Dyson kicks off KERS Flybrid development

September 14, 2012

Dyson kicks off KERS Flybrid development

September 14, 2012

Dyson Racing has debuted a newly-developed Kinetic Energy Recovery System in the #16 Mazda-powered P1 entry at Virginia International Raceway this weekend.

The Flybrid Automotive Limited KERS system is based on a high-speed, lightweight flywheel that is incorporated into the car’s bell housing and stores braking energy for later use under acceleration.

“We have been researching and working on the KERS hybrid system with Flybrid since the end of last season,” said Chris Dyson.

“We have done extensive dyno testing and have tested the system in the car. We had encouraging enough results and will be running it in the car this weekend at VIR and at the season-ending Petit Le Mans. We are in close contention for the championship, and as a race team, we are always looking to better our performance.”

“The ALMS is the leader in green racing and the perfect series to showcase this technology. The regulations are encouraging of regenerative technology and up until this point, there have been very few customer-friendly options. Flybrid was very interested in developing their product and linking up with a front-line organization. We were looking for the right partners for this kind of project and we when we found each other, it was a very natural fit from the beginning.”

The Kinetic Energy Recovery System used in the Dyson P1 car is the first of its kind to race outside of Europe. Developed specifically for this application by UK based Flybrid Automotive, the KERS uses a small high speed rotating flywheel to store otherwise wasted braking energy and return it to the wheels to assist the car’s next acceleration.

The steel and carbon fiber energy storage flywheel weighs just 11 lbs. (5kg) and can rotate at up to 60,000 RPM inside an evacuated chamber to allow storage of up to 134 BHP (100 kW) for up to five seconds during each braking maneuver.

Transmission of power to and from the energy storage flywheel is managed by a three speed clutch-based transmission developed and manufactured by Flybrid Automotive. This transmission is fitted inside the gearbox casing of the car and is connected to an engine speed shaft in the vehicle’s gearbox.

Energy storage and release is automatically controlled by an onboard computerized hydraulic system that does not require any special driver inputs. Energy is stored every time the car brakes and released again every time the car accelerates back up to speed, boosting acceleration without burning any additional fuel.

This performance boost is slightly offset by the additional weight of the system which with all its accessories and fluids weighs around 88 lbs. (40kg).

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