Archive for August, 2016

Flywheel Energy Store (FES) | Out thinking the box at it’s finest…

I have had touted since I first embarked on my pursuits in renewable energy systems technologies, that this industry needed a more sustainable, pragmatic, clean(er) and green(er) storage offering instead of the filthy, precious resource-intensive battery. To me batteries are sacrilegious, and are hardly clean(er) or green(er).

Abigail Carson, a female mechanical engineering student has used her prowess to come up with an improvement on the kinetic flywheel offering, she calls Flywheel Energy Store (FES). What’s interesting is she claims her design is small, portable, highly-efficient, and could be applied rather quickly for domestic applications.

Abigail Carson, 21, who has completed her third year studying Mechanical Engineering at Lancaster, has created a superfast design for a Flywheel Energy Store (FES). The design, which was a self-proposed project as part of her MEng degree course, could have a wide number of uses, most notably for the storage of electricity generated by renewable sources such as wind turbines or solar panels.


EVs vs ICEs (Internal Combustion Engines) in the 21st Century

It’s affirming when another reviewer understands that unless the electricity consumed by the electric car is completely clean(er) and green(er), all this hype is overstated, misplaced and simply cannot be afford on such a large scale if sustainability is the ultimate aim.

To me, all this hype around pushing EVs (electric vehicles) as a climate change solution is just not pragmatic or sustainable, at allwell, it’s possible if the aim is smaller vehicles in highly densely populated areas. Robust baseload power is needed. And until there is a MASSIVE deployment of renewables, I just can’t see this happening.

I have also wondered as more electric cars are deployed, where will the taxes come from to pay for maintenance of roads/highways and address congestion issues. I can, however, agree hybrid drive trains, like that of the Toyota Prius, are the stepping stone way to go.

But to me, the present, lowest hanging fruit in this sector in transition is behavior change. If vehicular traffic flow is smoothed out, the efficiency of a simple internal combustion engine (ICE) is attractive and won’t require additional costly elements such as hybridization. Traffic engineers just need to revisit and tune their linear algebra algorithms for stoplights at intersections–an easy, low-hanging behavior change opportunity.


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What is a Hybrid RE Engineer?

An engineering generalist with an understanding of sustainable development whose skills set are typically comprised of an amalgam of mechanical and electrical engineering. One who is able to design and assemble systems and components that are comprised of more than one renewable energy (RE) technology i.e. solar, wind, hydro-kinetic (ocean/wave/micro-hydro), biomass, hydrogen fuel cell, geothermal and storage (battery, fly wheel, pumped-hydro). The RE technologies selected depend on one's geographical predisposition, resource availability, the end-use need, practicing conservation (behavioral change) to name a few considerations...

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