A very large amount of energy is required in a quick burst to successfully launch a train. Because of this, a flywheel may be introduced to allow a consistent build up of energy (usually from an electric motor) and the release of collected energy in quick bursts. This prevents the roller coaster from using huge amounts of energy from the power grid when launching a train (which could potentially cause problems in the surrounding area).
The flywheel may provide energy directly to the train or be used to supply energy for another launch technology such as LSM.
Anton Schwarzkopf and Werner Stengel used a flywheel on the second generation of their Shuttle Loop product. The first generation models used a weight drop launch which released energy when it was dropped from a height.
Holiday World have said that Thunderbird uses a flywheel. Its purpose is to prevent spikes of electricity use by its LSMs - it does not transfer kinetic energy directly to the train as with other flywheel roller coasters.
- A detailed article on Schwarzkopf's flywheel launch system on Schwarzkopf Coaster Net
- on the Roller Coaster DataBase.
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