• Apr 21st 2008 at 2:18PM
  • 8
FIA President Max Mosely has sent a letter to Formula One teams outlining the plans for phasing in hybrid systems in the sport. Beginning in 2009, the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) will be integrated into the transmissions of F1 cars. The KERS is a mechanical system that captures kinetic energy during vehicle deceleration using a flywheel mechanism. Unlike production vehicle hybrids that convert kinetic energy to electrical energy and store it in a battery, the KERS is far more compact and lighter, adding only about 55lbs to the car. The amount of energy that can be stored is limited but for this type of application it is actually useful since the cars are constantly accelerating and decelerating from corner to corner.
The FIA will phase in the use of KERS over the next four years in conjunction with other changes to reduce the size and output of the engines. A selectable power boost button on the steering wheel will allow the drivers to decide when to use the stored energy for a quick boost in power. New rules that are expected to be enacted for 2013 will replace the current 2.4L V-8 engines with even smaller turbocharged engines.

[Source: F1-Live]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I LOVE the idea of them having a "boost" button on the steering wheel! Just like in the arcade! :)

      If they're able to perfect this tech in race cars, it would be nice to see it filter down to us regular joes. This, combined with partial-hybrid engine stop-start could save even more gas than an electric hybrid solution.

      I wonder, if they found a way to make this virtually frictionless (ie magnetic bearings in a vacuum), this type of hybrid might have a much longer lifespan than a battery-based one.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes they have. see ww.flybrid.co.uk, absolute genius what they have done. The unit is so light, about 25kg and compact it could be cheaply manufactured and incorporated into road cars. I've seen and handled the unit myself at the goodwood festival of speed in the UK. Star of the show in my opinion. If their claims are even half true it would cut CO2 emissions and increase fuel economy by up to 30%. Amazing!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Small turbo engines (~1.5 liters?) with flywheel hybrid? Freakin sweet. This may change driving dynamics in F1 considerably. More torque from the turbo plus the torque from the flywheel...much different from the high-screaming NA counterparts.
        • 7 Years Ago
        woww love the sound of it but id be very concerened on the giroscopic side but it coud be put to good use if it could be moved with the steering??
      • 7 Years Ago
      Gyroscopic effects will be negligible. Forgive me if I do not go into details.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Please excuse the above typos. There's a missing "of" and a random "+" sign.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And "it's" where there should "its." So much for proofreading.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting. Any info on the mass and the moment of inertia the flywheel? When storing+ energy in a typical case, what's the magnitude and direction of it's angular velocity vector? I'm curious if this spinning mass will have any effect on handing due to the flywheel trying to conserve angular momentum (gyroscopic effect).
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