Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES)
Super Fast Charge And Discharge. Clean, Environmentally Friendly.
With the congestion of power lines and their unstable tendencies, strategic injection of brief bursts of real power can play a crucial role in maintaining grid reliability. Small-scale Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) systems, based on low-temperature superconductors, have been in use for many years. These systems enhance the capacity and reliability of stability-constrained utility grids, as well as large industrial user sites with sensitive, high-speed processes, to improve reliability and power quality.
Larger systems, and systems employing superconductors, are a focus of recent development. Flywheels, based on frictionless superconductor bearings, can transform electric energy into kinetic energy, store the energy in a rotating flywheel and use the rotational kinetic energy to regenerate electricity as needed. Conventional flywheels suffer energy losses of 3-5% per hour, whereas superconductor-based flywheels operate at 0.1% loss per hour. Large and small demonstration units are in operation and development. Broad market use of SMES devices is considered long-term.
Superconducting magnetic energy storage systems will enhance the capacity and reliability of stability-constrained utility grids with sensitive, high-speed processes to improve reliability and power quality.