Today almost every car manufacturer is trying to achieve zero emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere. To do this, they are moving away from internal combustion engines and moving to electric counterparts, but few people know that environmentally friendly transport was invented in 1950-ies. It was then on the streets of Swiss cities appeared their — eco-friendly, quiet, and smooth public transportation that runs on kinetic energy from the rotating flywheel.
The concept of transport that doesn’t rely on power lines and thus exceeds the capabilities of trolleybuses, was proposed by an engineer of Oerlikon Bjarne Storsand in 1946. He realized that the motor can operate from the power generator and keep it inside rotating high speed flywheel.
To promote this flywheel was used on the charging station, which met on the entire route. Their was connected to them by means of three rods and they spin the flywheel up to 3000 rpm. The energy was enough to drive at a speed of 50-60 kilometers per hour at a distance of 6 kilometers. If there were a few passengers, vehicles could drive even 10 miles.
The size of the flywheel has reached 160 centimeters and weight was 1.5 tons — to reduce the resistance, he was placed inside the chamber with reduced pressure and with lots of hydrogen gas. The promotion stopped the flywheel, it took about 40 minutes, but if he was active for a full charge is enough for 5 minutes. Due to the abundance of charging stations throughout the route of the problem with energy is almost not there — for example, a 4.5 km journey from the Swiss city of Grandson to Yverdon-Les-Bains, was installed 4 charging stations.
Cons of their
It would seem that with all these advantages, their were doomed to massive success, and today they have to drive on city streets instead of trolleybuses. Unfortunately, they had some weak and even dangerous side, which forced people to abandon them. First, drivers often cut their way through dirt roads that led to the breakdown of gyro bearings. Second, the engineers realized the danger of the motion of a heavy steel wheel in case of breakage of any component, it could hurt people. After all, the linear speed of rim of flywheel is 900 kilometers per hour, and if it is unhooked, the consequences can be extremely dire.
Because of problems found, their production was stopped. To date, there is only one version of this eco-friendly transport the past century — it is stored in the Flemish Museum trams and buses in Antwerp. Some groups of engineers had intended to create a new version of transport, but nothing happened — in 2005, the University of Texas at Austin center for transportation and the environment began to look for a sponsor, but never found.
Fortunately, today’s attempts of companies to create environmentally friendly transport are quite successful. Moreover, most of them almost completely switched to electricity, and show excellent capacity for independent drive and use much less energy than conventional buses.
Did you know about the existence of their? What do you think of them? Share your answers in the comments, or discuss environmentally friendly transport in our Telegram chat.