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Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

Posted March 21, 2010 8:13 AM

The use of flywheels to store energy has recently hit the auto racetrack. But other than for short bursts of electric power for passing, do you think such a system is practical for everyday passenger vehicles?

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#1

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 11:09 AM

Of course flywheels are practical for everyday passenger vehicles. They're used in every engine today. In an ICE the clutch plate or torque converter is bolted to the flywheel.

I think that this is actually another case of sloppy journalism by the writing and editorial staff here. This kind of inaccurate engineering writing maybe fine for USA Today or People magazine, but whomever posted this two sentence teaser should be ashamed to post this here at an engineering blog. I would certainly not trust any information that followed this kind of a teaser. They didn't even spell flywheel correctly in the title. I believe a more accurate contraction for a teaser would be to call this a flywheel hybrid race car.

Lately many of the journalism efforts here have been very sloppy and it is starting to annoy me.

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#2

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 11:42 AM

Its been tossed around about using flyingwheel for storing energy for breaking assist and then using the stored energy for acceleration, but the problems other then weight is Gyroscopic forces that come along with it.

p911

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#3
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 12:22 PM

I believe that in formula 1 cars that use this regenerative flywheel, the spinning shaft is oriented parallel to gravity. This way handling and turns see little gyroscopic effects.

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#4
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 12:38 PM

Thats interesting, I wonder how large these regenerative flywheels are, the actual forces that apply and the data on savings

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#26
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 11:58 AM

I wonder how large these regenerative flywheels are...

They are very small and very high speed. They are mechanical, not mechanical/electric as the intro implies, and they work pretty well, for a few seconds of acceleration. The Flybrid system (as used briefly in Formula One) is hideously expensive, and doesn't offer enough improvement over a non-hybrid to make sense for production, so the price is not likely to reduce greatly. I spoke to the Flybrid people at some length about using their system in my prototype vehicle (when I was thinking about various hybrid schemes, before deciding to make it a plug-in hybrid) and the price was about 100 times that for batteries, more or less.

Nevertheless, the Flybrid folks are hoping to get the system into production cars. While the idea is "kinda neat"* it is hardly something that you can just bolt into an existing design, and it requires a very sophisticated cvt and clutching to smoothly deliver power from a flywheel turning at 60,000 rpm or so to road wheels turning at 0 to 1000 rpm. Also, the appeal could be in the fully mechanical nature of it, but in practice the system requires its own computerized control system, vacuum pump, hydraulic pump, and of course throttle-by-wire control. Smooth, reliable clutch engagement? Imagine a flywheel inadvertently coupling up hard and fast to drive wheels at an intersection. Makes Toyotas seem safe, by comparison, and makes electric hybrids seem so simple and inexpensive.

data on savings

It's hard to imagine a net savings, although with a big enough gas guzzler, it might pay for itself over the life of the car... but not in comparison to existing hybrid schemes, which offer real world gains with proven tech and lower complexity.

Some of these ideas (flywheel hybrids, hydraulic hybrids) had their origins in the days of lead acid batteries. But people have been getting 150,000 miles out of the old NiMH batteries on the Toyota RAV4 EV's, and the lithium batteries are showing signs of working better. Flywheels and hydraulic accumulator systems answer a "problem" (the high weight and short life of lead acid batteries) that no longer exists, and introduce control system complexities that have long since been resolved with electric vehicles.

To implement regen on my prototype required absolute genius on my part: I selected the option for the brake to override the throttle (just as Toyota should have done almost a decade ago); I picked an initial amount of regen upon brake appication, and the rate at which it increases with increasing brake application; then took a test drive... worked fine, with the friction brakes remaining stone cold in conservative driving. No ordinary person with a third-grade education could have done this -- I'd say that at least a fourth grade education is required. The controller that accomplishes this magic was a whopping $300 -- unavailable from any US company, but readily available from a Chinese one. (grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter)

* in the "world's fastest bar stool" sort of way...

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#30
In reply to #26

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:11 PM

GA Mr. Blink,

I have another question for you, et al. I would like to know why flywheels in these applications for energy storage have to be small and superfast? In the steam engine days, flywheels were large and slow... and still stored huge amounts of energy, and nothing so complicated was required... they didn't have vacuum systems.. etc.

