Formula One, like so many cutting-edge consumers, has announced that it is going hybrid. Unlike those consumers, however, Formula One will be using the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), a fundamentally different piece of technology from what currently available hybrids rely on for assistance.
KERS is a 55-pound hybrid addition (light by hybrid standards, but heavy by Formula One standards) that stores kinetic energy in a flywheel in the vehicle’s transmission. This kinetic energy can then be used at the push of a “boost” button on the steering wheel. Instead of using batteries and electric motors for energy storage, KERS relies on mechanical energy storage.
The people behind KERS are excited about the technology, and not just because they like to see cars go really fast. Evidently KERS is twice as efficient as current battery hybrids and has possible application in millions of production vehicles. If this system gets into consumer hands, it could mean more GHG reductions for potentially less money and less production-related environmental impact.
written by Oudai Al-Daoud, April 28, 2008
written by Dean, April 28, 2008
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