Energy storage systems (ESS) are key elements that can be used to improve electrical system efficiency by contributing to balance of supply and demand. They provide a means for enhancing the power quality and stability of electrical systems. They can enhance electrical system flexibility by mitigating supply intermittency, which has recently become problematic, due to the increased penetration of renewable generation. Flywheel energy storage systems (FESS) are a technology in which there is gathering interest due to a number of advantages offered over other storage solutions. These technical qualities attributed to flywheels include high power density, low environmental impact, long operational life, high round-trip efficiency and high cycle life. Furthermore, when configured in banks, they can store MJ levels of energy without any upper limit. Flywheels configured for grid connected operation are systems comprising of a mechanical part, the flywheel rotor, bearings and casings, and the electric drive part, inclusive of motor-generator (MG) and power electronics. This contribution focusses on the modelling and simulation of a high inertia FESS for energy storage applications which has the potential for use in the residential sector in more challenging situations, a subject area in which there are few publications. The type of electrical machine employed is a permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) and this, along with the power electronics drive, is simulated in the MATLAB/Simulink environment. A brief description of the flywheel structure and applications are given as a means of providing context for the electrical modelling and simulation reported. The simulated results show that the system run-down losses are 5% per hour, with overall roundtrip efficiency of 88%. The flywheel speed and energy storage pattern comply with the torque variations, whilst the DC-bus voltage remains constant and stable within ±3% of the rated voltage, regardless of load fluctuations.
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