Amsterdam, December 14, 2023 – BAM Materieel and QuinteQ Energy are launching a trial at a construction site in Amsterdam using a flywheel as a sustainable, kinetic battery. Employing a flywheel as a peak shaver can prevent grid congestion during times when, for example, a power-demanding tower crane is in operation. The flywheel will be placed in a container at the Sluisbuurt project in Amsterdam, where BAM Wonen is constructing 767 student residences.
A flywheel stores energy in motion and rapidly delivers that energy to the construction site when needed. QuinteQ Energy uses an electric motor-generator to set the flywheel in motion. By progressively increasing the rotation speed of the rotor, the kinetic battery is charged. Slowing down the flywheel with the motor-generator converts the motion back into electricity. Unlike conventional batteries, this mechanical technique involves no chemical processes or harmful substances, enhancing fire safety. Additionally, the flywheel is fully recyclable, making it a more sustainable alternative.
The flywheel enables peak shaving, allowing construction projects to operate without a generator on a small power connection. During peak shaving, the kinetic battery absorbs or releases the highest peaks in power demand, optimizing the overall energy demand, for example, to a 3x80A connection, thus avoiding the limitations of grid congestion. This is the first time a flywheel is used in this way for construction. Previously, flywheels were either too large, unsuitable for temporary applications, or not well-suited for this purpose. With this application for its flywheels, QuinteQ introduces a true innovation for both flywheel technology and the construction industry.
Most advanced flywheel in the world
The QuinteQ flywheel was originally developed by Boeing for aerospace applications and is widely recognized as the most advanced flywheel globally. The flywheel spins in a patented container, ensuring the safety of personnel and equipment without the need for in-ground installation. Thanks to this container and the compact design, the flywheel can be placed in containers for both temporary and permanent applications.
The flywheel installed at BAM’s construction site is light, compact, and movable. The rotor spins at high speeds in a vacuum and without friction, thanks to a unique magnetic bearing system, allowing for the most efficient storage and release of energy. This results in an extremely high number of discharge cycles and a long lifespan for the system. The trial begins in winter to assess how the flywheel performs in cold conditions.
The current flywheel in use is a prototype. QuinteQ Energy intends to use the trial results for further product development. The prototype is housed in a 20ft container, but the final product will be placed in a 10ft container to minimize space requirements on a construction site. BAM Materieel aims to explore sustainable solutions to make construction sites more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. This trial contributes to BAM’s strategy of ‘Building a Sustainable Future,’ with sustainability, digitization, and industrialization as key focal points.
Equipment provider Van der Spek Vianen is participating in the trial by providing additional data on the tower crane, enabling analyses and simulations. As a tower crane rental company, Van der Spek Vianen is involved in its customers’ challenges and interested in solutions for grid congestion.