Vienna Airport and Wien Energie unveil new technology enabling rapid charging of electric vehicles

The Viennese utility company Wien Energie has announced they are testing the world’s first electric charging station applying the Chakratec flywheel energy storage technology, in collaboration with Vienna Airport.

The flywheel charging system is able to ramp up the network connection output from 40 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts, thus fully charging an electric vehicle in only 20 minutes.

“The conversion to electromobility is a crucial component of a successful mobility turnaround. However, it also changes the demands imposed on our energy systems,” said Michael Strebl, Managing Director of Wien Energie.

“We require innovations such as this turbo storage facility. In this way, we can also offer high-speed charging stations in places where only a low network connection output exists.”

The increase in output is made possible by the charging station’s kinetic energy storage system. Ten magnetic flywheel energy storage units stocked in a vacuum function like a gyroscope. Each of them weighs 250 kilogrammes and accelerates up to a speed of up to 18,000 revolutions per minute.

The gyrating mass is slowed down in the discharging process and the kinetic energy is converted to electrical energy with the help of a generator. The electric vehicles are charged with this electrical energy.

“Sustainability and energy efficiency are of immense importance to Vienna Airport. For this reason, it goes without saying that we will be available as a space for innovations,” said Günther Ofner and Mag. Julian Jäger, Members of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG.   

“By putting the Chakratec flywheel energy storage system into operation, we offer a cutting-edge technology to our passengers and visitors enabling the rapid charging of electric vehicles.” 

The test operations are scheduled to continue until the end of this year. It is planned to roll out the new high-speed charging stations to other locations in Vienna and its surroundings.