Table of Contents
What is Flywheels-Function need and Operation
What is the purpose of a flywheel in an automobile engine?
Flywheels-Function need and Operation
Common uses of a flywheel include:
- Providing continuous energy when the energy source is discontinuous. For example, flywheels are used in reciprocating engines because the energy source, torque from the engine, is intermittent.
- Delivering energy at rates beyond the ability of a continuous energy source. This is achieved by collecting energy in the flywheel over time and then releasing the energy quickly, at rates that exceed the abilities of the energy source.
- Controlling the orientation of a mechanical system. In such applications, the angular momentum of a flywheel is purposely transferred as a torque to the attaching mechanical system when energy is transferred to or from the flywheel, thereby causing the attaching system to rotate into some desired position.
- Flywheels are often used to provide continuous energy in systems where the energy source is not continuous. In such cases, the flywheel stores energy when torque is applied by the energy source, and it releases stored energy when the energy source is not applying torque to it.
- For example, a flywheel is used to maintain constant angular velocity of the crankshaft in a reciprocating engine. In this case, the flywheel—which is mounted on the crankshaft—stores energy when torque is exerted on it by a firing piston, and it releases energy to the crankshaft when a piston is in the process of compressing a fresh charge of air and fuel.
- Other examples of this are friction motors, which use flywheel energy to power devices such as toy cars. In uses like this, the distribution of the mass of the flywheel toward the outside and away from the center is beneficial. Pushing the mass away from the axis of rotation gives it greater rotational inertia without increasing its total mass. This increases the efficiency of the flywheel, since it does not have as much difficulty driving its own weight forward as well as that of the payload
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