A Better Flywheel
Most hybrids use energy stored in a battery to help boost fuel economy.
Most hybrids use energy stored in a battery to help boost fuel economy. An intriguing option is a lightweight flywheel spinning at 25,000 rpm that stores energy kinetically.
For efficiency, flywheels must operate in a vacuum. But to put energy in and get it out, a traditional flywheel mounts on a rotating shaft that passes through the vacuum chamber wall. That means leaks, so such devices have required a power-robbing vacuum pump.
No more. The new TorqStor system developed by global engineering consultancy Ricardo plc uses a pair of magnets on either side of the chamber wall to transfer rotational energy back and forth to the flywheel. David Rollafson, Ricardo's vice president of Global Innovation, describes the benefits.
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