Gyrodrive Original Equipment Development
Advanced Propulsion Centre APC UK
GKN Hybrid Power, Alexander Dennis, S&S Windings, (Coventry University)
In this project, Coventry University has joined with GKN Hybrid Power, GKN AutoStructures, S&S Windings and Alexander Dennis Limited, to develop a Gyrodrive system solution that will be optimised for fitment to buses as original equipment. Initial development has shown fuel savings in excess of 25% for bus operators. The Gyrodrive system uses a high speed flywheel made of carbon fibre to store the energy generated as the bus slows down, which then generates electricity used by an electric motor to help the diesel engine drive the bus.
Coventry University and their partners will receive a £7.5 million grant as part of a £16 million project to apply motorsport energy recovery technology for use in buses. The Gyrodrive Flywheel Energy Storage System (FESS) is designed to store the braking energy of a bus as it slows to stop and use it to accelerate the bus back up to speed. By avoiding wasting the energy every time a bus stops the system is projected to deliver fuel savings in the order of 25% for bus operators.
Coventry’s work on the project is concerned with a number of key project deliverables; including composite fatigue life estimation and optimisation, multi-physics simulation, automation and quality control of squeezeform casting, advanced thermal modelling of high rotational speed flywheels operating in a very low pressure environment (vacuum), control algorithm and sensor measurement development for system health and performance monitoring / control, full vehicle energy modelling, vibration and endurance testing, metallurgy and bespoke composite material/ manufacturing development, lubrication and bearing grease life testing as well as quality control procedure and test specification development and implementation.