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1.

ABSTRACT
The objective of this experiment is to compare the theoretical and experimental value
of moment of inertia for flywheel as well as to investigate the variations in moment of inertia
of flywheel with different detachable parts. This experiment is consisted of 4 parts. For the
first part, a complete flywheel is used. For the second part, the outer ring is taken out from the
flywheel meanwhile for the third part, both inner ring and outer ring are taken out. For the last
part, the outer ring is put back without the inner ring. For each part, the experiment is started
with a fixed number of rotations, N and same mass of load is used throughout the whole
experiment. The time taken for N rotation and the number of rotations after N rotation is
recorded to obtain the experimental result. Every experiment is repeated three times to reduce
the percentage of error. Then the theoretical values obtained from calculation are compared
with experimental values and the discrepancies are explained in the discussion.

2. INTRODUCTION
With the increase of world population, more energy is needed to cope up with the
accommodation of the increment of population. And one of the best ways to optimize the
usage of energy is through energy storage. Flywheel has the ability to function as an
mechanical energy reservoir which will absorb energy when the turning moment is greater
than the resisting moment. The release of the absorbed energy will be done when the turning
moment is less than the resisting moment. The mechanical energy absorbed is stored in the
form of kinetic energy in the flywheel, mostly in rotation motion. In huge machineries, the
flywheel function is to absorb energy of the stroke and releases the energy during idle strokes
in order to conserve energy while maintaining the maximum speed of engine in a
thermodynamic cycle. During power press, the flywheel absorbs the mechanical energy
created by electric motor during idle period and releases the energy when actual operation is
needed. Through the application of flywheel in conserving energy, small capacity motor is
able to perform its task effectively.
When inspection is done upon flywheel, it is found that there are two possible
structures that could be built. We could build a colossal flywheel that rotating with low
velocity so that it would not break apart or a fast-spinning small Herculean flywheel. Both
have their own pros and cons, and if applied to a suitable engine, it could function at optimum
level.
The simplest way to cause increment of kinetic energy in the flywheel is by enlarging
the angular velocity. Stronger and lighter monofilament materials are needed to build
flywheel since the rise of radial and hoop stresses due to the increment of angular velocity.
Up until today, none of the materials used to build flywheel have a tensile strength larger than
2 GPa2.
Flywheel often used in most type of machinery due to the compactness of the
flywheel energy storage system which enables it to be applied in allows it to be used in a
variety of modern devices like mobile phone, personal computer, flashlights, and the list go
on. In today world, a huge problem would arise when there is a halt in power generation
especially for the military and hospital. With the technology of flywheel, the situation

mentioned above could be overcome as flywheel serve as an energy storage that could
provide long power times.
Flywheel serves as a much better energy storage system if compared to other state-tothe-art energy storage system. It charging time is very fast and it is chargeable when it is
operating without using electrical sources. This enables it to be use as a remote device and it
does not require any backup storage device. With the application of magnetic bearings in its
structure, flywheel can be remain charged for a long time up to years without the constantly
being recharged by others sources. The flywheel also uses low energy lights as its charging
sources, like the sun. This in turn make it a green technology and environmentally friendly. It
also eradicates the environmental pollution by using the renewable energy of light from the
sun instead of using fuel and electricity which post a great concern toward our environment.
The nature of the flywheel which is tuneable provides its user some options. There
are flywheel applied with advanced optics and laser systems, those with the usage of crude
system that has low radiation could be used as well. The consumer has to take into account
toward the power usage and the cost before purchasing the flywheel as not all flywheels are
applicable to every device. Flywheels also provide users the advantage of using it in isolated
area as long as sunlight could reach the place.
Flywheel energy storage system is one of a kind of invention that could cope up with
the technology revolution the world is facing now in term of future requirements as well as
serving as a green technology. It proved to be better than other devices in term of power
saving. Besides it did not leaves any negative effects to the environment as well as the bio
organism when it is operating or when it is disposed. It is user friendly as well as applicable to
a huge range of variety of power and conditions. Flywheel rarely break down or malfunction
as it mechanism is simple and the cost of maintenance is low. Also, it is easily adapted to the
surrounding environment to fulfil the usage of consumers from all sorts of disciplines.
2.1 Theory
According to theory, the kinetic energy stored in a solid disk or cylinder shaped flywheel is
proportional to its speed and diameter according to equation
Where E is the kinetic energy,
I is the moment of inertia around its centre of mass
is the angular velocity,
And equation
Where r is the radius of the flywheel and m is the mass.
From this experiment, the lost in potential and kinetic energy during the fall of the
load from flywheel is considered as the output. Since the experiment is conducted with a
fallen mass which has potential energy in which potential energy, U = mgh = mg2rN
Terminal velocity of the mass when it fall down, v = r
Where N is the number of rotation
m is the mass of the load
g is the gravitational acceleration

