Williams Hybrid Power, a sub division of Williams Advanced Engineering until its sale to GKN in April 2014, has signed an agreement that will see its energy storage technology applied to Alstom’s Citadis trams.
Hybrid Power and Alstom have entered an exclusive relationship that will see the two companies work together to adapt and develop an energy storage solution that has the potential to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of Alstom’s rolling stock. After several years of research into energy storage, Alstom has teamed up with Hybrid Power to trial its composite MLC flywheel energy storage technology which offers potential fuel savings of 15% when installed in public transport applications.
Originally developed for the 2009 Williams Formula One car, flywheel energy storage technology developed at the Williams factory in Oxfordshire has since been introduced into applications such as London buses and the Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The technology offers fuel savings and emissions reductions by harvesting the energy that is normally lost as heat when braking and turning it into additional power. It is ideally suited to trams because of their stop-start nature and high mass. Furthermore, the flywheel’s rotor is made of composite material which is inherently safe because there is no metallic structure travelling at very high speed.