Browse Publications Books PT-159

Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems for Racing Cars PT-159

A kinetic energy recover system (KERS) captures the kinetic energy that results when brakes are applied to a moving vehicle. The recovered energy can be stored in a flywheel or battery and used later, to help boost acceleration. KERS helps transfer what was formerly wasted energy into useful energy.

In 2009, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) began allowing KERS to be used in Formula One (F1) competition. Still considered experimental, this technology is undergoing development in the racing world but has yet to become mainstream for production vehicles.

The Introduction of this book details the theory behind the KERS concept. It describes how kinetic energy can be recovered, and the mechanical and electric systems for storing it. Flybrid systems are highlighted since they are the most popular KERS developed thus far. The KERS of two racing vehicles are profiled: the Dyson Lola LMP1 and Audi R18 e-tron Quattro.

Four SAE technical papers follow the preface and focus on the use of KERS technology in F1 racing. The first paper examines the factors that influence hybrid performance and enable optimization for different racing circuits. The second paper describes a Flybrid KERS designed for the 2009 F1 season. The third paper considers the development of an electric KERS for the 2009 F1 season. The fourth paper presents the challenges and opportunities of the 2014 F1 engine and powertrain rules, particularly as they pertain to KERS.

This book has been published for automotive engineers who are interested in hybrid systems, energy recovery, regenerative braking, and improving acceleration. It will also be useful for powertrain designers, researchers, academics, and motorsports professionals (race engineers, team managers, and technology practitioners who design and build racing powertrains).

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