I would just like to know the rationale?

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#37
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 2:20 PM

Hi,

how many KWh do you want to store?

How much weight would you be pleased to allow?

RHABE

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#41
In reply to #37

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 3:57 PM

well I was just generally curious... but not building anything... the image is copied from the internet.

but okay.. for conversation's sake.. lets say I need 5000 watts per hour.. and for weight umm.. same as a man.. 200 lbs.

Chris

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#49
In reply to #30

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 12:51 AM

In the steam engine days, flywheels were large and slow... and still stored huge amounts of energy...

They actually stored small amounts of energy, because they turned slowly. The energy stored varies with the rotational speed squared, so adding speed is very beneficial... until the thing blows up from the stress. The best materials are therefore exceptionally strong in tension, such as carbon fiber.

If you look through typical flywheel speeds, you can see that the Flybrid system is way up there in speed, allowing relatively low system weight but relatively high energy storage. It's worth noting, though, that even the pretty sophisticated moderately high speed (as compared to the Flybrid) systems used for UPS purposes are about the same as lead acid batteries in terms of mass energy density.

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 1:08 AM

Thank you. succinct kitty.

Chirs

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#72
In reply to #30

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

01/22/2011 4:30 PM

size and weight

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#34
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:21 PM

GA and a complete answer Blink.

Hats off to ya!

p911

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#51
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 7:15 AM

A GA indeed...but damn your kittenish hide...that's one more than me
Del

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#54
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 3:44 PM

I note I am surging ahead... 2 more at this instant. I can fix that though. I'll find two of your onesies, and make them twosies. I think all your answers are good.

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#55
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 3:59 PM

Done. Ironically, I found two onesies in a thread about "Good Answers" and the grave seriousness with which they should be treated. Rest assured that I went through considerable due diligence, convening a small committee that included our new feline foundling, Zucchini.

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#56
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 4:12 PM

I'll have to consult Transcendian to which category this falls into; unethical or immoral.. I can't decide which.. unless of course you mark up some of my onesies, in which case you would redeem yourself.

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#57
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 4:25 PM

I second that notion! Far too many "almost good" answers that I put way too much thought and effort into.

On the other hand...

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#58
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 4:41 PM

Cheers>
Zucchini? There's gotta be a punch line there?
Del

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#61
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/24/2010 11:58 PM

We went through loads of names, many of them researched by my teenage daughter... who was initially thinking of something related to fire, because the cat was found at a Persian Fire Jumping celebration. One of our cat masters is named Godiva, so Hershey was a possibility, which got us thinking of foods... I mentioned Zucchini... and we all liked it. No punchline, just whim.

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#5

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 2:49 PM

A flywheel is really nothing more than a simple gyroscope, which is itself nothing more than a device for conserving angular momentum. Classically, a gyro is mounted on gimbals, which allows it to maintain it's orientation independent of the motions of the framework. This is how such things as gyro-compasses work. When a gyro is mounted in a solid frame, it has a stabilizing effect in a plane normal to it's axis of rotation. Any force applied to a gyro perpendicular to it's axis of rotation, will cause it to rotate perpendicular to both is axis and it's angular momentum.

The implication of this with regard to this thread is as follows.

Assume for the moment the normal sex of x, y and z axes, and further assume that y is along the direction of motion. Thus, rotation around x is to turn left or right, y is side to side roll along the direction of motion, and z is motion of the nose up or down.

So, if we have a flywheel mounted with it's rotational axis along the y axis, which is the normal orientation of an automotive engine and the most simple orientation of the flywheel from an mechanical viewpoint. This would tend to stabilize the vehicle in both x and z but leave it free to rotate about y. Meaning that the vehicle would tend to resist turning and pitching up or down, but would be free to roll. However, turning the vehicle would tend to cause the nose to pitch up or down, depending upon the direction of the turn and the rotation of the flywheel.

