Carlos, I was reading your comments on another thread and wondering about sinchronicity. I did some reading yesterday on flywheel systems. I was not very enthusiast in the end, at least not enough to post anything. I did not worry about money on the following explanation, thinking that F1 teams won't have a problem with that.
First, I want to give a link to this http://www.fia.com/mediacentre/Press_Re ... 06-01.html
curious photo (peace in our times!) and lengthy article on the future of Formula One, at no other site than the official FIA site
Second, the proposed regulations for 2008:
5.2 Other means of propulsion :
5.2.1 Subject only to Article 5.2, The use of any device, other than the 2.4 litre, four stroke engine described in 5.1 above, to power the car, is not permitted.
5.2.2 The total amount of recoverable energy stored on the car must not exceed 300kJ. Any which may be recovered at a rate greater than 2kW must not exceed 20kJ.
This is what davecooper does not understand (nor me). First, you must use the engine only. Then they allow you to store energy. How are you going to transmit this energy back to the wheels if electric or hydraulic motors seem forbidden? This only left us with a flywheel connected to the engine with a clutch, as I see it.
Actual products I found were UPS's by Pentadyne
and "flywheel batteries" by Flywheel Energy Systems
giving you 50 Kilowatts for 60 seconds (Less than 1 Kwatt-hour), but weighing 135 kilos which means a puny 5.5 Watts-hour/Kg. Gasoline gives you the astounding amount of 12.000 Watts-hour per kilo.
Nice power but low energy density on FES flywheel
Flywheels do not contaminate when discarded or operated, have a long life and require that you understand the "eigenvalues" of the "rotational modes", because at such high rotational speeds any vibration is what finally makes unusable the thing. Of course, they are computer controlled and inspected thousands of time per second. When vibrations exceed a value, they stop. They use a thick cover, filled with liquid, for the possibility of "explosion" of the flywheel, and the Pentadyne model, made of carbon fiber, supposedly must dissintegrate on failure. Anyway, I won't use them on my children's toys...
Pentadyne flywheel use a carbon fiber rotor turning in a vacuum on magnetic bearings
The best batteries I found were LiSOCl2
, better than NiMh ones (the one in your laptop) and they blow the flywheel energy density by much: they offer 400 Watts-hour per kilo. This does not take in account the weight of the electric motor they need, while the flywheel could be connected "directly" to the engine with a clutch, without electric motor. As I read the rules, batteries are forbidden (well, electric motors are needed).
The potential I thought there was in supercapacitors could be optimistic: they have even greater power density than batteries, but lower energy density, which makes them suitable for electronics, not for electrical power, as I see it. There are some models for cars, anyway.
6 Kwatts supercapacitor for vehicles
Supercapacitors are extremely recent inventions. I took the photo from a nice 800 Kb PDF on the subject
. Here you have a chart of power vs energy density for various possible energy storage mediums for "regenerative vehicles". They seem forbidden by the regulations I quote, because you need electric motors also.
Power-Energy Density of storage mediums for electricity
I want to comment in the end that no amount of regeneration of energy will give us new energy. All these gadgets and devices should only make more efficient cars. Frankly, I repeat, I would limit the amount of fuel for the race and let the engineers decide what to do, at least for a while...
I won't go into hydraulics now, but there is a couple of systems around for trucks, as well as flywheel systems for delivery trucks that operate on a stop and go pattern that makes them perfect for their use.