Figure 1: Free-body diagram of flywheel


In this experiment, the kinetic energy,

)
(

So, the total work done by the flywheel

Initially the flywheel is at rest. Once the load completely fall off the flywheel, it will
rotate for N number of turns before it came to a stop. The total work done required by the
rotating flywheel to overcome the bearing friction is assumed to be constant in this
experiment. When the load completely fall off the flywheel, it angular velocity w is maximum
1
and the kinetic energy possesed is givn by the formula K = 2 I N 2
If we define the torsion of the bearing friction by the term Cf, the work used against the
friction is equal to the output work,
1
mg2 N - 2 m (r )2 = Cf 2N
(1)
After N turn, the energy is
1
1
m 2rN - 2 m (r )2 = Cf 2N - 2 I2
(2)
By obtaining the value of N and N1, the value of Cf can be obtained from equation (1) and to
evaluate I, substitu Cf into equation (2)
From the equation of linear motion,

s = ut + at2

We obtained the equivalent equation of the curvilinear motion, = o t +

t2

When the mass started to fall off from the flywheel, 0 = 0 and =
So,

( )
3

It is obtained that
My substituting = 2N , so

2.2 Referrences
1. R. A. Serway, R. J. Beichner (2000), Physics: For Scientists and Engineers with
Modern Physics, Fifth Edition, Saunders College Publishing, Philadelphia, 300 - 308
2. B. Bolund, H. Bernhoff, M. Leijon (2005), Flywheel Energy and Power Systems,
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 125.
3. Abhishek Garg, Amandeep Singh (2012). Chapter 6: Flywheels. Retrieved 5th
October 2012, from http://ptumech.loremate.com/tom1/node/6
4. VirtualIndian (2001). Flywheel Theory. Retrieved 6th October 2012, from
http://virtualindian.org/Flywheeltheory.htm
5. Ferdinand P. Beer, E. Russel Johnston Jr. (2009), Mechanics of Materials, Sixth
Edition, McGraw Hill, US, 3, 140 - 178.

3. OBJECTIVES
1. To compare the theoretical and experiment value of moment of inertia for flywheel.
2. To investigate the variations in moment of inertia of flywheel with different
detachable parts.

4. RESULT
4.1 Experimental Result
Weight of the load = 5N
Number of rotation, N = 4
Part 1
Table 1 : The time taken and the number of turn after N turn

1
8.575
52

Time, t(s)
N1
N

=
=
=

Cf (2N1)

=
=
=

2
8.819
53

3
8.739
50

Average
8.711
52

4N_
t
4(4)
8.711
5.77 rad/s
1
mg (2r) N - 2 m (N r)2
(0.5x9.81)(2)(0.02x4) - (0.5)(0.5)(5.77x0.02)2
2.462 Nm

Cf

1
I 2
2 1 N

=
=

2.462_
2 (52)
0.00754 Nm

mg (2r) N -

=
=
I1

=
=

1
m (N r)2 - Cf (2N)
2
2.462 - (0.00754 )(2x4)
2.272 Nm
2.272x2
(5.77)2
0.136kgm2

Part 2
Table 2 : The time taken and the number of turn after N turn

1
7.604
67

Time, t(s)
N1
N

=
=
=

Cf (2N2)

=
=
=

Cf

=
=

1
2
2 I2N

=
=
=

I2

=
=

2
7.446
66

3
7.261
66

Average
7.437
66

4N_
t
4 (4)
7.437
6.759 rad/s
1
mg (2r) N - 2 m (N r)2
(0.5x9.81)(2)(0.020x4) - (0.5)(0.5)(6.759x0.02)2
2.461 Nm

2.461
2 (66)
0.00593 Nm
1
mg (2r) N - 2 m (N r)2 - Cf (2N)
2.461 - (0.00593)(2x4)
2.312 Nm
2.312 x 2
(6.759)2
0.101 kgm2

Part 3
Table 3 : The time taken and the number of turn after N turn

1
6.257
77

Time, t(s)
N1
N

=
=
=

Cf (2N3)

=
=
=

Cf

=
=

1
2
2 I3N

=
=
=

I3

=
=

2
6.652
80

3
6.821
77

Average
6.667
78

4N_
t
_4 (4)_
6.667
7.539 rad/s
1
mg (2r) N - 2 m (N r)2
(0.5x9.81)(2)(0.020x4) - (0.5)(0.5)(7.539x0.020)2
2.460 Nm
2.460__
2 (78)
0.00502 Nm
1
mg (2r) N - 2 m (N r)2 - Cf (2N)
2.460 - (0.00502)(2x4)
2.333 Nm
_2.333x 2_
(7.539)2
0.0821 kgm2

Part 4
Table 4 : The time taken and the number of turn after N turn

1
8.202
62

Time, t(s)
N1
N

=
=
=

Cf (2N4)

