Re: Now the Bay Area rolling blackouts begin...

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 13:40:09 MST

Chuck Kuecker wrote:

> At 11:01 AM 1/18/01 -0500, you wrote:
> >I was thinking the flywheel could have six counterrotating smaller wheels
> >around
> >it. So, when power is added, the the main flywheel is accelerated in one
> >direction
> >and the support flywheels the other direction. So, if there a power
> >outage, power
> >is drawn from all of them at once, providing smooth transition and power
> >output.
> >Also, if the flywheel was levitating in its vacuum above the
> >superconductor, then
> >power could be drawn directly to slow it to prevent the flywheel from graxing
> [sic]
> >anything at a high rate of speed.
> >
> >Your grenage [sic] sounds like the weapon in James Bond where the guy has a
> >sawblade on a
> >whip. Another example from RPG's is the shuriken cannon, where discs of high
> >strength and edge sharpness are spun to a high speed and launched using
> >electromagnetic force.
> >
> >If the battery housing was moved, for example, without some kind of
> >compensation,
> >then the moving parts might contact, which is an issue. There might be
> >some kind
> >of ablative material on the normally distant surfaces. That would be another
> >situation for the autoshutdown with the counterrotating wheels.
> >
> >Ross
> Why not two counterrotating wheels? Simpler mechanically...and as long as
> you equalize speeds, no gyroscopic effects to worry about.
> Chuck Kuecker

Because it would be different from that way, then they could be compared. For
example, some early motor vehicles had three wheels.

If there are counterrotating wheels in the same inertial space, and the magnetic
levitation fails, then the wheel would take some other material not spinning at a
high rate of speed. This introduces a variety of reasons why to consider systems
that reduce this risk. The counterrotating wheels could each have a motor to spin
the mass the other way. We haven't yet mentioned good axles.

I was wondering if the wheel was spinning fast enough with relation to the gravity
of the Earth that it would not spin in place until it slowed enough for gravity to
pull it to the Earth. It would be an object more difficult to move than other
objects. When it did slow to a speed would it contact another physical item, one
might envision a liquid barrier with high viscosity that evaporates into
near-frictionless material.

So, it might be better to have two counterrotating wheels. I think gyroscopic
effects can actually be used instead of avoided, in terms of gyroscopic inertial


Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:
"The best mathematician in the world is Maplev in Ontario."  - Pertti L.

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