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VBZ tests energy storage

filed on: 21.09.2009 (21st Sep 2009)

Tram at Zurichbergstrasse stop The section of tram line between Zürichbergstrasse and Zoo is to be used to test an energy storage system. Modern tram types (I believe from the third Tram 2000 generation onwards, ie 2099-2121, 2421-2435 and all Cobras) feed energy back into the overhead line when braking or running downhill. The energy is, however, lost when there is no other tram in the same section able to use this energy. The proposed new storage system will use rotating flywheels located by the Zoo terminus to store surplus energy from that section. VBZ and Zürich's electrical utility, EWZ, believe the new system can save 50,000kWh per year — enough to cover the need of four family homes.

source: 1950s gyro flywheel being assembled

The idea of using flywheels to store energy is not new to Zürich. In the 1950s, Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon developed flywheel energy storage systems for buses and mining locmotives (see this website's article on the Gyrobus).

This news item is from the 2009 newslog.

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