The Anonymous Widower

Green Mini-Trains To Reverse Beeching’s Cuts

The title of this post is the same as an article in Saturday’s copy of The Times.

This is a paragraph.

The government is funding trials of an “ultra-light”, environmentally friendly train powered by gas from organic waste in place of a conventional diesel engine.

Members of the consortium developing the concept include Birmingham City University and Parry People Movers.

I wrote about the Parry People Mover in Stourbridge And The Parry People Mover.

It did the shuttling of people between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town stations in a professional manner and it can’t have done much wrong, as it still is.

The technology that drives the train is based on a flywheel and is innovative to say the least. This section in the Wikipedia entry for Parry People Movers is called Technology.

This is the first two paragraphs of the section.

PPMs utilise a rotating flywheel as a store of kinetic energy which is then used to power the vehicle. A typical PPM flywheel is made from steel laminates, approximately 1 m (39 in) in diameter and 500 kg (1,100 lb) in mass, designed to rotate at a maximum speed of 2,500 rpm.[8] The flywheel is mounted horizontally at the centre of the unit, beneath the seating area. The flywheel is driven by an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. The flywheel is connected to the rail wheels via a hydrostatic variable transmission system.

The flywheel allows the direct capture of brake energy (when slowing down or descending gradients) and its re-use for acceleration (called regenerative braking). When the vehicle brakes, the hydrostatic transmission feeds the energy back into the flywheel. Since the short-term power demand for acceleration is provided by the energy stored in the flywheel, there is no need for a large engine. A variety of small engine types can be used including LPG, diesel or electric traction.

I have done a calculation of the kinetic energy in the flywheel and it is surprisingly low at 0.6 kWh if it is a disc and 1.2 kWh if it is a ring.

A capacitor of the same mass would hold about the same amount of energy, but would probably need a more complicated transmission.

June 16, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | ,

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