Williams Formula One (WF1) is one of the world's leading racing teams and has pioneered many technological innovations for racing cars in the past thirty years. Williams Technology Centre (WTC) is a recently formed company that is focused on exploiting one of the technologies WF1 has been nurturing for hybrid automotive applications, flywheel storage.

WTC business objectives are; the advancement of a cost-effective energy storage and power delivery pack to boost performance and improve efficiencies across multiple industries such as transportation, telecommunications, renewable energy, industrial, and aerospace. Applications of energy storage technology will lead to a reduction of fuel consumption, greenhouse emissions and improvement in system efficiency.

The enabling technologies for the WTC power pack are a magnetically loaded composite (MLC) rotor and a power electronics inverter (PEI). MLC is formed by mixing magnetic particles into a carbon based matrix filament. Glass and carbon fibres are added to the MLC layer to provide mechanical stability at high speed operation. The rotor is magnetized into a Halbach arrangement to eliminate back iron and generate a sinusoidal field distribution in the air gap.

Another key enabling technology that will be developed by WTC is the power electronics inverter. The inverter will regulate the machine input/output using advanced pulse width modulation techniques. Advanced motor control strategies are currently being investigated to maximise system efficiencies and robustness in case of faults.

Supported by a Qatar Foundation grant, WTC is currently building an engineering design office and electronic and mechanical engineering workshop to advance the development of a high power/energy flywheel. Efforts are ongoing to employ key specialists and development engineers to work on components and system engineering issues.

The full paper will discuss the key features of the flywheel technology and compare its performance against other technologies like super capacitors and lithium ion batteries. The paper will also review the ongoing engineering effort and technical advances necessary to support prototype/product development. Assessment of typical markets and applications will also be discussed.


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  1. N. Al Khayat, Development of a high-speed, magnetically-loaded energy storage system, QFARF Proceedings, 2010, EEP9.
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