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View Diary: Green Light!  Flywheel Energy Storage (228 comments)

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  •  better than that... (0+ / 0-)

    Think of it in the same way your car runs efficiently at 55 but burns more gas quicker to run at 75 or to handle the needs of stop and go traffic.

    Your car's engine needs to be sized to handle its maximum load.  Unfortunately, it is less efficient off this value.  (So even though you get better mileage at 75 MPH than 55, the engine is less efficient with the gas that it uses.  (Sadly, the extra drag at 75MPH more than makes up for that.))

    One of the big wins with hybrid cars is that when the engine runs, it can run at its most efficient speed, and any extra energy is shunted to the battery.  When you accelerate hard, however, you get power from both the battery and the engine.  So the engine can be smaller as well.

    Turbines are even more inefficient off their design speed than gasoline/diesel engines.  So having a substantial power "buffer" like a flywheel can provide substantial efficiency gains.

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