Ricardo Presents New Kinergy Flywheel Technology

Automotive supplier Ricardo presented today the first details of the new Kinergy flywheel technology, specifically built to be used in road vehicles where regenerative braking and torque assist are being used.

"Ricardo is pleased to be able to announce its next-generation, cost-effective, high energy density flywheel system technology. Mechanical hybridization using Kinergy based systems offers the prospect of enabling a wide range of energy management solutions including low-carbon vehicle powertrain for applications where electric hybridization is not considered to be cost-effective," Neville Jackson, Ricardo technology director said in a release.

Kinergy lacks any mechanical coupling or other form of linkage in its casing, being as a result lighter and more robust. It is in fact a high-speed, hermetically-sealed flywheel energy storage system, using magnetic gearing and coupling mechanism.

The new flywheel should, in theory, allow for the hybridization of vehicles for which normally such eco-friendly technologies would be prohibitive. Ricardo goes even further and adds its new flywheel could also be used in non-automotive fields, like construction equipment, elevators, railway rolling stock, and local electrical substations and power distribution systems.

"Across all of these vehicle categories, Kinergy offers the prospect of enabling effective hybridization extending into market sectors where the use of conventional electro-chemical battery systems technology would be prohibitively expensive," the company concludes.

Ricardo will partner with several industrial groups to form the FLYBUS and KinerStor projects, both funded by the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board. The former will focus on the development of a Kinergy flywheel with Torotrak Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which will be featured on an Optare Solo bus demonstration vehicle.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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