks.

Cost-efficient power storage and deployment

By deploying the QuinteQ flywheel, high power peaks and troughs can be accommodated on a short- and long-term basis. That means a complete megawatt can be delivered in seconds. In peaks between seconds and an hour, this is a new promising technology. The system is made of lighter materials, which means it can be built compactly and deployed in containers. This makes the flywheel easy to transport to another location. It has magnetic bearings, so there is no wear on the axis of the rotating wheel. This gives virtually no losses. Because the flywheel can deliver and absorb power peaks in locations where it is difficult to do grid expansion or install a permanent, large-scale solution, it gives the industry flexibility.

The flywheel floats in a magnetic field based on a superconducting crystal. This results in less wear and tear, making the technology last longer.

The flywheel is made of carbon, rather than metal. This offers the possibility of a smaller and handier model, allowing the flywheel to be used in transportable containers.

The flywheel offers over 350,000 cycles, making it both an economical and sustainable alternative to 'regular' battery systems.

This technology is based on dozens of Boeing patents licensed to QuinteQ worldwide.

Because of the above, the flyweed offers extremely low energy storage costs of: €0.03 per Kilowatt hour Levelised cost of storage (LCOS).


Four different fronts of industrial electrification were explored during the application study. In addition, 18 industries were explored through desk research and several interviews. The study showed that peak harbour cranes are the perfect match for the QuinteQ flywheel. Ports and inland ports feel pressure to electrify due to rising fuel prices and/or stricter legislation and sustainability requirements from both society and A-brand customers. However Is this electrification drive often not possible due to restrictions on the grid. The profile of electric cranes perfectly fits the ideal profile for QuinteQ's flywheel. By peaksharing electric cranes with QuinteQ's flywheels, terminal operators can electrify sooner and thus run a more sustainable as well as economically beneficial operation sooner. The hybrid storage system was found to have less relevance than the standalone systems. 


Next steps

QuinteQ is in talks with several terminal operators to conduct simulation and demonstration tests proving and confirming the operation of the flywheel in this context in a real-life setting.

For whom interesting

The technology has broad industrial applicability for organisations requiring electrical flexibility. Examples include:

  • (Logistics) organisations that have many electrical power surges, supply and/or demand. Think Ports. Distribution, Forklifts, Parking garages. E-logistics. Cranes. Business parks.
  • Organisations where energy is generated in large quantities and the grid cannot always handle it. A flywheel can capture this, after which it can be delivered at the desired time.
  • Organisations interested in trading in the energy market.

About FLIE

FLIE is a joint initiative of Deltalinqs, FME, Port of Rotterdam, InnovationQuarter and TNO and is closely supported by the Province of South Holland, the Municipality of Rotterdam and the ERDF grant.

Does your organisation have sustainability ambitions and would you like to explore the possibilities of electrification? Or do you provide an electrification solution and would you like to get in touch with end users and other important stakeholders? Then contact us. We will be happy to help you!

Related projects