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Title: A study on the integration of a high-speed flywheel as an energy storage device in hybrid vehicles
Author: Martinez-Gonzalez, Pablo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 8937
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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The last couple of decades have seen the rise of the hybrid electric vehicle as a compromise between the outstanding specific energy of petrol fuels and its low-cost technology, and the zero tail-gate emissions of the electric vehicle. Despite this, considerable reductions in cost and further increases in fuel economy are needed for their widespread adoption. An alternative low-cost energy storage technology for vehicles is the high-speed flywheel. The flywheel has important limitations that exclude it from being used as a primary energy source for vehicles, but its power characteristics and low-cost materials make it a powerful complement to a vehicle's primary propulsion system. This thesis presents an analysis on the integration of a high-speed flywheel for use as a secondary energy storage device in hybrid vehicles. Unlike other energy storage technologies, the energy content of the flywheel has a direct impact on the velocity of transmission. This presents an important challenge, as it means that the flywheel must be able to rotate at a speed independent of the vehicle's velocity and therefore it must be coupled via a variable speed transmission. This thesis presents some practical ways in which to accomplish this in conventional road vehicles, namely with the use of a variator, a planetary gear set or with the use of a power-split continuously variable transmission. Fundamental analyses on the kinematic behaviour of these transmissions particularly as they pertain to flywheel powertrains are presented. Computer simulations were carried out to compare the performance of various transmissions, and the models developed are presented as well. Finally the thesis also contains an investigation on the driving and road conditions that have the most beneficial effect on hybrid vehicle performance, with a particular emphasis on the effect that the road topography has on fuel economy and the significance of this.
Supervisor: Olver, Andrew ; Pullen, Keith Sponsor: Mexico's CONACyT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) ; Imperial College
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral