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# OptimizinganOriginalFlywheelDesign

WyattFelt,CliftonDudley,WarrenRobison
LeonardodaVincionceproposedaflywheeldesignwithavariablemomentofinertiaby
attachingweightstochains.Theinitialmomentofinertiawaslow,makingiteasytostartthe
flywheelresistchangeinspeedandstoremuchmoreenergy.Weincludeapictureofthe
designhere.

WeproposeaslightvariationofdaVincisdesign,replacingthechainswithsprings.This
increasestheenergythatcanbestoredinaflywheelassomeoftheenergygoesintostretching
fromthisdesign.Somesimplifyingassumptionsthatwemakeare:

onthetravelpathoftheweights).
Weassumealloftheweightsmoveinandoutatthesamerate.
Weassumethereissomethingtopreventtheweightsfromextendingpastthe
Weignoretheenergystoredbyanythingbuttheweightsandthesprings.
Tosimplifycomputation,weassumetheweightsarecubeshaped.

Themaximumamountofenergythatcanbestoredinthisdesignis:
1
2

## where equalsthenumberofweights(andsprings), isthespringstiffness, equalsthe

massofeachweight, equalsthemaximumangularvelocity, equalsthedistanceofthe
,thedistancethespringsarestretched.Wewill
weightstotheaxisofrotation,and

Thusourobjectivefunctionisofthefollowingform:

1
2

.01

thesprings.Itmayappearfromourobjectivefunctionthattheenergyratiodoesnotdepend
rotationthattheweightscanbeatisdefinedbytheinnerapothemofannsidedpolygon.We
referyoutoWikipediaforthetheoryoftheapothem,butgivetheequationhere:
1
tan
2

2
2

Inthisequation,sreferstothesidelengthofthepolygon,whichisthesidelengthofthe
weights.Likewise,weshouldmentionherethatsincetheequationsforenergyarecomputed
lengthoftheweights.Theouterapothemequals
cos

Parameters
MaximumAngularVelocity:Theflywheelspinsat3600rpm.

Variables
DimensionsofWeight:theweightsarecubes,andthesidelengthmustexceed5mm.
NumberofWeightsandSprings:theremustbeatleast1.
SpringConstant:Mustbepositiveandcannotexceed500N/m.

Constraints
Forces:Thecentripetalforcemustexceedthespringforceovertheentirepathofmotion.
(Hint:sincebothforcesarelinearinnatureandthecentripetalforceexceedsthespringforceat