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Flywheel storage

Flywheel storage

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Storing energy in the form of mechanical kinetic energy (for comparatively short periods of time) in flywheels has been known for centuries, and is now being considered again for a much wider field of utilisation, competing with electro chemical batteries. In inertial energy storage systems, energy is stored in the rotating mass of a fly wheel. In ancient potteries, a kick at the lower wheel of the rotating table was the energy input to maintain rotation. The rotating mass stored the short energy input so that rotation could be maintained at a fairly constant rate. Flywheels have been applied in steam and combustion engines for the same purpose since the time of their invention. The application of flywheels for longer storage times is much more recent and has been made possible by developments in materials science and bearing technology. The energy capacity of flywheels, with respect to their weight and cost, has to date been very low, and their utilisation was mainly linked to the unique possibility of being able to deliver very high power for very short periods (mainly for special machine tools).

Chapter Contents:

  • 5.1 General considerations
  • 5.2 The flywheel as a central store
  • 5.3 The energy discharge problem
  • 5.4 Applications of flywheel energy storage

Inspec keywords: internal combustion engines; steam engines; machine bearings; flywheels; machine tools

Other keywords: rotating table; materials science; combustion engines; steam engines; mechanical kinetic energy; inertial energy storage systems; special machine tools; flywheel storage; energy capacity; electro chemical batteries; ancient potteries; rotating mass; bearing technology

Subjects: Mechanical components; Storage in mechanical energy; Engines; Other energy storage

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