Jason M. Hendler
07-11-2008, 11:20 AM
Just did a quick search on flywheel UPS tech:
Once we reach a point in which a significant amount of our electricity is produced through renewable sources, I would prefer power to my home or business pass through a flywheel, so that any interruption to the power supplied to my home / business does not pass through to my home / business. Imagine living in Florida and never experiencing your lights flicker on / off during the afternoon thunderstorms.
07-11-2008, 11:26 PM
Any UPS is a loss of energy. Flywheels for homes might be made of concrete buried next to the home but still would require either or both a way to use air bearings and a vacuum system.
UPS's are not a good solution unless you have medical issues or data issues.
Your power company may have power supply issues or neighborhood trees and such. Your home may not be wired well enough either. Many homes have power issues from poor grounds to poor connections.
Jason M. Hendler
07-11-2008, 11:53 PM
My building is new, it's just that daily lightning storms cause frequent power failures, in which the power drops for several seconds, then comes back on. Occasionally, it drops out for longer time periods, but not often.
You are right that it isn't cost effective unless you are powering medical or computer equipment that can't suffer even a momentary loss of power. Had I money to burn, I would still do it.
07-12-2008, 12:36 AM
Just buy this...
16ms reaction time and it just floats the batteries till needed.
Edit: Oh, and interestingly enough a generator can be attached so as to keep the batteries constantly floating, like the Volt's SOC. It'll extend out the battery life. It actually helps take the worst thing about a generator and the worst thing about batteries and nullifies it.
07-12-2008, 11:47 AM
Actually, keeping a flywheel spun up using solar panels in the day time and then using the stored flywheel energy at night seems like a great way to actually get off the grid. Not just selling power back to the utility company, but off the grid. People try to do this now with batteries and inverters, but it really isn't practical. A big flywheel might just solve this problem. Paying for this sweet setup is another story.:(
Jason M. Hendler
07-12-2008, 12:07 PM
Yes, that is the other application for flywheels - think of it as a spinning capacitor.
jefro wrote: “UPS's are not a good solution unless you have medical issues or data issues.”
I think UPS’s are a good solution to keep us independent from the grid during peak hours at the same time reducing the burden on the grid. The automotive use Li-ion batteries make it possible. Please take a look at my earlier post (post #4) at:
Many utility companies offer greatly reduced rate during late night/early morning off-peak hours because the energy they produce is otherwise wasted. Even at the reduced rate it is better than nothing for the operators. Peak shaving is the key for our future electricity use.
07-12-2008, 09:23 PM
I think one of the best uses of a fly wheel would be in series with a wind turbine. I am thinking turbine to e-motor to flywheel, but I'm sure some slicker engineer than I could rig up the turbine straight to the flywheel through some gearing/clutching system or a CVT, which could minimize loss.
07-12-2008, 10:14 PM
Are we going to propose that flywheels are the proper way to store that last bit of braking energy when the battery is at full SOC? Flywheel may add a bit more weight than it is worth. Spinning mass may also deviate the handling characteristics of the Volt.
I worked at AirResearch Manufacturing in the late '70s when they were building flywheels for city buses. The flywheel would store enegy during deceleration and return the energy to a traction motor when the bus acelerated from a stop. Worked rather well except for the vibrations from metal stretching and bearing problems. Funding was by the US Dept. of Transportation.
Here is a link to a source of the technology>> http://www.pscpower.com/pages/series%20EPM.html
Go Volt !