What is a flywheel?
A flywheel stores energy (kinetic energy) by constantly spinning a rotating mass in a low-friction environment. The stored energy is converted to electricity and released quickly when needed.
Flywheels are ideally suited to:
response situations where high power is required for short periods
high cycling events (frequent charge and discharge)
Currently there are two types of flywheel on the market, carbon fibre and steel, each with its limitations.
Gyrotricity have developed a new, innovative laminated steel Flywheel that will revolutionise the rapidly growing energy storage market.
Safe by design
Steel and carbon fibre flywheels are formed from a single mass of material. If the rotor is damaged it can lead to a catastrophic failure.
In contrast, Gyrotricity’s rotor is constructed using many layers of laminated steel. In this design, if one layer breaks the damage is limited to that one sheet making the cost and weight of containment considerably reduced as compared to competitor models, demonstrating the same level of containment safety.
Patented innovations in the geometry of the rotor means Gyrotricity’s flywheel has significantly higher energy density than a conventional steel flywheel.
The central supporting shaft hole has been removed which dramatically reduces the stress on the rotor, allowing a higher speed operation.
The Gyrotricity flywheel is made from low cost sheets of laminated steel and its operational speed delivers lower cost bearings, motor/generator and interface electronics.
This results in a product that is significantly cheaper than both
carbon composite and steel flywheels.
The standard size laminated sheets are mass produced which also gives this model a manufacturing advantage over a carbon-composite rotor.
Rotor comparison for 500kJ vehicle flywheel
Carbon fibre/steel Steel laminate
Gyrotricity flywheel advantages
safe by design
low cost raw materials and manufacturing process
no heating or cooling costs
durable (life cycle up to 30 years)
environmentally friendly (fully recyclable)
Comparison to batteries
Flywheels are suited to situations where high power is required for short durations.
Flywheels have several advantages over Lithium-ion batteries as can be seen from the table below:
Given that the Gyrotricity flywheel can match the £/KW cost of a battery and lasts for 5 times as long as a Lithium-ion battery the price/KW/year is significantly cheaper than Lithium-ion.