The Flywheel: The Energy Drive for a Super Smart Robotic Car
In a previous post, David Brosser demonstrated a similar system: A flywheel-generator connected with micro-fluidic chips and an electronics-laden flywheel in the form of a “flyweight”. This allowed the flywheel to store energy in a state where it could be recharged whenever the flywheel was in the process of moving. The system was able to move 10kg and was described as “an energy storage car”, although we are in fact not saying that the flywheel is the best car.
However, it does demonstrate that the system can be built up to its optimal power output over a sufficiently large range of speeds and conditions without requiring a battery-pack to provide the excess power over the available range. This is in contrast to the systems we will discuss in the final post of this series.
Boring in on the details, we can think of this as follows: The system uses an energy storage flywheel and a liquid electrolyte in the form of a “fluidic platform” over which the flywheel acts as the “power generator”. The power generator acts as a sort of flywheel, as the movement of a small fluidic platform provides a high speed-dependent current to the flywheel, in terms of an electric current (E-cad). Hence any energy stored in the flywheel is immediately recharged when the fluidic platform moves. This also solves the issue of high energy-weight as the power output per weight can be quite high.
On the subject of power, a flywheel might supply enough power to provide the same amount of power to a motorless car, such as a sports car, if the flywheel were at a constant speed for such a car. The flywheel is an ideal system for the “cheapest” case, where the car is powered by its batteries. And the “fittest” case, in which the weight of the flywheel and the power output are optimized for a robot designed to be able to operate in free space. The final post of this series also discusses the use of such a system, but there will be no mention of the flywheel in it.
The fluidic platform, where the flywheel acts as the power generator
We have developed a small power-storage flywheel that is capable of storing power during operation. The flywheel is an end-effector power-generator that can be
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