Similarly, if the flywheel axis is oriented along z, which is to say across the direction of motion, the vehicle will be stabilized in x and y, but free to rotate in z. Or, the vehicle would resist both turning and rolling, but would be free to pitch up and down. Turning in this case would cause the vehicle to try to roll.

However, if the axis of rotation were orientated along x, or straight up and down, the vehicle would be stabilized in y and z, leaving the vehicle free to rotate around x. Which means that the vehicle would turn freely, but would be stabilized in both pitch and roll.

No assuming that I haven't gotten myself all turned around in all of this, it seems logical that, at least from the handling viewpoint, the most desirable orientation would be vertical, since this would induce the greatest stability and the fewest perturbations in handling.

Of course torque loading on the flywheel as you put power into or take power out is also going to have some interesting effects on handling, which will also have have have to be taken into account. Furthermore, the idea begs the question, how exactly do we intend to spin this thing up and down in the first place, and how much weight and complexity is it going to add to the vehicle?

I tend to doubt that any added performance will make up for additional weight and complexity in a racing car, though the stabilization effects are interesting. Of course, commercial and commuter vehicles are an entirely different matter.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 10:39 PM

I'm sorry, I am not able to get past trying to assume normal sex of x, y and z axes.

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#7
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 10:42 PM

Sorry. I was pretty embarrassed by that typo when I noticed it, but by that point it was too late to correct it. I meant set of x,y and z axes.

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#8
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 10:48 PM

Actually, I knew what you meant, but couldn't resist the dig.

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#11
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 10:54 PM

Even in the x axis, traversing dips, bumps, elevation changes and banked turns would be rather interesting that I would buy a ticket for those grandstand seats.

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#15
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 11:24 PM

Most serious race cars use double or triple disc clutches that allow much smaller (dia.) and lighter or effectively no flywheels (flex plates) (reduced mass crankshafts and viscous fluid vibration dampers are sometimes included in the package) aimed at increasing spin-up/down of the engine, aiding acceleration and deceleration (gear changes) with a lesser and generally non-existent eye toward unwanted gyroscopic effects on handling. Of course, those engines are configured with sufficient power and torque and live most of their lives at high RPM, which itself produces a smoothness due to the shortened time between pulses, as opposed to road going vehicles that require a heavier flywheel/clutch or torque converter to smooth out the power pulses at the lower RPM's commonly seen, providing passengers with a more tranquil ride.

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#32
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:14 PM

okay... I think that explains part of my question to Blink. (ga)

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#27
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 12:26 PM

Come on Jag,

Where is your sense of adventure?

I'll actually go along for the ride!

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#28
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 12:52 PM

Even on a good day, I don't think I want to be tootling down the road with a 150# mass spinning at 20,000 RPMs riding on Hungarian bearings sitting within 2' of my head. I don't even care to be next to it at a light.

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#38
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 3:13 PM

Hi,

this will be likely 100mm diameter spinning at 60,000 rpm - at centrifugal limit.

bearings: I never saw a ball-bearing be 100% reliable, although paid sometimes above 100$ 1 piece 12 or 16mm diameter. Regardless who produces the bearings there may be some non-ideal conditions that produce early failure. Maybe catastrophic, maybe slow.

Only the hard-disc-drives achieved a very good record of reliability - millions per month is good for learning.

There may be more than 100 seemingly small non-ideal features that may result in failure.

These are distributed between the bearing, its mounting parts, the mounting procedure, the cleanliness and lubrication and machine-dynamics. Some outside error sources to add.

Also Hubble Space telescope had (minimum) one gyro fail by bearing failure!

So your feeling of suspense is quite good.

I would do similar.

RHABE

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#48
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 12:37 AM

Just to clarify my reference to Hungarian bearings, I had purchased a full set of bearings, for the front wheels of a car, from a well known do-it-yourself auto parts supplier. They were packaged by a known and reputable manufacturer (NOT the best known manufacturer). After about 10K miles, one failed. Upon disassembly, I discovered one of the rollers had split in half, like an oil drum barbecue. They had been manufactured in hollow halves and welded (?) together. I didn't think that was common and still don't know. The country of origin lasered into lip of the inner race was Hungary. That was the day I decided to replace every bearing of every vehicle and trailer with those manufactured by, in my opinion, the best known roller bearing manufacture and have done so since. I have not had any failures.

