Flywheel: In This Article, I am going to discuss What is the Flywheel on Engine ? It’s Moment of Inertia, Function, Applications, Advantages and Disadvantages including images for better understandings.

what is the flywheel ?

A Flywheel is a Mechanical Device Which is connected to a rotating shaft, serving to regulate and stabilise the transmission of power from a motor to a machine. Its primary function is to ensure a consistent and smooth delivery of power throughout the operation.

A flywheel which is used in machines serves as a reservoir which stores energy during the period when the supply of energy is more than the requirement and releases it during the period when the requirement of energy is more than supply.

Must Read : Difference Between 2 stroke and 4 stroke engine

working principle of flywheel

Flywheel work based on the principle of conservation of energy. They store energy in the form of rotational motion by virtue of their high moment of inertia. This stored energy can be released and utilised when needed, allowing for efficient energy management in various applications.

It serves as an energy reservoir for vehicles, akin to a mechanical battery that stores energy in a chemical form. In the case of the flywheels, energy is stored as kinetic energy.

The rotational speed of the flywheel increases proportionally with the amount of energy generated. It possesses a substantial moment of inertia, indicating its weightiness. Rather than increasing its mass, it is more advantageous for the fly-wheel to spin at a higher velocity. This is because a lighter wheel generates twice as much energy as a flywheel that is either twice as heavy or heavier.

In other words, the lighter the flywheel, the greater the amount of stored energy. It is preferable to employ lightweight, high-speed fly-wheels instead of those with significant mass. However, heavier vehicles such as trailers, trucks, and vans necessitate it with more weight. These vehicles carry additional loads and do not require high speeds for their functioning.

Consequently, understanding the functioning of a flywheels reveals that higher speeds correspond to increased energy. Nonetheless, if the speed continues to rise unabated, the wheel may surpass its material strength, leading to its failure or breakage.

flywheel functions

The flywheel performs several important functions in mechanical systems:

Overall, It’s function is to store, regulate, and release energy in order to enhance the efficiency, stability, and reliability of mechanical systems across various applications.

parts of flywheel

1. flywheel housing

The flywheel housing remains solid and is positioned outside of the flywheel. The fly-wheels itself is the engine component responsible for rotation, delivering power to the alternator

2. Springs

It consists of two parallel sets of curved springs. These springs are designed with an adjustable outer arc, allowing them to elevate during engine operation. The soft outer arc springs primarily enhance the range of uncertain resonance frequencies

3. Planetary Wheel

The planetary wheel is formed by several planetary gears fixed onto a flywheel bracket. When the fly-wheel bracket rotates through the operation of a screw, the engagement with the outer ring gear produces a compound motion involving both revolution and rotation of each planetary gear.

4. Axial and Radial Sliding Bearing

The axial sliding bearing serves the purpose of weight compensation, while the radial bearings are employed to counterbalance any imbalances or parasitic radial forces caused by the motor or generator unit.

5. ring gear

A ring gear is attached to the outer diameter of the flywheel. It is typically securely fastened to the flywheel using an interference fit, achieved by heating the ring gear. This thermal expansion enables the placement of the ring gear around it.

6. support disc

It incorporates an internal support disc that ensures structural integrity by providing support to the two-phase bent springs and other vital components.

7. Flywheel Sliding Shoe

The sliding shoes are designed with a convex radial outer portion that rests against the inner wall of the flywheel. Carefully engineered to promote controlled slip and minimize wear and tear.

8. flywheel cover

To safeguard the internal mechanisms of the flywheel and maintain its optimal performance, a commonly used cover is made of chrome. The chrome-plated fly-wheel cover effectively prevents dust from interfering with the internal functions, ensuring smooth operation.

Types of Flywheel

a. Solid disk flywheel

A solid disk flywheel is a circular disk commonly used in cast iron single fly-wheel thresher systems. Leading manufacturers in India employ precise technologies to determine the size and dimensions of these fly-wheels, ensuring their desired performance. Various important factors are considered during the design process.

Solid disk flywheels experience two types of stresses: radial stress and tangential stress. These versatile tools typically consist of a disk and a hub section. To assess the suitability of a solid disk fly-wheel, its “mass moment of inertia” needs to be calculated, which involves determining the disk mass and outer radius. The density of the flywheel material is also taken into account.

b. Rimmed Flywheel

A rimmed flywheel consists of an inner hub, outer ring (known as the ‘rim’), and arms. Typically, rimmed flywheels have 4-6 arms. The rim experiences centrifugal force, resulting in tensile stress. Rim’s moment of inertia and mass moment of inertia are significant parameters.

