Fluidic variable inertia flywheel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Energy storage is important for many applications from hybrid vehicles to off-peak electric power to rotating machinery. A flywheel offers the combination of high energy density and high power density not attainable with other energy storage medium. In many situations, it is desirable to store energy at a constant angular velocity. This work proposes a novel self-governing fluidic variable inertia flywheel that can maintain a constant angular velocity across a range of energy storage. The fluidic flywheel uses a piston to separate the liquid filled chamber from a chamber vented to atmosphere. A force balance is created on the piston due to the radial pressure gradient of the liquid reacted by a constant force spring. Energy added to the system is stored in equally two forms: increases the kinetic energy of the flywheel at a constant angular velocity and increasing the potential energy of the constant force spring. A design example demonstrates that the fluidic flywheel enables a constant angular velocity with an order of magnitude lower mass moment of inertia than a conventional flywheel. This promising technology enables a simple constant angular velocity energy storage system, yet requires future work in numerous areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication7th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781563479762
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

Name7th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference


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