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#12
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 10:56 PM

a wyse man doesn't get zee sexes of hees exes confused, lest they come after heem with axes.

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#13
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 11:10 PM

I'm sorry, I am not able to get past trying to assume normal sex of x, y and z axes.

As compared to the abnormal sex?

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#14
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 11:22 PM

Yes, exactly.

x's and o's are generally used for football plays, x's and y's are used for chromosomes, but it was the z that threw me as that might imply transgendered which would most likely be categorized as abnormal by those other than the transgendered.

My apologies to any x's, o's, y's, z's or transgendereds that may have taken offense...none was intended.

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#10
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 10:54 PM

Interesting analysis. It took me awhile to keep the mental image straight as I work in a the flight simulation field and the coordinate system is different. We define x axis as the longitudinal axis (along the axis of motion and rotation about x results in roll); the y axis as the lateral axis (rotation about y axis results in pitch); and the z axis as the vertical axis (rotation about z results in yaw...or turning left/right).

Once I rearranged my mental image to match your coordinate system, what you present seems reasonable.

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#16
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:32 AM

It appears I remembered my analytic geometry incorrectly, as I have not used it a heck of a lot in the last ten years or so. In analytic geometry, x is horizontal, y is vertical, and z is normal to the plane of x and y. So it seems that I rotated x and y. My apologies for the confusion.

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#17
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:37 AM

I'm telling you.. I've got two exes that I actually married, and several more I didn't.. you do not want to rotate these... It will not go well for you. Just keep the Y to yourself. they don't need to know.

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#19
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:46 AM

You're cracking me up here. I, too, have two exes (in the married sense of the word). Their names and all references to them are locked away tightly any time my loving wife is in close proximity. See, I have learned something.

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#18
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:40 AM

No apologies necessary. You defined your coordinate system and used it within your example.

The coordinate system I use on a day to day basis doesn't match the analytic geometry system you just described either. I use z as vertical with x and y defining the horizontal plane.

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#33
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:18 PM

why does the design have to be so much different than a motorcycle with the gyroscopic effect of the wheels? I think a motorcycle is a good candidate for flywheels... regen braking, etc. I think that you have to pair up the flywheels to neutralize the forces on cornering.

and ga btw.. (can't believe I'm the first to give you one on this post)

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#35
In reply to #33

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:24 PM

I think a motorcycle is a good candidate for flywheels.

I do not think so, have you ever watch Xtreme sports with the aerobatic jumping?

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#36
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:45 PM

Actually having a hidden gyroscope in an aerobatic jumping motorcycle could make more bizarre looking jumps than they do now.

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#39
In reply to #36

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 3:19 PM

not the demographic I was thinking of... most responsible riders like to keep 2 wheels on the ground. so I was thinking of road cruisers.. not dirt bikes. there's herds of them here in alberta... have replaced the buffalo of yesteryear... an alien might even mistake them.. leather back to chew through, hard heads, top heavy bodies, and furry bits flying in the wind...

Chris

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#46
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 7:20 PM

I always thought the 1967 Gyro-X was an interesting concept - a gyroscopically stabilized 2-wheeled car (motorcycle?). It was powered by a gasoline engine but could briefly tap into the kinetic energy of the flywheel for acceleration and passing. Apparently it could "lay rubber" at highway speeds.

Details about the Gyro-X are scarce, and this has led to some conspiracy theorizing about why it never went into production, but a reason was given by Robert Poteet who worked for Gyro Transport Systems: "We had stabilization problems at higher speed cornering which were never fully resolved."

Original article about it appeared in Science and Mechanics magazine.

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#62
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/07/2010 3:59 PM

I am the owner of the 1967 gyro x car,is there anyone out ther interested. thanks John

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#63
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/07/2010 8:31 PM

Windsornudge:

You own the Gyro-X? That's amazing! What condition is it in? Does it still run? What were or are the problems (if any) with it?

Robert

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#65
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/08/2010 3:19 PM

Unfortunately, someone modified the car before it came into my possesion, nothing of the Gyro system is left. I am considering restoring the car to original but I have no knowledge of Gyroscopes, this is why I am trying to find anyone out there who may be able to help.

If you go to U tube john windsor's car you will see the video I made when I was trying to identify the car,this will tell you the whole story, obviously it took such a long time to Identify it because I was asking about a 3 wheeler until someone recognised it a couple of months ago.

Since then I have read every thing I can find about the car, but I am still not sure what to do next. Any ideas welcome, thanks John.

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#70
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/09/2010 9:25 AM

Here was my vision:

Gyro-X found in back of industrial warehouse, where it had been sitting under a tarp for the past forty years. The owner of the warehouse, and now the owner of the Gyro-X, said, "All it needed was a few squirts of oil and some spit and polish and she's as good as new. I've had her up to 140 MPH - about two-thirds throttle - and she's as steady as a rock. See that thumb switch on the steering wheel? That's the gyro-booster. At highway speed you can briefly tap into the flywheel for rocket-like acceleration. Rice burners (Japanese motorcycles), eat my dust." And so on.

Then I watched your video. Oh well. Dreams meet reality. An amazing find though. I wonder what happened to the flywheel and associated controls. If that car could talk, I'm sure it would have quite a story. Best of luck with your detective work.

Robert

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#64
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/07/2010 9:03 PM

got any pictures or data to share?

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#66
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/08/2010 3:22 PM

Hi Chris please see the reply I sent to canadien guy

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#67
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/08/2010 6:01 PM

this?

very interesting... but unfortunately, everything I know about it, I just learned from you... What else has come to light?

Chris

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#68
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/08/2010 6:41 PM

Just type in gyro x car and follow the links and you will know as much as I do, I just found a copy of the 1967 science and mechanics mag on E bay so I will now have the original photos and article.Alex Tremulis the designer and builder passed away a few years ago, he was a very interesting guy, I have been unable to track any one down who woked on it or remembers it. the California companies that worked on it no longer exhist. as I said any body out there, who may know anything please get in contact.

Thanks for the interest. John.

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#71
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

06/09/2010 2:51 PM

thanks chris you found a couple of new ones, I am Investigating further. Your help is much appreciated. John

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#9

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/21/2010 10:51 PM

Flywheel buses were successfully developed in the 40's.

I think in the modern era of articulating buses (below), and road trains (australia), that this should be reexamined. Flywheels are a natural adjunct to regenerative braking systems. Categorically, any device which stores energy will find some application in devices which convert energy to motion and vice versa, imho.

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#21
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 6:07 AM

Hi,

these buses had a trial in Switzerland with catastrophic results.

If (at vertical orientation of the big flywheel) the bus is making a forced roll or pitch motion then there will be a big torque in pitch if roll-motion and roll if pitch motion.

In extreme situations this will lay down the bus to the side.

So the experiments with one big flywheel was stopped and two counter-rotating flywheels installed: the gyroscopic torques cancel each other but put heavy loads on the bearings that may feel early overload and failure.

So the concept was abandoned.

It had a revival for new subway trains (city of Berlin/GERMANY) intended to use a similar system with a much smaller and much faster flywheel (carbon-fiber-epoxi) nearly 8 years ago.

Running in ball bearings that are very critical at high speed this ended in a nice show at the first trial: the bearings failed, then the rotor hit the housing (vacuum container to minimise drag), tore the housing to pieces, disintegrated itself to a mixture of carbon and evaporated epoxi dust, mist, gas, then ignited with the surrounding air and blast away half the building where the test was performed.

This was the first and last test of this concept.

There is a big installation of flywheels in a New York power-station. (More than 10 years old now).Stationary work is much easier. But also if stationary some precautions are necessary: these flywheels are suspended from above with angular freedom (and low center of mass, so pendulous) to tilt the vertical axis.

This is necessary for some stationary tilt that compensates for the Earth's rotation and some non-stationary part to compensate for some small rotation-rates from the elastic deformation of the Earth-crust by tidal forces and small movements of the building by storms and quakes.

So the real problem are

1. the bearings: high load with minimum friction!

