5128 Etcheverry Hall, Mailstop 1740, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

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    Welcome to INSTAR!

    A UC Berkeley research group designing and manufacturing a high-power, cost-effective flywheel energy storage system for improving electric and hybrid vehicle system efficiency

INSTAR's Vision: Triple Hybrid Technology

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Gasoline has been used to power cars for a century, and isn't going anywhere fast.

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Hybrid vehicles and regenerative braking are a step in the right direction towards improving fuel economy. However, modern chemical batteries are not able to charge quickly enough to absorb all of the energy given off by a car's brakes, and a large amount of usable energy is still being wasted during the braking process.

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INSTAR proposes to use a mechanical flywheel to overcome the shortcomings of today's batteries. Flywheels have quick charge and discharge rates, and could be used to recapture the energy that is generally lost using current regenerative braking technology. This energy may then be transferred back to the batteries in a slow and controlled manner, substantially increasing an electric or hybrid vehicle's range.

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