A novel electrostatic (E-S) generator/motor has been developed in the course of improving electromechanical battery (flywheel energy-storage) technology for the bulk storage of electricity. Electromagnetic-type generator/motors employed in present-day flywheel energy storage systems fell short of meeting the low parasitic losses and low capital cost requirements associated with bulk energy storage systems. To overcome these limitations a new configuration of the E-S generator/motor was developed and its performance was validated by computer simulation. Possible applications of this E-S motor are broader than the purpose for which it was developed.


This electrostatic (E-S) generator/motor operates through the time-variation of the capacity of an electrically charged condenser to generate AC voltages and/or mechanical torque. The output of the generator is such that it can take advantage of the development of high-voltage solid-state electronic components now coming into wide use in the electrical utilities.


Previous E-S generator/motors have been limited by design factors. The unique design features of this technology include a novel configuration and materials that improve its performance and reduce its fabrication cost as compared to previous systems. The resultant design is light weight, simple, efficient, and intrinsically compatible with high-voltage transmission-line voltages.

Potential Applications
  • Flywheel-based energy-storage systems
  • Space satellites
  • Wind-power and other alternative energy turbine systems
Development Status

Preliminary design studies and extensive computer simulations have been performed to validate the new concepts involved. A laboratory prototype has not been built.

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