Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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flywheels instead of batteries

Use flywheels instead of batteries in hybrid cars
  [vote for,

Current hybrid electric vehicles (such as the Honda Insight) use batteries to store energy while braking and use this for stored power for accelaration.

Integrating a flywheel to store this energy should be much cheaper than using batteries that will eventually need to be replaced.

Note that I am not talking about flywheels as currently used in engine designs--I am talking about using a flywheel (coupled to the brakes either mechanically or electronically) to store excess power for use during accelaration.

cowtamer, Jul 29 2003

(?) "flywheel" search on halfbakery http://www.halfbake...expression=flywheel
been there, done that, redundent [FarmerJohn]

Oh so baked... http://www.mcs.vuw....seley/history.shtml
//First versions were available in thirties USA// Twenty years after the UK [FarmerJohn, Oct 17 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       That's double the energy loss to friction
DeathNinja, Jul 29 2003

       This would a great thing to have when cresting a hill. the gyroscopic forces would flip you over.
davidcreede, Jul 29 2003

       And you can't make left (or right turns) without flipping.   


       Lots of energy in a spinning fly-wheel - I like the part of 'a containment vessel filled with red hot sand'   

cpencis, Jul 30 2003

       From reading the comments to your idea, I can tell they really do not know what you’re talking about. Well, I do. :-)   

       Flywheels have actually been placed in cars and are still in R&D for most major car companies. The largest problem they are running into is keeping it stable. Flywheels have to be manufactured under extreme tolerances because of their high RPMs and are usually permanently grounded. A car on the other hand is not a stable platform which creates major problems. You really do not want something spinning 50, 60, 70,000 RPMs and have it wobble. It will disintegrate and basically blow up, peppering everything within a good 100 yards with shrapnel.   

       So what is a flywheel…!?!? A flywheel is basically like a child’s toy “Top”. It’s an object that spins at high RPMs and basically stores “Potential Energy”. If you were to put the palm of your hand to that spinning object, the friction between your hand and the object creates heat. Some of the energy in the spin was converted to heat thus reducing the RPMs. So instead of drawing energy as heat, why not use a flywheel like an electric generator?   

       If you placed the flywheel in the wheel and use the gear locking used in bicycles, the forward spin of the tire would spin the flywheel just like pedals on the bicycle turn the rear wheel. When the wheel slows down or stops, the flywheel would still spin just like when you stop pedaling. The spinning flywheel could then be used to generate electricity.   

       Yes it’s long. But I hope that it helps.
Dino875, Aug 25 2003

       I am sure I have seen a documentary on this idea.   

       First versions were available in thirties USA. Giant gyroscope within large sedan running bicycle configuration car wheels. The car had outrigger caster wheels for when the gyroscope was off, but otherwise it travelled upright like a motorbike. As I remember it had problems with fighting the inertia of the gyroscope in a turn.   

       More modern developments followed with flywheels running at 150,000 rpm on magnetic bearings, similar to linear tracks, which caused fatal explosions. The electrics failed and the bearings collapsed sending the 5kg flywheel out of perfect balance. The finely machined flywheel became just so much shrapnel.   

       The inertia in the turn problem could be solved by floating the whole flywheel cage assembly on gimbles so the car 'rotated' around the flywheel in a turn. i.e. the flywheel could please itself which way it wanted to be.   

       I am thinking that power take up and braking could be achieved electronically with a ring of magnets closing on the flywheel casing to either decelerate/accelerate the flywheel.
active8, Jul 05 2004


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