Friday, December 5, 2008

Flywheel LRT Power Storage

As I pointed out before, DDOT has no plan to avoid using overhead lines to power streetcars. I have blogged about onboard vehicular power storage, namely supercapacitors and batteries. I engaged in some dialogue about this on Greater Greater Washington. I have done a little research and found yet another method to store power: flywheel power storage. An English company, Parry People Movers Ltd., has been doing work on this. They even have implemented a diesel prototype. Its partner, JPM Parry & Associates claims to be designing a 220-passenger light rail vehicle, in a multiyear effort. While electrical power is a possible source, neither website has information about how long a vehicle could run on it.

A possible compromise position for DC streetcars is to use electrical power storage with charging umbrellas and a diesel or turbine engine. This is an engineering task. DDOT does have engineers, doesn't it?


Michael said...

They do have engineers. It's just that the engineers they have are likely civil or traffic engineers as opposed to electrical or mechanical engineers that would be experts in the systems you describe.

Chuck Coleman said...

Still, this does not absolve the engineers from ignoring the constraints. They don't even have to be experts in onboard energy storage. They can put it in the requirements or a request for proposals.