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Kenetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) in formula one

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Posted by z on April 7, 2009, 3:33 am
I'm a forumla one fan.. like an idiot I stay up till the wee hours to
watch qualifying and the races.

This year they've got this new system called KERS: Kenetic Energy
Recovery System.  This system draws up to 60 kwh of energy from the rear
axle during braking and is stored in batteries  and then can be used as a
boost for up to 6.6 seconds a lap producing an additional 82 hp when the
drivers hit the button

In formula one the whole system is a point of dispute since there have
been pretty drastic battery failures, and these cars are known to wreck
and nobody wants those batteries discharging into the drivers or safty
workers.  There is even a warning light on the cars with KERS saying its
safe to touch the car.

However, cars with KERS do seem to have an advantage being able to
accelerate and pass other cars on the longer straits, but given the
additional weight of the batteries and the system, overall car
performance is roughly the same.  

from http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2007/09/26/kers-technology-revealed/

“The mechanical KERS system utilises flywheel technology developed by
Flybrid Systems to recover and store a moving vehicle’s kinetic energy
which is otherwise wasted when the vehicle is decelerated. The energy is
received from the driveline through the Torotrak CVT, engineered and
supplied by Xtrac, as the vehicle decelerates, and is subsequently
released back into the driveline, again through the CVT, as the vehicle
accelerates. The FIA has defined the amount of energy recovery for the
2009 season as 400kJ per lap giving the driver an extra 80hp over a
period of 6.67 seconds."

Interesting that BMW's Kubica being a pretty heavy large driver (for
formula one) decided against using it, but his lighter team mate Heidfeld
did use it.

In any case, its a pretty neat thing just from the fact that they're able
to store so much juice just from braking and and boost the car by 80+ HP.  

Don't think its in the spirit of forumla one to have it, but i'd be damn
cool to have a button like that on my car!!

just one of those things I thought you should know


to find out more just search KERS formula one

here is a popular mechanics article:
there are thousands of others out there..


Posted by vaughn on April 7, 2009, 12:00 pm

I don't have any special feelings about the "spirit" of formula one, but
racing in general has always served as a test bed for automotive
technologies.  It is good to see that hybrid technology is finally making it
to the track.  The result will likely be the introduction of lighter and
safer hybrid systems.


Posted by Eeyore on April 7, 2009, 12:31 pm

vaughn wrote:

Carrying around just 30kg of battery has it seems made the cars less easy to
handle, i.e. LESS safe.


Posted by Tim Jackson on April 7, 2009, 1:37 pm
 z wrote:

Why are you talking about batteries then describing a flywheel energy
storage system?

I think you meant "60kW of power" when you said "60kWh of energy", 60kWh
is about 200MJ, which exceeds the limit of 400kJ per lap by a factor of
500.  Likewise 80hp is about the same as 60kW

 From a safety point of view, whether I would rather be hit by a 10AH
12V battery (that's 423kJ) or a spinning flywheel storing comparable
energy is a moot point. I think I'd take my chances with the battery.

I don't see why it's not in the spirit of Formula 1 to develop devices
that makes cars go faster more efficiently.  *If* it results in a
bolt-on goodie that allows the average motorist to store braking energy
every time they stop at lights, and recover it setting off, more
efficiently, cheaper and lighter than an electromechanical power train
and battery, then I'm all for it.

Tim Jackson

Posted by stu on April 8, 2009, 3:07 pm

They have a option to use either or none.

I think its more about trying to "make" some overtaking happen without
having a "push to pass" button. But appearing "green" doesn't hurt. I think
it would be of more benefit to remove the ban on CVT(which I assume is still
in place)

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