Flywheel Energy Storage System Focus of Display

Demonstration to feature advanced, solar-powered replacement for batteries

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e:mail: Public Affairs

Golden, Colo., March 20, 1997 -- Media are invited to visit the flywheel display.

What:  An outdoor display and demonstration of an environmentally-friendly, advanced electricity storage technology that can replace lead acid batteries. A flywheel is a rapidly-spinning cylinder or disc suspended in a vacuum-sealed container that stores electrical energy, much the way a spinning bicycle tire is propelled by and contains a certain amount of energy. A solar-powered flywheel uses photovoltaic panels to generate electricity to spin the flywheel.

The outdoor display will include the solar panels, the flywheel and power management system and various electrical appliances that will be powered directly by the flywheel.

Flywheels are one of the most promising technologies for replacing conventional lead acid batteries as energy storage systems for a variety of applications, including automobiles, economical rural electrification systems, and stand-alone, remote power units commonly used in the telecommunications industry.

The flywheel display is part of the three-day Conference on Future Generation PV Technologies.

When:   Monday, March 24, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Where:   The Executive Tower Inn, 1405 Curtis, downtown Denver. The flywheel display will be on the outdoor patio adjacent to the Symphony Ballroom on the third floor.

Who:  The Conference on Future Generation PV Technologies is sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The flywheel is being supplied by U.S. Flywheel Systems, Newberry, Calif. Solar power applications of flywheel technology are part of the research being carried out under an agreement between DOE and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The joint test program called Solar-Spin begins in April.