Williams F1

Williams F1


10th July 2013. Grove, UK. Williams Advanced Engineering, the division of Williams that commercialises Formula One based technologies, has been awarded a grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund to develop flywheel based energy storage systems for use in grid stabilisation.

Up to £16million will be shared between 30 projects which have been awarded the grant under the first phase of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. The funding is part of a £35million fund announced in April 2012 that aims to encourage innovation in the low carbon sector, help bring a range of new and innovative low carbon products to market, create export opportunities and help the UK meet its carbon targets.

One of Williams Advanced Engineering’s key R&D projects is the development of flywheel based energy storage systems. Originally pioneered by Williams for Grand Prix racing, this technology has since been adapted and introduced into a range of mobile applications outside of Formula One such as hybrid buses and Le Mans winning racing cars. Williams is also developing powerful static flywheel systems for the rapid transit (metros, trams and monorails) and electric power stabilisation sectors and it is the potential use of these static flywheel systems in an electric power grid stabilisation role that has received funding from the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. This technology can help smooth output from and increase penetration of intermittent renewable generation sources, provide fast response frequency regulation and short term demand peak shaving to help strengthen electricity grids.

Speaking about the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “This new investment will give these organisations the boost they need to drive forward the development of a range of innovative low carbon designs, helping cut costs and bring new technologies to market in this sector. Innovation is vital for the move towards a low carbon economy and it’s great to see so many entrepreneurs rising to the challenge. I wish the winners every success with their projects.”

Commenting on the grant award, Williams’ Group CEO Mike O’Driscoll said; “Energy efficient technologies are at the very heart of our diversification strategy and we‘re delighted to have been successful in our application for the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. It is encouraging to see the government support clean technology entrepreneurs in this way and help them bring a range of innovative new products to market. The goal is for an energy storage system first developed for a Formula One car to be installed on a power grid within the next two years – demonstrating the increasing relevance of Formula One technology to the wider world.”