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Technical Paper

A 50 Wh Open Core High-Speed Flywheel

In low earth orbit satellite applications, spacecraft power is provided by photovoltaic cells and batteries. Unfortunately, use of batteries present difficulties due to their poor energy density, limited cycle lifetimes, reliability problems, and the difficulty in measuring the state of charge. Flywheel energy storage offers a viable alternative to overcome some of the limitations presented by batteries. FARE, Inc. has built a 50 Wh flywheel energy storage system. This system, called the Open Core Flywheel, is intended to be a prototype energy storage device for low earth orbit satellite applications. To date, the Open Core Flywheel has achieved a rotational speed of 26 krpm under digital control.