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A toy truck opens the programme and Raymond Mackintosh demonstrates its ability to store energy. He reveals that the energy is stored in a rotating flywheel, an idea which is far from new, as attes...ted by a giant flywheel on an oid pumping engine. Ray explains how this is also used as an energy store. However, flywheels for storing energy find use for more than toys and. antique steam engines, they are becoming the subject of increased interest in hybrid vehicles. But just how much energy can a given flywheel store? To begin to answer this, Alan Durrant demonstrates with a windmill model how the distribution of mass is important to determining energy storage. This point is taken up quantitatively by Ray who derives a formula for the kinetic energy of a windmill and extends his ideas to the kinetic energy of a general rotating body. Ray then speaks to Dr. Cliff Burrows of the University of Sussex about his work on modern flywheel systems and he explains the various ways in which energy storage can be maximised - though one must be careful about the wheel flying apart, a point which allows Alan to revise some points relating to motion in a circle. Finally, Ray ends by looking at a gigantic flywheel - our own Earth. The Earth & the Moon are slowing down, but that requires a knowledge of angular momentum to explain and that's the subject of the next unit.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S271, Discovering physics
Item code: S271; 03
First transmission date: 17-03-1982
Published: 1982
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: John Stratford
Contributors: Cliff Burrows; Alan Durrant; Raymond Mackintosh
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Earth; Engine; Flywheel; Kinetic energy; Mass distribution; Model; Pumping; Toy truck; Windmill
Master spool number: HOU3839
Production number: FOUS227T
Videofinder number: 1782
Available to public: no