As the global consciousness about climate change increases and rapid development and modernization of cities across the world occurs, there has never been a greater need for sustainable energy solutions for urban life. In the Middle East alone, the 2020 energy demand in renewables increased by 34% and the use of oil had surprisingly declined, according to a report by BP. With the Middle East’s bountiful amounts of sunshine, solar energy is a prominent resource and wind, with Saudi Arabia’s $500 million Dumat Al-Jandal wind farm breaking ground in 2020. It may seem counterintuitive to find a region with so many natural gas and oil stores pivoting to renewable energy, but while these energy methods are finite, creating sustainable technology will create lasting energy solutions for the future.
Still, plenty of problems needs solving in sustainable energy, including the ability to store this energy efficiently. For example, natural gas is typically compressed and stored in CNG tanks, making it easy to transport and store for use in industrial, vehicular and residential applications.
Batteries have been a standard solution in the past, allowing the conversion of solar or wind energy into chemical energy, which then can be converted to electricity. But the nature of chemical reactions is corrosive, and traditional batteries are vulnerable and eventually decay, leading to costly repairs and maintenance. Moreover, degrading batteries themselves are harmful to the environment, as their chemicals leak into groundwater and soil if not disposed of properly. To truly make sustainable energy the future technology, it must also have a way to be stored sustainably.
This is the power of Amber Kinetics’ revolutionary flywheel technology, a renewable energy storage solution made of sustainable materials that don’t degrade and require very little maintenance. The flywheel itself is an ancient technology, one that has been used in many inventions as a store of energy. You can see the magic of this technology at work in the wheels of a toy race car. As the wheels wound up, energy builds up in the flywheel, which can eventually be released to propel the car forward. Similarly, flywheels can take energy from the sun, wind, or other renewable sources and store it as kinetic energy – the energy of motion. As energy is added, the flywheel accelerates in motion, and when energy is used, the flywheel decelerates, converting kinetic energy into electrical energy.
Now, imagine this efficiency scaled up in the form of a two-ton steel rotor, creating enough energy to power more than 350 houses a day – that is Amber Kinetics’ grid-scale flywheel technology. Their proprietary design, the Amber Kinetics’ M32, stores up to 32 kilowatt-hours of energy per unit – about the energy equivalent of powering an urban home for a day. When these units are put together, Amber Kinetics’ flywheel grid can store more than 10,000 kilowatt-hours of energy.
As the architects of the world’s first and only long-duration flywheel energy storage solution with the ability to handle the needs of a modern energy grid, Amber Kinetics’ has become a world leader in renewable energy solutions and has worked with countries all over the globe in providing energy storage. Currently, the company has installed flywheels in the US, Australia, Taiwan, Greece, and Philippines, with plans to add many more.
With the changing energy market in light of new geopolitical relationships and the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of renewables has already begun and will only keep growing. The ability to efficiently store this energy and use it to power cities is something many governments are excited to pursue. With their innovative new technology, there’s no doubt that Amber Kinetics’ is at the forefront of this market.