Search 4,000 EV News articles

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ferrari and Renault could switch to Flywheel KERS system for 2010

The Magneti Marelli KERS systems as used by the Ferrari and Renault teams has not had the best showing so far during the 2009 Formula One season with both teams removing the system completely at some Grand Prix. All current F1 KERS systems are battery based and so far Williams are the only team to choose a flywheel system although they have yet to even track test the system let alone bring it to a race.

Now Flybrid Systems, who were one of the first companies to demonstrate a flywheel KERS system but were subsequently over looked by every Formula One team, have announced they will collaborate with Magneti Marelli to develop a new energy storage solution for the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS).

The new product named Flywheel Capacitor consists of a high-speed carbon fibre flywheel connected to a high-speed electric motor generator. Flybrid will supply the Flywheel while Magneti Marelli the control electronics.

The device works by applying to the electric motor generator the recovered electrical energy captured from the vehicle during braking events. The energy is stored into the Flywheel Capacitor by speeding up the flywheel. During the acceleration events of the vehicle, the energy stored into the flywheel capacitor is returned to the vehicle by transforming the kinetic energy of the flywheel into electrical energy via the motor generator.

The Flywheel capacitor will not use chemical battery based energy storage systems.

The first Flywheel Capacitor to be developed will have a specification of 60 kW power and 600 kJ total storage capacity but the specification can be readily adapted to any vehicle requirements. Both partners will draw upon extensive experience with their own KERS products to deliver a working prototype in the next few months.

The electric motor and flywheel will rotate at up to 60,000 RPM and the flywheel will sit inside an evacuated chamber that includes special containment features to ensure complete safety. A small electric pump will occasionally top up the vacuum so that no regular maintenance is required.

State of the art magnetic design of the motor generator and high efficiency electronics are expected to deliver round trip storage efficiencies approaching 80%. The device has a low cooling requirement and contains no flammable materials. The complete flywheel capacitor including the associated electronics is expected to weigh just 20 kg.

Commenting on the collaboration Flybrid Systems Managing Partner Jon Hilton said “This is an exciting new development that will deliver a high end product capable of exploitation in F1 but also suitable for more widespread use in motorsport. As well as offering low running costs the flywheel capacitor is a green alternative to regularly replacing batteries.”

Managing Director of Magneti Marelli Motorsport Roberto Dalla said: “We are very excited to apply our technology and our deep experience in developing KERS solutions to create an alternative energy storage system. This project lies within our strategy of continuous innovation and research for efficiency and performance”.

The new flywheel capacitor product will be commercially available from both Magneti Marelli and Flybrid Systems. Both companies will continue to develop, manufacture and distribute their own existing KERS products.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

No comments:

Post a Comment