=
=
=

2
8.214
64

3
8.408
60

Average
8.275
62

4N
t
4 (4)
8.275
6.074 rad/s
1
mg (2r) N - 2 m (N r)2
(0.5x9.81)(2)(0.020x4) - (0.5)(0.5)(6.074 x0.020)2
2.462 Nm
6

Cf

2.462 _
2 (62)
0.00632 Nm

=
1
I 2
2 4 N

1
m (N r)2 - Cf (2N)
2
2.462 - (0.00632)(2x4)
2.303 Nm

mg (2r) N -

=
=
I4

2.303 x 2
(5.585)2
0.148 kgm2

4.2 Theoretical Result


The equation of the moment of inertia of flywheel is given by
1
I = 2 MR2
It is given that the density of steel is 7850kg/m3 and
Volume of the flywheel, V = l R
Mass of the flywheel, m
= V
So,

7850 (0.125)2 (0.030)

Moment of inertia for flywheel, I1

11.56 kg

(0.5)(11.56)(0.125)2

0.0903 kgm2

For component of the outer ring


Moment of inertia for outer ring, I2 =
Moment of inertia, I2

1
1
MR2 - m r2
2
2

= (0.5)[7850 (0.1252 0.020) ](0.125)2


- (0.5)[7850 (0.0902 0.020) ](0.090)2
= 0.0440 kgm2

For the component of the inner ring


Moment of inertia, I3

(0.5)[7850 (0.0892 0.020) ](0.089)2


- (0.5)[7850 (0.0202 0.020) ](0.020)2
= 0.0154 kgm2
=

Theoretically, the moment inertia for each part of the experiment is as below:
a) Part 1
I = I1
+ I2
+
I3 = 0.0903 + 0.0440 + 0.0154
=

b) Part 2
I =

I1

+ I3

0.0903 + 0.0154

0.150 kgm2

0.106 kgm2
7

c) Part 3
I = I1
d) Part 4
I =

I1

0.0903 kgm2

+ I2

0.0903 + 0.0440

0.134 kgm2

Table 5 : Comparison of experimental and theoretical value and percentage of error

Part

1
2
3
4

Experimental value of
moment of inertia
(kg/m3)
0.136
0.101
0.0821
0.148

Theoretical value of
moment of inertia
(kg/m3)
0.150
0.106
0.0903
0.134

Percentage of error
(%)
9.33
4.72
9.08
10.45

5. DISCUSSION
From the results obtained through the experiment, the value of the moment of the
inertia for part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 are 0.136kg/m3, 0.101 kg/m3, 0.0821 kg/m3 and
0.148 kg/m3 respectively. It is found that the values obtained experimentally have low
deviation so they are considered to be of high accuracy. However, there are some deviations
found from the results obtained. This happened due to some errors encountered during the
experiment which are stated as below:
a.) Errors occurred when the numbers of turns calculated are based on vision observation
and estimations are made since there is fraction of a complete cycle. This is the major
error that has huge impact on the experimental result.
b.) The time taken, t is not consistent because of the reaction of human is not fast enough
to deal with the accuracy and precision of time recording.
c.) We made a non-ideal assumption in this experiment, that all the work done to
overcome the bearing friction of flywheel is converted into the work output. This is
because based on thermodynamics study, energy is lost in the form of heat throughout
the experiment. And friction cause by air resistance that resists the motion of the
falling mass is not included in the calculation. Although air resistance only causes
minor discrepancy, it cannot be neglected.
d.) According to the equation
, angular velocity of the flywheel is assumed to
be constant throughout the movement. However in the actual case, it is not true as the
flywheel is starting from rest and rotates with an angular acceleration.
To overcome these error, the experiment are repeated for 3 times for each part and the
average value are taken to reduce the percentage of error. Besides, only one student is
assigned to take the reading of the time since different students has different speed of reaction.

6. CONCLUSION
From the experiment conducted, the energy change during the rotation of the
flywheel can be studied. For the moment of inertia of the flywheel, the percentage error of the
experimental value for part 1, part 2 and part 3 is less than 10% of the theoretical value except
for part 4, which has the percentage of error of 10.45%. So it can be concluded that the
experimental results are approximately close to the actual value and this experiment is
considered to be a success.

7. REFERENCES
1. Ferd Beer and Russ Johnston (2005)Vector Mechanics For Engineers: Statics, New
Jersey, McGraw-Hill
2. J.L. Meriam, L.G. Kraige (1998), Engineering Mechanics: Static SI Version, New
York, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
3. R. A. Serway, R. J. Beichner (2000), Physics: For Scientists and Engineers with
Modern Physics, Fifth Edition, Philadelphia, Saunders College Publishing
4. Abhishek Garg, Amandeep Singh (2008). Chapter 6: Flywheels. Retrieved 5th
October 2012, from http://ptumech.loremate.com/tom1/node/6
5. Anthony Bedford, Wallace Fowler, Kenneth M. Liechti, Bedford A. (2003), Statics
and mechanics of materials, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Prentice Hall.