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Sometimes I find the most interesting stuff in the datacenter. April 5, 2012 at 17:29

 

I had to escort a telecom tech into our first floor datacenter at WeSupportHospitals the other day.  I don’t actually visit that room all that much anymore, it’s pretty full, and ongoing renovations mean that the configurations are pretty static for the moment.  Looking around for a chair, I ran across this:

 

(Apologies for the crappy cellphone cam pictures.)

 

It’s a 36,000 RPM flywheel energy storage system.  That’s a high vacuum port on the side so there’s no air to slow down the flywheel while spinning.  The rotor is suspended on on magnetic bearings, with nothing touching it.

It seems like something that should be mounted in a particle accelerator chamber somewhere.

This one is actually only the defective one.  As I understand it they went to fire it up the other day, and during the startup process, the maglev bearing controller failed to power up the magnet, but still somehow reported all-good, so the actuators released the rotor to float and spin up, and promptly dropped the rotor, rendering it useless.  The replacement was overnighted. 🙂

Just one of those things that scream futuristic, I guess.