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  • Writer's pictureMatt Dawson

Orthotropic designs test rig for RheEnergise

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

The sun shines when it shines and the wind blows when it blows: But when it's both dark and calm, it's not possible to take advantage of the ever-increasing wind and solar capacity installed in and around the UK. It follows that energy storage is one of the key technologies needed to enable our urgent transition to #Zerocarbon.

British company #RheEnergise is adapting the tried and tested pumped water storage method to enormously enhance its viability and uptake. Their solution - a denser fluid. At 2.5 times the density of water, their new fluid means that the volumetric and height requirements normally associated with pumped water storage can be cut drastically and far more sites become viable. Of course, changes often come with challenges and the use of a new fluid means that a number of issues must be addressed.

At #Orthotropic we were exceptionally pleased when RheEnergise asked us to design a test rig for the evaluation of certain critical components. Over the course of a few weeks and following the structure of our standard 'Prototype design' package, we've undertaken the mechanical design of the rig, from concept to completion.

A truly multi-disciplinary product, the test rig necessarily incorporates a number of technologies: An assembly of precision machined components is mounted on a fabricated support trolley. The rig is also serviced by a fluid management system and a powerful mechanical drive. Where appropriate, we've even specified a couple of composite parts!

All design activities were all undertaken 100% in-house at Orthotropic, from concept generation through failure mode analysis, stress and deflection analyses (including FEA) to CAD modelling, costing and drafting.

At Orthotropic, we believe that engineering should be an enabler of positive change and are always keen to get involved with projects of this nature. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you could use our input.

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