Compared to solid disk flywheels, rimmed fly-wheels detonate at lower rotational speeds (assuming similar diameter and weight). Leading Indian fly-wheel manufacturers prioritise lightweight rimmed fly-wheels with high energy-carrying capacity. Increasing the center’s thickness enhances mechanical strength.

It can be categorised based on angular velocity (or rakish velocity) as follows:

c. high velocity

High-velocity flywheels typically operate between 30,000 and 60,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), with the possibility of further velocity enhancements. Their lightweight and user-friendly design contribute to their popularity, despite the higher cost compared to low-velocity flywheels.

To enhance user convenience, leading flywheel manufacturers in India employ robust magnetic levitation bearings in their high-velocity fly-wheels. These bearings offer exceptional durability and require minimal upkeep. Additionally, manufacturers can customise the capacity, size, and other characteristics of these fly-wheels to meet specific buyer requirements.

d. low velocity

Low-velocity flywheels, as the name suggests, have a significantly lower angular velocity compared to their high-velocity counterparts, typically reaching a maximum speed of 10,000 rpm. Although they are relatively cost-effective, their large size poses a challenge. Reputable suppliers assist clients in proper setup for optimal performance.

Unlike high-velocity fly-wheels, low-velocity flyw-heels lack convenient levitation directional features and require intermittent support. However, when correctly installed with additional structural support, low-velocity fly-wheels offer efficient and economical performance. It is important for buyers to regularly inspect the various components of these fly-wheels.

Leading flywheel manufacturers in India, such as Crescent Foundry, offer both single-mass and dual-mass fly-wheels in their product lineup. Now, let’s explore the key differences between these two types.

e. single mass flywheel

Single mass flywheels are crafted from a single piece of cast material, devoid of any movable components. They enable rapid engine revving and maintain a stable connection between the engine and clutch assembly. The notable benefits include increased warp and thermal resistance, enabling them to withstand abrupt gear and engine speed changes.

Durability stands as a paramount characteristic across flywheel variants. Single mass fly-wheels are resurfaced as needed, elevating their overall dependability and lifespan. Moreover, they offer a relatively lower cost. However, the usage of these fly-wheels can result in excessive vibration and noise, posing potential challenges.

f. dual mass flywhhel

In a dual-mass flywheel, there are two distinct fly-wheels: one connected to the clutch and the other to the crankshaft. These fly-wheels have high weight capacities (up to 50 kg) and monthly production capabilities. Diesel vehicles, especially larger ones with manual transmissions, commonly use dual-mass flywheels (some petrol vehicles also use them). The robust springs within the fly-wheels minimize torsional spikes and protect the gearbox.

Dual-mass flywheels are designed to reduce noise and vibrations during operation by incorporating advanced energy storage and transmission capabilities to the crankshaft. This results in smoother rotations between piston pulses. These fly-wheels optimise engine power utilisation, leading to enhanced fuel efficiency. It’s important to note that dual-mass fly-wheels cannot be resurfaced.

The global flywheel industry is projected to reach nearly $242 million by the end of 2027. The Indian fly-wheel sector is also experiencing significant growth, with top manufacturers continuously upgrading their portfolios and customising products to ensure superior performance and durability. The demand for fly-wheels as energy storage systems is exponentially increasing, and buyers should choose the appropriate type based on their specific requirements.

bad flywheel symptoms

Here are some common symptoms that indicate potential issues with a flywheel:

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be indicative of other issues in the clutch system or transmission. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is recommended to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to accurately diagnose and address the problem.

application of flywheel

Based on the provided information, here are the applications of flywheels:

These applications demonstrate the versatility of flywheels in providing continuous power output, storing and releasing energy, stabilising motion, and improving electrical power quality.

Advantages of Flywheel

It offer several advantages in various applications:

These advantages make it an attractive choice for energy storage, power management, and stabilisation in a wide range of applications, contributing to increased efficiency, reliability, and sustainability.

disadvantages of flywheel

While flywheels have numerous advantages, they also have some limitations or disadvantages:

It is important to consider these disadvantages alongside the advantages of fly-wheels when evaluating their suitability for specific applications and energy storage requirements.

Source : wikipedia

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