Mechanical Energy Storage

By Keith Henderson at August 17, 2010 09:51
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International combustion and engineering consultants Ricardo has been actively developing hybrid propulsion systems with mechanical and electrical energy storage and fuel cell systems. Ricardo believe that advanced propulsion systems can achieve fuel consumption savings between 15 and 25 percent within existing and planned international emissions regulations by implementing next generation energy management and propulsion technologies. To investigate this further, Ricardo has formed a project called the Ship Efficiency & Energy Storage Assessment consortium (SeEsA), covering energy management of propulsion and auxiliary power systems. An early project focus will be on assessing the best energy storage solutions. Under consideration will be conventional, state-of-the art battery and flywheel based systems of which Ricardo has built up considerable expertise in kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS). Their flywheel energy storage system concept called Kinergy, uses a magnetic gearing and coupling mechanism. An automotive project using a mechanical energy storage system has shown to offer several advantages over a battery based electric hybrid system.
The international combustion and engineering consultants Ricardo has been actively involved for a number of years in development of hybrid propulsion systems, including mechanical and electrical energy storage, and fuel cell systems for a number of international clients as well as their own technology research program.

Using a careful selection of well proven propulsion, energy storage, after-treatment and waste heat recovery solutions, Ricardo believe that advanced propulsion systems can achieve real fuel consumption savings within existing and planned international emissions regulations. Implementing next generation energy management and propulsion technologies, realistic fuel consumption reductions of between 15 and 25 percent will be possible compared with conventional existing marine propulsion configurations.

To investigate this further, including practical implications, Ricardo has formed a project called the Ship Efficiency & Energy Storage Assessment consortium (SeEsA), covering energy management of propulsion and auxiliary power systems.

Early in the project, focus will be on assessing the best energy storage solution combined with advanced energy recovery systems for a complete propulsion system under different operating conditions including normal operation, slow steaming and up to three additional duty cycles.

The different types of energy storage systems under consideration will include conventional, state-of-the art battery and flywheel based systems. Regarding the latter, Ricardo has built up considerable expertise including the engineering of kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) for motor sport (Formula 1). Their high speed, hermetically sealed flywheel energy storage system concept called Kinergy, uses an innovative and patented magnetic gearing and coupling mechanism.

Whilst electric hybrid systems using chemical batteries are already in use for a variety of applications these configurations add considerable weight and complexity, incur repeating costs due to regular battery replacement and are associated with other environmental / disposal issues. In an automotive project, mechanical energy storage systems have been shown to offer up to twice the efficiency of a battery based electric hybrid system in a package that is half the size, half the weight and a quarter of the cost. We hope that marine applications for this technology can be successfully developed and will be able to deliver similar benefits at a future date.
 
 

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