For this week’s featured ENGS 89/90 project, I spoke to Awais Malik about his group’s project and their objectives.
Awais’s team set out to build a flywheel system and encasement that could store kinetic energy within a stopped car. The challenge this project poses is that it’ll be difficult to build a magnetically suspended flywheel that spins at 50-60,000 rpm. Building the flywheel, however, is not the only engineering challenge this project poses. The encasement that holds the flywheel has to be light, but strong (if a heavy flywheel comes out of its encasement at 60,000 rpm, it could significantly damage other mechanical components in the car. Furthermore, the flywheel has a gyroscopic that may, at some speeds, inhibit or completely eliminate a car’s ability to turn.
The group is working on finding a safe material with which they can build the encasement to make sure the car that carries the flywheel will be safe. They are also working on canceling out the gyroscopic effect the flywheel will have on the cars that carry it.
Awais and his group did not use the Machine Shop very much, because most of the project was done with computer modeling in the CAD lab. However, Awais has now been a Machine Shop teaching assistant for multiple years. He is one of the Machine Shop’s most experienced, and he specializes in laser cutter projects.