We are innovating on new materials that enable future flywheels with upgraded performance, lower cost and environmental impact as well as compatibility with circular economy.
Reinforcing the flywheel rotor with carbon fibre maximises its energy storage capacity because of the high strength combined with low weight. For sourcing carbon fibre, we develop more sustainable and cost-efficient alternatives, such as biobased and recycled raw materials.
In particular, we expect to decrease the cost and carbon footprint of carbon fibre production by manufacturing it from biobased residues, such as agricultural waste. Furthermore, we aim to contribute to mitigating the accumulation of composite waste by using carbon fibre recycled from other products, such as discarded wind turbines.
Magnetically loaded composites
We are developing new magnetic materials that enable a higher energy storage capacity while maintaining a long product lifetime thanks to their better strain performance.
As typical magnetic materials are too brittle to withstand hundreds of thousands of charge-discharge cycles during the flywheel lifetime, we are improving their ductility and fatigue resistance while maintaining sufficient magnetic properties. This is done mainly through the optimisation of the interfacial interactions in magnetic composites.
The recyclability of the rotor at its end-of-life is largely determined by the properties of the resin where the carbon fibre and magnetic fillers are embedded. We are transitioning to using bio-based epoxy resins featuring reversible curing mechanism, which facilitates the reprocessing or recycling of the rotor materials.