I got the numbers from the referenced website.
The story goes something like this Greg,
First people work really hard for nothing, Then people work really hard for barely enough, Then people work hard and have enough to stay alive, Then people work normally and have a little bit of luxury, Then people barely work at all and have more than they need, Then people loose themselves in trivial activity while thinking they deserve much luxury.
After that the whole system collapses,
Without suffering people don't have sufficient motivation to act rationally.
You see this in small business, small towns, big towns, big businesses, countries, multinationals and you also see this globally.
All people working in finance, services, marketing, police or tax office are not producing anything we can eat.
They are 100% convinced they deserve everything they have but it has no context with peoples real needs.
In the west we need energy solutions. There is no "maybe" in this, people pay enormous amounts of labor for something that should technically be free.
We don't have the technology to create a flat rate system because it has been shelved away by the petroleum sector, the automakers and mostly the military. Free energy is very dangerous on the battle field. I have investigated all kinds of energy sources, the only bottle neck is peoples believe systems. There are lots of classified solutions but we cant use those because it is not for us to decide.
The earliest flywheels however are as old as grinding flour.
I'm not telling you you cant amuse yourself with the subject. Quite the contrary, it should be big fun to search and find solutions for the obvious problems we have on this planet.
The idea merely compares expensive batteries with inexpensive flywheels.
The idea was for the flyweel to float and for the electric motor to be directly connected to a windmill.
A domestic windmill tends to be to small to power an entire house but if we forget about the luxury and look at the worse case scenario it becomes obvious that a little bit of power is quite a lot more than nothing at all.
The absolute minimum would be to have a bit of light in the house. This would only require a few 3 Watt supper LED's
1 kwh would be enough to power such led for 333 hours. This can be generated with a very small propeller and it doesn't require a lot of batteries.
But one good battery may already cost 400 euro.
But we want more don't you agree? You can already see the 3 watt example does not earn back it's own value before breaking down. But quite surprisingly the engineers and marketeers don't show much understanding of economic effects. Regardless of what the goal of a planning is one is to assume worse case scenarios. The petroleum and coal situation is not exactly stable or even reliable. To calculate the reliability of a wind power system one can not assume purchasing power is a fixed value. It is amateurish to calculate ROI over 30 year.
30 years ago I could buy a house here for 10 000 Euro. This same house costs 600 000 Euro today. This was without an economic collapse or a giant disaster. It is not a leap of imagination to assume a wind powered system will be 60 times as expensive 30 years from now. If the west keeps up it's trivial activities the economy is absolutely going to crash. The 1000 Euro wind installation you can buy today can quite easily ramp up to cost 100 000 Euro. It can happen in a few years, months or even days.
So where I say "Easily" I'm referring to an easy way out of the scheme of global death. I don't feel like following this agenda blindly. I'm not suggesting people should make bio fuel at home, alcohol, or gas from their poop. That is labor intensive and hard to learn.
A 5 ton flywheel is easy to make but that doesn't mean it is a suitable solution. I'm trying to figure out what a viable size could be.
For reference, grid tied inverters start at about 1200 euro.
Those require a minimum input current and they are also restricted by a maximum. This same problem presents it self choosing a generator, wiring, batteries and chargers.
A flywheel is perfectly fit for load balancing. It behaves very forgivingly. Small propellers don't produce a lot of power, add some inverters and batteries and quite a lot of it will be lost.
There are surges of high voltage available, but for a few hours per week it's not worth over engineering. It may have to be shut down entirely.
The ideal setup would be to fit the flyweel onto the roof but that would require designated construction from the ground up.
A chain, belt or flexible axle could be used to transfer the motion to said underground mechanical storage. But I think delivering the energy electrically could be a viable solution. The flywheel is going to have losses anyway.
The basic idea is to generate and store a bit more than it looses over time. But it may also provide mechanical energy. I'm wondering how much power the drag will really consume. If it's really bad, the floating flywheel may provide hot water.
Look at it as-if an adventure, there are lots of tricks worth taking a look at and giving them some thoughts. :-)
I do respect how spoiled we are but dashing all the solutions off the list doesn't leave us with a viable solution. We need to expand the list and make the good stuff float to the top.
It's fun, the goal isn't something trivial.
I know the global games going on, the next world war is scheduled, Barbie and Kent will either have to row or drown. We can "do or die?" What other options do you see?
It are the small things make all the difference.
http://www.exro.com / http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21666/?a=f "The new generator runs efficiently over a wider range of conditions than conventional generators do. When the shaft running through an ordinary generator is turning at the optimal rate, more than 90 percent of its energy can be converted into electricity. But if it speeds up or slows down, the generator's efficiency drops dramatically. This isn't a problem in conventional power plants, where the turbines turn at a steady rate, fed by a constant supply of energy from coal or some other fuel. But wind speed can vary wildly. Turbine blades that change pitch to catch more or less wind can help, as can transmissions that mediate between the spinning blades and the generator shaft. But transmissions add both manufacturing and maintenance costs, and there's a limit to how much changing the blade angle can compensate for changing winds.
ExRo's new design replaces a mechanical transmission with what amounts to an electronic one. That increases the range of wind speeds at which it can operate efficiently and makes it more responsive to sudden gusts and lulls. While at the highest wind speeds the blades will still need to be pitched to shed wind, the generator will allow the turbine to capture more of the energy in high-speed winds and gusts. As a result, the turbine could produce 50 percent more power on average over the course of a year, says Jonathan Ritchey, ExRo's chief technology officer. Indeed, in some locations, the power output could double, says Ed Nowicki, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Calgary, who has consulted to ExRo.""