[PMC Weekend Edition] Giant flywheel of death

Philip Morgan

This made me laugh: youtu.be/l93S99rkDg4?t=496The guy in the video, Bill Gross, is talking about the three categories of energy storage you can couple with "bursty" production methods like solar, wind, etc.I started laughing out loud when he got to the mechanical methods, because some friends and I used to like to imagine you could use a massive flywheel to store the output from solar or wind farms.It's just such a ridiculous, steampunk-ey image.We liked to imagine a massive flywheel like 300 feet in diameter. It's mounted upright (like a bicycle wheel) rather than horizontally (like a record player), to save space on the ground. Energy into it gradually spools it up to like 5 or 10 thousand RPM.And then we liked to imagine what would happen if it broke free from its gimball. How destructive would that much potential energy be?We imagined the news headline: "Giant Flywheel of Death Destroys Half of U.S. West Coast".Anyway, the video is pretty interesting stuff on renewable energy: youtu.be/l93S99rkDg4?t=496 The mechanical energy storage machine he describes around the 11 minute mark of the video is just fascinating. It's sort of like an automated Tower of Babel that assembles and disassembles itself each day using a custom 6-arm crane. Wild, fun stuff.Happy Sunday,-P