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Old 04-18-2009, 10:53 PM   #1
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centrifugal hybrid

I was reflecting on how one might design a centrifugal hybrid. Need to have paired counter rotating masses to eliminate gyroscopic effects, of course, but what about the rest of it? Seems like the engine driving the wheel would need one transmission, and the wheel driving the tires would need another. And how would you start this thing up? Sit for a bit and spin the wheel up? I guess it could even be done by electricity for that first go!

Seems like this could almost be done as a retrofit if you didn't mind losing your trunk!
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:42 AM   #2
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Devices that store energy in the form of a rotating mass are commonly referred to as flywheel energy storage (FES) systems or simply, flywheels. Existing, commercial examples charge and discharge using electricity.

This website has some good information on FES systems:
http://www.asi.org/adb/04/03/03/flyw...y-storage.html

A news story about an automobile design with flywheel storage in an electric/gas turbine hybrid:
http://www.allbusiness.com/automotiv...6957664-1.html

I'm guessing that for an all-mechanical flywheel storage system, you would need beefier bearing designs to withstand the loads in a moving vehicle along multiple axes. You would probably use roller bearings instead of magnetic. As with any storage system, you would have to consider the additional weight that you are always carrying around. One of the touted benefits of FES systems is that the ratio of energy storage to weight is lower than that of conventional batteries.

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Bill
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:51 AM   #3
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I didn't even notice...wow, kind of weird I didn't use the word "flywheel" since I've read a fair bit about them before. I'd recently heard of a city bus system in Sweden (I think...starting to forget already) that used flywheels spun up by electric power from overhead lines which is what got me considering it again. I should run some math on the amount of power required for a buffer on a standard engine.

I was thinking of this vs a standard electricity based hybrid, so eliminating the need for electric motors, generators, and batteries in a hybrid offsets the need for the flywheel, but then there's that second transmission as well. I imagine the efficiency vs the electric hybrid cycle would be greater, so that could help reduce it a tad as well. Thanks for the links.

Trying to think of stuff the spinning masses could be used for, rather than just dead weight. Obviously getting useful stuff in an out makes this a long shot at best. Spin the battery? Or the alternator? The engine? The fuel tank? That last one sounds like a really bad idea, even for brainstorming!
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:00 AM   #4
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Apparently "kinetic energy recovery systems" have been used recently, mostly for racing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic...covery_Systems

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Old 04-20-2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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Cool to see they're using CVTs, since they do seem like a natural fit for this application.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
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Ah. I thought you were talking about flywheels, but without seeing that common word, I was confused and unsure that you were in fact talking about them.

User R.I.D.E. has talked about various forms of flywheels numerous times, such as:
http://www.gassavers.org/showthread....489#post125489

I was just thinking, what about an in-wheel flywheel? It could be extremely simple, already has a scatter shield (the wheel), there'd be no gyroscope issues (I think), and an axle is already right there. It could use the existing disc brake system as [part of] its clutch, or it could use off-the-shelf brake components kept separate from the brakes. Maybe it could use some kind of hydraulic drive instead of a clutch, but then it might as well be R.I.D.E.'s hyraulic drive instead and move the flywheel elsewhere.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
I was just thinking, what about an in-wheel flywheel?
Nice thought, but unsprung weight does nasty things to handling, and the mechanism would need to be a lot more rugged to withstand the pounding it would take from potholes and such.
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