Throughout the world there are about 8,000 Rubber Tired Gantry cranes which do a lot of damage to the environment due to huge fuel consumption, and gas emissions. In order to reduce the harmful emissions, an ECE researcher called Mark Flynn has developed a device that can be integrated in ports around the world. Dr. Flynn designed a high-speed flywheel motor controller which reduces the fuel consumption of the RTG cranes which are powered by a diesel motor.
The RTG cranes can move a shipping container in three minutes, and this requires a lot of power especially in the lift as these containers weigh 50 metric tons depending on their load. Also, considering the fact that the descent requires a special attention, then you can only imagine how much power the cranes. The high-speed flywheel motor controller can be integrated in RTG’s energy storage systems, and it will capture the so-called “braking energy”, and it will use it for the next crane.
VYCON Inc. is the company that produces Flynn’s device, and sea ports are among the best places to test new greener technologies. RTG cranes lose a lot of power when maneuvering containers, and instead of using it for the upcoming containers, the energy is dissipated as wasted heat. Like aforementioned, Flynn’s device captures the energy and uses it for the next load.
According to some field tests in China, the flywheel energy storage system can also lower power requirements which will save a lot of energy. The tests also showed that the fuel consumption was lowered by 38%, while NOx and PM emissions were dramatically cut down. Driven by the success of the VYCON flywheel, now data centers and hospitals are replacing industrial batteries with the high-speed flywheel motor controller.
“Industrial batteries are less expensive initially than a flywheel, but when you factor in maintenance and having to pay for more charge than you need to avoid frequent battery replacement a flywheel-based solution can be considerable less expensive. A VYCON flywheel will last 20 years and eliminates the problem of what to do with 200 large-scale toxic lead-acid batteries,” said Flynn.
You don’t have to be a genius to tell that data centers and hospitals can’t afford blackouts as many lives and businesses depend on them. Although hospitals and data back-up centers have back-up diesel generators, their energy will not be entirely utilized which means that the energy is lost forever. VYCON’s flywheel can handle most power outages, and if an outage persists then the device will absorb “energy abnormalities” and transfer power to generators.
“I am very pleased with the fuel and emissions savings results we are seeing and with additional improvements currently under research that aim to improve the savings further. Future work will investigate the feasibility of using flywheels in subway rail stations to accelerate one train with the braking energy recovered from another. Doing so will not only save energy but can be used to defer or eliminate the costs of adding utility substations as rail service grows,” explained Flynn.
The VYCON flywheel has a promising future ahead of it, we expect even more from the device. It’s not hard to tell that in the 8,000 sea ports around the world, a lot of energy is wasted while harmful emissions are released in the atmosphere damaging the entire eco-system. Maybe this flywheel energy storage system will help us save the planet, and the tests clearly show that. Expert environmentalists just have to “convince” the authorities to integrate the device in sea ports, and later in other applications.