Kinetic Energy Recovery System | KERS |

So,here goes my first post.ImageThe introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) is one of the most significant technical introductions for the Formula One Race. Formula One have always lived with an environmentally unfriendly image and have lost its relevance to road vehicle technology. This eventually led to the introduction of KERS.

KERS is an energy saving device fitted to the engines to convert some of the waste energy produced during braking into more useful form of energy. The system stores the energy produced under braking in a reservoir and then releases the stored energy under acceleration. The key purpose of the introduction was to significantly improve lap time and help overtaking. KERS is not introduced to improve fuel efficiency or reduce weight of the engine. It is mainly introduced to improve racing performance.

KERS is the brainchild of FIA president Max Mosley. It is a concrete initiative taken by F1 to display eco-friendliness and road relevance of the modern F1 cars. It is a hybrid device that is set to revolutionize the Formula One with environmentally friendly, road relevant, cutting edge technology.

 

Components of KERS

The three main components of the KERS are as follows:

  • An electric motor positioned between the fuel tank and the engine is connected directly to the engine crankshaft to produce additional power.
  • High voltage lithium-ion batteries used to store and deliver quick energy.
  • A KERS control box monitors the working of the electric motor when charging and releasing energy.

A – Electric motor

B – Electronic Control Unit

C – Battery Pack

Working Principle of KERS

Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems or KERS works on the basic principle of physics that states, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be endlessly converted.”

When a car is being driven it has kinetic energy and the same energy is converted into heat energy on braking. It is the rotational force of the car that comes to stop in case of braking and at that time some portion of the energy is also wasted. With the introduction of KERS system the same unused energy is stored in the car and when the driver presses the accelerator the stored energy again gets converted to kinetic energy. According to the F1 regulations, the KERS system gives an extra 85 bhp to the F1 cars in less than seven seconds.

This systems take waste energy from the car’s braking process, store it and then reuse it to temporarily boost engine power. This and the following diagram show the typical placement of the main components at the base of the fuel tank, and illustrate the system’s basic functionality – a charging phase and a boost phase. In the charging phase,

kinetic energy from the rear brakes (1)

is captured by an electric alternator/motor (2),

controlled by a central processing unit (CPU) (3),

which then charges the batteries (4).

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