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Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS)

In 2009, Formula One (F1) – the worlds premier motor sport competition, will introduce the optional use of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS). Following on from some of our recent blogs regarding renewable energy and harvesting energy, we will look at KERS and the benefits it can provide.

KERS can be broken down into two main types of system: Electrical and Mechanical. Teams have been looking at storing excess energy from braking, storing and using it. The electrical type looks at using batteries or capacitors to store the energy. The mechanical type is set to utilise a flywheel, which is a rotating disc used to store kinetic energy.

Formula One has always been near the front of technological advancements for cars but the changes to the F1 regulations have been met with mixed views by the teams and manufacturers. Some are excited about the prospect and are happy to make the changes with benefits coming in the form of the advancement of technology and a possible racing advantage, while others question the time, cost and safety of such technology. For example, teams have had problems with battery tests and voltage issues, with a mechanic recently having an electric shock during testing.

Either way, with other energy recovery systems being suggested for the future, the next few seasons are set to be as intriguing as ever.