Energy storage in flywheel Australia: Amber Kinetics has the ancient answer to a modern problem

The biggest challenge for clean and renewable energy in Australia has nothing to do with low or carbon-free energy production. We have plenty of wind, sun and water. The problem lies in how we utilize that energy, specifically how we store it.

The problem we have with green alternatives to coal, gas and oil is their unpredictability – or intermittent – ​​in terms of the amount of energy they can provide at any given time. It’s also safe to say that anyone who needs an uninterrupted and uninterrupted supply of energy is looking hard at the potential of storage to avoid costly and damaging power outages.

Batteries offer a solution for both, but traditional lead-acid options, gas-fired or pumped hydro, tend to perform poorly or at best. Flywheel energy storage technology may provide the answer.

Flywheels keep storage moving in the right direction

Using kinetic energy and perpetual motion, flywheels are a groundbreaking way to store energy for use exactly when it’s needed. Storage has always been an obstacle on the road to an all-electric future – batteries are often expensive, cumbersome and bad for the environment. Not exactly ideal when pursuing green energy solutions. Flywheels, however, are low-carbon, have a lifespan of 30 years, are safe, compact and low-maintenance. They can also be scaled up very effectively, up to tens or even hundreds of megawatts.

Flywheels are actually quite old technology and have been used in potter’s wheels and even roller coasters for thousands of years. The premise is that objects stay in motion unless something stops them (usually an external force such as friction). However, if we add a little energy to a flywheel, it will keep spinning until that energy is dissipated to the important machine or device that needs it. This means that we can store energy in an efficient way, and even if the original source is intermittent, this can be done in a consistent and controlled manner. This makes flywheel energy storage a transformative choice – whether at grid level or in smaller data centers or hospitals that need to ensure a reliable energy supply at all times.

Ancient technology, modern expertise

Amber Kinetics praised the virtues of flywheel energy storage technology since 2008. Dr. Seth Sanders, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, and Ed Chiao, CEO, have been able to combine their deep technical and market expertise to create flywheel solutions that are reliable and effective, and most importantly, provide customers with unbeatable innovation and affordability. In 2020, Amber Kinetics reached a milestone, producing over 255,000 cumulative hours worldwide. Both Seth and Ed are extremely proud of what has been achieved.

“We have increased our cumulative hours fivefold since 2018, demonstrating our customers’ confidence in our technology. Our engineers are constantly striving to provide the latest and most effective solutions for flywheel energy storage,” said Seth.

Amber Kinetics continues their journey to contribute to the decarbonisation of the energy market. They now offer the first commercialized four-hour discharge, with a range of packages to meet the needs of customers, regardless of their scale. This is supported by a personal and flexible service.

Emission-free, economical energy storage solutions with flywheel are the focus. The technology is also much less prone to supply chain issues than other storage solutions. Simplicity is an art form. The Amber Kinetics guarantee also provides peace of mind as they put their proverbial money where their mouth is when it comes to trusting the technology. The future is exciting for flywheel energy storage, and this ancient knowledge may well be the answer to a brighter, completely low-carbon future in Australia and around the world.


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