2. the vacuum container and its tightness and inner gas sources including the driving electric motor.

3. The "never-enough" stored energy.

A 3 axis electromagnetic suspension in vacuum with "no" magnetically induced eddy-currents to induce drag may be a future solution.

The technology is existing with electrostatic suspension for small (1") hollow spheres of Beryllium for the navigation systems of modern submarines. But the small electrostatic forces never will be adequate for heavy flywheels.

Electromagnetic suspension will need a soft ferromagnetic material - most are electrically conducting, so not useful here.

Suspension in nonconducting ceramic ferrite may be a solution - I never heard of any trial. Allowing big angular tilt and yaw movements may be a problem for the (outside) motor and generator combination.

So let's wait and see and help.

RHABE

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#24
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Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 10:54 AM

okay... never heard of those problems with the bus.. or don't remember

at any rate.. your description is much more serious.. thanks.

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#20

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 3:55 AM

And when one of these flywheel race cars gets hit from the side, it flips end-over-end. I too would be curious what happens on entering a banked turn, but I'm too sleepy right now to figure it out. Performance might differ between Indianapolis and Daytona...

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#22
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 9:15 AM

I'm guessing that if a closed car flipped onto its roof, it would spin like a turtle on the highway, only it wouldn't stop for quite a while.

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#23
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 9:34 AM

I didn't think these would be trivial forces to be ignored.

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#29
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:00 PM

Still sounds like fun.

Unless its Hungarian.

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#25

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 11:21 AM

There are other good applications for flywheel based energy systems.

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#31

Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 1:12 PM

Flywheels require energy to set them in motion.

Flywheels require energy to maintain constant motion.

Flywheels constantly loose motion if not otherwise acted upon.

All that energy could be placed directly.

Flywheels ASSIST in maintaining constant rotation, at a cost.

No energy is actually stored. Even a battery looses energy when not in use.

Did I waste several years of physics classes?

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#40
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 3:36 PM

"No energy is actually stored."

okay.... I'll accept that... as long as you tell me what energy is?

"All that energy could be placed directly."

I would think it obvious that energy recovered in regen braking is less expensive than 'new' direct energy. I don't know. I'm larning.

Chris

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#42
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 5:09 PM

OK,

I admit it was not an overly engineered post. Or, maybe too 'engineered'. I like to keep things simple and to the point, with a little 'uncommon' common sense being thrown in to the overthinking prevailent in most engineering discussions.

Energy, or force, (however anyone wants to define it) is always in a state of transition to some measurable degree.

An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

Sounds familiar eh.

There is no such thing as perpetual motion. At least not that we have achieved.

Some superconductivity/magnatism studies are 'close'.

My point was;

Flywheels slow down do to friction. ANY friction. The only thing more constant than friction is gravity, which slows them down as well.

Figure out how to eliminate, or truly control, friction and/or gravity you will OWN the universe. The Nobel prize will be meaningless at that point.

I have seen some exquisitely made flywheels (gyros) spin for hours (days even) once they are started, but I have never seen one that does not stop eventually.

PLEASE send me in the right direction if you have seen one.

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#43
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 5:36 PM

Hi,

the electrostatically suspended gyros have a very low residual friction: slow down to half the original speed (25% of the original energy) will take near 7 months.

The lightweight hollow sphere of Beryllium 1" diameter does nor store much energy, so any heavy sphere will do much better if the suspension and the drive can be made with similar low friction: residual eddy-currents and drag in high vacuum.

I is much easier to have a flywheel that will deliver energy for only some seconds and does not have to have low friction.

RHABE

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#44
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 6:11 PM

"but I have never seen one that does not stop eventually."

whew! thats reassuring.. my brain can spin for days... just like on our Shipping Container thread... actually I guess thats 2 months now. hmmm.

Chris

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#45
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 7:14 PM

Ok, here's a completely off topic suggestion since you've gone to the dark side and are debating the idea of perpetual motion.

What about this suggestion that with a great deal of energy spent, mankind has made a very few true perpetual motion machines. All of these machines were named. Some of the names were Pioneer 1, 2 and Voyager 1, 2. None of these machines will ever be anywhere near the same inertial reference frame as the Earth. So these machines will be in perpetual motion in reference with the Earth.

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/22/2010 7:28 PM

Actually Fred, those things will slow down eventually, as they experience the drag of galactic gravitation, magnetic fields, the rather thin interstellar gasses and possibly even the fabric of space-time itself. On these timescales, who can say? In time they may enter new star systems and either fall into stable orbits or crash into some body or star, or they may even enter stable galactic orbits. The point is that these things could well float about for eons, but eventually they will fall into some form of equilibrium. Though it is unlikely that we humans will ever know their ultimate fate.

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#53
In reply to #47

Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 11:53 AM

You said it so much more eloquently than I!

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#52
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Re: Are Flywheels Fly-by-night?

03/23/2010 11:51 AM

Ah,

But in what direction? A useful one for our purposes (it was for a while)?

In relativity, you are correct.

In reality, they are constantly changing speed and direction at the whim of every other gravitational (and frictional, though miniscule in the vacuum of space) force even remotely near their flight paths.

They will likely encounter a force which WILL be their end, even if you and i dont live long enough to see it.

Again, if only I could recreate their 'perpetual' motion here on earth...

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#59

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/24/2010 8:58 PM

I am sorry, I cannot remember the name of the company, but several years ago I read about an engineer that had designed a flywheel "battery". It turned hundreds of thousands of RPM's, and the output shaft was connected to a combo Alternater/Motor.The flywheel weight was about 10 pounds.There were 2 counter-rotating to negate centrifugal forces.The feature that enabled these flywheels to stay together was a wound rotor.Cheaper materials were used near the center, where G forces are less, and the more expensive Carbon fibers were used in the outer.The decision of which is better:Low speed, high weight, or high speed low weight was answered by his research.The problem at the time was regulating the field strength to the magnetic bearings in a moving vehicle subject to bumps and vibration.

I believe they are used for UPS applications today, and are imbedded below ground to provide protection in the event of flywheel failure.

They tried a couple of 10 pounders in a car, and got good results, but they had to use a lot of energy to maintain the magnetic bearings, to be on the safe side.If an anticipatory circuit can be designed,to allow extra field strength only when needed, these could be a viable energy storage medium for automotive use. Also, advances have been made on the quantum level in permanent magnets which may allow a PM to do most of the work of the bearing.

I think this field has a lot of potential.

HTRN

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#60

Re: Are Fywheels Fly-by-night?

03/24/2010 9:58 PM

I remember as a kid owning a toy flywheel powered race car. To wind the flywheel up to speed you pushed it rapidly several times on the floor. When released it went like a scalded cat.

The performance of that toy car and the blistering acceleration of the Gyro-X (see Post #46) is convincing evidence that a flywheel powered dragster is not a crackpot idea. Imagine the simplicity of it! Instead of a howling supercharged nitrous oxide injected fire breathing behemoth of an engine, there would just be a single, inertia-gorged, weighted wheel mounted between the legs of the driver. No corners to turn - just a dead straight run from start to finish.

Already I can hear the clucks of disapproval from the nay sayers (Am I crazy!? ... expoding flywheels ... even with shroud protection ... unacceptable risk to driver ... and so on). Surely though, with advances in materials and other technologies, it's inevitable that the flywheel powered dragster will become a potent reality.

If, in the future, the risk of high RPM flywheel disintegration becomes negligible, the only shroud around the dragster's spinning flywheel will be the vacuum canister in which it is suspended. The result will be a quarter-mile human sling shot with an unparalleled power to weight ratio.

At this level of technology the vehicle will be utterly silent. The only sound during the race will be a slight squeak of the fat slicks in the millisecond before the eyeball flattening g-forces kick in. ("We're working on that squeak," the engineers will say. "It means there's still some rubber to pavement slippage.")

It's difficult to predict where this would take the sport of drag racing. The crowd appeal of a silent day at the track is problematic. Certainly it would attract a different type of spectator. There's no question that the neighbouring property owners would celebrate the change.

Builders of the first sub five second flywheel powered dragster have my permission to call it "The Slidewinder".

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