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January 01, 2006



It seems to me that a significant problem with transportation applications of flywheels would be gyroscopic effects. If an automobile-based flywheel were spinning fast enough it could either cause a car to be impossible to turn or lift it on two wheels (depending on the axis of the flywheel). Even if the effects weren't this powerfull, it seems likely that sudden turns or bumps could damage the flywheel bearings potentially causing them to fail and send hypersonic shrapnel shooting though the engine.

john heff

The functionality of any alternative power system for vehicles needs to be analized with the vehicles planned use. A very high percentage of the daily driving done by the vast majority of cars in the us (especially in metro areas) is less than 50 miles. Therefore a battery powered or flywheel powered vehicle capable of 60 miles per charge could meet this demand. Most of these vehicles are driven to work or commuter lot and parked for severl hours in which time there power system can be recharged by the power grid or even a solar panel on the roof. The key to getting this type of vehicle into the main stream is two fold. We have a chance to do this now because the cost of gasoline is not going to go back to the 1.00 per gallon level soon and perhaps ever. The interest in electric vehicles is greater than ever especiall for the second car that is driven to commute to work or for running arround town. If the US car manufacturers don't ac fast they will loose another opportunity to foriegn manufacturing as some company is going to step in and meet the consumer demand.

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Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles