Gyrobus


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Gyrobus

 

a type of railless transportation using accumulators, with the motive force supplied by the kinetic energy stored in a flywheel.

Since 1955 there have been some practical applications of electrogyrobuses. Such buses are equipped with a flywheel unit consisting of an asynchronous motor and generator coupled to a flywheel and of electric traction motors. The unwinding of the flywheel of an electrogyrobus is accomplished with the aid of an electric motor. The stored kinetic energy is sufficient for traveling a distance of 4–5 km. The efficiency of an electrogyrobus is not better than 50 percent. The weight-to-work ratio of the flywheel unit is 322 kg/kWh (32 times greater than that of the currently used electrochemical current sources). The unit operational expenses of an electrogyrobus are 5 percent greater than those of a trolleybus and 20 percent greater than those of an autobus. Experimental electrogyrobuses have been operated on some interurban runs, for instance, between Ghent and Merelbeke (Belgium). The electrogyrobus is an auxiliary means of passenger transport on short runs; it is also usable in transporting dangerously explosive objects.

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But the Gyrobus was heavy, and its range was limited to a few kilometers, so it never reached mass production.
Several teams in Europe and the United States--including the one at Austin--have recently proposed modern analogs of the Gyrobus.