ECE researcher Dr. Mark Flynn is greening ports world-wide by adding flywheels to cargo handling machinery. Flynn's high-speed motor controller design has been incorporated into flywheel energy storage systems sold by Vycon, Inc.
There are approximately 8,000 Rubber Tired Gantry (RTG) cranes operating at sea ports around the world which contribute significantly to port emissions, as such they have become a testing ground for new hybrid technologies. Flywheels provide significant fuel and emissions reductions via the capturing of braking energy generated when a container is lowered. The captured energy is then available to help hoist the next one.
Compared to other energy storage technologies used on RTG cranes such as conventional batteries and ultracapacitors, flywheels do not require routine replacement and offer lower maintenance, higher tolerance for rapid cycling, and freedom from aging and environmental limitations.