• Feb 11, 2010
Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

The hybrid drive system being used by Porsche in its new 911 GT3 R isn't what you find in your average Prius or Fusion. Instead of a battery for energy storage, the 911 will use an electro-mechanical flywheel. The system being used was actually developed by the Williams formula one team and its Williams Hybrid Power subsidiary.

The system is comprised of an electrically driven flywheel and a motor/generator on the gearbox. During braking the gearbox mounted generator drives the flywheel to spin it up to 40,000 rpm. When needed for extra acceleration, the flywheel drives its integrated motor/generator to spin provide power back to the unit on the gearbox.

In the case of the 911, a pair motor generators are actually on the front wheels instead of the single unit on the gearbox as it was on the Williams F1 car last year. This provides more regenerative braking capability as well as all wheel drive.

The flywheel itself is made of a composite material that is infused with magnetic particles when it is being molded. This actually acts as the permanent magnet for the motor, helping to keep the overall weight down. The result is a very efficient system with less mass than a battery system and the ability to absorb energy more rapidly than a battery similar to an ultracapaitor. Like ultracapacitors the downside for automotive applications is limited energy storage capacity.

As a result, electric driving is limited meaning that this really behaves more like a mild hybrid system than a strong hybrid. However, the power output is closer to what is available from most strong hybrids. Williams Hybrid Power is working with a number of automakers on implementing its flywheel system although only Porsche has been publicly identified. Porsche's has setup a microsite for its new Hybrid racecar, and for more details, make the jump for the release and a video explaining the system, along with two promo videos.



[Source: Williams Hybrid Power]






Show full PR text
PRESS RELEASE

WILLIAMS HYBRID POWER CONTRACTS WITH PORSCHE AG FOR 911 GT3 R HYBRID

Oxford, UK, February 11, 2010. Williams Hybrid Power Limited is pleased to confirm that the energy storage system as part of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, which was announced today by Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has been developed and supplied by Williams Hybrid Power. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid with innovative hybrid drive will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Further details from Porsche follow in the attached press release.

The energy storage system was originally developed for use in Formula One by the AT&T Williams team but Williams Hybrid Power is now focused on applications in road vehicles. The technology will also be developed for larger, infrastructure applications by Williams F1 at its new research facility in the Qatar Science and Technology Park.

Ian Foley, Managing Director of Williams Hybrid Power said, "We are delighted to see our technology being adopted by one of the world's leading engineering companies and most prestigious automotive manufacturers in one of their racing cars. Partnering with Porsche on this project has been a very positive experience and we are grateful to them for choosing to work with us."

Alex Burns, Chairman of Williams Hybrid Power and Chief Operating Officer of Williams F1 said, "This is a milestone for both Williams Hybrid Power and Williams F1. Together we have worked to bring this technology forward to the point where it can be tested in a racing car and deployed in a road car. We hope that this will be just the start of the evolution of hybrid systems developed for Formula One moving across to applications where they can contribute to cleaner and more powerful vehicles."


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  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      How many remember the 1993 Chrysler Patriot Le Mans Prototype.

      Used a flywheel.

      Nice big gyroscope fighting you in every corner.

      http://www.allpar.com/model/patriot.html

      http://www.rqriley.com/images-spech/img010.jpg
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is going to be one badass car. 160 additional hp of hybrid nos!!! OMFG. I can just imagine what that feels like when you already have 480 NA HP pushing you ahead at 130 MPH. Talk about a rush!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dear Autoblog: As far as I know, Williams never ran their KERS last year. You article states otherwise.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is why F1 is so awesome. Cool tech that actually starts making its way into road going cars. It's amazing when you take racing budgets and reduce constrants what engineers can come up with.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well it is still a 'mechanical' system, refering to how the energy is stored by the flywheel as opposed to batteries. The electrical element of this system is merely to transfer the energy to the flywheel. However the clever part is the incorporation of a magnetic flywheel *inside* what would previously have been a seperate flywheel and motor assembly making it so much more compact. I think using two seperate units, and thus flywheels, will also help to counter concerns about the negative impact the gyroscopic effect might have on handling.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interesting, I thought Williams system was mechanical, this is electrical. That explains a lot.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well it is still a 'mechanical' system, refering to how the energy is stored by the flywheel as opposed to batteries. The electrical element of this system is merely to transfer the energy to the flywheel. However the clever part is the incorporation of a magnetic flywheel *inside* what would previously have been a seperate flywheel and motor assembly making it so much more compact. I think using two seperate units, and thus flywheels, will also help to counter concerns about the negative impact the gyroscopic effect might have on handling.
        • 4 Years Ago
        To me, it's electrical. See this link:

        http://green.autoblog.com/2008/04/21/formula-one-to-phase-in-kinetic-energy-recovery-system-from-2009/

        For what I understood to be a mechanical KERS. No motors, no generators. I couldn't understand how a system could possibly be practical.

        Using two flywheels will only reduce precession, it doesn't reduce the other flywheel effects, in fact it doubles them. A flywheel resists changes in orientation, and so two of them (more spinning mass) will just resist more.

        This thing is going to groan when the car changes direction in pitch (changes in track elevation) or roll (banked corners), unless they gimbal it, which would add even more weight.
        • 4 Years Ago
        it's electromechanical.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hm. It only spins up when you're slowing down. You tend to slow down when you're turning. Flywheels are gyroscopes. Gyroscopes don't like to turn.

      Good job they oriented them on a vertical axis then.
        • 4 Years Ago
        it spins horizontally, it doesn't affect turning. it affects the pitch , which is a good thing. there is a possibility that Williams and Porsche engineers know something about engineering.
        • 4 Years Ago
        so then its a huge gyro holding one side of the car down and lifting the other side up? if thats the case then you would obviously want to spin the flywheel in one direction or another depending on the track, righty vs lefty.

        that has got to be a nightmare to set up a suspension for
        • 4 Years Ago
        Naggs, good point. Three things come to mind: 1. the effect is negligible; 2. they use a pair with opposite spin; 3. the flywheel is not rigidly linked to the chassis.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love clever technology. Hopefull it works as well as they say it should.
      • 4 Years Ago
      40k RPM is good to know but what is the energy capacity? Mass, distribution and diameter would be enough to guess reasonably well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Needs a gas turbine!!
      Remember the Chrysler Patriot.....
      Wasn't an engineer killed when the flywheel disintergrated during testing?
      • 4 Years Ago
      It will be intersting to see what happens when the system is involved in a crash. The technology has been around a while but its safety has always been a concern. 40,000 rpm's is a lot of kenetic energy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What series that the GT3 RSR or Cup typically compete in allows AWD?

      I wonder if there is some sort of language in the rule books that allows Porsche to power all 4 wheels if 2 of them aren't connected to the engine.
        • 4 Years Ago
        racing rules will be changed to favour hybrids by 2012, that's why they are developing this technology.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If the rules do change that way, that is really unfair to any make that wants to use AWD, but saves fuel another way.

        Say BMW wanted to use their 320xd instead of 320d, which they race in European Touring Cars. Can they? Nope, not a hybrid.

        Lame. Saving fuel is saving fuel.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i want this so hard
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