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|ENERGY STORAGE - MECHANICAL SYSTEMS
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|YouTube Video - Springs and their Application in Energy Systems
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|When winding up a coiled watch spring (spiral torsion spring) the energy is stored and slowly released, providing power to the watch mechanism. This is basically the same mechanism that provides power to wind-up radios, timers and some torches. Spring steel is often used to manufacture the spiral torsion spring
When in tension, the watch spring shown to the right, slowly releases its energy. The gear wheel on the outer rim turns and meshes with other minute gears, accurately turning the watch hands.
|COMMERCIAL SPRING POWERED - ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM
|This is a proposed system to store energy using springs. This is on a large scale, but is not dissimilar to the coiled spring in a watch.
When excess energy (electricity) is available, it is used to ‘force’ fluid into the high pressure storage unit which expands to full capacity. The diagram opposite shows the system as fluid is being ‘forced’ into the pressurised storage unit.
|At full storage capacity, the fluid fully compresses the springs, storing large amounts of energy. This is seen in the diagram to the left. The fluid inlet is then shut, leaving the storage tank fully ‘charged’ with fluid pressure.
The valve allowing fluid to exit the storage until is opened. Pressurised fluid is allowed out of the tank at a controlled rate. It flows through the power generator, which is a type of turbine, generating electricity.
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